Cabinet Of Curiosities – Season 1 Episode 3 “The Autopsy” Recap & Review

The Autopsy

Episode 3 of Cabinet of Curiosities starts with us down in the depths of the mines. Shouts echo off the claustrophobic walls, as these men finish their day’s labour and are met with tragedy. One of their own, a manic man, jumps off the elevator and sets off some sort of strange bomb, as we fade to black.

Missing posters are up all over town, as Carl arrives, clad in a white coat and black hat. he’s there to investigate what’s been happening, with reports stating there are 9 men dead – along with one “inhumane son of a bitch.” This is, of course, the one responsible for the explosion.

Nate and Carl trade banter at the police station, before the former reveals that this is nightmare central and a mystery he’s unlikely to get to the bottom of. It seems this town has a habit of coughing up missing people. The last body they found had all the sharp edges cut off and even worse, not a single trace of blood either. It’s a brutal crime scene, and something that rocks the town.

Now, it appears the culprit for this was a man who mistakes a stranger in town called Joe Allen for someone else, Sykes. Allen appears to have some telepathic powers, worming his way into the mind of this poor guy at the bar, who’s forced to hand over his car keys and be driven home.

Now, as for Sykes he actually went hiking off in the woods a while back, went missing for a while, and then came back and was known by the name of Joe Allen. The same Allen responsible for setting off that explosive.

Nate admits that he’s been have crazy thoughts since then, eventually leaving Carl at the coroner’s with the dead bodies from the mine blast, intent on going to sleep. With Carl alone, he begins to suspect something isn’t quite right, with goosebumps pricking along his neck while his reflection (basically his subconscious) suggesting he leave and get out.

Naturally, Carl does no such thing and keeps investigating, realizing that the blood has been drained from a number of the victims. Midway through investigating though, all the lights suddenly shut off and then turn back on. Carl has an idea, and suspects all the blood may actually be inside Allen’s stomach. I mean, it must have gone somewhere, right?

As Carl heads into the cold room, Allen inexplicably contorts back to life and begins crawling across the floor toward him. Carl watches in stunned silence, backing up all the way, as Allen picks up a scalpel Carl dropped and rips the stitches across his mouth. It turns out Allen is being occupied by a traveler, residing inside him. He tells Carl he’s hungry, and the sphere was actually his ship. The explosion was as a result of needing to stay hidden and avoid discovery.

Sensing the cancer residing inside Carl, a tentacled creature protrudes out from Allen’s mouth and intends to devour him. Despite valiant efforts, he’s powerless to stop him. Strung up to the table, Carl learns he’s going to be infested by this being, who meticulously goes through everything that’s going to happen to him, right down to the horrific, gory details.

As the creature prepares to attach itself to Carl, Carl outsmarts the creature by blinding himself, making himself deaf and slicing his own throat. Of course, in doing so the creature (and by extension Carl) only has a few more minutes to survive. It turns out Carl had the tape recorder going the whole time, rattling off what happened to Sykes.

When Nate arrives in the autopsy lab, he finds Carl dead on the floor and the words “Play Tape, Burn Me” on his chest.

The Episode Review

So what happened? Well, you could look at this in one of two ways. The pessimists among us will look at this as a failed project; the tape ran out and
the alien has successfully moved into Nate’s body and continued its journey. Or, alternatively, you could see this with optimism; Nate does burn Carl’s body and rids the world of this creature.

It’s a nice ambiguous way to round things out and in many ways, leaves it up to us, as viewers, to choose our own ending.

The episode is a tad long and sags a bit in the middle but for the most part, there’s a really gripping narrative in this and the cinematography is great. The jump scare when Allen came back to life definitely caught me off-guard, and the gore and violence work simultaneously to make for a really creepy episode.

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You can read our full season review of Cabinet of Curiosities here!


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2 thoughts on “Cabinet Of Curiosities – Season 1 Episode 3 “The Autopsy” Recap & Review”

  1. From what my research has shown (aka some Googling), looks like it may be called Every 1’s a Winner by Hot Chocolate. Hope this helps!! 😊

  2. Does anyone know the name of the song that’s playing on the jukebox in the bar scene? The guitar hook has been in my brain for at least half a decade, and I don’t know what it’s called or who performs it. Help me out if you can ❤️

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