Episode 2 of Panic begins two days after Heather jumped off those cliffs. She survived the fall and lives to see another day. However, rapping at the door wakes her up, and confirms that the family have rent due. This prompts Heather to bolt out the backdoor with Lily, dropping her off at the library.
Meanwhile, police start to investigate this game of Panic, with Jimmy having killed himself in Russian Roulette the year before and Abby walking blindfolded into traffic. These games are reckless and dangerous, and it seems like a monumental waste of life for $50,000. Whoever is behind these games also seems to be well-organized as well.
Sergeant Langley gets a tip-off from a girl called Myra Campbell, who just so happens to be friends with Abby. When she visits the girl though, Myra is cryptic, refusing to divulge much. However, she does confirm that signs of the game can be found everywhere.
Heather’s job-hunting strikes lucky when she meets a woman named Anne. Seeing how good Heather is with dogs, she offers her a position up on the farm. However, there’s more important matters to deal with.
Heather speaks to Natalie, finally, and airs out her concerns. She admits her money was taken and she had no choice but to join the game to rustle up some cash quickly. She apologizes to Natalie and this seems like enough for her to come around and decide they should work together. In fact, they decide to split the money between them.
Given this game is supposed to be kept a secret, Ray Ray waltzes into the bar and starts talking to Dodge about Panic, challenging him. He’s pretty loud too, but none of the other people in the bar seem to notice. Anyway, the group receive their signal outside, with graffiti on the floor.
Given what she found out from Myra, Sergeant Langley figures out the trail of clues too, finding the graffiti not long after. While they investigate, Natalie and Heather do exactly the same, looking at the list of different players and exuding some more exposition about the game.
The challenges are split into different categories. Some revolve around wilderness drops, others divulge into thefts and illegal entries. There’s the inevitable creepy crawly round and even crossings too. The latter is what’s going on here. Anyway, the police clearly haven’t clocked what’s happening just yet, but they’re getting closer. Langley pieces together the clues, believing it’s to do with roman numerals.
Meanwhile, all the kids show up at the intended location up at this abandoned location. Each contestant climbs atop a large tower and then walks across a thin plank across to the other side. It’s pretty unnerving, especially as Ray is standing on the other side and encouraging Heather to cross over.
While Heather makes it, Dodge Mason almost slips off – courtesy of Ray shining a laser pointer at him. Dodge uses his strength to hold on, bringing himself back up and making it to the other side.
It’s just as well too, because after completing the game all the police show up on the scene. In the ensuing skirmish, Natalie hurts her ankle but she manages to get away with Heather and Dodge. Interestingly, Natalie’s Father happens to be the Captain of the police force.
They can’t detain any of the kids though, given they weren’t really doing anything wrong – except Sarah Miller. Given the girl was drinking, she’s clocked and interrogated by Sherriff Cortez. When he returns home, he speaks to his grief-stricken wife Mel. And now we understand why they’re so invested in this.
It turns out their son is Jimmy and a home video on his laptop shows him with Abby. Now it becomes clear that the game has some very real consequences that hit home.
The Episode Review
The second episode of Panic continues to ask audiences to suspend their disbelief as these games go ahead with a suspended walk across two towers.
While not outside the norm, the fact that police have only just clocked what’s going on this year is pretty suspect. It’s also quite surprising that not a single kid has bothered to open up and mention anything on social media. It’s not like they’ve signed NDAs and given how prevalent apps like WhatsApp and snapchat are among kids (and how police use these to their advantage) it’s surprising not to see any of them at least mentioning something like “Last night was amazing!”
Either way, the police are starting to wisen up now and the link between members of the police force and the kids is starting to become clearer. However, the episode also opens things up nicely for the rest of the season, with lots of intriguing ideas and question marks over who’s actually the ringleader behind these games.
As the episode closes out, Amazon’s latest series certainly hits all the usual YA beats but it juggles that nicely with a solid mystery.