Just when it seemed that the townsfolk could finally rest easy about the nocturnal monsters after Boyd managed to kill one using his infected blood, a new threat started to emerge in the form of psychological suggestions. In the previous episode, we saw Kenny, Boyd, and Kristi extracting bile from the dead monster in hopes of using the infected fluid to kill other monsters. Tabitha inquired about the symbols, and Victor showed her some of the paintings made by his late sister, among which the painting of a lighthouse seemed particularly connected with Tabitha’s visions. Jim, on the other hand, sought the hothead newcomer Randall’s help for another attempt to communicate with the other side and mistakenly implanted the idea of the place being a botched experiment of some sort. This led to Randall considering that the entire ordeal was a heinous conspiracy by the townsfolk, and he held Donna captive. A new threat emerges as townsfolk start seeing vivid ‘real’ dreams that harm them in their physical world. In the ninth episode, the situation worsens, and the town plunges into chaos as the dual threat of monsters and nightmares creates a hellish experience.
A New Threat Emerges: How Did Paula Die?
The episode opens in the household of a couple who have been living in the town for a long time: Reggie and Paula. Boyd and Kenny are taken inside their home, where they discover that Paula has been brutally killed by something, and the physical wounds look similar to the way the nocturnal monsters mangle their victims. However, in this case, monsters didn’t appear, and Paula was torn from the inside out while she was sleeping. Reggie states that Paula was mumbling a particular rhyme during her sleep, one that Kenny had also heard over the phone from anonymous ‘observers’ during his sleep.
Boyd speculates that this new nightmarish threat is connected with sleeping in some capacity and plans accordingly to prevent any more townsfolk from getting butchered. Outside the household, curious townsfolk have gathered, among whom Ethan, Julie, and Mrs. Chen are also present. Boyd sends Ethan and Mrs. Chen home and asks Julie and Kenny to warn residents of the town not to fall asleep while he himself goes to the Colony House to convey the same. It seems like Boyd’s act of killing the monster has infuriated whoever is controlling the place, and they are making their wrath known to them in the form of nightmarish threats.
What Happened To Donna?
Before getting to the Colony House, Boyd learns from Julie that her father, Jim, has decided to spend the night there. In order to warn him, Boyd immediately heads toward the location. Meanwhile, Jim asks Randall to stop his lunacy and goes to free Donna, but he almost initiates a fight with him. Boyd arrives just in time to hold Randall at gunpoint and release Tabitha, but with no time to return, they decide to spend the night inside the RV. Randall states that he saw Donna and others getting out of the clinic with the dead monster corpse in the first place, which raised his suspicion even more about the entire thing being a set-up. Donna admits to Jim that Boyd has managed to kill a monster using his worm-infected blood and that he has also harvested the monster’s bile in hopes of creating a sort of ‘silver bullet’ against the monsters.
No sooner do they mention them than the monsters surround them on the outside of the RV. However, Donna senses that something is off as the monsters stand together and wait, something they generally never do. Suddenly, the audio receiver inside the RV becomes active, and the group listens to the same tune that Boyd often hears from the mysterious music box. Considering the fact that every time the music plays and stops, something ominous follows, and also hearing a loud thumping noise from right below the RV, Boyd asks the others to escape. This also provides him a chance to utilize the bile-smeared bullets and test their effectiveness, and he exits the RV with Donna and Jim. However, Randall goes the other way and falls prey to a swarm of cicadas, and his fate remains unknown. Boyd’s bullets don’t seem to work on the monsters either, and the trio of Boyd, Jim, and Donna somehow escape by driving the van parked at a distance.
Chaos At The Colony House: Who Are The Three Victims?
The ominous poem that Kenny heard during his sleep and Paula also uttered before her brutal death mentions “them’ arriving for ‘three’ with much emphasis, which will make viewers wonder who among the townsfolk could be the victims. As Boyd, Donna, and Jim arrive at the colony house, they find out that the confusion regarding no sleeping has riled up all the residents, and utter chaos ensues. To add a cherry on top, Jim tries to escape from the colony house to meet with his family, and in the process, he almost puts the residents in jeopardy. In the meantime, Kristi starts to aid her fiancé Marielle, who is showing symptoms of relapse from withdrawal to addiction, but the situation gradually worsens as Marielle starts dreaming about an attacking swarm of cicadas.
Kenny goes to the police station to assist Sara, knowing full well that none of the townsfolk will warn her about the recent developments. Their sordid past soon enters into their conversation, and Kenny expresses his bitterness toward her unabashedly, almost leading Sarah to kill herself using one of Boyd’s spare guns. The duo begrudgingly agrees to put their past behind them as Sarah apologizes to Kenny for the grief she caused him and his mother by being the reason behind Mr. Chen’s death.
Who Are The Three Victims?
Marielle starts having seizures as she dreams about a swarm of cicadas attacking her. Her pupil turns spotless, almost as if possessed, making Kristi feel helpless and terrified. Boyd tries his best to motivate Kristi to shake off the fear and utilize her medical skills but is called elsewhere by his son Ellis, who seems to have a more pressing issue to discuss.
At Tiao Chen’s household, Tabitha shares her realization with Jade that the lighthouse in the picture, where Victor’s mother went to rescue the children, should probably be her destination too, as she wonders whether the disfigured children she sees in her visions ask for her help, and perhaps rescuing them will allow the townsfolk an exit from this godforsaken place. People across the town have their own interpretations of the scenarios they experience in the town, and we do not know which of their speculations are true, but one thing can be stated with certainty: as Victor says, all of them have a role to play.
Previously, Victor had agreed to come with Tabitha to Mrs. Chen’s house, where Matthew’s family is also residing. To ease the tension, Tiao suggests Julie, Victor, and Ethan play a board game, but by now, young Ethan has been exposed to enough of the fright associated with the town to be concerned about his family’s survival. The kid wonders whether all of the townsfolk are going to die at once like what happened while Victor was a kid, Victor replies with certainty (for reasons unknown) that that won’t be the case. After Victor tries to comfort Ethan by mentioning his mother’s advice about surviving the place, Ethan deals a low blow by reminding Victor how it ended for her, throws a tantrum, and runs off. All of a sudden, Julie experiences a terrifying dream, starts convulsing, and almost chokes in her sleep. It can be assumed that the three victims are Randall, Marielle, and Julie, although the finale will reveal whether this speculation is true or not.
What Is the Significance Of Elgin’s Dream?
Ellis brings Boyd to Elgin, who states that he finally remembers what the dream was that he saw on the bus, along with the ominous forewarning about the place. It is revealed that the boy in white appeared in his dream and recited the same ominous poem to him. While Elgin struggles to remember each line, Bakta, who was present at the scene, completes the rhyme for him. The episode ends with Julie’s condition gradually worsening, leaving viewers wondering whether her fate is going to be similar to Paula’s.
The poem that mentions ‘them,’ who touch, break, and steal, about no one being free and three being targets unless the melody is stopped, is surely an expansion of the captive marine Martin’s warning to Boyd. Martin had mentioned that the town and the monsters were just the initiations of the larger threat that plagues the place, and the recent episodes have shown how vicious that can be. At least with the monsters, the townsfolk could deal with staying inside their homes at night, guarded by the talisman, but nothing protects them from ‘living’ nightmares. It was after his meeting with Martin that Boyd started hearing the melody of the music box, and the melody the poem mentions is supposed to be a mention of that as well. Recollecting his memories with Martin, unless Boyd and company come up with a counter for this new threat that doesn’t involve simply staying awake, the residents are doomed.