Dead of Summer Season 1 Episode 5 Review: How to Stay Alive in the Woods

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Dead of Summer is really starting to reel me in, y'all. 

Dead of Summer Season 1 Episode 5 really had it all. It had great character development, flashbacks and a grisly death. 

Worrying About Camp - Dead of Summer

We'll get to the death in a bit. Let's chat about Joel first. It was quite a shock that Joel would emerge as the best character on the show. 

I was skeptical of him because of the whole filming Deb thing and just generally pursuing a romance with her. His back story was thrilling. It really was a tense ride from start, to finish. 

It was a great idea to have Tall Man/Holyoke linked to Michael. It was heartbreaking to witness young Joel finding Michael's body with that eerie message. 

It really is an image that will stick with Joel for the rest of his life. How could ever forget it?

At least the message pretty much confirmed that Holyoke was the one tormenting Michael. It's intriguing that their father didn't battle the same demons. 

There has to be a reason why Holyoke followed Michael, then moved on to Joel. I'm guessing it's because Michael didn't follow the rules and ended his own life. 

Are we to assume that Holyoke was forcing Michael to kill someone, much like he was doing to Joel? It's pretty much the only thing I can speculate about it at this stage. 

Kill Amy tonight, or someone else will die.

Tall Man

It was obvious something wasn't right with Joel pretty instantly tonight. He didn't want to kill anyone and it even led him to believe that everything he was witnessing was in his head. 

It's difficult to rule Deb out of any the strange things going on at camp. She must know all about Holyoke and that's got to be part of the reason why she acted like nothing happened between her and Joel. 

Poor Joel was so confused about everything. He was practically being forced to kill Amy, but you have to respect the his honesty. He put a lot of trust in his fellow counselors. 

Amy was understandably taken aback when she realized the extent of what was going on. It's not every day your friend tells you he's been told to kill you. 

The thing I like about Amy is that she knows something isn't quite right at Camp Stillwater. She may have a dark side, but she doesn't remember what happened when that evil took over her. 

It seems like the hand coming out of the water could be in relation to the members of the cult who were forced to kill themselves. It would make sense that the people who killed themselves could be using Amy to somehow find a way to take down Holyoke. 

It's probably the reason Holyoke was intent on Amy being killed. 

As much as I think Jessie is a pain in the ass, the picture she took helped confirm that Holyoke was the one stalking Joel. 

Cricket's death was the most shocking event of the evening. On one hand, I'm glad they took someone else out, but it just didn't have to be Cricket. 

All of the characters have grown on me a lot, but Jessie is the most expendable. Cricket's death was pretty lame. I would have expected something a little more gruesome from this show. 

On a show like this, dead isn't really dead, so there's a good chance that we'll meet Cricket again, but she probably won't be good. 

It should be interesting to see how Alex reacts to Cricket's demise. Deep down, he really liked her. He went out of his way to try and make their meeting under the blood moon as romantic as possible. 

We don't even know whether Cricket's body will be found quickly. Hopefully I'm wrong, but I bet they drag this reveal out for quite some time. 

"How to Stay Alive in the Woods" was a stellar episode of the freshman drama. We got so many reveals and the pace was brisk. Fingers crossed the rest of the season plays out in this manner. 

Remember you can watch Dead of Summer online right here on TV Fanatic. Get caught up on all the drama now!

What did you think of the episode?

Will Cricket return?

Hit the comments below!

Note: Dead of Summer Season 1 Episode 6 airs Tuesday August 2 at 9/8C on Freeform

How to Stay Alive in the Woods Review

Editor Rating: 5.0 / 5.0
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User Rating:

Rating: 4.4 / 5.0 (15 Votes)

Paul Dailly is the Associate Editor for TV Fanatic. Follow him on Twitter.

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Dead of Summer Season 1 Episode 5 Quotes

You're already in one of my movies. It's called The Fitting Room.


Alex: Hey, have fun pitching Deb's tent.
Joel: You know I will.