Channel Zero: Candle Cove Review: “A Strange Vessel”

Channel Zero: Candle Cove

Arguably the best new series of the fall is Channel Zero: Candle Cove, and it’s provided a great dose of horror since its premiere. Even though we’re out of the spookiest month of the year, Candle Cove still has another half of a season to power through, so let’s take a look at this week’s new episode, “A Strange Vessel.”

The episode opens back in 1988 with Mike trying to figure out internally how to deal with the new knowledge that he has about what Eddie’s role in the disappearances was. It’s a heavy weight on the boy, and it clearly explains a lot of why Mike is the way that he is. Nearly thirty years later (back in the present) Mike is working on solving the mystery of his daughter’s arrival at Marla’s house. We are seeing into the life of a man who has been through so much, and Paul Schneider is doing just a fantastic job at playing this role. We can feel the emotion and near-powerlessness pour off him in every single scene, and it’s a multi-dimensional performance that is rarely seen in this type of genre television.

The evolving narrative for Candle Cove is way more interesting than I expected it to be, in all honesty. It’s taking some twists and turns that I never would have called, and I love the way that Eddie is such an integral part to absolutely everything that’s happening. It was pretty obvious that there would be a big reveal for the character after it was stressed that his body was the only one that was never found, but I never thought things would play out quite like this. The team really deserves a lot of credit for the way that they’re managing to defy expectations, and it’s nice to get a horror series on television that isn’t incredibly clichéd the entire time (which has its place, but that place isn’t Candle Cove).

The direction for this season is still remarkable, and each episode feels like a chapter in a larger independent horror movie (and I mean that in the best possible way). The It and Stranger Things parallels can be felt more than ever, but I do like to think of those more as coincidence than homage. Either way, connecting the series to those well-loved predecessors adds a lot to the enjoyment of Candle Cove.

The end of “A Strange Vessel” takes a tragic and very unexpected turn, and it’s going to be interesting to see where the story goes during the final two episodes. It’s such a relief to have this short of a season because it ensures that we don’t have to suffer through any filler, and every event that takes place is important to the overall story. Channel Zero: Candle Cove is something really special, and we’re very lucky to have the chance to see it.

What did you think of the new episode of Channel Zero: Candle Cove? Let us know your thoughts in the comments down below!

[Photo Credit: Syfy]

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