Zoe Woods (Holland Roden) thought her problems were over when Joseph Peach (Rutger Hauer) cured her schizophrenia. Instead, she’s wound up living in another dimension, surrounded by disfigured dwarfs and a skinless abomination, and eating strips of her own flesh to stave off murderous cannibalism. Now her sister Alice (Olivia Luccardi) has willingly embraced the Peach family’s unholy philosophy and won’t listen to reason. The only way it could get worse would be to discover that all the members of the household were but hapless underlings of a cosmic abomination that lurks beyond a red door…
The Red Door is the episode where it really pays to have paid attention to the episodes that came before. Every scratching sound in the walls, every cryptic appearance of a centipede, every embarrassing story the police chief tells about his son, they all get called back to here. For the most visually bizarre season of Channel Zero yet, it definitely has some of the most solid continuity. It doesn’t explain everything, however, and even by the end when a great deal of what has been going on all along is revealed, it still feels like there is a great deal of mystery about the realm of the Peach family and their master then has been let on.
Despite – or perhaps because of – the enigmatic timelessness of the Upstairs world, the zeal with which Alice (Olivia Luccardi) embraces the Peach philosophy seems quite sudden and hurried. It is tempered by Zoe’s genuine concern for her, but still feels like a very sudden leap off the slippery slope into unapologetic cannibalism.
Meanwhile, back in the real world we discover that Louise (Krisha Fairchild) was able to rescue Luke (Brandon Scott) from the brink of death. But there is still a reckoning to be met with his father (Tyrone Benskin) and the assassins the Peach clan have sent along with him. What follows is less surreal than the main plot, but no less shocking in the end.
The Red Door keeps holding up the high bar that the Butcher’s Block arc has set for Channel Zero in terms of special effects and trippy visuals, and it makes up for some of the more rushed aspects of storytelling that occur with the two main characters. Hopefully with all of the building blocks in place, it will result in a final episode that unites story and scenery in a way that really pays off.