Channel Zero: The Dream Door Episode 3 recap: Love is blindness

CHANNEL ZERO: THE DREAM DOOR (Photo by: SYFY, Acquried from SyfNBCUniversal Media Room)
CHANNEL ZERO: THE DREAM DOOR (Photo by: SYFY, Acquried from SyfNBCUniversal Media Room) /

Channel Zero: The Dream Door Episode 3 revealed many of the season’s biggest secrets as Jill and Tom’s relationship hit a new low point.

Romantic relationships are inherently contradictory both in Channel Zero and real life. As they grow more intimate, both parties make it clear that they want the other person to be honest with them. In addition to agreeing to be monogamous, you also agree not keep secrets. But that’s almost impossible. Despite your best efforts, you can’t share all of your significant life experiences with another person.

And when significant experiences take the form of mistakes that are serious consequences, you’ll instinctively want to keep that information to yourself. And then you have two choices; keep the secret and quietly poison the relationship or come clean face the consequences.

More from Syfy

Every season of Channel Zero has dealt with the theme of keeping secrets. In every season, a protagonist will make a mistake, usually born out of universal human weakness, and then try to keep it secret. And doing so always has devastating consequences. The Dream Door has been able to zero in on that theme because it’s about two people who have decided to commit totally to one another.

But they’ve have been keeping terrible secrets from one another. Early in their relationship, their happiness obscured their problems. But now that they are married, love can’t blind them anymore. They have to see each other as they are. And decide if they can carry the weight of each other’s terrible secrets.

Just for you here’s a love song

Continuing directly from last episode’s cliffhanger, Tom (Brandon Scott) was able to escape from Pretzel Jack (Troy James) with just a vicious chest wound thanks to a dying gunshot from Vanessa (Barbara Compton). Ian (Steven Robertson) drove Jill (Maria Sten) to the hospital because of course he did.

After getting released, Jill told Tom that she brought Jack to life when she was a child to be her protector. In turn, an incredulous Tom confessed to fathering a child with Sarah (Diana Bentley) when he and Jill were on a break. This revelation enraged Jill and summoned Jack, but the couple left before he could kill Tom.

Watch your favorite shows on fuboTV: Watch over 67 live sports and entertainment channels with a 7-day FREE trial!

While the first three episodes of Channel Zero: The Dream Door have kept Pretzel Jack largely in the background, he was front and center for a lot of this episode. By doing so, the episode established Jack is the most unsettling monster Channel Zero has ever produced. And this is a show that has featured monsters made of child teeth and animated meat and bone.

There’s something about his combination of seemingly impossible contortion and childlike attempts at showmanship that his profoundly disturbing. If The Dream Door was a Blumhouse thriller, everybody would be calling Jack the new Freddy Krueger or Jason Voorhees.

And it makes me glad to say

Tom and Jill arrived at Abel’s (Steven Weber) office and the therapist was extremely condescending to Jill. On cue, Jack appeared and killed the doctor. Before he could catch up with the couple, Ian pulled and took them to his house.

Ian further explained that he shared Jill’s ability to turn their anxieties into unstoppable monsters. He also confessed that he sensed Jill’s abilities and it played a part in their being neighbors. To back up his incredible claims, Ian when into a seizure-like state and manifested a small door from which a strikingly ugly cat emerged.

Channel Zero, Channel Zero: The Dream Door
CHANNEL ZERO: THE DREAM DOOR — Photo by: SYFY, Acquired from SyfNBCUniversal Media Room /

Ian suggested that they lure Jack to the Hodgsons’ basement so they could trap him and he could then teach Jill how to control him. To do this, Ian said that Tom would need to upset Jill and he did by revealing how he got together with Sarah. After the conversation got really intense, Tom attempted to leave but was stopped by Jack.

However, after Jill received a call from her father, Jack went to her and comforted her with a hug. Tom was drawn from the basement by a knock at the door from an irate Sarah.

On the subject of monsters, Ian was in rare form in this episode. He did some many manipulative and domineering things that seemed so ostensible innocuous. Every time he spoke to Jill, he was clearly trying to ingratiate himself to Jill while casting Tom in a bad light. But he did so in such a way that he seemed like he was just trying to be a good friend and neighbor.

His true nature only slipped out intermittently, like when he tried to linger in Tom’s hospital room or when he admitted that he knew about Jill’s powers but didn’t say anything. In addition to tea making and varieties of feline, I bet he’s also studied pick up artistry extensively.

It’s been a lovely day, and it’s okay

When creator Nick Antosca described this season as being “a love story,” I was dubious. To show’s credit, it’s always told stories based on grounded human relationships. But telling a fleshed out love story that felt as naturalistic as the show’s past central relationships while also introducing a stand-alone mythology seemed a tall order. But with this episode, The Dream Door really felt like as much a gut-wrenching relationship drama as it did a terrifying horror story.

There were a lot of little touches throughout “Love Hurts” that really added texture Jill and Tom’s relationship, but the three conversations they had really brought it into focus. The first, in the hospital and later in their home, showed them holding back and trying to balance ego and honesty. The second in Ian’s home highlighted how much their relationship has deteriorated since the first episode. They were so far apart mentally, the different sections of Ian’s couch could’ve been in different countries.

Then there was their third conversation in their basement with Ian. Although Channel Zero features lots of harrowing material, the basement sequence was the most harrowing thing the show’s done to date. It was genuinely painful watching two people who loved each other just tear each other apart. There is clearly a point in their conversation when it stopped being honest and started being a knife fight that was so true it was heartbreaking.

I understand that Channel Zero isn’t the kind of show that wins Emmys, but director E.L. Katz, writers Lenore Lion & Lisa Long and Sten and Scott should have their work her submitted for consideration. It really was that good.

Next. Channel Zero: The Dream Door Episode 2 recap. dark

To what extent can you forgive someone you love after they’ve wrong you? Leave your answer in the comments below.

Channel Zero: The Dream Door airs on the Syfy at 11 pm nightly from Oct. 26-31.