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From continues to pick up the pace in Episode 7, Belly Of The Beast, though this wasn’t quite as harrowing an entry as last week’s terrifyingly intense episode. Still, we’re making progress and learning new and interesting things about the world. Characters are starting to actually tell one another important details, sharing information rather than mindlessly keep it from one another, though there’s still some of that going on.
For instance, I’m not sure why Boyd wants to be so secretive about the dead monster, Smiley. Let the people of the town know! It will give them a much-needed morale boost. Something to believe in. Some hope, whether or not it’s warranted.
I say that last bit because . . . I’m not sure. There are some very bad signs that this victorious moment may not be what they hoped it would be. They bring Smiley inside (though really, they should have brought it to the barn or something, or just left it outside—I don’t think it’s wise to let one in, even if he seems genuinely dead). After some arguments with Kenny—who is now, apparently, Mr. Argues About Everything—they get busy dissecting it, discovering that it’s essentially just a desiccated husk of a normal human being.
This lends credence to the theory that the monsters are all just former people who got stuck in Fromville and somehow turned into . . . whatever these things are. Obviously, many people are killed by the monsters before that’s even a possibility. The big question I have—if this theory is true—is how some people are transformed instead? Who (or what) changes them? What is the process?
My guess would be that once you go past the town, possibly through a Faraway Tree, there is something or someone who turns you. Recall the spiderwebs, also. And then there is the ballerina.
I knew we’d see the ballerina again, but I didn’t think it would be this soon. But both Maryelle, in her detox nightmare, and Elgin in his bath, hear the music playing, see the music box. Maryelle sees Smiley, alive now and roaming the clinic’s halls. Elgin, taking a bath to clear his mind on the advice of Julie Matthews, hears the music playing and then suddenly the ballerina is above him, pressing him underwater. But she is no longer a beautiful woman. She’s now a hideous undead hag. We don’t know what happens to Elgin. The credits roll as he’s pushed under.
Why are people having these visions? Boyd didn’t infect them, and it seemed clear the worms went into Smiley and killed him (or destroyed him if he wasn’t strictly alive to begin with). Since he didn’t have blood, were they released into the air in some way, possibly infecting people that way? I have no idea!
The one thing our heroes collect is the monster’s bile. The only fluid in its body. Is this something that could be used against other monsters assuming it’s infected with the worm poison? Or is it what was used to animate the dead in the first place?
I’m not sure. Other important stuff from this episode:
- Jade and Tabitha work on creating a better booze still and share information about their visions. He tells her about all of his and she’s surprised that they change. She just sees bleeping terrifying kids. (They need to have Tabitha use other phrases. I think she’s said bleeping terrifying a dozen times at this point). When she tells him that she’s seen that one symbol he always sees “in the tunnels” he stops her. “Wait, what tunnels?” This is why it’s important to share information, people!
- Victor is kind of a prick to Ethan when the little boy finds him. He even tells him that the orange marker in the markers Ethan gave him was all dried up, and that it was “a bad gift.” But then he feels bad (as he should!) and asks Ethan to help him measure the trees. He also notes that the leaves have never fallen before in all the time he’s been here. Ethan thinks maybe the change is good. Victor says that change is never good in this place. I’m with Victor on this one. If winter is coming I suspect things are about to get much worse. Just ask those crazy kids on Yellowjackets.
- Speaking of Yellowjackets, having a baby in a terrible place is a recurring theme: Fatima reveals to Donna that she’s pregnant. She doesn’t want to tell Ellis, but she ends up telling him and it’s not dragged out across the rest of the season thank god.
- Jim is convinced this is all a big experiment of some kind, and he’s probably right. He wants Randall to help him with another radio project, this time using the drone. They should use the drone to explore the tunnels, but they’re not communicating enough with one another to come up with a plan like that.
- I’m glad more information sharing is taking place, but I wish this show would do a slightly better job at it. It drags its feet too much. Too many conversations that don’t advance the plot or really give us meaningful character development. It’s crazy that nobody, including Jim, has shown any interest in the tunnels that Victor and Tabitha were in until this moment. Just lots of little things like that. Tighten up these scripts, make the characters act a bit more realistic and this show could be truly great.
- I don’t think there’s a mole, as Randall suggests, but who knows? I’m sure everyone has theories about who it could be. My bigger question is: Have they actually picked a mole and mapped that out or will they pick one after the fact to match up with the best fan theory?
Finally, what the hell were they thinking leaving Smiley’s body in the basement after dissecting it? That thing should be outside covered in gasoline with a lit match. Instead, I’m pretty sure that something bad is about to happen because they were so negligent. They’re planning to use the bile as a weapon, but what if taking out the bile brings Smiley back to life?
Overall, another strong episode. What did you think? Let me know on Twitter or Facebook.