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Dead of Summer - Home Sweet Home - Review

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Winding down toward the finale, this episode promised to focus on saving Amy. Holyoke leads Garrett, Jessie, and Alex in a purification ritual to save her from the demon.

Holyoke explains that his cabin is a cage that will hold Malphas while they perform the ritual. He cautions the kids not to open the door until they’ve saved Amy.

In the cabin he has a vat of the purest water from the lake that, I suppose, is intended as the final step in the process. He plans to perform an incantation that’s supposed to summon the spirits of light from the lake.

When he starts playing a hymn (“Lo, How a Rose E’Er Blooming” according to the CC text) something dark, red, and apparently more powerful than Holyoke rises from the lake. Holyoke disappears. Garrett realizes that the piano was tampered with. It looks like the sign of the devil, which Garrett found on the piano key several episodes ago, corrupted the magic. These guys are on their own.

Unfortunately, this exorcism wasn’t as successful for me as the séance was. I think the fact that Garrett, Jessie and Alex didn’t really know what they were doing left the sequence feeling a little too disjointed for my tastes. It killed any real tension the sequence should have held.

I did like Malphas’ tricks. Pretending to be Deb to get the door open and using that distraction so Amy could untie herself.

It was nice to see that Jessie’s personality change has been more of her returning to herself than just ‘becoming a better person.’ She came up with a pretty good plan. Getting Malphas to make her its vessel then having herself tossed in the pure lake water was basically successful, except for the major twist of the series.

The flashbacks revisit Amy’s past, starting with her childhood. Her family isn’t the woman we met in the pilot. She’s got a traditional family; mother, father and obnoxious older brother. While little Amy is doing the dishes, her brother tells her that her parents don’t want her anymore and will be sending her to live with their grandmother.

Later, he tricks her into the garage and locks her in. The next morning she’s awakened by a fireman and informed that her entire family has died.

I was absolutely convinced that these flashbacks were to prove that she was an innocent that had had to fight off evil before and won. Until her family was killed. At that point I knew Amy was evil.

Once it appears that the exorcism has been successfully completed, we get to see Amy’s real self. Amy, it turns out, is the prefect vessel, not because she’s pure, but because she’s a compatible soul. (As Amy puts it…they understand each other) One benefit of that is that when she starts giving Jessie CPR she can call Malphas back into her body.

It’s at this point that we get to see the truth of Amy’s appearances throughout the series. The young woman she was so distressed about in the pilot? Amy killed her in order to take her place as a counselor at Camp Stillwater. Amy also killed Dan, Blotter and Cricket. Amy is the mysterious masked person we’ve seen throughout the series.

I kinda liked Deb storming through the woods looking for Malphas. I wish she’d had some hope of winning the fight though. Deb searches Amy’s trunk and finds a map of the camp and the murder weapon. Did I miss a scene? Why was Deb there? Amy pops up just as a ‘redshirt’ arrives to warn Deb about Amy. Amy quickly kills the redshirt and goes after Deb. For some reason it really pleases me that Amy is wielding an axe during this sequence. She stalks and quickly kills Deb.

But before Deb dies, Amy makes reference to Deb’s memory of her time as a counselor. Remember the picture of the Masquerade Party during Deb’s flashback ep? My first thought is that she fought Malphas’ evil when she was at camp. Hopefully, we’ll find out about that in the season finale.

There was a lot about this episode that I liked. What did you guys think about the episode? What are your theories about Deb’s time at Camp Stillwater?

About the Author - Prpleight
Prpleight is a screenwriter and senior software engineer with solid geek cred. When not writing code, screenplays, or watching TV (sometimes she does all three at the same time), she uses her broadsword Bessie to battle evil. She's been a frequent contributor to the SpoilerTV discussion boards for several years now.
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