If there was ever an episode to leave us speechless, Dead of Summer Season 1 Episode 9 did just that.
Revealing Amy as the secret helper of Malphas, and the killer of Cricket and friends, was the biggest shock we've seen on television in a long time.
Below, TV Fanatics Allison Nichols, Yana Grebenyuk, and Caralynn Lippo discuss that shocking Amy reveal, the trajectory of the final episode, and whether Malphas can be stopped.
React to Amy being evil.
Allison: I really loved this twist. I didn't see it coming, and it made Amy a lot more interesting.
Yana: Amy's story gained so much traction from that twist. And kudos to Elizabeth Lail who really sold it.
Caralynn: Elizabeth Lail gave her best performance of the season during this episode. The whole "possessed person isn't actually innocent/pure" twist is one of my absolute favorites in horror, and it really worked to salvage the character of Amy, who was pretty lame and uninteresting all season.
Further thoughts on Jessie’s character progression?
Allison: I still have a lot of questions. Did Holyoke communicate with her because she was pure? I enjoyed watching her take charge of the purification/exorcism after Holyoke died. She held the group together.
Yana: I can't wait to see why Jessie plays this big a part in the exorcism and how she got to be the pure one. This trope switch between the girls was a pleasant surprise that I respect the writers for. It's about time that the roles were switched because this whole ''chosen and pure white girl'' isn't working anymore.
Caralynn: 100% what Yana said. I'm thrilled that they swapped the expected roles, making Jessie our unlikely hero and Amy our villain. It makes the story so much more unique and interesting.
Can Malphas/Amy be stopped?
Allison: I'm honestly not sure. We haven't really looked into how to kill Amy/Malphas. We've only tried to save Amy's soul. There has to be something in Holyoke's book about killing Malphas. Side note: why did that girl from Amy's school suddenly show up to say that Amy isn't who she says she is? I don't understand what was going on with that. Why wait until now to say something?
Yana: Malphas maybe, but Amy is evil inside all on her own. It looks like Malphas taking over just helped her stay strong and she couldn't die when Garrett shot her, but take away the demon and she is still her. Amy wasn't possessed when she killed her family, her friend or the other campers so she could stay her murderous self even without being the vessel.
Caralynn: Malphas will probably be exorcised and sent straight back to hell, but I don't see him being defeated permanently. As for Amy, the season will probably end with her being killed after the others exorcise Malphas from her.
That, or maybe thrown into jail/a psychiatric hospital (if they want to leave open the option for Amy to show up in a future season as a Michael Myers-esque villain). Actually, I can totally see the latter happening if they skip forward to a present day season. OK, I'll stop fanfiction-ing now.
Final words for Deb?
Allison: Thanks for bringing all these kids to Camp Stillwater for a fun summer of blood and death. Seriously though, Deb always looked out for her campers and counselors. She was willing to sacrifice herself to save everyone else.
Yana: What's with the mask?! Why do you have it and what did you forget that Amy wanted you to remember? What happened in 1970? And thank you for saving the kids obviously.
Caralynn: Poor Deb! What an awful, sudden demise. I really what to know exactly what happened in 1970. I expect Deb had some kind of nefarious dealings with Malphas herself -- otherwise how would Amy know what went down in 1970? It was definitely Malphas who knew, speaking through Amy.
What do you hope to see on the season finale?
Allison: I'm ready for a bloodbath. I'm talking Amy sauntering around camp with an ax ready to chop more people up. I can't wait to see when everyone realizes that Amy can't be saved and that, even without Malphas, she's murderous.
Yana: Amy running around with an ax, lots of blood and a chaotic hunt. The last episode ended on a very very high note so it's their responsibility to raise the bar even higher. I'd also like to see Blair's backstory once and for all, but it looks like he rode off into the sunset with Drew so I wouldn't count on it.
Caralynn: I, for one, would really like to see Drew and Blair actually be involved with the action. It's cool that they get the love story of the season and everything, but I just don't get why they've pushed those two to the side so much ever since Cricket's death. The whole camp-is-family thing would seem to necessitate that EVERYONE needs to come together to defeat Amy.
I'm hoping for literally everyone (including the deceased counselors) to make an appearance in the finale, banding together to defeat Amy/Malphas. Sort of like the ending of Thirteen Ghosts (spoilers for a decade-plus old movie, sorry, folks).
Catch up and watch Dead of Summer online before the season finale on Tuesday August 30 at 9/8c!
Jay Ruymann is a staff writer for TV Fanatic. Follow him on Twitter.