Over the river and through the woods to salvation we go?
That's certainly what Boyd is hoping for as he makes his final rounds throughout the town during FROM Season 1 Episode 8 before venturing out into the woods and the unknown.
But before he leaves, he contends with another hectic day and a trip down memory lane.
FROM has been stingy on the outright flashbacks and has chosen instead to tell us more than show us when it comes to the character's backstories. And it's worked out very well.
Hearing Khatri's story, the emotional tilts of his voice as he reimagines the worst day of his life hit the audience differently than if we'd seen the story unfold for ourselves. So, no, we haven't needed to see everyone's welcome to hell tale, but boy, am I glad that they decided to show us Boyd's story.
Boyd is the leader of this here tale, and as we approach the final hours (much too quickly), if you sit down and think about what you know about Boyd, it's not much. You know his wife is deceased and was at one point in town, and you know that he and Ellis are estranged.
And it seems to be an estrangement that lies entirely on Ellis' shoulders.
The flashbacks clue us into who Boyd was before the town, and he was a man on the brink of retirement, ready to sink his teeth into life on the brand new boat he never got to see. But it's clear to both the audience and the town that he's a born leader.
And it's not as if we didn't know that, but we never knew whether he became a leader by accident, stepped into the role reluctantly, or was just himself. Ultimately, he was just himself. A problem solver. A thinker. A man people could count on.
Born from years in the military, Boyd knows how to fix things and make them work. The town we meet in FROM Season 1 Episode 1 is a far cry from the town Boyd walked into, and we know that many of their successes and triumphs come from Boyd's guidance. But on the way to achieving that "normalcy" we saw early on, Boyd lost his family.
The specter of Abby has loomed over the series from the beginning, and we knew there was a story here, but never did I think this was where the story was going. In a town full of monsters, it's hard to imagine she would die any other way than via a monster's hand.
It can't be wholly uncommon for people to come into this situation and lose their way. We've seen all the newcomers struggle in one way or another, which is why the community aspect of the town is so important. It's why they developed rules and procedures to integrate people into the community the best way they can.
But those rules weren't in place when Abby arrived.
There's no real right or wrong regarding the divide between Boyd and Ellis. Hindsight is 20/20, and of course, had Boyd known just how bad things were with Abby, he would have been home with her and trying to help both her and his son.
This 'Iron Abby' idea definitely clouded Boyd's judgment, as he looked at his wife as this rocksteady, immovable force that could handle anything thrown her way.
He didn't seem to fully grasp what Ellis was telling him, almost as if he knew his wife better than anyone, and he couldn't believe anything was nearly as bad as Ellis was making it out to be.
Abby's break has her shooting multiple people, and it's doubly sad when you consider it feels partly, if not fully, spurned on by the fact that Boyd fails to return one night. Of course, we know his survival coincides with luck and finding the talisman. And on the one hand, it's like, okay, so if Boyd hadn't gotten lost, he might never have found the talisman.
But on the other hand, had he come home that night, perhaps things with Abby don't get as bad as they did.
Ellis watches his mother die right in front of him, with his father the one pulling the trigger. Just typing that sentence gives me chills.
Donna: Please. Please, why are you doing this?
Abby: It's okay. It's not real. It's a nightmare. The only way for us to go home is to wake everyone up. It's okay. You can't die in dreams. Everything's gonna be okay.
Ellis lives with a lot of anger, and that town is a constant reminder of the worst day of his life. Putting some distance between him and Boyd, especially in the immediate aftermath, was probably a survival tactic. And call Boyd what you want, but he would take on Ellis's pain every second of every day if he thought that's what his son needed.
Their talk in the woods is LONG overdue, but it's crucial for them both to embrace, exchange I love you's, and for Ellis to apologize, even if it's something Boyd doesn't need to hear necessarily.
This hour is very emotionally taxing, and I know I am a broken record here, but the acting truly elevates this show to another level. Everyone is perfectly cast, and a show like this doesn't work without an incredible principal cast to enhance such rich and emotional material.
And it was an emotionally taxing hour coming out of the carnage of FROM Season 1 Episode 7.
Julie is naturally distraught, and she and her mother got to have a long-overdue conversation about the state of their family. And we finally learned more about Thomas's death, a devastating accident that's truly torn the Matthews apart.
I appreciated Tabitha's honesty with Julie, as it's perhaps the first time she let herself be that honest and vulnerable with her daughter. Parents sometimes think that shielding their children from certain things is helping them, but putting on a brave face and pretending like you're not falling apart can often have the opposite effect.
Divorce for Jim and Tabitha has to be so far in their rearview right now, understandably, as surviving and trying to get home takes center stage.
Jim's plan to build a radio tower on top of Colony House is as solid a plan as possible. They've really got nothing to lose right now, especially as it becomes clearer and clearer that they may be running out of time.
Kenny: Sheriff, the people need you right now. They need to hear that-
Boyd: What? They need to hear what? Everything's gonna be okay? That God's got a plan. Look, if you're gonna be the sheriff when I'm gone, you're going to need to start figuring out how to say things like that for yourself and sound halfway convincing. You'll do fine.
Now that we've seen what life was like there pre-Boyd, we know it's not THAT bad right now, but it's also not good. The monsters are making moves, and now a community that was once living relatively peacefully is scared again. And when people are afraid, they're liable to do just about anything.
But bridging that divide is a step in the right direction, and with Boyd now gone for however long, it's a good thing Kenny is there to lead. Much like Boyd, Kenny has the right attitude to be a leader, and while I never want anything to happen to Boyd, he should rest easy knowing that the town is in good hands with the young deputy.
- Wow, life in that town was miserable pre-Boyd! He not only found the talisman, but he found the animals in the woods and got everyone to work together. What a man.
- Where is Victor? If Victor is the key to everything, might he end up helping Boyd and Sara in some way because you have to assume he's also out in the woods somewhere.
- What's the deal with the dog? He shows up at these very specific moments, but is it to help or hinder?
- Finding out the monsters used to screech all night and now they whisper thanks to the talisman is just one more question to add to the pile.
Somehow we only have two more hours this season to get some answers!
There was a lot to unpack this hour, and I look forward to hearing all your thoughts and theories in the comment section below!
In the meantime, watch FROM online right now so you don't get left behind!
Whitney Evans is a staff writer for TV Fanatic. Follow her on Twitter.