Channel Zero season 2, episode 4 recap: Memory vs. reality


Photo credit: Channel Zero: No End House/Syfy Acquired NBCU Media Village.

The latest episode of Channel Zero: No-End House saw the group make an attempt to leave Room 6 that had disastrous consequences for everyone.

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In the fourth episode of the second season, Channel Zero explored the tension between memory and reality. Since the group entered the house in Episode 1, it’s tried to consume their memories, but the truth is, all of them had memories they wanted to be free of. Indeed, some of them were so desperate to be rid of their psychic baggage, they’d sacrifice their memories to be free. But as we’ve seen, memories alone don’t define reality.

The J.T. (Seamus Patterson) facsimile isn’t real despite possessing the memories of the original. And despite possessing a deep paternal love for Margot (Amy Forsyth), Father (John Carroll Lynch) isn’t real either. And despite their profound desire to be free, losing their memories to the house hasn’t given Seth (Jeff Ford) or Jules (Aisha Dee) the freedom they desire. To truly be free, the house’s inhabitants will have to embrace the suffering that comes with the persistence of memory. But judging by the events of this episode that will be easier said than done.

“I’m not who you think I am”

In last week’s episode, the group resolved to escape the house together. In this episode, some of them did, but not without significant personal cost. Things got off to a bad start when Lacey (Jess Salgueiro) tried to kill Dylan (Sebastian Pigott) the second he removed her restraints. Although the group seemed convinced that Dylan was telling the truth about being Lacey’s husband, watching him physically dominate her was deeply unsettling. Given Dylan’s violent and controlling nature, it occurs that Lacey might have chosen to stay in the house.

After that domestic violence incident, the group went off to find the house within the house. Unwilling to let its food source get away so easily, the house tried to stop the group by sending a group of residents to bar their path and turning day to night. The group left the development and came to sprawling corn maze taken from Margot’s memory. After noticing a feral cannibal by its entrance, Dylan told the group they would need to camp out until dawn. That’s when the problems really got started.

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Both the journey to and through the corn maze were filmed beautifully. The show’s director really conveying the isolated and menace of the space outside of the housing development. It really did feel like the edge of the world. Plus, the unseen memory parasites calling to the group inside the maze was chilling. It was a perfect visual representation of what it would be like to be inside of the haunted house the size of the whole world.

“I’ll tell them you’re not who you say you are”

On the way to the maze, “J.T.” confronted Seth about his discovering that he wasn’t the real J.T. Seth suspicious said that he didn’t care about “J.T.’s” secrets and “J.T.” warned him not to sabotage the group’s escape efforts. Seth would later confirm the fact he wasn’t onboard with the group’s plan by privately admitting to Margot that he lived in the house. Moreover, when Margot accused him of luring the group into the house, he didn’t deny it.

While Seth was coming clean, Jules left the campfire if compelled by some unseen force. Dylan went to bring her back and left “J.T.” in charge of Lacey. Unfortunately, before Dylan could corral Jules, a memory-starved cannibal attacked and partially ate Lacey. In the aftermath, Seth exposed J.T. and Dylan burned him alive as a result. Resolving to escape immediately, the kids ventured into the corn maze without Seth, who was understandably kicked out of the group.

So it seems that Seth is very much the monster I previously suspected him of being. His visions of people trapped in a gated enclosure calling his name weren’t a nightmare, they were a memory. For an unknown amount of time, he’s effectively been acting as a Judas goat for the house. Although Margot smartly abandoned him in this episode, I don’t we’ve seen the last of Seth. If nothing else, I can’t imagine the survivors will be okay with him luring other people into the house.

“I don’t want to hurt you”

While in the maze, the group got separated and Jules once again fell prey to the glowing orb. However, Margot saw what was happening and was able to wake her friend up before the house could extract more of her memories. Nearing the end of the maze, Margot was confronted by Father before ultimately demanding that she run. Jules and Margot reached the entrance to the No-End House and Dylan left them as he was now determined to destroy the house from within.

Inside the house, the girls went through each of the five rooms again, which were now shaped by Margot’s memories. Back in House World, Dylan was confronted and killed by Father. Eventually, Margot and Jules made it out of the house and back into the real world. However, their problems weren’t over as Father somehow followed them out of the house and seemed intent on finding his daughter.

Next: Channel Zero season 2, episode 3 recap: Sick as your secrets

So that was an interesting twist. Apparently, the memory cannibals can exist outside the house. Father’s escape from House World poses a number of questions. One, is he truly an entity independent of the house? Can he subsist on the memories of others or does he need Margot’s in particular? And was he the only cannibal to escape the house? It’ll be fascinating to how those questions are resolved.

It’ll also be interesting to see how Margot and Jules will deal with father on their home turf. Seeing as he didn’t seem to sustain any injuries from his fight with Dylan, I’m not sure that he can be killed in a conventional way. I’m betting that the only real way to get rid of the creature will be for Margot let go of the memory of her father. But if Jules’ orb cannibal also escaped, I have no idea how she would get rid of it. However things shake out, I expect the last two episodes of Channel Zero: No-End House to be absolutely riveting.

Channel Zero: No-End House airs on Wednesdays at 10/9 c on Syfy.