The first season of Syfy’s creepypasta-inspired new horror series, Channel Zero ended Tuesday night with a final, terrifying showdown between our protagonist and his twin brother, the real evil force behind Candle Cove.
When the last episode ended, Eddie had kidnapped Mike’s daughter, Lily, and taken her to Candle Cove as a hostage. Mike dutifully follows her to Eddie’s hallucinatory realm full of monsters and terror. Candle Cove really pulled out all the stops, since a lot of the episode was nothing but creepy visuals meant to demonstrates the depths of Eddie’s powers.
In the end, though, Mike is able to make a deal — if Eddie lets Lily go, Mike will agree to swap places with Eddie, allowing him back into the real world. Meanwhile, outside of the dreamscape, Deputy Welch and Marla, Mike’s mom, kill Eddie’s greatest ally and champion, Mrs. Booth.
Finally, Mike makes the ultimate sacrifice. Rather than just allow Eddie to go free and wreak havoc using his body, he gets Marla to kill him in the real world, trapping his twin in Candle Cove’s skin-lined walls with him.
He’s stuck in there with Eddie and the Skin-Taker, but as we see towards the end of the episode when he turns off the TV, Mike is also in a position where he can keep Candle Cove from hurting anyone ever again. It’s an unsettling, bittersweet ending.
All in all, the Channel Zero’s first run was a great success. Showrunner Nick Antosca was working with great source material, and expanded upon it in a measured, creepy way. Candle Cove was much smarter and trusting of its audience than, say, American Horror Story which trafficks almost exclusively in shock rather than dread.
The second season of Channel Zero is going to be based on the story NoEnd House, which is a lot more explicitly over-the-top than Candle Cove, so we’ll see if Syfy can capture the spooky magic for its sophomore outing.
In the meantime, why don’t we kick back and watch our favorite episode of Candle Cove while we’re waiting?