Archive 81: Terror in the Aisles
February 2, 2022 9:25 AM - Season 1, Episode 3 - Subscribe

The past loops back around as Melody returns to Steven with Jess; Mark checks out a find; Dan tries to map his situation, but he may be losing his way.

Mark thinks he's found present-day Melody, goes out to meet her. Dan maps the cameras in the compound. The groundskeeper appears. Virgil checks in. They all seem very concerned about Dan's mental health, hints at previous problems. Melody flirts with Sam. Jess has a fit, the priest tries to help, Sam breaks that up. Melody witnesses a basement ... ceremony, and then Sam with Tamara.

There's a lot of pure horror trope going on, but the combination of the found footage gimmick and the intertwining of past Melody, present Dan and the images that link them is extremely effective. Ghosts in the machine, as it were.
posted by chavenet (3 comments total)
Spoiler: the woman Mark meets, she's not Melody.
posted by chavenet at 1:25 PM on February 2, 2022

OK, the teaser was hilarious, although I'm not sure what it was doing there other than to give Father Russo something to talk about.


1. Child Melody has a seizure and draws is an effective scene, although one we've seen before.

2. As I've said before, I am really not sold on all of Dan's convoluted backstory as being desirable or even useful, but Mamoudou Athie really sells a person consumed by loss and sadness. I also really enjoy watching him restore the tapes. It's very soothing.

3. I guess Bobbi was the person in red, but they looked a lot shorter in episode 2.

4. I am not sure what Ratty is doing in the show. In the podcast, he was a way for Dan to explain things out loud, because audio, but I'm not sure what he adds here, other than cuteness.

5. Well, Father Russo is not a good guy, but Samuel doesn't like him, and Samuel is a creep, so... the enemy of Jess's malefactor is... also a malefactor? Is this supposed to change our opinion of Samuel? Also, Father Russo is one of the few people to give Melody good advice.

6. Melody isn't a very good interviewer. She really should have set questions so her data means something. Also, she she avoid her subjects turning the conversation to her at the drop of a hat. On the other hand, if she was a good interviewer, the show would take a lot longer (and I don't remember her being better in the podcast).

7. So what do you suppose the purpose of the "other Melody" was? I mean, plot-wise? As a red herring, it wasn't kept in play very long.

8. I liked the conversation on the video tape, it was unsettling and effictively creepy, but... reaching through the monitor? That just makes me think of Ringu and/or Nightmare on Elm Street, and, as the kids say, if you're going to aim at the king, you'd best not miss.

9. Despite the grouchiness in these comments, I do feel the tension is ratcheting up, and I like the way that Annabelle is both a comfort and a trial for Melody. Like she solves a problem and causes another one; she divide's Melody's attention when she should really be focusing on the mystery at hand. Also, the whole setting has a solid sort of griminess that is pretty tactile.

posted by GenjiandProust at 2:37 PM on February 2, 2022 [1 favorite]

I cannot explain that 6. at the end of my comment. I blame LMG.
posted by GenjiandProust at 3:13 PM on February 2, 2022 [1 favorite]

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