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Sleep, Baby, Sleep in Slasher: Flesh and Blood ‘Upstairs, Downstairs’ (S4E4)

The shocking end to the last episode of Slasher: Flesh and Blood left Seamus dead in the walls, with the bickering Galloway family none the wiser. Now, Christy has come to the realization that she loves her husband and wants to stay with him despite his complete loss of family money. She seeks Seamus out to make up, only to find him, or at least half of him, nailed to the wall, eyes gouged out, entrails seeping onto the floor. Another scream pierces the night, and thus begins Slasher: Flesh and Blood Episode 4, “Upstairs, Downstairs.”

The current trajectory of the masked killer appears to target the losers of Spencer’s cruel games, with flashbacks giving the viewer enough information about our characters to grow empathetic toward them despite their horrible ways, just in time for the killer to enact his final bloody judgement. While the viewer, and apparently most of the family, is aware of Seamus’ sexual proclivity toward men, Christy was never privy to his secret and remains devoted to him after his death, heartbroken at the sight of his crucified form. Vincent and Theo are two of the first to enter the room after Christy finds him, and Vincent is as calm as ever. In response to Theo’s questions as to why he isn’t more upset while helping pry Seamus off the wall, Vincent says the family who raised him were hunters, so death doesn’t disturb him. This is yet another not-so-subtle push toward suspecting Vincent of being the killer, though it would be far too obvious at this point for that to be a satisfying reveal.

Slasher Flesh and Blood

In this episode, we see the aftermath of the discovery of Livinia’s relation to the family, including a flashback that reveals the threat Spencer made to Brigit in the moments after giving birth to Livinia, Seamus’ child. He gives her an ultimatum, offering to pay for the child’s education if Brigit avoids telling anyone she is a Galloway, or she would be fired and the family would raise Livinia as a Galloway without ever revealing the truth about Brigit being her real mother.

In the present day, Livinia has found a boat by the water, but there is a hole that needs patching. With the killer lurking in the woods, it’s easy to question whether he or she (or both?) are fond of Livinia as they have chosen not to kill her when it would be very easy to do so. When the killer does attack, Livinia fights him off quite easily and is able to run back to the house and squeeze through a window into the cellar. Terrified, she hears the front door open and tracks footsteps across the floor, down the stairs, landing at the cellar door. When she opens it, Vincent is there, claiming to be searching for an expensive bottle of wine.

This episode delves on the tenuous relationship between the twins, Theo and Vincent, and Livinia. It goes all the way back to their childhood when, at one point, the boys had Livinia tied to a tree with the threat of burning her like a witch. In this flashback, Brigit slaps Vincent, after which Spencer shrugs his behavior off as the boy simply being “rambunctious.”

Slasher FAB

The past always takes center stage in Slasher: Flesh and Blood, this time showing the catastrophic effects of the trauma of the Galloway’s cruelty toward Brigit and Livinia as a huge secret is revealed. While Brigit comforts Livinia, she sings a lullaby. “Sleep baby sleep,” she coos while stroking Livinia’s hair. Vincent awakens to the song wafting through the vents and he stands, hypnotized. He finds his way to the secret passageway, enters Brigit’s room, and asks her how she knows that song. His kidnappers sang that very lullaby to him, and Brigit’s face betrays the truth.

The family gathers to interrogate Brigit who quickly folds, confessing that she and her family kidnapped Vincent because she needed the money to get away. At this, Florence states there was no ransom requested, but Brigit insists there was and that Spencer refused to pay. She reveals that Spencer found out what she had done and took Vincent from them, adding confusion to the hurt plastered across Vincent’s visage because Spencer never brought him home.

Florence attempts to attack Brigit, but Theo pulls Vincent’s gun and tells them all to stay back, protecting Livinia and Brigit from the angry mob. Later, Florence and Vincent sneak into Brigit’s room to kill her and Livinia by stabbing them in bed, only to find that they stole out of the house with Theo’s help.

While Livinia fixes the boat, Brigit is overtaken by the masked killer while keeping watch on the dock. She comes to at the waterfront—the same spot Vincent was kidnapped—buried to her neck in sand. The killer scoops the sand and tosses it on her while she cries and sings “Sleep, Baby, Sleep” in an attempt to appease the killer, who Brigit likely believes is Vincent. Her pleas fall on deaf ears, and the episode ends with Brigit being silenced by the sand.

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An interesting note at this point in the series is that the women in Slasher: Flesh and Blood all tend to act and react in the same manner. From the screaming knife fight between Grace, Birgit, and Florence in Episode 3, to Christy’s reaction to Seamus’s death, the ladies of the show become shrill and shrieky whenever they are upset. This is disappointing because it takes well-developed characters and condenses their emotional responses into one caricature—the hysterical woman. It would be nice to see nuance in this as well as Florence’s character who, if judging from the last episode in which she murdered Dr. Persephone Trinh by woodchipper, is as psychotic as the masked killer. When everyone has the potential to kill in cold blood, what does it matter who the main killer is?

Despite these issues, Slasher: Flesh and Blood manages to deliver a compelling storyline and gruesome deaths, never pulling punches when it comes to doling out punishment. It’s as if the spirit of Spencer himself is enacting these murders, or if not him, someone very similar to him in the tendency towards cruelty and revenge.

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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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