Episode 7 Recap, Thoughts, and Theories - Spoiler Warning.
It's great to be back after a week off from recapping the increasingly spooky events of Lakewood that included last weeks great cauterization of Mr. Branson scene. I was beyond excited to discuss this week's show, including Ms. Lang's brutal attack, Zoe's jealous and suspicious behavior, and Eli's weird pastime of “Goldilocksing” that causes him to break into other people's houses just to test out their lives and make some toast. And then my DVR decided to not record the entire episode. So since I can't do a full recap, I will do the shortest recap ever followed by a slightly more extensive Thoughts and Theories section.
Recap: Noah gets condom-buying assistance from a sweet older woman.
Thoughts and Theories:
Not the best week for my DVR not to cooperate, as a lot really did happen. Still, it's not a bad time to look at the two main suspects' actions over the last two episodes, since, after all, we are now at the halfway point for this season.
We Need to Talk About the Duvals:
There is something going on with the Duval women. Both have been looked at as suspects in my past articles, and evidence for both is only increasing; however, with each case there are also some flaws that put both suspects into question.
Maggie's case was going great. The police station confrontation with her ex, her insistence that Emma not go with Noah until Jake's killer was caught, and the fact that the iron cauterization of Branson's wound seemed something a person with an extensive medical background would think to do. The case is still relatively strong. She's showing up just enough to stay part of this season, but not enough to draw too much suspicion her way: a Piper lite if you will. The biggest flaw in my Maggie theory comes from the findings in the last couple episodes. The IP address used to send those faux Riley emails to Kevin was Emma's, which doesn't mean that Emma sent them, but it could mean someone in the house did, which certainly points to Maggie. I've also said before that Maggie could put some suspicion on Emma (at least make it seem like she is a target still), so that the truth about Audrey as target isn't revealed before Maggie is through torturing her. Yet, if that were the case, it doesn't make sense why Maggie would be so insistent on having Sheriff Acosta investigate the source of the emails. Kevin wasn't too concerned, so she could have easily let that path run cold, but it was only through her pleading that the investigation went ahead. It still doesn't rule her out, and she definitely hasn't been accounted for during any of the texts, calls, or attacks this season.
Emma's case continues to boil to the surface as more and more plausible, much to my chagrin. I still stand by my disdain for some type of dissociative identity disorder spree, and if Emma is the killer then this or some other “Emma didn't know she was doing it all” disorder is happening. This trope can be great, but it is one that is rarely done well. What strengthens the plausibility though is that Emma is still the only person (minus the party night) who has seen things that nobody else can corroborate. We are returning to more of that pig imagery, and Emma's past, and both could be clues to Emma's culpability. I mentioned the old Dario Argento idea before, where an event triggers a suppressed memory in a character. Piper's killing spree, paired with Emma's therapy, could have brought those memories to the surface. What did happen to Emma at that farm? Is she really a James, too (could this have even been the real argument she remembers her parents having—the one she assumed was about Maggie choosing to have Brandon's baby who we all assumed was Piper—with it turning out Emma is Troy's child)? Did somebody hurt her at that farm? Did she hurt someone at that farm, maybe even accidentally killing Troy? If any of that happened and she suddenly remembers it, that certainly could be her reason for developing a killer side.
It would make the pig idea a bit more clear as well. Why would Maggie need to leave pigs at her murder scenes? That Jake's barn time included that “boy interrupted” note certainly casts suspicion on Emma as well. Maybe Eli has even seen her sneaking around before, which is why he is so fascinated with her and so quick to share his “Goldilocksing” idea with her. I can certainly see how Emma could have manifested most, if not all, of her encounters with the masked figure this season, but the one time it wouldn't have made sense was Eddie's death. She was looking through the articles when the killer was looking through the bathroom door, and she never saw the killer then. Why would she manifest the killer looking at her and not notice him or her? Plus, even if she did remember something important when she was gone, how did she figure out that Audrey was part of the Piper era? Was she not in therapy that whole time, or at all? If that's the case, when did the repressed memory surface? At the dock? On the stairwell at school?
I still find Maggie a far more interesting pick for the killer, though I do hope that there are some major secrets connected to Emma revealed throughout the rest of this season.