Dear, sweet Jessica. You will be missed. In a cast of sour, pursed faces and dead stares, you were the amuse bouche, the soul-cleanser of the cast. Regardless of the circumstances, be they worrying over the son who was stabbed or the daughter who stabbed him or the mummified corpse of an old childhood friend or the realization that your sheriff husband was about to straight-up execute a mutual friend or witnessing that friend’s child possessed by the spirit of his murdered brother…your face projected an eerie calm at the center of a weird-as-fudge storm. Even as four murder tots in papercraft masks surrounded and approached you with knives drawn, your expression conveyed the loss of innocence and perhaps the sadness one feels when thinking back on an old friend whose face just crossed your eye in the obituary column. Your eyebrows produced a gentle arc consistent with questioning your very reality but only to decide how to adjust your day accordingly and your eye sparkled in a powerful mix of tearful resignation and post-thesis defense exhaustion. You died off-screen but I imagine the look in your eyes was similar to that of someone pondering if the local supermarket still carried her favorite kind of yogurt.
Every actor can make the lion face of fear, but you seemed to get both the sadness and absolute bat shit craziness of what’s happening around you, like a gamer working slowly back through the initial levels of an old RPG after losing all the save slots. It’s almost like you know what’s coming. Maybe you do? I don’t know. Your world is a weird place.
Why you? Because Mike Painter loved you? Because you were just the easiest target? Did the kiddies catch the Acting Sheriff in the middle of a fluffy booty call and abort on grounds it was too weird for even regular viewers of Candle Cove? At risk of sounding sexist, you were too soft and pretty for this world of hallucinatory pirates and tooth children. You were not useful in any way except to inspire horror in the two men who loved you and motivate them to wrap up this mini-series in short order. If anything the Candle Cover Murder Tots spared you two more episodes of providing exposition and soulful looks that reflect our own wonder at who to trust in this crazy, felt-monster world.
But I will miss you.
What have we learned? Well, Mike’s daughter Lilly was possessed by the spirit of his twin brother, Eddie – the kid he murdered with a meat hook to stop him from murdering all the other kids in Iron Hill. How he came to possess Lilly and how Lilly got to Iron Hill in the first place are not explained. What the possessed child DOES explain is that it can stop possessing Lilly if his soul is put to rest. Sure, why not? It hasn’t been at rest for 30 years and has been free enough to travel around to possess family members far away, but whatevz. In a reasonable gesture, Mike and Jessica steal the remains from the coroner’s office and light a romantic bonfire with it on top of the hill over the site where all those kids were found murdered. The four murder tots rehearsed their experimental theater piece in the gym and then spent the next 40 minutes making us think Acting Sheriff Booty Call was their target. Their teacher, Mrs. Booth, is a very bad person and has something to do with both Tooth Child and the Murder Tots. I’m not sure what she had to do with the 1989 murders, yet. She may also be the producer of the original Candle Cove show.
Lucky for us, the Acting Sheriff is the only person with any god damned sense because she does some actual investigative work, interrupts the Murder Tots’ creepy rehearsal, sends them home, and …goes home?
Yeah, after picking up Chinese food and committing an egregious act of fraternization with a subordinate officer, she finally decides to follow her “intuition” and break into Mrs. Booth’s house without probable cause. Lucky for us, she stumbles into the biggest plot dump in four episodes! An actual corpse on the floor and Candle Cove puppets! Her boy toy will be waiting quite a while before she gets back for another go, I expect.
At this point I watch this show because it is fucked up. It’s like a Canadian Lifetime Original Movie handed over to David Lynch to re-shoot and edit parts.
Not that this is a bad thing.
Two-thirds of the way through this freak show, I still need to know – WHAT THE HELL IS UP WITH THE TEETH? It isn’t part of the cartoon. There isn’t a character made entirely of stolen teeth. Where did this volatile canteen of nightmare fuel come from?