So, this was a rather weak one. But a season is granted at least one underwhelming endeavor, right? Although you would typically expect a contemporary show to go all out and leave nothing to chance when countless other sources are claiming the audience’s attention at all times. Quite unfair, don’t you think? But as we on this side of the screen are hardly immune to the alterations brought forth by time, so must the content that wishes to keep us hooked evolve in synchronicity. But I would still choose to keep the fire alight for “School Spirits” while keeping my fingers crossed for no further disappointment.
Things Have Gone South
It is only Detective Baxter who has a lot to gain from keeping Mr. South locked up. While not a student, spirit, or faculty can even imagine South to be capable of even hurting an ant (considering the rather adorable janitor leaves out wet lollipops for the army of ants), Xavier’s dad is antsy to wrap up the investigation and focus on the election. This may be the first time we’re witnessing a Simon who is reluctant to jump on the bandwagon and is instead enthusiastic about helping clear South’s name. No one needs to convince Xavier to even the score with his bully of a father by messing up the convenient conclusion the detective is trying to draw. Ever since Claire’s dicey truth has been dealt with the utmost sympathy by the group, she has gotten herself right in the middle of the covert investigation Maddie’s friends are conducting. She even comes up with a plan to smash up her car window and report it to the cop so as to grant Simon and Xavier a way to break into the police evidence room.
Claire’s story of the fictitious malefactor who has vandalized her car is only shored up when Sandra calls the station to report a possible break-in. When they don’t find the crowbar in the evidence room, Simon and Xavier surmise that it was taken in to look for a DNA match. But Simon makes a crucial discovery when he takes a peek at the other evidence of Maddie’s case. The bootprint that Nicole had apparently come across in the woods could not have belonged to Maddie, as we learn from Simon and Maddie’s exchange later on: Maddie used to only wear a pair of knockoffs, whereas the print has the brand logo intact.
A Penny For Nicole’s Thoughts?
Ever since we’ve seen Nicole anxiously dig up the ground, we’ve been suspecting at least some amount of foul play, if not the extreme possibility. Nicole isn’t acting any less suspicious now that she’s putting together a portfolio for her art school application. It helps her in no way to blame her cat-on-hot-bricks demeanor on her worries about her portfolio when Simon turns a page to find an obsessive amount of pictures Nicole had clicked of Maddie. She may quickly pin it onto Maddie’s photogenic face; Nicole’s stalkerish behavior doesn’t evade Simon’s eyes. He’s once again quick to conclude that Nicole may have had something to do with Maddie’s death. It only consolidates his suspicion further as he comes to know that Xavier isn’t around when Nicole comes across the footprint in the woods. Her case is also in no way made when Xavier, Claire, and Simon deduce that Nicole was at the school on the night of Maddie’s disappearance.
Nicole’s fishy bearing is also getting progressively discernible to us as we see her desperately trying to access a computer to get rid of something that will incriminate her. However much steady argument Simon can serve to Maddie on a platter, she isn’t ready to doubt one of her best friends. Although the most consequential reasoning Simon does pick out of the past may suggest that Nicole harbored bitterness towards Maddie and him. Maddie and Simon had nearly bullied Nicole for being obsessed with Maddie and copying everything she did. But is that reason enough to kill your friend? I doubt it.
Ignoring all that Mr. Martin has planned for his flock of spirits for the day, Charley, Rhonda, and Wally get busy becoming a reliable support system for the friend they’ve all truly come to love. Their support isn’t limited to only the emotional kind. Following what Wally has learned from a psychology book in the library, the three spirits join forces and come up with ways to trigger Maddie’s memories by stimulating her senses. Their first try is making her eat a burrito to help her remember the last meal she ever had—an attempt that fails royally thanks to her ‘cilantro-tastes-like soap’ gene (can’t thank “School Spirits” enough for the representation). When the next attempt of making her reminisce the last song she had heard also fails, and they come close to the decision of hypnotizing her, spacey Dawn chimes in with her idea of an anti-seance to conjure the significant memories. Yet when they do sit in a circle, tortured by the fumes of a flaming old Brussels sprout, Dawn fixes on the memory of her own death instead of helping Maddie access hers.
