Witch Creek Road Season 2 Explained (Spoilers)
The following is a breakdown of the "Witch Creek Road" story line, which can be read for free over on Webtoons. It contains spoilers. Just saying.
PART 1: Windows and Doors (aka "Mercy")
- Chapter Summaries
PART 2: Skinned (aka "The Skinned Man")
PART 3: The Broken World
- Chapter Summaries
PART 4: The Epilogues
- Chapter Summaries
WINDOWS AND DOORS (aka "MERCY")
REMINDER: Mercy is Dirk's ex-girlfriend, and also the girl who bullied Sara at school, which is why Sara is partially obsessed with her.
The Mercy story line picks up where episode 18 left off: that is, Sara has visited Mercy and explained that there's a monster in the house. What Sara DOESN'T explain is whether the monster is her (Sara), or something else entirely, and tells Mercy that she needs to make a decision: to open her bedroom and try to escape (assuming that Sara is the monster), or to barricade the door (assuming that Sara is there to “help”, and that there's something waiting for Mercy just outside her bedroom).
Note that if Sara was truly there to help, she would have simply told Mercy what to do. Instead, she torments Mercy with a life or death decision.
PART 1 (SEASON 2 EPISODE 1)
Mercy takes her chances with Sara and barricades the door, though it's clear that she's unsure if her choice is the correct one. She turns her back to Sara and closes her eyes, waiting for the outcome of her decision. But Sara leaves, saying, “Be warned... You can't barricade every door. One of these days you will open the wrong door, and once opened, you may not be able to close it again.”
Due to Sara's warning, Mercy becomes obsessed with doors and what might be considered a door. She refuses to open closed doors for fear of what might be waiting on the other side, and even goes as far as to remove all the doors in her house. Unfortunately her father, who's tried to be understanding with his daughter's new obsession, forces her to put them all back.
In the end, her bedroom door closes when the stuffed bear she's been using as a doorstop falls over. Mercy calls her friend to come over and let her out. After waiting half an hour, Mercy hear's a knock at her bedroom door. Without thinking, Mercy opens the door expecting to see her friend. Instead, she finds Edwin.
MERCY'S FATE: The last time we saw Edwin was in Episode 20, where he was seen “unzipping” his skin. And, based on his new appearance (in which he's wearing a mask and is covered head to toe in clothing), it's safe to assume that he may have removed most or all of his skin. He still has his bugs, though.
Some people surmised that Edwin steals Mercy's skin and begins to masquerade as her. It's an interesting idea, but in actuality Edwin has no interest in pretending to be someone else. He's more like a virus now, and uses his bugs to “infect” other people. So in the end, he turns Mercy into something like him.
PART 2 (SEASON 2 EPISODE 2)
The episode opens with Dustin, Kevin and Jay during lunch period. They're talking about how the town was on the news again, but just local news – not like last October when a group of seniors (including Sara and Edwin) reportedly died. This, of course, is alluding to the events of Season One.
Mercy approaches them and asks Dustin if they could have a study date that evening, because Dustin's “really good in English. [And Mercy]? Not so much.” This is met with skepticism due to her reputation of being a bitch, but Mercy explains that she's trying to turn over a new leaf and be nicer, and asks Dustin to “give a girl a chance”.
Kevin and Jay relay the news of Dustin's “date” to Keifer, and ask Keifer if he'll still be joining them for the special showing of 'Re-Animator' that night. Keifer explains that he has a date that night, and Kevin tells him to bring her along. Keifer quickly changes his story and says he's working. Jay asks him which it is, and Keifer says both, to which Jay recommends bringing flowers as “girls apparently love that.”
The scene then moves forward to Keifer arriving to his “job” at the museum, and we learn that his “girlfriend” is actually a mysterious girl that exists within an occult object called “The Window to Nowhere”. Though Keifer has a crush on her, the girl has no idea he exists, or that she's even being watched.
The episode ends with Dustin's and Mercy's study date. We see Mercy in the bathroom, where she has a coughing fit. She coughs up a handful of bugs - and while this would have freaked out just about anyone else, she simply says, “Sorry, little ones. We need to return you to your brothers and sisters,” before swallowing them all again. She then returns to Dustin, asking where they had left off.
THE EXHIBIT: Though not stated anywhere, the temporary exhibit is on loan from the “Collector's” private collection. It showcases some of the occult objects from in and around the city. (REMINDER: the Collector is the old man who releases Dark Grace from the circle in episode 16. It's also his assistant who gives Shaleeta the notebook in episode 17.)
THE WINDOW TO NOWHERE: This is one of the more curious objects in the exhibit, and can probably be best described as “the memory of a lost and long gone farm house”.
The window seems to overlook an old farm, though it only works in one direction. That is, you can only see out of the window, onto whatever piece of farmland the window was originally facing. If you walk to the other side of the window, you don't see into the farmhouse – instead, you simply see through it to view whatever's on the other side of the room.
Sometimes the inhabitants of the farmhouse come into view. One of them is a young woman, who Keifer has become obsessed with. And because he volunteers at the museum, he's able to see her a lot. Sadly, it's one way – she's unable to see him, and is completely unaware that people are watching her.
FUN FACT: Many of the characters in this episode were introduced in season one. Dustin and Kevin, for example, were first seen in episode 4, when Dirk went to speak to Keifer in the boys' locker room. Dustin was seen again in episode 13, where he DM'd the campaign for their D&D group – a group that Jay was a part of!
PART 3 (SEASON 2 EPISODE 3)
Season 2 Episode 3 opens with Keifer and another museum volunteer watching the mystery girl from the window. What the girl doesn't know is that a creature has come out of the woods and is approaching her from behind. In a desperate attempt to save her, Keifer smashes the window and pulls the girl from the farmyard into the museum.
The other museum volunteer knocks the window face down onto the floor, hoping this will prevent the creature from also coming through, but the creature seems unwilling to give up on his prey and begins to claw his way into the museum. At this point, the three of them flee.
The scene shifts to Dustin and Mercy, who are still on their study date. It's clear that Dustin is attracted to Mercy, and Mercy begins to make sexual advances toward him. Dustin, however, pushes her away - though in doing so, his hand breaks some of the skin on her stomach. Bugs begin to emerge from inside her. She comments, “Don't worry. That was bound to happen eventually,” but then follows this up with, “Doesn't mean I'm not pissed.” At this point she “vomits” bugs onto Dustin.
