Channel Zero Season 2 Episode 5 Review: The Damage

New levels of spine-tingling horror are reached in the latest episode of Channel Zero: No-End House leading into the season 2 finale.

This Channel Zero review contains spoilers.

Channel Zero Season 2 Episode 5

(exclusive photo: No-End House Room 5)

“I don’t think I can bring myself to kill him.”

“I can do that for you.”

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Only the most stone-hearted, soulless viewer of Channel Zero: No End House could view this week’s episode without at least cringing slightly. “The Damage” reaches new heights of horror, not with scary imagery, screaming, or frantic fear but with discomfort, trauma, and heart-sinking choices. Far from reassuring viewers that an escape from the No-End House means a return to normal life as before, this week’s penultimate episode actually confirms what we feared the most: that Margot would have to go back in.

And not only that but do it without the support of her friend, Jules! Although, to be honest, I’m not sure how helpful Jules is at this point. She made an admirable apology to Margot for not being there for her friend after her dad died, but then she left as soon as she received a video on her phone, presumably from the house, as in the premiere episode. Not that she did so casually; in fact, Aisha Dee really sold Jules’ terrified reluctance with her gulping gasps of fear in some of the best acting we’ve seen this season.

But what is really going on with Jules? She left, came back just when the police arrived at the Sleator home, and then ran back to the No-End House only to find it gone, perhaps for good (or at least until next year). What is it that calls to her? What is her weakness that the house has manifested as a glowing orb that seduces her into giving up her memories willingly? J.D., Margot, and even Seth conjured up actual people. Are we ever going to figure out what is torturing Jules?

Speaking of Seth, we do finally get confirmation that the caged people in the cul-de-sac are the family that the house created for him, presumably when he first entered the house a year or more before. How he managed to build a cage and get them inside is anyone’s guess; if only it were that easy for Margot to contain her father! Even as Seth conspired to kill Mr. Sleator on Margot’s behalf, it’s hard not to be suspicious of how Seth became the instrument by which Margot agreed to go back to the house.

Yes, Seth did administer the allergy-inducing medicine, but is it possible he manipulated the situation, perhaps by not giving Mr. Sleator enough of the drug or by placing himself in harm’s way? Honestly, it was difficult to detect his motives what with Mr. Sleator eating memory tapioca out of a fricking puppy skull! Let’s be clear: that was the moment when Channel Zero crossed over into a whole new realm of horror, forcing many viewers to jump off their couch and pace the room with their eyes covered chanting, “NOPE, NOPE, NOPE!”

The skull is still there when Mrs. Sleator comes in, right? It’s part of what must be an inexplicable crime scene for the police. A husband back from the dead but presumably suffering from the same anaphylaxis that killed him a year ago? A daughter who’s been missing for a few days with self-inflicted cuts on her arm? AND a puppy skull?? The cops are likely to take the recently unconscious mother in for psychological evaluation.

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But now it’s just Margo and Seth headed back into the house, whatever that might mean. Presumably Dylan is still out there, but who knows if his story is complete. Jules’ most certainly isn’t done, and the finale will no doubt have some surprises in store for the Channel Zero audience on that score as well. One thing’s for sure. Channel Zero: No End House has outdone itself with this latest episode and is gearing up for what can only be a magnificently terrifying finale.


4.5 out of 5