Slasher: Flesh and Blood Welcome Home, Vincent (S4E2)

Sins of the Father

After a seamless introduction to the Galloways in the first episode of Slasher: Flesh & Blood, including a thrilling turn by David Cronenberg as Spencer Galloway, the withholding patriarch of the family, the episode wrapped up with the surprise return of long-lost kidnapping victim and favored son, Vincent.

Slasher: Flesh and Blood

The vicious family dynamic that opened the series plays out continuously through Episode 2, “Sins of the Father.” Theo (Alex Ozerov), the sensitive brother, is an afterthought to his mother, Florence (Sabrina Grdevich), suffering from years of carrying the blame for Vincent’s disappearance. When Vincent reappears, Theo is rightfully wary even as the family welcomes him with open arms. It’s easy to commiserate with his cherubic face as he gazes into Vincent’s eyes, searching for any bit of recognition of the boy who disappeared so long ago.

An interesting detail of the relationship that is shown in the flashbacks of the boys in Episode 1 is that Vincent is in fact quite mean and deranged, even at that young age. He seems to have his grandfather’s harshness, which likely plays into the fact that the whole family, it would seem, has at one point told or at least projected to Theo that they wished it was him who was kidnapped. This is all the more heartbreaking to watch as Theo really does appear to be one of the very few redeeming members of these otherwise vile one-percenters.

The episode starts with the family gathered for the first part of the games put together by Spencer and enforced by Dr. Persephone (Jeananne Goossen), intended to declare a worthy benefactor of Galloway fortune. With everyone gathered, Dr. Persephone announces that he has already passed on, as we saw in the previous episode what should have been his peaceful death. This shocks his family, though none are as shocked as they should be if they knew exactly how he met his fate.

As they convene in Spencer’s room for their final goodbyes, we slowly pan under the bed to see what the others do not—the acid that has burned through Spencer’s body and onto the ground, along with eviscerated parts of his internal organs, now sizzling on the floor.

Slasher: Flesh and Blood

Oblivious to the foul play, the family prepares for the first in the series of games, more aware than ever of the stakes now that Spencer has died. The first challenge is set up as a kind of rope-hang, where each participating member must cling to a rope in the freezing cold. The first to drop is out of the game. Spencer’s cruelty is evident even in death, as the ground is quickly covered in nails, ready to impale whoever is weakest.

Before this moment, it is revealed that Lavinia, the daughter of “the help,” must participate in the games as she is a rightful member of the family. This is a shock to all and plays into the Succession-level layers of secrets and lies that this show develops around the well-off family. The strangest part of this reveal is that up to this point, it seems that she and Theo have a bit of romantic interest in one another, and this would be complicated by the fact that she is, in fact, a part of his bloodline. This may not be the intention of the showrunner, but the chemistry between Theo and Lavinia is undeniable.

As the game gets underway, it becomes a test of wills between Seamus (Chris Jacot) and Jayden (Corteon Moore), as we see through more flashbacks that their once loving relationship was destroyed by their father’s plotting. Ultimately, it’s Jayden’s kindness and compassion that is his downfall. While attempting to give his mother his coat Seamus tricks him into letting go of the rope. Jayden, one of the very few good people in this family, falls onto the nails, and the first challenge is complete.

This moment shows the viewer, as well as Seamus’s wife, Christy (Paula Brancati), a side of him that is abhorrent and yet, somehow, would probably be a moment of pride for Spencer if he were there to see. Christy abandons Seamus to help Jayden, at which point the killer finally appears.

This is the first time the family discovers there is a killer on the island. Up to this point, his presence has been hidden, somehow, amidst the fancy décor and family angst. But once he makes himself known, there is no turning back. At this point, the show returns to form with a truly brutal murder, as Jayden is overtaken and strapped to a Saw-like device with his mother, Grace (Rachael Crawford), and others watching. The device begins to pull at his limbs, slowly dismembering him, as Grace screams and wails, forced to watch her only son as he is tortured to death.

Slasher:Flesh and Blood

Jayden’s death is so cruel, unrelenting, and familiar, that it’s easy to forget we are not dealing with Jigsaw but the mysterious masked slasher attached to the Galloway family. It is an interesting choice to kill the kindest member of the family so early on, but the surprise is effective, and the result is a feeling of real loss over a character who would likely have been a final guy if this were a different story.

As the episode cuts to black over the piercing sound of Grace’s screams, we are left with more questions than ever and a deep curiosity over just who is responsible for the punishments being doled out in Slasher: Flesh and Blood.

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Written by Jerry J Sampson

Jerry Sampson is a freelance writer, horror writer, screenwriter, and editor. Her love for film and the horror genre leads her to explore and question the darkness that lies in the shadows of human existence. She studies the concept of inherited trauma and finds that theme coming up unconsciously in much of her work. Jerry finds shelter in writing, reading and watching sinister stories that haunt and terrify. She lives in Portland, Oregon with her husband and cat-child.

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