The scene changes one last time to Jay and Kevin, who are exiting the movie theatre after watching a special showing of 'The Re-Animator'. As they walk away, they suddenly see Keifer and the mystery girl run out of an alley close to them. They call out to Keifer, but Keifer and the girl continue running and quickly disappear into the distance.
Jay and Kevin then hear something coming from the alley. For a moment it seems as though they might venture in to investigate, but Kevin eventually throws up his arms and says, “I'm tapping out. We just saw Keifer and some girl running in the opposite direction of that alley. Whatever's down there? That can be someone else's problem.” And with that, they leave – which is probably a good thing, because the only thing they would have found in that alley was the creature from the museum.
MUSEUM VOLUNTEERS: Some people wondered what happened to the other museum volunteers – Keifer's friend, for example, or the girl working at the counter. Though it's never mentioned if the creature killed any of them, an observation is made in Season 2 Episode 23 that the “thing – whatever it was – had the girl's scent. It was a hunter. It crossed worlds to follow the girl.” As such, it's likely it ignored the other museum staff and focused on tracking the girl.
EASTER EGG: When Kevin and Jay are talking about girls, Jay mentions liking a girl named Hailey. Hailey is one of the sisters from the story line, “Skinned”.
ORIGINAL ENDING: Jay and Kevin were originally supposed to go into the alley and get killed, but Kevin's personality prevented this from happening. Kevin is both smart and somewhat self-obsessed – thinking first about himself – and therefore would avoid situations that might lead him into harm. In the end, he becomes the voice of reason and prompts Jay to walk away and let “whatever's down [the alley] be someone else's problem”.
PART 4 (SEASON 2 EPISODE 4)
Season 2 Episode 4 picks up the next morning, with Jay and Kevin walking over to Dustin's house to find out how Dustin's “date” with Mercy went last night. As they approach, they see Shaleeta chanting and drawing a circle around Dustin's house. When asked what she's doing, Shaleeta replies, “Don't go in there. Something's wrong.”
Through Kevin's interaction with Shaleeta, we learn that he doesn't particularly like her, and even calls her a “freak,” telling her to “go back to the woods.” None of this seems to bother Shaleeta, and she continues to draw the circle and chant.
REMINDER: Shaleeta was the only true survivor from the group that went camping in season one. She witnessed her boyfriend, Ryan, get murdered in front of her. She was later given a notebook which would potentially teach her how to seek revenge on the demons.
Kevin and Jay knock on the door and Dustin answers. Kevin begins asking Dustin how things went with Mercy, and Dustin replies, “You know, I thought it was going to hurt more, but it didn't. It was more of a tickle”. Dustin's comment about “tickling” refers to being infected with the bugs, but Kevin assumes Dustin's talking about sex, and comments, “A tickle? Sounds like you were doing it wrong”.
At this point we learn that Mercy is still there, and is now wearing a mask, similar to that of Edwin in Season 2 Episode 1. Kevin decides that he and Jay should probably leave, noting that Mercy is “kind of freaking [him] out at the moment.” Mercy, on the other hand, wants them to stay, and this leads to a confrontation between Kevin and Mercy. Kevin eventually punches her and knocks off her mask. When they see her face, everything stops for the moment. Kevin apologizes and picks up her mask, almost begging her to put it back on.
Before anything else can happen, Shaleeta enters the house. She's chanting and distracts Mercy and Dustin long enough for Jay and Kevin to escape. Shaleeta shuts the front door behind them and, using the notebook, binds Dustin and Mercy to the house, preventing them from leaving.
Once outside, she tells Jay and Kevin that it's too late to help Dustin and that she'll “come back and deal with this later.” In the meantime, they have another friend who needs help: Keifer.
Note that the fate of Dustin and Mercy is touched upon in Season 2 Episode 21, in the “Broken World” story line. The fate of Keifer is revealed in Season 2 Episode 23.
BEAR ATTACK: Kevin makes a comment about the “bear attack” that occurred last Fall that killed the seniors. This is alluding to the fact that officials reported the deaths as being caused by a wild animal, most likely a bear.
SKINNED (aka "THE SKINNED MAN")
Even though the story is called Skinned (or The Skinned Man), the story itself focuses very little on the character of the Skinned Man. Instead, it focuses on the characters affected by the Skinned Man. Think of the Skinned Man as a pebble that's been thrown into a pond that, up until then, had been perfectly still. Instead of focusing on the pebble, the story focuses on the ripples it creates.
PART 1 (SEASON 2 EPISODE 5)
The story opens with the introduction of two characters: Karly and Chase.
Karly is a Junior at Halsey High School. She's pretty and she knows it – but she's also young, so when she meets Chase, an older guy with a cool car, she doesn't stop to think why an older guy might be interested in a high school girl, and instead agrees to go out with him.
Chase, on the other hand, is a dick. The kind of guy who, after spending any length of time with, you'll probably want to punch. But he also tends to keep his asshole-ness hidden just long enough to get what he wants.
And so, being the “cool older guy”, Chase takes Karly to Lovers' Point, where Karly quickly realizes she's put herself into a position that's spiraling out of her control. Chase is moving too fast (in a physical sense), and when Karly asks him to slow down, Chase simply laughs and reminds her that “this was [her] idea. [She] was the one who wanted to come up here.”
Luckily for Karly, Chase becomes distracted when something hits his car – and if there's one thing Chase loves, it's his car. He goes outside to investigate but finds nothing, and returns to the car saying, “It must've been a squirrel or something.” But Chase doesn't see what Karly sees: a dark figure standing behind him. Suddenly, the figure reaches out and grabs Chase and smashes his face through the window of the car.
At this point we see that the dark figure is a skinless man wearing a suit and holding a knife. He looks down at Chase, who is bleeding on the ground, and then sees Karly in the car. He walks to the car and tells Karly, “Don't go anywhere, little mouse. I'll be with you in a minute.”
THE SKINNED MAN: It's revealed in a later episode that the Skinned Man's real name is Tom. He is, in fact, based off of the urban legend of Skinned Tom.
