This season is coming to a close very soon and I have a these last couple of episodes are going to keep amping up the tension! And while no one died this episode (spoiler?), something that the Overlook regulars have been waiting for finally happened.
Okay, first off, Jake miraculously survived his incredibly questionable stabbing. No surprise there, as no one was convinced for a moment that it was really inflicted by either of the killers. But after his initial scene, he is absent from the rest of the episode. Most likely he’s still recovering in the hospital. The sheriff seems to look at everyone through narrowed eyes, and who could blame him? We’ve been doing the same thing.
There are a couple of things we focused on with this episode; one of really stood out after re-watching the episode. It feels like I say that a lot, but after you hear that Maggie had a secret baby, which she gave up for adoption without even knowing the gender of the child, some of the things that outsider, Piper Shaw, say seem to take on a different meaning. Like when she proclaims, “I’m part pf the story,” or tells Emma that she will survive this because she comes “from a family of survivors.” She says this while leaning in so close and with eye unbreakable contact, almost like she’s waiting for Emma to realize their relationship through reading every feature on her face. The double meaning in her last statement could apply to herself; she also survived adoption and not knowing her real parents. This would also explain her keep-my-distance but still pretty invasive interest in Emma.
But how about this possibility: Mr. Branson, who chose this fake name and moved back to this town specifically, is the combination of Bran, Daisy’s nickname for Brandon James, and son. He’s pretty close to Piper’s age too. Consider the intense back and forth he had with Noah in class, in which he agreed that he has warranted being a suspect in front of the whole class… if you read between the lines. He could just as easily be hiding his identity in plain sight. (How the hell did McCarthyism even fit into his lesson plan, anyway??? Aside from being a set up for Noah, I mean.)
As damning as this episode was to Mr. Branson, it does not clear Audrey of her involvement. Let’s look at the things leading up to his arrest: Audrey and Noah went back to their only class’s room and continued to snoop. Was it a little weird to anyone else that she saw something above the vent that lead her to investigate inside it? Almost like she knew she would find something there..? Meanwhile, her partner in crime is in a very incriminating position, on multiple levels. He’s canoodling with Brooke on the theatre’s stage. “Is the rehearsal over?” she asks him, which seems like the queue for Branson and Audrey’s planned performance to begin. Then the scene turns into one that you’d find in countless slashers: the couple hears a noise and the guy goes to investigate while the girl waits in her lingerie for him to come back. Then it plays out like Scream: she gets accosted by the masked killer, who then disappears, leaving only the girl’s lover to be found. Then the police show up at the perfect time, before he can explain anything, and haul him away.
Clearly, Branson will have some reasonably good explanation for his sorted past and people will be satisfied. The killings, or at least the masked menacings, will not stop while he is questioned and kept in jail. This will lead people to conclude that they’ve suspected the wrong man and that the police need to keep looking. And scene.