The spirit, who is dismissed by all the others and often excluded for being weird, had a rather heart-wrenching death by electrocution, and that too right after hearing her friends humiliate her behind her back. This not only makes everyone see Dawn in a different light and regret treating her the way they do, but it opens Maddie’s eyes to the fact that she had massively hurt Nicole by insinuating that she was a copycat. Mr. Martin is getting shiftily provoked by Rhonda’s involvement in these activities, and he quite rigidly warns her that this is something that will stand in the way of her crossing over.
When Dawn exhibits remorse to Maddie for making the anti-seance all about her own death, Maddie comes back with an apology of her own. Dawn didn’t deserve to die. And she definitely didn’t deserve to be harassed by people she loved. It is getting this very closure that helps Dawn cross over in a rather conspicuous manner that even leaves Rhonda, Wally, and Charley with goosebumps–something that they didn’t feel when the first spirit crossed over. If it’s getting closure that helps the spirits escape the torment of being stuck, Mr. Martin’s insistence on letting go of the trauma instead of working through it may suggest that he doesn’t really want to help them cross over at all.
‘School Spirits’ Episode 7: Ending Explained – Who Took The Blackmail Video? Did Sandra Take The Money?
It’s only understandable for teens to be quick with their emotions, however extreme they may be. Couple the teen angst with the secret love Simon harbors in his heart for Maddie, and you will realize why he acts the way that he does. Wrapped up in his mind with the thought of how he would be going away from Maddie, Simon even butchers the interview for the college he has always dreamed of attending. When he does end up confronting Nicole, however, he could’ve been a tad kinder to the friend, who may also be grieving the loss of Maddie. And as it turns out, Nicole did capture the video of Claire blackmailing Mr. Anderson to get straight A’s, and she stole Mr. Anderson’s number from Maddie’s cell to try and coerce him into paying her money.
All this confession does is make Simon believe that if Nicole can go that far, she could also walk the distance and hurt Maddie for her own benefit. But as Nicole elucidates, the only reason she took that money was to fund her college expenses. Her artwork wasn’t good enough to fetch her scholarships for the Chicago schools, and there was no way her parents would go out of their way to finance her education. Not wanting to part ways with her two best friends, who were all set to move to Chicago for college, was what made Nicole take the supremely drastic step of blackmailing Mr. Anderson and Claire with the video.
Simon finds it in his heart to sympathize with Nicole’s predicament, but he can’t possibly stand by and watch a good man go down for a crime he didn’t commit. Coming to terms with the fact that she absolutely has to come clean about the extortion and the money, Nicole leads Simon to the ground, just beside the school fence, to unearth the money. But when they dig into the ground to retrieve it, the money seems to be gone. Watching it all go down without being able to move a finger to help, Maddie’s face turns from misery to sheer panic when she comes to know that Nicole buried the money on her way back from Sandra’s place. She might not have noticed that anyone was following her on that night, but as we see Sandra hiding an envelope in Maddie’s drawer, we’re made to wonder if it was her who dug up the money and kept it for herself.
Wally’s theory of memories surfacing with triggers seems to work out as bits and pieces of the time leading up to her death appear to come back to Maddie. On the day of her death, she was immersed in an argument with her mother over Sandra taking something that belonged to her. She also remembers the fight escalating, and she gasps as the memory ceases. Before she can make decipher the memory that she has just remembered, Maddie sees a hooded person heading Nicole and Simon’s way. This is not a place where someone has died; therefore, none of her yowlings of warning can be heard by Simon as the follower closes in on them. As she helplessly watches Simon and Nicole walk into the woods to catch up to the hooded crook, Maddie realizes that it’s time she looked into her own mother.