PART 2 (SEASON 2 EPISODE 6)
The story shifts to Detective Thompson, as he and his partner, Detective Carroll, arrive at the scene of a murder. The scene should be somewhat familiar: it's the same one we saw in the previous episode. That is, we're at Lovers' Point. Chase's car is there, and we see Chase, skinless and dead, on the ground next to the car.
We learn that there have been five previous murders and that “the facts vary in small ways, but the conclusion is always the same. The boy, skinned. The girl, killed.” However, this time Carroll tells Thompson that the girl survived. Thompson doesn't believe her, but Carroll points out, “There's no sign of the girl's blood. No sign of struggle. It's like our killer just let her walk right on out of here.”
Before Thompson can respond, he gets a phone call from his daughter, Karly. Karly says she needs help, to which Thompson tells her that he's working. She replies, “I know. I can see you.”
Thompson quickly puts two and two together and realizes that his daughter is likely the “girl who survived” that Carroll had mentioned. Thompson finds Karly hiding in the backseat of his car, and she begs him to take her home. He reluctantly agrees. He gives Carroll an excuse of, “My dumb kid's gone and locked herself out of the house” and asks if “[Carroll would be] okay to finish up here?” Carroll jokes that she can handle it because “it's not like [the victim's] going to get up and walk away.”
The drive home with Thompson and Karly begins in awkward silence. Eventually Thompson pulls over so he can question his daughter about the events. She doesn't want to talk at first, but finally tells Thompson about what happened. When she gets to the part about the killer, though, she just shrugs and says she can't remember because, “It was dark. [She] was scared.” Thompson pauses for a moment – and this point he's wondering if he should press her more – but eventually just says, “Okay. Let's get you home.”
When he drops her off, he tells Karly they'll talk more tomorrow, and to be more careful. “Not just from the Skinner. From guys like Chase.” Karly jokes that, “I don't think you have to worry about me seeing Chase again.”
The episode ends with Chase, in a body bag, waking up to the sound of it being unzipped. He finds himself in the back of a van, naked and skinned. Sara sits across from him, and she says, “Let's talk.”
OTHER MISSING BODIES: Carroll mentions that they're missing the girl's body, to which Thompson replies, “Yeah, like we're not already missing two other bodies.” This is small, but it foreshadows episode 10 where we actually get to meet some of these “missing bodies”.
RELATIONSHIP WITH FAMILY: When Thompson mentions to Carroll that his daughter's locked herself out of the house, Carroll asks, “Ex not home?” thus shedding some light onto Thompson's marital status. Karly also complains that, “It's always about work with you. This is why you and mom split up. This is why I haven't seen you for a month.” Karly definitely feels some animosity toward Thompson's job, believing he always puts it before his family, which is why the family fell apart.
Karly also comments, “Please, if you have any love left for me, you'll get me out of here.” The comment could be seen as a way to manipulate or guilt Thompson into helping her, but it's actually a cry for help. At this point, Karly's not even sure if her father loves her.
PART 3 (SEASON 2 EPISODE 7)
The episode picks up with Sara and Chase. Sara tells Chase, “I know what it's like to have someone taken before you can experience them.” And she points out that most people “don't get second chances”, but that the Skinned Man has given Chase a second chance, and that “it's time to go finish what [Chase] started.”
The scene shifts to Karly entering the bedroom that she shares with her sister, Hailey. Hailey is awake and asks Karly how her “date” went. Karly mentions that Chase was murdered. Hailey, shocked, asks what happened, and Karly replies, “I don't know. We went to Lovers' Point. It was supposed to be easy, like with the boys at school. I could just play with him a little, you know? And when I wanted to leave, he'd drive me home. But Chase was all over me. I prayed. I prayed so hard for someone... anyone... to get me the hell out of there. And then something just... hit his car. Chase got out. He was attacked. It was that guy from the news. The one they call The Skinner. Because he skins his victims. Only he was the one who was skinned. He had no skin.” She goes on to mention that the Skinned Man let her go because she was “too young”.
She ends the story by telling Hailey that she's going to find the Skinned Man because “he was the most beautiful thing [she's] ever seen”.
The episode concludes with Thompson at an all-night diner drinking some coffee. He receives a phone call from Carroll telling him that the victim from earlier – Chase – is gone.
SARA'S MOTIVATIONS: We'll eventually learn this in Episode 15, but Sara is bored. She essentially views the city as a hornets' nest, and she's shaking it up to see what happens.
PART 4 (SEASON 2 EPISODE 8)
The episode begins with Chase standing in the doorway or Karly's bedroom. He calls her name; she wakes up and, seeing Chase, calls out to her mother. Chase replies, “Your mom can't help you. Don't worry, she's not dead. Though I may have hit her a little hard.”
At this point Chase realizes that Karly shares her room with Hailey, and he turns his attention toward Karly's sister. Karly attempts to tackle Chase, which gives Hailey an opportunity to run out of the bedroom and lock herself in her mother's bedroom. She finds her mother's mobile phone and calls her father, who's already on his way.
We return to Karly and Chase. They talk, and during their conversation we learn that the Skinned Man's name is Tom, and that, while Tom never told Chase this, the information is “burnt into [his] mind like a fucking brand.” He also mentions that there are others like them out there.
Chase is angry because, while he was being murdered, Karly didn't even try to help – even just “honking the fucking car horn.” But as he lay there dying, he realized, “It didn't have to end like this. Tom had given [him] something. Maybe by accident, but he had given [him] something, and [he] used it to get back up and come here.” Chase says he's there to collect on what Karly has been teasing all week, and “when [they're] done, [he] just might go looking for that sister of [hers].”
The episode ends with Hailey; she's crying in her mother's bedroom. Dark Grace appears and tells her to listen. Hailey does, and she hears a voice coming from the closet. It tells her, “It's okay, Hailey. [...] I will protect you.” She follows the voice and finds, on the top shelf of the closet, a gun.
GUN: When Hailey finds the gun, it tells her, “I am hunger, Hailey. I am Gluttony. And it's time to be fed.” At this point we don't know if the gun is good or bad – only that it's ready to kill. In fact, it could be argued that the gun isn't speaking at all, and this is all being created by a mind that's now broken and trying to regain some sense of control.
