Picking up right where we left off, Shelby accuses Matt of having sex in the woods with creepy witch woman, but Matt mentally breaks down, claiming that he doesn’t remember anything. Shelby is torn. She loves him. Can she believe him? As she gets ready to take a shower, PigMan attacks her from behind the shower curtain. She runs in terror to the hallway and–there he is again! She trips, falls, stumbles downstairs with Matt and–PigMan attacks again! Suddenly, Dr. Elias (from the video) whacks PigMan over the head and he goes down. After a powerful “CROATOAN!!” yell, the PigMan disappears.
Dr. Elias was the previous owner of the house, and he gives a little background on the word “Croatoan,” a word of dark magic. Matt wants him out of their house, but he shows them a hidden scrapbook of sorts, detailing the horrible history of the house and its tragic occupants. The Chen Family, in particular, trying to live the American Dream. PigMan shows up one night and pushes a daughter down the stairs. They try praying and making offerings to the ancestors to ward off evil, but Thomasin and the gang show up anyway, putting a meat cleaver into dear old Dad. “I guess they never had a chance,” Dr. Elias says. “But you do,” he adds.
Looking through the piles of clippings, Matt recognizes the two psychotic murderous nurses he saw back in episode 1. Dr. Elias explains they told him of their deaths at the hands of Thomasin. One gets her arms yanked clean off her torso (well, not so clean, I guess). The other gets her head chopped off.
Dr. Elias lays some more expositional pipe listing all the deaths, murders, and mysterious disappearances that have occurred at the house around the same six-day lunar cycle in October. Hey, guess what time of year it is! Dr. Elias says they need to leave, but Matt and Shelby won’t leave until they find their niece, taken by Priscilla. At the mention of her name, Dr. Elias does a double-take. “I know where she likes to play.”
Dr. Elias leads them back into the woods (uh oh…), but instead of finding Priscilla, Matt and Shelby see creepy woods witch woman. Matt is frozen, but Shelby runs off, chasing after her. She never catches her, but she does run into other dead spirits, victims of Thomasin. She yells the magic word “Croatoan!” but Dr. Elias says that won’t work with them and leads her back to Matt, still rooted to the spot. But now he’s looking at Flora. Playing with her new playmates.
Dr. Elias goes to talk with Priscilla, trying to get her to give up her living friend when suddenly he gets a chestful of arrows. Holy crap! Undead hunters come out of the woods and Matt and Shelby run off, back to the house. And they run right into Cricket, coming out of their house. “You two look afright,” he says. “Are you ready to do things my way now?”
Even though he will still help them, he’s a little miffed that they undermined him last time when he was trying to negotiate with Thomasin. He heads off to the woods (again) to try to talk to her (again) and ends up meeting “the bitch with the real power.” Creepy woods witch woman.
After temporarily blinding him with dust, and putting a knife to his throat, Cricket offers her what he can see she really needs: manly satisfaction in the form of Matt. And creepy woods witch woman gives Cricket a glimpse into the past, a view of life in the colony, where food was plenty and human sacrifices to the earth were accepted as the way. Some of the folk aren’t too keen on the new ways, with Thomasin taking advice from creepy woods witch woman and all. Her own son wishes to leave. Creepy witch woman whispers to Thomasin that if she kills them all during the blood moon, their souls will be under her thumb, as it were, forever.
So, she does, offering them poison fruit at dinner. Just in case the act of foaming at the mouth and vomiting weren’t enough to kill her former friends, she cuts through them all with her handy meat cleaver. And then creepy woods witch woman does the same to her, slitting her throat and letting her bleed into the earth, tethering her soul to this land forever.
Cricket says he knows a way he can put an end to all this, but he needs to go back to his hotel to prepare. On the Uber ride back, they almost hit Flora as she runs out into the road, then back into the woods. Cricket jumps out of the car and follows her.
Much much later and Cricket has yet to return from the hotel. Matt and Shelby wait up, but end up falling asleep. Matt is suddenly woken up by a sound outside and goes to check it out. At least he takes his gun with him.
Lights are on in that hidden underground bunker and–it’s creepy woods witch woman! She mutters about “my treasure” and “debts must be paid.” And then she takes his gun and drops it to the floor. Matt’s voiceover says, “I tried to resist, but it was impossible.”
Meanwhile, Shelby has woken up all alone in the house. She yells for Matt.
Meanwhile, Matt is getting intimate with creepy woods witch woman. In narration he explains that she opened herself up to him, letting him see all about her. She was a stowaway on a ship to America who was discovered and locked up, sentenced to burn as a witch for the tragedies of the voyage. She seduces one guard and kills him, letting herself out of her cell and killing everyone else. Impressive.
She escapes into the woods, where the old magic and the new world created something new, something original: her.
Shelby’s screams break Matt’s hypnosis, and he runs out to find Thomasin and her crew–with Flora. Just as she is about to slice Flora open, Priscilla hits her. She lets go and Flora runs to matt and Shelby. Thomasin is pissed. Matt and Shelby and Flora run inside, but they see through the window that Cricket is also being held by that butcher. She hacks into his stomach, then stands aside as her son inserts a large metal hook in him and pulls his intestines sloooowly out of him.
Sweet mother of pearl, that was kind of intense.
Maybe a wee bit too much exposition in this episode? A lot of explaining and backstory, but holy cow did they ramp up the tension in the last few minutes. It might have taken us a while to get here, but that ending was amazing.
Fare thee well, Cricket. You will be missed.
See you next time!