Even in a hopeless, godforsaken place infested by nocturnal monsters, from which there seem to be no escape, forgiveness is hard to come by. The knowledge of Sara’s return was going to rile up the townsfolk anyway due to her past actions, but Kenny in particular was up for a traumatic realization as he discovered that Sara was responsible for his father’s death, and that despite knowing that, Boyd has tried to keep that information from him since his return. Meanwhile, Jim tries to theorize that all the inexplicable shenanigans around the town might be the experimental handiwork of some unseen observers who have put the residents in the town to monitor their reactions to various conditions but gets rebuked as he shares this speculation with Donna. Tabitha keeps seeing the mysterious disfigured children across the town since her return from the underground maze and tries to come to a rational conclusion about it, to no avail. The fifth episode of MGM+’s From explores the aftermath of the Sara situation, as well as some shocking revelations that shed some light on the mysterious nature of the town.
What Did Randall Discover About The Nature Of The Monsters?
In the previous episode, Donna drove the newcomer Randall out of the colony house due to his unruly behavior. As a form of punishment, he was placed inside the abandoned bus the newcomers arrived in, with a deterrent talisman attached at the front.
The fifth episode opens with Randall having a sleepless night thanks to the monsters knocking and shrieking outside the bus. Irritated, he rushes to almost open the door but stops himself at the last moment. The hothead then proceeds to taunt the monsters, flamboyantly letting them know that he isn’t afraid of their presence. Out of nowhere, the monsters start moving away from the bus, not returning again despite the continued bouts of taunting. It seems that Randall has unknowingly come up with a method to drive the monsters off, strangely a maneuver similar to deterring predators in the wilderness: holding one’s ground and not being afraid. This scenario also suggests that the monsters probably feed off the fears of their victims.
At the town bar, Jade wakes up after hearing the shrieks of the monsters and gets a panic attack when he hallucinates the man from Victor’s childhood photograph in front of him, bloodied and holding the sketches of the particular symbol that Jade keeps seeing pretty often. The lack of clues about the situation is eating him up, and the horrifying visions don’t seem to have an end either.
It doesn’t take much longer for the news of Sara’s return to spread across the town like wildfire, thanks to Kenny. Under the influence of the unseen forces, Sara previously went to kill Ethan, the youngest member of the Matthews family, and unsurprisingly, Jim and Tabitha Matthews are the first to arrive at the church to see Sara and threaten her. Sheriff Boyd is adamant about his decision to not throw Sara into ‘the box’ as he is trying to save her, and he too gets reprimanded by Matthew’s couple as a result.
At the Matthews household, young Ethan is traumatized to learn that Sara has returned and locks himself away in a room. Despite repeated pleas from his parents and elder sister Julie, it takes Ethan some time to regain his courage and come outside. To his parents’ surprise, Ethan wants to talk with Sara, and although Tabitha initially disapproves of this decision, Jim manages to convince her, citing the necessity of this for Ethan to let go of his past trauma. Ethan goes to meet Sara, chides her, and calls her out as being as vicious as the monsters that lurk in the night. Out of all the remarks Sara has endured so far and is going to endure, this one coming from a child probably hit her the hardest.
Sara goes to her old house to look for a particular memorabilia of her deceased brother Nathan, a ceramic Christmas ornament, but is unable to find it inside, and the newcomers who have already moved into the house drive her away. Sarah returns to the church, where she is joined by the newcomer Elgin, and the two briefly bond over sharing their fond past memories. However, as Sara moves the conversation to divine redemption and regret, Elgin learns from her own admission that she killed her own brother, and he promptly distances himself from her.
Upon learning that the memorabilia she is looking for might be in the stash of belongings that is now in Kenny’s mother, Tien Chen’s, storage, Sara prepares for the most unpleasant confrontation. Tien Chen is visibly aggrieved after seeing her at the diner, and as Sara leaves with her stash, the cluttering sound from the kitchen conveys the pain she has caused to the woman who used to consider her daughter by being responsible for her husband’s death. Filled with rage and desperation, Kenny, who is almost in a maniacal state, catches Sara coming out of the diner, and he publicly berates and disgraces her. To ensure his hatred is properly conveyed to her, Kenny breaks her memorabilia and threatens her with never to come near his mother again. Elgin, who was a spectator of the entire ordeal, tries to help Sara, who has been scarred enough for the day to hurriedly leave.