Whether Hailey's crazy, or the gun is actually speaking to her, one thing to note is the circle on its handle. Circles are a symbol of protection, and this ties back to the circles used in season 1.
PART 5 (SEASON 2 EPISODE 9)
Episode 9 begins with Karly walking into the bedroom; Hailey asks how her date was, and Karly reminds her that she was at school.
It's been two weeks since the events of episode 8 and, through excerpts from Karly's diary, we learn that Hailey's been in bed since their encounter with Chase, and that she's still holding the gun she found in her mother's bedroom.
Karly adds Hailey's homework to a pile beside her bed. We learn that Karly has been seeing a psychiatrist, and that she apparently hasn't “processed her feelings” regarding what happened with Chase and the Skinned Man. We also learn that Hailey barely eats and probably hasn't slept in days, and Karly wonders what Hailey sees when she closes her eyes.
At this point the scene flashes back to the events of two weeks ago. Chase stands over Karly, and suddenly there's a gun pointed at his head. Hailey pulls the trigger. Chase, a large hole in his head, yet somehow clinging to life, manages to say, “It won't end like this...” Karly asks Chase, “Did Tom give you something? You don't deserve it. I'm going to take it back.” And Karly kisses Chase deeply.
We return to the present. Karly is reading and summarizing some of the information she found about Tom to Hailey: “He was actually murdered after the girl's husband found out about the affair Skinned poor Tom alive. But the husband, he had a conscience, right? He went to the police and confessed. Took them to the place he'd left the body, only the body wasn't there. But get this: between June and December of that year, eleven more people were found dead, all either skinned or stabbed to death. But then it stopped until about a month ago. Like something woke him up.”
Karly then takes a knife from her dresser drawer and leaves, saying she's going out to do more research. When Karly leaves the room, Gun speaks to Hailey, and at this point we begin to see a division between the sisters in which both believes the other to be going crazy.
REACTIONS: Both sisters are dealing with what happened in very different ways. Karly has become obsessed, and Hailey has shut down, barely even registering what's happening from day to day.
JAY: When Karly gives Hailey her homework, she comments, “Jay gave it to me. He asked how you were doing. I think he likes you.” Just a little Easter egg taking us back to Season 2 Episode 3, in which Jay and Kevin are discussing girls they think are cute, and Jay mentions Hailey.
PART 6 (SEASON 2 EPISODE 10)
It's night. The episode opens with a group of four men in a cemetery, digging up what we can only assume is a body. It's revealed that one of the men is Detective Thompson, and one of the other men – Derrick – questions the legality of what they're doing. Thompson replies, “[You'll get] up to ten years in prison if convicted. Which is why I suggest we hurry.” Derrick, concerned about getting caught, begins to argue that he didn't sign up for this, to which Thompson reminds him, “No, you signed up for me to look the other way with regards to some other shit. Some far less legal shit.” Derrick relents and returns to helping his two friends dig up whatever Thompson needs.
The scene shifts to Karly; she's arrived at a very fresh murder scene. The man has been skinned. She walks over to inspect him, and hears a voice coming from inside the car. Karly looks and finds the female victim, apparently not quite dead, and she says, “He stabbed me, but... he gave me something, too. I don't know if he meant to, but he did. I can feel it, like a switch. If I can just flip [it]... everything will be okay...”
The female victim also observes that there's a switch in Karly, too, though Karly hasn't flipped it yet.
Karly replies, “You're right, Tom did give you something. I'm here to take it back.” Karly brings her knife to the girl's throat.
Back at the cemetery the men have finished digging up the grave. Thompson hands Derrick a crowbar, and Derrick begrudgingly opens the coffin. The three men see what's inside the coffin and begin to run away, though Thompson catches Derrick by the collar and prevents him from leaving. After a few moments he shoots whatever's in the grave and tells Derrick to fill it in. As Thompson walks away, he tells Derrick, “What you do after is up to you, but I would highly suggest getting the fuck out of town.”
THOMPSON'S SUSPICIONS: It's mentioned previously that some bodies are missing, and after Chase – skinless and impossibly alive – returns to Karly's house, Thompson begins to re-examine what he knows. Following his suspicions, he has the grave of one of the victims dug up – and though we don't see what's in the grave, this scene is revisited in Part 8.
SWITCHES: The female victim tries to articulate what Chase also mentioned previously: that something often passes between the Skinned Man and his victims. She describes is like a switch, and the Skinned Man helps people see this switch – but it's up to them whether or not they flip it. “Flipping the switch” seems to allow his victims to avoid death, as Chase did. However, Karly isn't interested in allowing others to possess this power, and she ends up killing the girl in order to take it away from her.
PART 7 (SEASON 2 EPISODE 11)
Karly is in the shower, having returned home from the scene of the Skinned Man's most recent murder. Note that this isn't a scene about getting clean as much as it's a scene about guilt. Karly has crossed a line (by murdering the girl in the car) and there's no going back.
When Karly enters her shared bedroom, Hailey (still withdrawn and fairly oblivious to what's happening around her) asks, “How was your date?” Karly replies, “I killed someone tonight. I... I still see her blood on my hands.” But whatever internal struggle has been raging within Karly, it comes to a quick end with Karly saying, “Tom got to her first. She was already dead. I just needed to... finish things.”
Karly goes on to say, “I'm beginning to understand [Tom] more. [...] He's reliving his death. Skinning the man, stabbing the woman. And I can sense him, you know? Just a little. It's like... looking at stars through the fog.” Karly ends up leaving the room, saying, “I need to wash my hands... I just can't seem to get them clean.”
After Karly leaves, Gun comments that Karly's “turning into a monster” and that Hailey “may need to kill her.”
The episode shifts to Thompson, returning home from the cemetery. Carroll is there and tells him that there's been another murder, except this time “the girl's throat was slit.” Thompson asks if it was a copycat, and Carroll replies, “Perhaps. And there's one more thing. In the crowd that gathered... Your daughter was there.”
Meanwhile, Karly is in the bathroom and looking at herself in the mirror. She's asks herself, “What did she say? There was a switch in me? That she could feel it? I can feel it, too. Right... about... there.”
And we see the color of Karly's eyes change to red.
STARS THROUGH THE FOG: This circles back to Chase, as it's exactly how he described the sensation to Karly in part 4.
