This is the end, my friends, and what a nutty ride it’s been. Slasher: Flesh and Blood has tested the boundaries of what horror fans want to see, how far violence can go before becoming pure camp, and just how horrible characters can be before we throw our hands in the air and stop caring. After Episode 7 “Goldfinger” disclosed the identity of The Gentleman to be Dr. Trinh (Jeananne Goossen), there was very little to be invested in, especially given (for this writer) the extreme letdown that was felt at the reveal. That said, we did still have an entire episode with which to wrap the story up, so on we plod with the finale.
“Kindred” opens on a quick flashback showing Trihn murdering an artist who turns out to be the biological father of O’Keefe (Breton Lalama). This is hardly a shocking reveal as O’Keefe was a tragically underutilized character who should have had more of a role in the series, especially as it seems they were the only person in the whole family who wasn’t a deviant psychopath. The scene appears to serve the sole purpose of letting the audience know that Trihn is just mindlessly evil enough to carry through with Spencer’s (David Cronenberg) plan.
One issue that came up while watching this episode was the fact that if, in fact, this whole game-and-death, stalk-and-slash scenario was Spencer’s idea all along, what then was the purpose of The Gentleman pouring acid into him mere moments after Trihn supposedly provided him with a painless death injection in the very first episode? If the purpose of the acid was to open a hole in which to place the final will and statement, why would Spencer allow the pain? This red herring was what stuck in the craw throughout the series, as surely a proud man like Spencer would never allow his last moments to be of such helplessness.
Beyond that issue, and moving forward, this episode sees Theo (Alex Ozerov), Liv (Sydney Meyer), and Vincent (A.J. Simmons) come together to interrogate Trihn, who states that her only objective and what she was being paid for is to keep one heir alive. This is meant to clarify her goal, but it doesn’t explain why she was so brutal in her attacks. She so gleefully sawed through the body of a little girl, as it can’t be assumed that Trihn knew about Aphra (Nataliya Rodina) and her big secret. She tore bodies asunder, poured molten lava over Grace (Rachael Crawford), gouged eyes out, impaled bodies, and generally wreaked havoc over the Galloway’s more like she had a score to settle than as a paid assassin.
After Trihn escapes her loose binds, a fight ensues, and Liv’s military training saves her again as she manages, with the help of Vincent, to knock Trihn out, giving them the opportunity to tie her tighter and get the rest of the story. In another inconsequential reveal, she recounts the staging of her death and that the body in the woodchipper was Merle (Jefferson Brown), who, in case you forgot this forgettable character, was Grace’s lover. Trihn then informs Liv, Theo, and Vincent that she doesn’t fear for her life because she has provisions in place to convince them to keep her alive.
In a familiar bid for salvation, Trihn has dirt on the three remaining Galloways which, upon her death, would be released into the world. Of course, this feels like a mild threat as money has the overwhelming power to make dirt disappear. But Trihn believes this to be ample intimidation and continues to spill the tea on each of them. Vincent has apparently committed murder (who in this family hasn’t?), Liv was involved in a military cover-up, and Theo, well, Trihn insists the brothers have more in common than one might think.
And with that, Vincent lets his rage take over, and he stabs Trihn to death. Quickly thereafter, the bell chimes again, and the final game is afoot. They are led to find Spencer’s body along with a Macbeth quote that results in the best practical effects of the season. Vincent and Theo put Spencer’s body on a table, and Liv and Vincent proceed to dig through the viscera to find the prize. Theo can’t stomach the gore and leaves the room, but Liv practically bathes herself in Spencer’s colon. With Theo gone, Liv offers to split the prize with Vincent, a proposition that certainly seems to insinuate that she would be happy to dispatch Theo. Vincent refuses, saying he’s there for the whole kit and caboodle.
After a time of exploring Spencer’s insides, Vincent loses it and runs into the other room to vomit. Theo watches, Vincent glares, and so begins the great twin reckoning. Theo tells Vincent he’s lost control. Vincent tells Theo he’s always been perfect. Their rage grows, and as they fight, it seems like Vincent is out to kill Theo, who tries to hide in the passageways in the walls, but Vincent knows those tunnels, too. We are thrust into a flashback that shows the twins fighting as kids, and finally, we see that Theo isn’t as innocent as we’ve been led to believe, as it turns out he was responsible for much of the trouble they caused. Instead of facing the blame, he would accuse Vincent of being the bad twin. This resulted in Spencer slapping Vincent and, ultimately, led to Spencer’s great betrayal of Vincent by sending him away from the family.
Back in the present day, Vincent manages to get a few slashes off on Theo, piercing his belly, his arm, trying very hard to kill him, but Theo eventually gets Vincent on the ground. He forces a garrote wire into his mouth and proceeds to saw through Vincent’s face until his head splits in two. This could be considered an emotional scene. It really could. But somehow, as Theo joins every other family member in the tradition of brutality, it’s hard to imagine that Theo really regrets what he has done.
Liv stands amazed for a mere moment, taking in the blood-soaked stage, before guiding Theo to the bedroom, then the shower, then the bed. That’s right, these cousins finally have the peace and quiet they needed to indulge in their long-built attraction. The sex is strange, as it should be between relatives, but it seems like the show is really trying to make it sensual. It’s not. And even after our eyes have been assaulted with violence for eight straight episodes, this scene feels bad, worse than the carnage—just bad.
After their romp, they lie in bed and talk about the future and then the past as Theo reveals his big secret. It turns out, he ran his car into a daycare center and avoided consequence through his family’s money and paying off the parents of the kids he killed. And honestly, by now, this isn’t surprising, disturbing, or a game-changer. In fact, when Liv coerces Theo into a stranglehold and breaks his neck, it’s a relief just to be done with these despicable people.
Liv returns to Spencer’s body and finally finds what she’s looking for: the big prize, a piece of paper that bequeaths the holder the entire Galloway fortune. And that, as they say, is that. Liv wasn’t the worst of the worst, but she was definitely not the best. And while we fade to black with Liv collapsed on the dock after waving down an approaching boat, we think we are through with the abhorrent Galloways.
Of course, we aren’t, and the epilogue shows a pregnant Liv (why, just why) back at the mansion, instructing an interior designer on her desires for the look of the house. She chats about how awful it must be to hate or resent one’s child before sitting at the head of the family table and seeing the murdered members watching her from the great beyond.
Slasher: Flesh & Blood was one hell of a bloody ride. It didn’t always make sense. It dug some plot holes and left them unfilled, and it reminded us that we should eat the rich. But the show also brought the viewer back to a simpler time, a time when practical effects reigned supreme, a time when brutality trumped common sense and even managed to create some of the most inventive kills since the inception of the torture porn genre. It felt fresh, deranged, utterly perverted at times, and, thereby, absolutely enjoyable. Thanks for the good time, Galloways.