Shining Vale Season 1 Episode 2 opens by stealing a bit of inspiration from other media, most notably Paranormal Activity and The Haunting of Hill House/Bly Manor.
During the middle of the night, Pat shoots awake and appears to be possessed. She taps Terry numerous times to get his attention, but he largely ignores her. She later awakens properly during the middle of the night at 3.33am.
Heading downstairs, Pat follows a yellow ribbon until she comes to a closet playing music; this of course, isn’t weird at all, right? You guessed it, Pat is dreaming and hears a voice telling her to “use her words“. Oddly, Pat has a cigarette burn on her arm although it is not revealed where this came from.
Later that morning, one of Gaynor’s friends, Ryan, comes over after school. Gaynor and Ryan met as they are both members of the Chastity Club. Ryan is accompanied by his mother, Valeries, who expresses concerns about Pat and even warns her that something isn’t right. Given her mental state, Pat is easily manipulated and believes everything Valerie tells her.
The episode returns to Pat in therapy. She and Terry discuss their issues, and Pat admits that she has been, rather sinisterly, seeing a 1950s housewife hanging around their house. Quite frankly, it all seems bonkers. As a result of what seems a ridiculous notion, the therapist increases Pat’s antidepressants. Meanwhile, things do seem to be looking up for Pat and Trish tells her that her first chapter is relatively good. Trish even goes as far as inciting Pat to dig deeper into the trauma she’s experiencing in the house.
Despite moving houses, Terry still cannot get over Pat’s affair with the handyman, Frank. He goes over to his place to return his drill, but Terry is still angry and tensions are rife between the two. Terry uses this as an excuse to confront Frank and in turn, leaves his house with his coffee machine.
Meanwhile, Pat meets with the Shining Vale Auxiliary Club, a group of middle-aged housewives exhibiting concerns over Pat and her family moving into the house. They don’t explain why, but it is more than likely due to the woman that has been hanging around the house. I’m starting to wonder if she was a member of the Auxiliary club, and what this has to do with the house?
Later That Night
Later, Gaynor’s friend Fred and his father come over to have dinner with the Phelps. Terry is concerned and worries about Fred and his friendship with Gaynor, but largely brushes it off to the side as they eat dinner. Things become awkward when Pat recognises the coffee machine as belonging to Frank’s and it quickly unravels that Pat’s affair lasted a week. Welp, that’s awkward!
As Pat and Terry settle for bed, she goes to kiss him goodnight and finds the housewife there instead. The woman tells Pat to use her words. As the episode closes, Pat finds numerous words circled in her first book
Using Scrabble tiles, Pat arranges the letters from the book into words and finds a message: “Daisy was the last to die”. Pat later finds markings on the door frame of the closet marking Daisy’s growth. As Pat enters the closet, she is grabbed by the woman who proceeds to tell her that she isn’t crazy.
The episode was actually quite good and it kept me interested throughout. It’s also raised numerous questions, such as who the housewife is and her connection with the Auxiliary Club. More importantly, how did Daisy die? And if she was the last to die, how many have died before her?
The episode borrows a lot from other media, much like the first episode. It has the makings of a good series if it keeps up the momentum. We’ll have to stay tuned to find out.