LADY MACBETH: Karly's having herself a Lady Macbeth moment, with the line, “I need to wash my hands... I just can't seem to get them CLEAN,” harking back to the line, “Out, damned spot; out, I say”.
PART 8 (SEASON 2 EPISODE 12)
It's the next morning and Karly is getting ready to leave. She tells her sister, “Come on, Hailey. I'm going out. You're coming with me.” Hailey replies that she's not going to school, and Karly tells her, “I'm not going to school, either. I'm going hunting. [For] monsters.” At this she holds up her knife, but Hailey declines. Karly asks, “Isn't that what Gun is for? To kill monsters?” to which Hailey replies, “No, not to kill. To protect. He protects me from monsters.” Karly snatches Gun away and says, “Well maybe Gun would like to protect me.” Karly pretends to speak for Gun and makes it so Gun agrees to help her.
At having Gun taken away from her, Hailey snaps and appears ready to attack her sister. Karly doesn't back down, and instead holds her knife protectively between her and Hailey. Hailey finally agrees to go with Karly.
It's at this point their mother, hearing the argument, enters the bedroom, asking what's going on. Karly has hidden the knife and gun behind her back and tells her, “Nothing. Just... convincing Hailey to come to school with me today.” Hailey confirms Karly's story, and their mom appears happy, saying, “Oh, that's great! You've been cooped up in this house far too long.” She hugs Hailey, telling her she's proud of her, and then leaves the room so the sisters can get ready.
Once the mother leaves, Karly returns Gun to Hailey, and tells Hailey she'll be waiting for her downstairs. After Karly leaves the room, Hailey says to Gun, “I was ready to kill her. Why did you agree to protect her?” Gun replies that it wasn't him (which illustrates Hailey's continued detachment from reality and her inability to tell what's real from what's not).
The scene shifts to Thompson, sitting in his apartment. He's looking at a murder board of the various victims of the Skinned Man. Currently, the photo of Chase is crossed out, and the photo of Karly has a circle around it and the word SURVIVED.
We flash back to the previous night, with Thompson in the cemetery - but this time we're seeing what actually happened. Inside the coffin is a skinned victim of Tom; he's alive and asks Thompson, “Do you have any idea what I've been through? Dying? Waking up? Clawing at this fucking coffin until my fingers were nothing by bone? [...] And now, here you are [with a fucking gun pointed at my head.]” Thompson shoots him.
We return to the scene in Thompson's room; he crosses out another photo.
PART 9 (SEASON 2 EPISODE 13)
Karly and Hailey arrive outside a dilapidated building. When Hailey realizes that they'll be going into the building, she asks, “Won't it be locked?” Karly replies, “No. I'm seeing things, Hailey. I'm following a path. And where the path leads, obstacles are removed.” At this she pushes open the door.
Karly explains her concept of paths, and Hailey asks what's waiting at the end of Karly's path. Karly replies, “Tom. I think.” Hailey asks if that was who they were there for, and Karly says, “No. Tom needs to come to me. The way he came before. Of his own free will. Otherwise it's meaningless.” Instead, they're there to kill some of Tom's “guard dogs”, so that “the others will leave [her] alone.”
It doesn't take long before they come across a group of Tom's victims – two men and a woman. We learn that the woman skinned herself “to be more like [Tom]. He didn't even ask. [She] just picked up a knife [...] and began cutting.”
So the woman's first gift to Tom was her skin, and she asks Karly if Karly knows what she'll offer Tom next. Karly asks her what, and the skinned woman replies, “Your heart.” Karly smiles and replies, “He need only ask. I'll give it freely.”
This surprises the skinned woman, but her surprise quickly turns to anger.
PATHS: The idea of “paths” is similar to the idea of fate. However, following one's path isn't always a good thing. As Haley points out, “[Chase's] path ended in death.”
PART 10 (SEASON 2 EPISODE 14)
The skinned woman lunges toward Karly, shouting, “[The Skinned Man] belongs to me!”
Hailey shoots her, and Karly finishes her off by stabbing her in the chest. As Karly lowers the skinned woman to the ground, she comments, “So much noise. Such an anti-climactic end. You thought yourself special because Tom gave you something special. But it was an accident. I'm going to take it back.” With this, Karly kisses the skinned woman.
Hailey is still on high alert, gun raised, and watching for more of the skinned people. Karly tells her, “You did it! You don't have to be scared anymore. You don't have to hide in bed all day. You and Gun are strong. You're the killer of monsters!” Hailey asks if there are more monsters close by, ready to continue killing. Karly replies, “[There are] a few. They're rather close. But they're also being cautious.” Karly also mentions, “We should be leaving. I only came to get his attention.” Hailey is reluctant to leave, but Karly tells her, “There will be other monsters, Hailey. I promise.”
From the shadows, two of the other skinned people watch Karly and Hailey leave. From behind them, Sara appears, saying, “So that's it? They come in here, kill one of you, and you're just going to let them... what? Walk right on out like nothing happened?”
Suddenly a hand grabs Sara by the neck and slams her against the tunnel walls. It's Dark Grace.
PART 11 (SEASON 2 EPISODE 15)
Dark Grace holds Sara by the neck and has her pinned against the wall.
Sara says, “Grace! It's been a while. Not since you shot us and tried to kill us. Remember that? Good times.” Dark Grace asks why Sara's there, to which Sara replies, “I don't know. It's dark and cozy. I guess we're just drawn to places like this. Like a spider.” She then holds up her eight arms to emphasize the joke. Dark Grace says nothing, and after a moment Sara tells her, “Betty says you used to be more fun.” Dark Grace throws Sara to the ground and proceeds to rip off one of Sara's arms. She asks again, “Why are you here?” and threatens to rip off another arm. Sara finally tells her that she's bored so she's just stirring shit up to see what happens. Dark Grace leaves and warns Sara to stay out of her way.
Dark Grace travels through the angles and enters the Collector's office through the corner. She drops Sara's arm onto his desk, calling it a “souvenir”, and exits through the other corner.
When Dark Grace is gone, Sara comes out of the far corner of his room, saying, “That. Was. ADORABLE! She's like a puppy bringing you dead birds.” The Collector asks Sara what she wants, and Sara asks if she can have her arm back. The Collector tells her to help herself.
