Channel Zero 1.3 – “You Wanna See Something Cool?”

Mike Painter’s return to his hometown of Iron Hill just keeps going from bad to worse. When a violent psychotic break drove a wedge between Mike and his family, he thought a return to where he grew up would set things to rights. But since his return, his friend Gary’s daughter has been abducted and subsequently tried to murder her own brother. Then, Mike was seemingly lured to the disinterred, mummified corpse of his own brother: a brother which he ultimately confesses that he killed.

At the heart of it all, of course, is the unsettling, illusory television show Candle Cove.

This episode picks up where its predecessor left off, with Gary abandoning his duties as town sheriff to take the law into his own hands. He gathers his deputy Tim and Tim’s wife Daphne – both of whom along with Gary lost loved ones at the same time Mike’s brother vanished – and they interrogate him at a remote property Gary once tried to buy. Firmly convinced that Mike was responsible for all the deaths, not just his brother’s, they try to force a confession.

channel-zero-tooth-fingerMike does indeed confess, but the truth is not what anyone expects, resulting in a rapid escalation in violence; not just from Mike’s friends toward him but from the new batch of children who have seen Candle Cove toward the rest of their unsuspecting town.

The last half of this episode is not to be missed, and features some of the best corpse-twitching at least since the season 7 premier of The Walking Dead. The violence and terror on this show are rapidly escalating, as are the clearly-supernatural events. You Wanna See Something Cool? catapults the audience into the second half of the season, answering some vital questions and creating new ones: is Mrs. Booth the mastermind or just another pawn? Why is the Tooth Child so drawn to Mike? What is the true nature of the Skin Taker? And what is with that gift box full of mushrooms?

Like the nautical-themed Candle Cove show, Channel Zero is afloat on a sea of questions. But the abrupt escalation in brutality that You Wanna See Something Cool? delivers tells us that a hurricane is about to hit.