Ravenswood episode 9 review: Along Came A Spider

Ravenswood's penultimate episode is a characteristic combination of creepiness and laughs. Here's Kaci's review...

This review contains spoilers.

1.9 Along Came A Spider

In this week’s episode of Ravenswood, it’s topsy turvy day as Caleb Rivers is the only one in school.

It’s Caleb’s first day at Ravenswood High, where he immediately alienates pretty much everyone by constantly chatting with Miranda — you know, the ghost who none of the other students can see. A few of the girls make fun of him and tell him his last school must’ve been an institution, to which Caleb laughs and informs them that he’s actually the only person in all of Pennsylvania who hasn’t spent some time in Radley, so they really should get their stories straight.

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After History, Creepy Teacher makes sure to warn Caleb about Creepy Uncle’s Creepy Chapel of Secrets because in case Caleb has suddenly forgotten the previous eight episodes, he needs the reminder that Creepy Uncle and everything he touches are unbelievably Creepy. Really.

Naturally, Caleb and Miranda decide to break into the chapel, where they find the names of the six townspeople who originally signed the pact. Six, not five, so why are only five teenagers marked to die? More importantly, why is it that only Caleb’s last name is on the list, but not Remy, Miranda, or Luke and Olivia’s? And why is Dillon’s name on there?

Speaking of that hot mess, Luke and Olivia are with their mother at their dad’s grave, where apparently Creepy Uncle has provided their family with a spray paint resistant headstone. Is that a thing that exists? Is that a thing there’s a need for? Do we really have such a big problem with gravestone defacement that we’ve had to invent a coating for our grave markers? I don’t know why I’m asking these questions on a show where a ghost is jealous that the living can still drink papaya juice, but this is the way my brain works. You’re welcome.

Anyway. The cops show up to arrest Mrs. Matheson and it’s the funniest thing because Luke and Olivia are shocked, shocked I tell you, despite the fact that their mother gets arrested quite nearly every week. I’m pretty sure she just pencils it into her planner at this point, right under “don’t forget to buy eggs.”

Naturally, the kids stay home to fret about this (again, so shocking) turn of events, where Dillon finally turns up swearing up and down that he hasn’t been ignoring Olivia — on the contrary, he says his parents found condoms in his bedroom and sent him off to some weekend-long purity camp. We’re told Olivia is a smart person and she may very well be, but she’s clearly not too good at the whole “common sense” thing because if she were, she’d be able to figure out that if his parents were really concerned about the two of them having sex, they certainly wouldn’t let him come over to her house like this. The fact that she actually believes him when he swears that Springer is lying is even worse.

Back at the jail cell, Miranda witnesses Creepy Uncle being startlingly sincere with Mrs. Matheson, even offering to mortgage his business in order to pay her bail. She initially refuses, but after Miranda tells Olivia about his apparent sincerity, she encourages him to help, leading to her eventual freedom, however temporary it may be. (There’s still one more episode in the season, after all and it’s just not an episode of Ravenswood without Mrs Matheson being dragged off to jail for the eight hundredth time.) I’m going to need the writers to quit humanizing Creepy Uncle, by the way. Keep this up and I’ll actually have to start using his real name, and that is a line I just can’t cross.

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There’s some more drama with Luke, where he freaks out that Olivia had sex with Dillon and then heads off to school to do his whole macho posing thing to Dillon. It was somewhere around here where I finally put my finger on what bothers me so much about Luke. To be completely fair, I think he’s been perhaps the most underserved character with the writing this season, but my main problem is the acting choice Brett Dier has made wherein he plays Luke as though he’s about to have a psychotic break and kill everyone around him. In the scene at the end where he confronts Olivia with the knowledge he gleaned from Dillon, I honestly half expected him to grab her by the throat. I know it’s not what he’s going for, but it’s what I’ve been getting out of the character and it leads to a reading of Luke that’s frankly kind of disturbing. I’d like to see it curbed a bit if there’s a season two.

But back to the macho posing. Luke and Dillon face off in the locker room and Luke does his threatening thing while Dillon smirks a lot like the smarmy jerk he is. Dillon says he found out he was marked and offered Olivia (who was apparently not marked by default; it seems that Luke was the chosen teen from the Matheson family) in his stead. He saunters out of the locker room and Luke goes wandering into the ghost-infested shower because he’s not exactly firing on all cylinders these days. He gets a choke hold for his troubles but then apparently the ghost gets bored or something because it just drops him like he’s hot and leaves him to think about his life choices.

Meanwhile, after having an episode focused mainly on her last week, Remy has a rather low-key role this episode as she tries to get information out of Springer. The two strike up a deal in which she’ll post a story in the newspaper about how his dad shouldn’t have gone to jail and in return, he will tell her everything he knows about Dillon and the curse. When she holds up her end of the deal, her dad gets angry at her for undermining the credibility of the paper and then fires her. I really love their father/daughter relationship, so it was pretty upsetting to see them at odds. I hope they can work through this next week.

All in all, I still love this show, but the Mathesons (especially Luke) have never really held my interest or worked for me as characters. An episode that focused mainly on them was naturally going to be one of my least favorites of the season. But the episode still held a lot of laughs and good moments, and I can’t wait for the finale next week.

Read Kaci’s review of the previous episode, here.

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