Sara also warns the old man to be careful of Dark Grace. “One of these days she'll realize she doesn't need you. After all, she's practically a god.”
SATTYABGELO: During her interaction with the Collector, Sara mentions, “We prefer [the name] Sattyabgelo”. This refers to the four people who inhabit Sara's body: SAra + beTTY + ABby + anGELO.
It should also be noted that this is likely not the first time Sara and the Collector have met. For example, he knows her name and doesn't seem frightened in the slightest. She also speaks to him in a fairly familiar way.
PART 12 (SEASON 2 EPISODE 16)
We return to the two sisters as they emerge from the tunnels. There's a clear change to Hailey – she's smiling and seems to be happy for the first time in weeks. Karly hands Hailey some money and tells her, “It should be enough to get you home. But... take the long way. It's still early. Mom won't be expecting you for hours.” Karly says she won't be going with Hailey because their dad wants to meet for dinner. Hailey jokes that if Karly leaves right now, she'll be there in time for lunch, and Karly replies that she'll be taking the long way, too.
We cut to dinner with Karly and her father. Thompson asks Karly how her day was, and Karly mentions, “It was good. I convinced Hailey to go to school today.” But, as Thompson questions her, he learns that they didn't actually go to school, and that Hailey had taken Gun with her. Thompson is understandably concerned that Hailey took Gun out in public, and Karly replies, “She wouldn't have gone otherwise. So yeah, we didn't go to school. How could we?” Thompson asks if the gun was loaded, and Karly tells him, “No! Mom said it should have never been loaded in the first place. At this point, Gun's more of a security blanket than anything else.” Karly tells her father that they went to a park because “people aren't much into parks right now, with all the killings and stuff. It didn't really matter where we went, as long as there weren't too many people around. I just... I wanted to get her out of the house, you know? Show her the world isn't as scary or fucked up as she thinks it is.”
Karly mentions that Hailey treats Gun as though it's a real person. Thompson asks Karly if Hailey is dangerous. Karly says no, but will tell her father if that changes.
At this point, Karly turns the conversation to the killings, to see if she can get any information. Thompson mentions there was another killing last night, but that it looks to be the work of a copycat. Karly asks how they know, and Thompson replies, “Slit the girl's throat, for one. They were pretty sloppy, too. Left some fingerprints at the scene.”
This flusters Karly. Thompson begins to clear the dining table. He has his back to Karly and asks her where she was last night. Karly picks up a knife and quietly approaches him. Her eyes are glowing red. She says she was at home, and asks why he asks. He replies, “Just want to make sure you're safe. I almost lost you once. I couldn't bear losing you again.”
Karly returns to “normal”, telling him that's sweet and hands him the knife that he “forgot” on the table.
At this point Karly quickly departs the apartment, telling her father that “Mom's been really paranoid lately about us being out after dark.” Outside the apartment we see Karly's horrified realization that she almost just murdered her father.
The episode ends with Hailey laying in bed with Gun. Gun tells Hailey that she did well today, and Hailey tells Gun that she loves him.
DINNER: Though Karly is eating, Thompson is using dinner as an excuse to question his daughter and gauge her reactions. As such, eagle-eyed readers may notice that his food is barely touched.
NO BULLETS: It's mentioned a few times that Gun has no bullets – or shouldn't have any bullets – so it's likely that Gun is shooting something other than traditional ammunition.
PART 13 (SEASON 2 EPISODE 17)
Part 13 opens with two lovers parked at Lovers' Point. We've come full circle to part 1, except this time when the young man gets out of the car, instead of being attacked by the Skinned Man, he gets attacked by Karly. This also shows the full progression from observer (in part 1), to participant (in part 6), to full on perpetrator. Also coming full circle is the fact that what Karly says to the girl in the car – “Don't go anywhere... I'll be with you in a minute” – is what the Skinned Man had said to her back in part 1.
Where part 13 differs from part 1 is that the girl in part 13 actually tries to escape. Karly, however, catches her by the ankle and says, “You can leave. We're playing for an audience.”
The scene pulls back and we see the Skinned Man watching from the treeline.
PART 14 (SEASON 2 EPISODE 18)
Thompson is at home watching the news. He receives a phone call from his ex-wife, Trish; she's crying and asking for help. She tells Thompson, “I can't control them. At first it was just Karly. She was sneaking out every night, and I just let it happen. I knew, but I thought it was her way of trying to cope with everything that happened. Like Hailey, laying in bed all day. I just thought Karly was trying to stay out of her room as much as possible. We had the room professionally cleaned, but the blood... I swear you can still smell the blood. She was sneaking out, and I let her. But now Hailey's gone, too. And... she has the gun with her.” Thompson asks if the gun is loaded, and Trish replies, “It was never loaded. But... there's more. I... sometimes I stand outside their bedroom. I don't want to, but I do. And I can hear her talking to it. To the gun, I mean. And this is going to sound crazy, but sometimes... I mean, she must be doing something with her voice, but sometimes... it talks back.”
Thompson asks Trish to trust him, and that this will all end tonight.
Meanwhile Karly has followed the Skinned Man back to the tunnels.
The scene shifts to Hailey, who stands outside the abandoned building she and Karly visited in part 9. She and Gun have a philosophical conversation about rain, and how if Hailey is ever feeling weak, she simply needs to “draw strength from the rain. No matter how many times the rain falls, it will always rise to fall again.”
Hailey and Gun enter the abandoned building, and Thompson just spots them as he drives by. As Hailey and Gun descend the steps toward the tunnels, Hailey reminds them that “We are strong” and “we are Gluttony. The eater of monsters.”
Gun tells Hailey that her father is following them. Hailey asks how he knows this, and Gun replies that he once belonged to her father, but that her father had given Gun to her mother “for her protection, [because Thompson] was gone so often at night.” But her mother didn't want Gun, so she put him “in a box and hid [him] away like a secret.”
Hailey and Gun agree that they saved one other – Hailey saved Gun from the darkness, and Gun saved Hailey from Chase.
And at this point they come across a group of four skinless people.
THE GUN: Up until now, there was no indication that Gun's personality existed anywhere other than within Hailey's mind. However, in this episode, the mother mentions hearing a strange voice coming from Hailey's bedroom – though she admits that it could be Hailey doing something strange with her voice.
