A couple big events happen in this episode, so before I dive into recapping the respective journeys these women took on in this episode, I want to first of all applaud whoever came up with the episode’s title, “Edible Complex” – it’s naughty and punny.
Secondly, the biggest thing that happened: we get to the cannibalism.
But first, let’s start with the present. Shauna says all sorts of incriminating stuff to Kevyn Tan. Kevyn is smart to have come to her house under the guise of being a friend, but as we find out later in the episode, he’s just trying to get her to spill. Callie continues to spiral out against her parents (her father, by the way, is nowhere to be seen in this episode), and starts flirting with a stranger at a local bar (John Reynolds, of Search Party and Save Yourselves! – as welcome a guest star as any of these ‘90s blasts from the past). Well, guess what? He’s undercover and working with Kevin.
Taissa is also haunted by Bob, or whatever Twin Peaks-inspired dissociative personality she’s hosting. I’ll call her Bad Tai. Eventually, she passes out and hallucinates that Sammy has come to visit after school. Ever the dutiful wife, she calls Simone to come pick him up. At first, when we think that Sammy is there, it’s terrifying. The show wouldn’t go there with an innocent kid … would it? Thankfully, it doesn’t. Instead, the eyeless man demands Simone as a sacrifice. Once Simone finds out that Sammy has been safe at school the entire time, her eyes go wide with horror. Evil Tai senses a threat and pops up just in time to plow the car she’s driving into oncoming traffic, flattening Simone’s side of the car.
Misty is oddly quiet in both the past and the present. Good citizen detective PuttingTheSickInForensics shows up at her place of work and slips a blank piece of paper into the employee fridge for her. Later, Misty realizes that a message is written on the page in invisible ink (hopefully bleach and not urine or some other bodily fluid), and she shines her blacklight on it. In the note, he agrees to help her and even throws in a cheeky “self-destruct” joke at the end of the note for good measure.
Lottie explains that she had her minions kidnap Natalie to rescue her from her own potential suicide and then confesses how she was involved in Travis’s demise. According to her, Travis contacted her in a manic state with the idea that he needed to have a near death experience in order to “confront the darkness.” She says she reluctantly agreed to help him hang himself to the point of blacking out, but when he went limp, the button wouldn’t work to lower the noose. Natalie is understandably skeptical of this explanation, and what Lottie doesn’t share is that the night Travis died, the “darkness” — or whatever you want to call it — returned to her in the form of Laura Lee (Jane Widdop), who in Season 1 exploded as she flew an abandoned plane to search for help. At first, the sight of Laura Lee is welcome for Lottie. But as the ghostly figure draws nearer, its skin rots and its eyes blacken. For all of Adult Lottie’s quasi-hippie composure and ramblings about ashwagandha, she may be plagued by the most horrifying visions of anyone.
Back in the past, Taissa forces Shauna to dispose of Frozen Jackie after discovering Jackie’s body made up like a doll — a result of her and Shauna’s quote-unquote conversations. Additionally, Natalie has convinced Travis that Javi is dead. She takes a pair of Javi’s shorts and smears them with her own blood, later presenting them to Travis as if she found them during their hunt. It is an act of kindness on her part — she believes he needs to stop dwelling, given the likelihood of Javi’s death — but it is also selfish, and that night his sorrow brings him into her arms.
While they have sex, Jackie smolders – an unseen force drops snow on her burning body, so instead of cremation, she’s just well done. Mystically, the survivors are woken up in the night, and Shauna gives them permission to eat Jackie. The hedonistic nature of the meal is emphasized in the cuts to a fantasy sequence in which the girls and Travis are dressed in Greco-Roman garb, their skin clean and hair curled and styled around golden crowns. On the table in front of them is a decadent spread. Shauna reaches out to take a strawberry and the eating commences. Except they are not eating juicy fruits and succulent chicken. They are picking apart their friend’s charred flesh. The longer the scene continues, the more ravenous they all grow and the more the difference blurs between what’s real and what’s in their heads. Only Coach Steve refuses, heading back into the cabin and shutting the door on the young women, Corleone-style.
I’m torn on this – I’m glad the cannibalism wasn’t just a series-long tease, and I’m glad no one was murdered for the explicit purpose of dinner. But the supernatural element of this feels a little bit like a copout? Like we can’t just commit to them consciously making the choice to eat the dead.
We’ll see how this plays out.