Channel Zero: Ep 4 (TV) Review

With only two episodes left in Syfy’s Channel Zero, things should be escalating and starting to wrap up right? Well, no, not really. Channel Zero started off like trying to light a candle; it took a couple attempts but the candle eventually lit and began burning at a reasonable pace. Now, the candle is slowly sizzling out and it’s going to take another match to spark interest.

Channel Zero: Ep 4 (TV) Review

Mike’s daughter, Lily, has teleported from over 400 miles away and ends up with Mike and his mother. Mike repeatedly attempts to get answers from his daughter but instead is hit with a revelation; Eddie has possessed Lily and has come back to ask him for a favour. Will this finally put an end to Candle Cove? In the meantime, Officer Amy goes to the local school to question the kids she saw stabbing the fake body in episode three. All of them are in Mrs. Booth’s class. What exactly is this teacher hiding?

If there’s one good thing I can say about this episode of Channel Zero, it’s that viewers finally get more insight into Mike and Eddie’s relationship and some details on how it deteriorated. We got a good view of that in the previous episode when Mike realised Eddie was offing the kids in town but now we actually get to see it from Eddie’s perspective.

Eddie began to feel shut out and betrayed when Mike started dating Jessica, despite the fact that he was the one to drive a wedge between the brothers because, you know, murder is bad. When Mike pleads with Eddie to stop watching Candle Cove because it’s changing him, Eddie is the one to break down, to insist that Mike is the one changing. He asks Mike to promise him that he’ll never love anyone more than he loves him. Eddie even tries to murder Jessica so that things can go back to the way things were. He wants them both to become stronger and share the power because, as he said on their birthday, “We share everything. Everything you have, I have too.”

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It’s petty, over-the-top and dumb…but it’s realistic. It’s no different than when a person tries to break up their friend’s relationship. It’s easy to forget that Eddie is still a child, a child that’s been given a powerful weapon with no one to stop him—and he knows it. However, his redeeming quality is that he truly loves Mike. They were each other’s support for so long and he doesn’t want to lose him. It’s actually pretty damn sad when you think about it, Mike at least had Jessica but Eddie had no one and was a punching bag for the other children.

The emotional turmoil of the brothers doesn’t gloss over the problems with this episode and it’s mostly because the same tropes are getting used over and over. For starters, the creep factor just wasn’t there this time. We get it now; creepy manifestations, hallucinations, and some more footage of Candle Cove. Enough already, give us something new.

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The mystery of Candle Cove is also becoming drawn out and grating. With the supernatural powers the show possesses, there’s not a chance in hell the show was simply made by normal television producers. Amy does stumble upon something in Mrs. Booth’s basement—it’s clearly a red herring—and we still have no idea just how or why she’s involved. How exactly did the show grant Eddie powers but not the other children? What the hell is up with tooth-child? What do the teeth have to do with anything? There’s two more episodes left, speed it up already.

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Lastly, Channel Zero needs to stop adding new characters or giving information about them so late. We’ve known Jessica since episode one, but we didn’t know her and Mike used to date until this episode. Why is this only important now, and not in the previous three episodes? We’re also introduced to a dorky cop that has a crush on Amy but once again, why now? They couldn’t have given him a line or two previously? The pattern of characters popping in and out is getting predictable. Just a heads up Channel Zero; introducing someone for five seconds doesn’t make us care about them when they die. That takes something called character development.

I’m hoping the last two episodes of Channel Zero are able to deliver on everything they’ve promised and wrap up the story in a way that isn’t a cop out. Channel Zero has been a roller coaster of inconsistency and awkward decisions but it still has this weird charm that should keep viewers watching till the end.