PART 15 (SEASON 2 EPISODE 19)
Hailey is face-to-face with four skinless people – but she simply laughs and asks, “Have you forgotten us?” At this point she seems to snap. “HAVE YOU?!” she yells. “WE ARE HUNGER! WE ARE GLUTTONY! AND IT'S TIME TO FINISH WHAT WE STARTED!” She kills two of them before they fully understand what's happening, and as the other two attempt to escape, she kills them as well.
We switch to Karly, who has followed the Skinned Man into the tunnels. He asks her why she's following him, and she replies, “I came to finish what we started. [...] You spared me. That meant something.” The Skinned Man replies that he spared her because she is a child. Shocked, she pleads with him, telling him, “Everything I've done has been for you!” and that “You gave me something!” He replies that if he gave her something, then “perhaps it's time to take it back.”
Angered, Karly stabs the Skinned Man in the head. He begins to strangle her, and she stabs him again – though her attacks seem to have little effect on him. Suddenly Hailey shoots the Skinned Man in the head.
Karly, on the ground and coughing, tells Hailey she saved her. Hailey points the gun at Karly and says, “We are the killer of monsters.” Karly looks up at her sister.
We cut to Thompson, who has come across the group of skinned people - all dead (the victims of Hailey and Gun). Suddenly he hears another gunshot and starts running toward the sound. He finds Hailey, and asks her, “What did you do?” Hailey replies, “It's okay, daddy. We are Gluttony, the eater of monsters. And all the monsters are dead.”
In her lap she cradles the body of her sister.
EPILOGUE: Note that the epilogue to the Skinned story line is contained within episode 24.
CIRCLES AND PATTERNS
There are certain story elements that come full circle, with the most obvious being part 1 and part 13. In part 1, we see Karly and Chase at Lovers' Point. Something causes Chase to get out of the car, and Chase is murdered by the Skinned Man. In part 13, we see another couple at Lovers' Point. Again, the man gets out of the car, but this time it's Karly who does the murdering. She has gone from being potential victim to murderer.
Circles, as a symbol, also appear on the handle of Gun. Both entrances to the Skinned Man's tunnels (in the abandoned building and the sewer run-off) are also circular in shape.
There are certain concepts that repeat throughout the story as well. One is the metaphor of “like stars through the fog”, which is said by Chase (in part 4), then repeated by Karly (in part 7) and Hailey (in part 9).
Multiple characters use the phrase “to finish what was started”, which is said by Sara (in part 3), Chase (in part 4), Hailey (in part 15) and Karly (in part 15).
Also, characters “praying (or pleading) for someone – anyone – to help” is repeated by Karly (in part 3), the skinned victim (in part 8) and Hailey (in part 14).
The repetition was done on purpose and meant to show the connection between characters and their actions, whether they recognize the connection or not.
WHAT IS GUN?
Before we talk about Gun, let's take another look at the concept of angles and curves from season 1.
The angles are where the demons come from. It's a place outside of time, so beings that exist within the angles don't age. They're not born and they don't die. They either exist or they don't exist.
Within the curves – which is where we live – time is always moving forward. People are born, they age and they die. So in order for the curves to protect themselves against the angles, they need to create something that isn't technically alive. This is what Gun is. And, like the demons, Gun can appear in different forms – or, more specifically, he takes the form that the user expects. In a time before guns, he may have appeared as a sword, or a spear, or a bow and arrow.
Or perhaps Hailey is just crazy, and gun is a figment of her broken mind...?
THE BROKEN WORLD
The Broken World picks up from season 1 episode 19.
As a reminder, season 1 episode 19 showed us a glimpse into one of the alternate worlds that was created in episode 12, when Grace read from the notebook and broke the world. In it, about a month had passed since the events in the cabin, and Grace is on the run due to guilt (at having killed Tyler) and fear (at going to jail).Sara comes to visit Grace and tells her that Shaleeta is like a beacon for the short-haired demon, and will allow the demon to find her way back into the curves. She also explains that the best way to prevent the demons from returning is to remove the beacon (ie. to kill Shaleeta).
PART 1 (SEASON 2 EPISODE 20)
Though almost all episodes take place on the “main” world, this is the one episode of season 2 that takes place on one of the alternate worlds. It begins with a human version of Grace as she travels back toward the city. She narrates her journey, and eventually finds Shaleeta sitting and reading in a park.
This brings us up to the present moment; we see Grace speaking to Shaleeta, who's tied to a chair. As the view shifts, we realize that Shaleeta is quite dead. Sara arrives and asks Grace, “How long are you going to keep talking to her?” Grace replies, “Until I feel better,” and points out that, “In the end, I don't think she understood WHY I needed to kill her.”
Sara tells Grace that she did good in killing Shaleeta. She goes on to mention, “There are other Shaleetas, you know. In other worlds. Someone needs to clean up all those loose ends.” Grace, however, isn't interested in helping and begins to leave. Seeing Grace about to leave, Betty (one of Sara's personalities) comes out and tells Grace, “Your part's not over. You did this to protect the people you LOVE, right? Well, those same people exist in other worlds.” Betty goes on to explain that in the other worlds, Grace is considered dead, so no one's looking for her. “There? You can actually LIVE again. You can be with your FAMILY again. You can see your BROTHERS.” This hits home; Grace loves her brothers.
When Sara realizes she's getting through to Grace, she tears a hole in reality and, with the help of another Sara, they create a door to another world. “All you need to do is walk through,” Sara tells her. “So go ahead, Grace. Just. Walk. Through.”
PART 2 (SEASON 2 EPISODE 21)
We shift back to the main world; Shaleeta is seated on the floor reading a book. The Collector walks up and tells her she can't be there (in his house). Shaleeta explains, “The notebook wasn't enough. Did you know [this book] is actually two books? The first book is printed on the pages. It's contained within the words.The second book exists within the space between the words.” The Collector says again that she can't be there, and Shaleeta replies, “Don't worry. I'm not.” With this, she disappears.
