This review contains spoilers.
1.5 Scared To Death
In the mid-season finale of Ravenswood, we finally learn the truth abou Caleb and Miranda’s doppelgangers and get a surprise dropped on our heads.
I have to preface this review with the one negative thing I have to say about the series thus far. I’d rather get it out of the way now so that we can talk about the delicious, campy goodness that this episode had in store for us and end on a high note.
I have to wonder how many people are watching Ravenswood who haven’t seen its parent show, Pretty Little Liars. I would dare to venture that the answer is “not many.” Accordingly, those viewers have had years to get used to Caleb and Hanna’s relationship. It’s not a “shipping” thing, it’s just that at the very core of his character, PLL established Caleb as someone who loved Hanna pretty much more than anything in the world. That’s why it’s jarring to me when, at the end of this episode when he’s almost dead, he offers to stay with Miranda, claiming that it feels “right” to be there with her. Don’t get me wrong; I love Miranda, and I love Caleb and Miranda’s friendship. However, in context, the scene is clearly pushing a romantic attraction between the two of them (possibly due to their doppelganger relatives). As I said, PLL had years to establish Caleb and Hanna. Ravenswood has had five episodes. It felt like a really quick turnaround and, if Ravenswood does want to ultimately break Caleb and Hanna up and develop a romantic relationship between him and Miranda, that’s totally fine; they just need to give it time to grow more organically.
That, however, is but one tiny qualm in a world full of joy because the entire rest of the episode is full of brilliant campy horror.
The gang spends most of the episode trying to suss out the meaning of the contents of the box Caleb received last week. There are some side-bar relationship drama moments between Remy and Luke (definitely broken up…but holding hands in the hospital) as well as Olivia and Dillon (happily together…or so Olivia thinks), but thankfully those plotlines took a backseat this week to the main mystery.
The kids soon find themselves in the basement of an old bank and discover two skeletons clutching what appear to have been the original Caleb and Miranda’s wedding vows. They also find evidence that they were married by a sea captain and died in a boating accident with three of their friends later that same day. Oh, and the two skeletons whose bodies reveal all this information? Yeah, they sacrificed themselves in the hopes that doing so would bring back Caleb and Miranda and that they’d be able to break the curse.
So there you have it, folks. The reason Caleb and Miranda look like their dead relatives? They are their dead relatives. How on earth they’re expected to break the curse remains a mystery, though (as do the identities of those three friends who shared their fate). Since I guess it’s my duty to put forth a horribly inaccurate theory so that we can all laugh at my expense when the truth is revealed, here we go:
Caleb and Miranda were forbidden from marrying for some reason. Customs of the time? Age? Perhaps a dispute between their families, Montague and Capulet-style? They married in secret with only their three closest friends as witnesses, but somehow word got back to their parents that they had eloped. One of their family members cast a curse to destroy the boat, rather than accept their new in-law. The sea captain survived, and he represents the soldier coming home who should be dead.
Are you laughing at how bad this theory is? I am. Maybe when the secret is finally revealed, I’ll repost it so we can all have a giggle at how bad I am at figuring these writers out.
At any rate, the kids end up in Miranda’s old family home, where she’s staying with what she believes to be her parents and a girl named Max. As I suspected last week, her parents are not actually her parents and everything is heartbreaking about this storyline. Man, I just really like Miranda and want her to catch an emotional break; is that so wrong?
The campy horror arrives full-tilt when the kids arrive at the house to free Miranda and run into “Max,” who cheerfully tells them that the whole thing is a trap to get them into the house and then does that deep voice scary demon thing as she tells them she’s come to drag them to hell. You know that thing you do when you’re so delighted by a thing that your feet kick back and forth with glee? That was my reaction to this scene. The candles! The random appearing and disappearing! The unseen thumps on the wall! What more could anyone ask for, honestly.
They manage to break Miranda out of the house, but Caleb falls and nearly dies in the escape. At Miranda’s prodding, however, he fights his way back to life in the hospital where Remy, Luke, Olivia, Dillon, and Miranda’s ghost are waiting anxiously at his bedside. Dillon offers to go get everyone coffee, only to spot Max and warily follow her through the halls. I kept expecting her to kill him in some horrible, bloody way, but clearly I wasn’t thinking straight. He’s not one of the five.
He’s in on it. He and Max talk about how it was so much work to get the kids into the house and how “he” will be angry at their failure while my head explodes because I understand literally nothing about what is going on and we’re a full two months away from the midseason premiere.
Two months, y’all.
How are we going to survive this hiatus?
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