Pain and rage can be the worst emotional triggers and often cloud our judgment in a way that leads to questionable actions. Sara perhaps deserves some of the hate for her actions, irrespective of her being manipulated by unseen forces, but the way she has been treated could send anyone over the edge. The frustration the townsfolk are being subjected to due to the nature of the place is acting up, and subconsciously they want to release the pent-up destructive emotions on a target, which in this case seems to be Sara. She was right to tell Boyd that she doesn’t belong in the town anymore, and it will be interesting to see whether she returns to the wilderness once again.
Boyd Seeks Counsel And Tabitha’s Encounter With The Strange Kind
Knowing that his best accomplice Kenny has left his side due to the broken trust issue, Boyd goes to the only person in town whose judgment he trusts, Donna. Boyd remarks how Sara saved his life in the wilderness and how she might be a key to escape from the place, but Donna remains unfazed. After chastising Boyd for quite a while, she drops a possible truth bomb: that Boyd is trying to save Sara’s life out of guilt, that he wasn’t there to save his wife, Abby, and thereby making amends with that trauma. Boyd has his dose of chiding for the day and leaves Colony House.
In town, Boyd meets Jim, who has now grown a bit sympathetic toward Sara. He states that he can perceive the emotionally broken state of Sara, and his previous experience during the communication attempt with the outside world, which resulted in an ominous warning from people observing their activities, suggests that Sara might be a victim of those observers. At least someone in the town except Boyd believes her.
Meanwhile, at the makeshift hospital, putting aside their initial confusion, the lovebirds Kristi and Mari are enjoying each other’s company once again, and they are interrupted by the unnamed strange old lady from the bus, who is revealed to be possibly afflicted by cancer, as she gives Kristi a bottle of liquid morphine (required to relieve pain for cancer patients) to stash in her medical storage. After learning of Sara’s arrival in town from the elderly lady, Kristi rushes off to confront her but gets stopped in her tracks by Mari, who calms her down and takes her back to the hospital. Later, it is suggested that Mari might be an addict, as she secretly takes the dose of morphine in a way that raises speculation.
Once again, after seeing the Jenga structure on the porch of their house, Tabitha goes to look for clues and arrives in front of the exit point of the underground maze. As she creates a similar Jenga structure there and calls out the kids, she has been getting hallucinations of it. Four disfigured kids appear from the wilderness, and uttering the word “Anghkooey,” they keep reaching out to Tabitha and touching her. Scared out of her wits, Tabitha curls up and vehemently asks them to stop, only to find herself alone on the spot.
What Does Victor Know About the Town?
The episode ends with Boyd, heeding Donna’s suggestion, going to the diner to talk with Tien Chen. Victor goes back into town and finds Jade at the bar. He states that he is willing to help him with his queries only if Jade does something in return. He takes Jade to a car graveyard and, after sitting on a particular one, asks him to play “Twinkle Little Star,” a tune that reminds him of his long-dead mother. Victor has been living in this town since his childhood, and he states that his mother used to play the song whenever he was afraid. Jade keeps his end of the bargain and plays the tune, leading to a tearful reconciliation for Victor.
After much pleading, Victor shares that the person in the photograph, whom the diary belonged to, was someone named Christopher, one of the townsfolk during his childhood who used to be a jolly, cheerful person who had managed to make people laugh even in a destitute place like this. However, Victor is unwilling to continue, as he fears Jade shouldn’t be asking any more questions. After a heated argument, Jade manages to convince Victor to share the rest, and he states that after Christopher started seeing the symbol, which Jade is now seeing too, he ‘changed.’ One night Jade’s mother had asked Victor to hide at a spot that Christopher didn’t know, and the next morning he found everyone in the township slaughtered – which implies that Christopher was somehow associated with the massacre. Lastly, he remarks to Jade that the place makes people do horrible things and goes off on his own, leaving Jade to ponder all by himself.
Victor knows enough about the place to change the perspective of the townsfolk entirely; however, his childlike mental state, which must have been caused by the traumatic events of the past, keeps him from sharing his knowledge with others—except for the trustworthiness factor, of course. The revelations in this episode will be of significance in the upcoming ones, as it is open to speculation whether the township is part of a sadistic version of a battle royale setup, and using someone among the townsfolk, the ‘observers’ are going to kill the unwilling ‘participants.’ Jade, Ethan, Tabitha, Boyd, and Sara—all of them feel a strange connection to the place in some way, and what if instead of their connection being a means to escape from this hellhole, it is a way of manipulating the residents for a trap that is far worse than the nocturnal monstrosities? We really hope some of these questions are answered in the upcoming midseason finale of the ongoing second season.