The Collector comments to his assistant that Shaleeta's getting stronger, and asks the assistant if Shaleeta has previously displayed this ability (to “project” herself to different locations). The assistant mentions that about two weeks ago, Shaleeta was seen at the Dragonfly club, but that she was also, at the same time, lighting a house on fire. “The fire claimed the lives of Ward and Alice Berry, their son, Dustin, and one of Dustin's classmates, Mercy Warren. Police suspect arson [and] questioned Shaleeta, but due to the numerous people who could verify her presence at the Dragonfly, all the police did was confiscate her fake ID. She was [ruled out] as a suspect.”
The Collector comments that Shaleeta may have been creating an alibi for herself, and asks if the assistant is positive that Shaleeta was responsible for the fire. The assistant replies that he was on surveillance that night and watched as Shaleeta sat on her bedroom floor, chanting – but also watched as a second Shaleeta left the house and went to the Dragonfly, and a third Shaleeta left the house and lit the Berry's house on fire. He also explains that,“We didn't bother you with that information because our focus was on capturing the creature that came through the window.”
The assistant asks what their next move should be, and the Collector replies, “We wait. It's only a matter of time until something happens [...] that will push [Shaleeta] to the limits”.
The scene shifts to Shaleeta reading in her bedroom. The human Grace from the previous episode appears in her doorway. Shaleeta is surprised to see her, believing that Grace was dead. Grace replies, “And I thought you were dead. But here we are. New world. New you. How many times have I killed you now? I'm losing track.”
Grace is suddenly stabbed from behind by the short-haired demon; she falls to the floor, dead. The demon then looks at Shaleeta and says, “You're welcome.”
THE SLEEPING BOOK: In a way, this is the book that started everything. It was a former employee of the Collector who read through this book. He copied certain pages and created the notebook that Shaleeta currently has in her possession. Unfortunately he copied some of the information incorrectly, and his attempt to summon (and contain) the demons failed. As a result, the demons escaped, he was killed, and the demons eventually killed most of the high school seniors who stumbled across them in the woods.
PART 3 (SEASON 2 EPISODE 22)
When Shaleeta sees the demon, she reaches for the notebook, claiming, “I'm going to kill you!” The demon tells Shaleeta to stop and slaps the notebook from her hands. Shaleeta is surprised that the demon knows her name, and the demon replies, “I know everything about you, Shaleeta. I am you. I am what you become.” The demon explains that, originally, there was a different demon, and this demon was the one who killed Ryan. Ryan's death set Shaleeta on a path of revenge, and (by studying the notebook and the books in the Collector's library) Shaleeta eventually became strong enough to destroy demon. But what Shaleeta didn't realize is that there always needs to be three, so when Shaleeta destroyed the demon, she also took her place.
Shaleeta doesn't accept this and says, “But you could have let Ryan live!” The demon replies, “No. We tried that. When he lived, we didn't work toward revenge. I ceased to exist, and the original demon came back. And she killed Ryan, which caused us to kill her, and for me to exist. Certain actions needed to be taken. [...] It's a circle, Shaleeta. Ryan is at the center. There's no path that allows him to survive.”
The demon goes on to tell Shaleeta that the world is broken. “Imagine a mirror in a room. Imagine breaking it. Now there's a multitude of shards, all reflecting that same room, all at slightly different angles. Tiny differences.” The demon explains that the Grace she just killed came from one of the shards, and that Shaleeta needs to fix the world in order to “prevent other things – things worse than Grace – from coming through the shards. The world is broken. You need to make it whole again.”
PART 1 (SEASON 2 EPISODE 23)
We return to Jay, who was last seen being saved from Mercy and Dustin by Shaleeta (way back in season 2 episode 4). He's seated beside a pool and talking on his mobile. Kevin eventually walks up and asks, “What did she say?” We learn that Jay was talking to Shaleeta, and that she's relayed two main pieces of information to him:
- the world isn't broken anymore (which doesn't actually mean very much to Jay and Kevin because they were unaware there was anything wrong with the world in the first place)
- the monster that followed the girl through the window appears to be gone
They return to the hotel room where Keifer and Amity (the girl from the window) are waiting. Jay tells them that they've been given the “all clear” to return home, to which Kevin quickly states he doesn't want to go back. He proposes driving west – maybe “go to California [and] get jobs”. He points out that, “We all left town for a reason. For you, it was because that thing – whatever it was – had the girl's scent. It was a hunter. It crossed worlds to follow the girl. I didn't see the monster, but I get it. What I did see was Dustin. And Mercy. And bugs. Fucking bugs. Like... imagine a human-shaped potato sack made of flesh, and fill that potato sack with bones and bugs. That's what Jay and I saw. That's why we left.”
They continue arguing over whether or not to go back, with Kevin saying that “home is cursed”.
Meanwhile, Amity keeps trying to ask a question, and Jay finally tells everyone to shut up so Amity can talk. Amity points toward the corner of the room and says, “I worry about that. Is it normal?” They rush to the corner of the room and see a large number of insects.
INSECTS: The presence of insects means one thing: Edwin is close by.
PARTS 2 and 3 (SEASON 2 EPISODE 24)
PART 2 opens with Hailey sitting in a hospital room; she's in a psychiatric hospital. The door opens and Dark Grace walks inside. She kneels in front of Hailey, who says, “I thought I had imagined you.” Dark Grace says they share a common friend and produces Gun. Hailey happily accepts Gun; Gun tells her, “We have work to do, Hailey. It's time to get out of here.” Hailey looks at Dark Grace and says, “I'm ready.”
PART 3 opens with the Scarred Woman drawing lines on a wall with chalk. As she does this, she chants, and when she finishes we see that what she's drawn resembles a door in the corner of the room.
She continues to chant, and the portion of wall contained within the chalk outline disappears, leaving only darkness. Eyes appear in the darkness, and the three demons walk through.
The Scarred Woman tells them, “I waited and waited and you never came. I finally decided to invite you myself.” The main demon seems quite happy to see her, and the Scarred Woman says, “Come here. I've missed you.” They embrace. When the hug is over, the Scarred Woman asks, “Now... who wants to help me find my heart?”
THE SCARRED WOMAN: The character of the Scarred Woman originally appeared at the end of the trade paperback, The Living Finger, though this is the first time The Scarred Woman has officially appeared in Witch Creek Road.
Also, based on their reactions, one can assume that the Scarred Woman and the demons are old "friends" - and you can expect to learn more about the nature of their relationship in Season 3...