Channel Zero: Butcher's Block Review: Father Time

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It's pretty obvious things have always happened there, but after watching Channel Zero Season 3 Episode 2 I suspect Joseph was not speaking lightly when he mentioned to Alice she and Zoe remind him of his daughters.

The duo has found themselves in a waking nightmare after catching the eye of Joseph Peach's eye, don't you think?

Alice at the Peach Table - Channel Zero Season 3 Episode 2

I'm also beginning to wonder how much of what we see is real, and how much might be coming straight from an asylum.

Is there any chance Alice is already fully incapacitated and lost to schizophrenia? 

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Yes, Channel Zero is a horror franchise, but it's also tricky and since it's based on cult stories can have any meaning whatsoever. There are so many layers to what's unfolding in Butcher's block compared to the slow reveals of Zoe and Alice's past, it's hard not to try putting pieces together.

Robert Peach in the Street - Channel Zero Season 3 Episode 2

Robert Peach's arrest and subsequent zombie play at the sheriff's office was a hint of what was to come for Zoe. 

Sure, it's a natural progression to suggest that the local family of butchers and meat packers would be out for blood, and in their death they would eat human flesh to stay alive. But they live in the park. Why not eat all the local animals instead? 

Does every horror story come with the idea of human flesh as a rite of passage for the author, or can it be there's a deeper meaning to it here?

I enjoyed the hell out of the Peach's Meats "commercial" that opened the hour.

Edie Peach Back in Time - Channel Zero Season 3 Episode 2

If that was what they used to inspire people to purchase their meats, it's no wonder their business ran itself into the ground. Edie Peach can be a bit scary, and no little boy needs multiple plate-sized slices of ham, nor does anyone want to watch her pound the life out of a poor slap of raw...beef.

Oh, but I loved that kitchen. I could walk into a house of that decade and feel right at home. Please deliver modern appliances in matching colors, but a kitchen like that brings out the homemaker in me!

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We really have no idea what happened to Zoe while she was gone, but the last thing Alice expected to hear was her sister claiming to have returned "cured." 

There is no cure for schizophrenia, but there is likely going to be a time when it catches up to Alice if "Father Time" is residing within her.

Zoe Looks Back - Channel Zero Season 3 Episode 2

The memories Alice was recalling from their time with their mother were even more unexpected than Zoe's claim of a cure. They're why I'm wondering if Alice has taken a job at a town called Butcher's Block "helping people" work through the system or not.

Have you noticed that all the older women in the story are about the same age and have a similar look about them? Not a lot of women of a certain age still dress young and have long, flowing hair. Louise, the nuts lady and now dear mom all do.

And we knew mom had the mental illness, but we only now learned she's been put away. The reveal she stabbed Zoe in the gut multiple times was something else entirely. Alice really needed to take care of Zoe on a lot of different levels.

Or hell, maybe Zoe is dead and the demons Alice is battling are internal and it's all a schizophrenic nightmare. I mean, this shit is weird.

Joseph Peach at Dinner - Channel Zero Season 3 Episode 2

Joseph's earlier questions about God and church and believing but not worshiping the deity were interesting. Why those particular questions? Why would he need to know how deeply Alice believes in God?

There must be a reason.

It was also a kick when Joseph didn't necessarily take kindly to a stranger being invited along to dinner.

Some people would say it's impolite to bring an uninvited guest, but I'd say I don't care about what people say. Come, come!


But with all the crazy stuff going on around them, Alice and Louise didn't protest or make any exclamations. Louise recognized a family dead for decades at a table in the middle of an overgrown park (soon with a house built up around them) and settled into her dinner chair.

On Alice's part, she wanted to know what happened to her sister. They wanted no explanations for what was happening around them, and didn't even bother to ask about the stairway to nowhere. I don't care how badly you want an answer to a specific question, any reasonable person would ask those questions.

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Why did we think you were all dead and you're here alive? Shouldn't you be 130 years old? Are you ghosts? Have you possessed this park?

And did anybody even see where the photo below fit into the episode? Because it's a cool damn photo, but I completely missed the scene.

Peach Dinner is Served - Channel Zero Season 3 Episode 2

It must have been around the time Joseph took Alice to show her what he had done to Zoe. "The process" as he called it in Zoe's brain, which did cure her but would have a side effect.

That's a great way to explain away the voices a schizophrenic continued to hear in her head, the visions she continued to see and the added bonus of bloodlust. I swear to god if she eats that cat, I will be so angry. Enough with the cat torture already. They do NOT have nine lives for goodness sake!

Alice only thought she was going through was Zoe did, though, because that's what she asked. Again, I have no idea what is real and what is not. Telling the story over the top of two sisters who are battling schizophrenia is genius. Essentially, anything goes.

Too Much Meat for Alice - Channel Zero Season 3 Episode 2

The tears in Alice's eyes as Joseph poked through her brain searching for her "trauma" and excising it piece by piece was heartbreaking. As Zoe's sister, she has suffered much of the same mental anguish, even if it's from a different angle.

If only imagining Zoe going to such great pains to release herself from the agony of suffering from schizophrenia, it would be enough to scare the hell out of Alice if she doesn't, in fact, have it already. 

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And if all of this as real as real gets, then Joseph found as his targets two young women with battle scars that he probably hopes weakens them just enough to lead them into his grasp. His family hasn't been full since his daughters were murdered. They would complete the Peach pack.

Zoe didn't give in and eat the cat -- yet. Alice and Louise did make it away from that dinner table alive and with their brains intact. They discovered Izzy's mother, too. 

The Ward sisters might have too much fight in them to fall under the spell of Joseph Peach. And then again, the last name Ward might another indication that it's already too late for the sisters. 

We'll just have to keep watching to find out. Where do you stand on all things Channel Zero: Butcher's Block?

If you haven't done so yet, be sure to watch Channel Zero: Butcher's Block online so you can weigh in with a comment below. I hope you enjoyed your steak for Valentine's Day!

Father Time Review

Editor Rating: 4.25 / 5.0
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Rating: 4.9 / 5.0 (15 Votes)

Carissa Pavlica is the managing editor and a staff writer and critic for TV Fanatic. She's a member of the Critic's Choice Association, enjoys mentoring writers, cats, and passionately discussing the nuances of television and film. Follow her on Twitter and email her here at TV Fanatic.

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Channel Zero Season 3 Episode 2 Quotes

Joseph: Do you go to church?
Alice: No.
Joseph: So you believe in church but you don't worship him?

Robert: I would say you have a big mouth for a little man, but you don't smell like a man.

Officer Vanczyk: What?
Robert: You smell like a mouse or nothing at all.