So... in "The Exit" things happen. Then more things happen. Then even more things happen.

Showrunner and creator Nick Antosca is one of those authors whose books I'm going to have to look up. Because judging from Channel Zero, they must be weird mamma-jammas. I haven't seen his work on Hannibal and Teen Wolf, and The Player came and left before I got a chance to watch it.

The reason I figure they must be weird is because tonight's Channel Zero was filled with weird things. Questions were answered, but not really. The show is spooky and horrific. No doubt about that. I said it about Season 1 (or Season 1.1), and I'll say it about Season 2 (or Season 1.2). But then again, it's hard not to make the stuff in the episodes scary.

"The Exit" has creepy suburbanites, and a laughing guy in a Mama Bates outfit, and lots of dark shadows, and glowing white balls, and black puddles, and John Carroll Lynch. You can't really go wrong with a set-up like that. How do you not make all of that scary?

And we get a few answers. Seth is someone who has somehow been living in the House, and can leave and re-enter it as well. The JD who rejoined the group is the fake JD who killed the real JD and took his place.

But about the time that this gets confirmed... the plot moves on. Margot asks who or what Seth really is, and he doesn't answer her. Then things happen and she never gets another chance to ask and he never gets another chance to answer. Dylan sets Fake JD (FJD) on fire after FJD eats Lacey for some reason.

Why does FJD eat Lacey? Why don't they question FJD about what the House is or what's going on or how they can escape or... well, anything. Who is the family that seems to know Seth and is locked up in a cage in the middle of the neighborhood?

Jules is hanging out in the cornfield on her own, and finds another glowing white ball. And it looks like it's taking her memory of Margot. So why is Jules so big on giving up her memories to the glowing white ball? What is the glowing white ball? Yeah, Jules acts weird, but she doesn't act like she's all "hollow" and memory-drained and all. Note later her "We've got this" to Margot inside the House. That doesn't sound like someone who wants to lose her memories, even if it seems to involve sexual ecstasy.

And then Jules and Margot get to the House. Where Seth is, I have no idea. The women enter the house and go through Room 1. Which shows the busts of their heads being torn apart. Then they enter the second room, and the black goo threatens to swallow up Jules before she... jumps through the gaps and gets out with Margot. In Room 3, they meet the Hiding Man, who is dressed up like their first-grade teacher Mrs. Carpenter and is writing "Don't go" on the chalkboard repeatedly.

So the first room shows a more evolved version of what they saw the first time. There's no sign of the mysterious wood-masked figure in the second room. Room 3, which says you have to enter alone, lets Margot and Jules enter together. Room 4 has a bust of John and noises of what are presumably his death play in the background. Beats Muzak, I guess. Room 5 has Petrified John swishing his hand through a bathtub like the one Margot uses. And when Margot and Jules leave Room 5, they emerge back into the real world, judging by the working car, the dandelion, and the two goofy teenagers who have discovered that the House is locked up.

Oh, and meanwhile Memory-John gets to the House, kills Dylan, goes through the House, and emerges into the real world. How did he escape the garage pit from last episode? Who knows? He has a brief bit where he asks Margot to give him some sweet sweet memories to tide him over. But then he tells her to run. But then he turns into a Michael Myers-ish stalker figure.

And what was up with the Corn Maze? They come to it, decide to camp out for the night (which comes awfully fast) rather than go through it, and then run on and get to the House anyway. So is it there to block their path, or not? If it is there for that reason, it doesn't do a very good job of it.

See what I mean? Lots of things happen, but either they rush past the revelation or the things that happen just raise more questions. Or what happens doesn't make any sense. I guess the last two episodes will deal with Memory-John (which the PRs call "The Father") in the real world. Or maybe Margot and Jules are just in a better memory-recreation of the real world: Level 2, so to speak.

Also, maybe it's just my failing eyesight. I had some eye surgery recently, and another medical treatment today. So I'm not in the greatest observational mood. But a lot of this episode takes place in the dark, sometimes lit by a campfire. Look at several of the pictures above. It's hard to make things out quite a bit of the time. Sometimes I get the impression that director Steven Piet is using the shadows to hide what's going on, rather than to make things more spooky and foreboding.

The FJD thing seems to have been a huge waste, for instance. He cries out that Margot and Jules know him from childhood. But... all they would know is based on their memories of him. Can he only recite what they know? Does he know everything the real JD does? That seems like a "Is someone real, or do they only exist as we remember them?" kind of Androids Dream of Electric Sheep? kinda thing. But nah, let's set FJD on fire and move on.

And if FJD needed the real JD to survive, which did he so promptly kill him a couple of episodes ago? It's like the memory cannibals in the House don't know how the whole memory-eating thing works. But the House has been doing this for a while, apparently. Wouldn't it know how it works? Or are the cannibals separate (and newly created?) entities inside the House? What about the Hiding Man in the House? The show is based on the memory cannibals, and neither we nor they seem to have any idea how the whole memory-eating thing works.

So the memory-eating thing is interesting, and it makes for some spookiness. But again, raises more questions than it answers.

So "The Exit" moved things along. It didn't answer any questions, other than what most of us already knew. Seth is more than he seems, "JD" isn't the real JD. The rest of it are questions that we still don't get the answers to, or more questions. I said it about Candle Cove, I've said it about No-End House, and I'll say it again. There are so many questions being raised that there's no way they're going to answer them by the sixth and final episode. Assuming that they want to answer them. I don't expect a neat answer to everything, but quit asking the questions if there won't be answers.

But that's just my opinion, I could be wrong. What do you think?
1 Comment
Comments (1)
Oct 19, 2017
It's a fun show albeit pedestrian and not as intense as it would like to be. On the one hand I can't believe we only get 6 episodes a year and on the other it's perfect.
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