Episode 3 of Panic Season 1 begins with the 4th of July parade, nine days after the tower game was abruptly ended by police. However, the games are about to begin again.
The girls receive a clue in the form of a small flag with a sketch of a key on the back. While Natalie heads off to figure out what it means, Bishop and Heather decide to talk while swinging.
However, they notice a tattoo on a boy’s hand, linking back to a car. Covered in newspapers, the pair notice a cropping, with underlined sentences reading: “Spurlock Farm, breaking and entering, tomorrow, 10pm” conveniently around a front page news story of a teen boy’s body found there in 2012.
This links back to the games again, where John Davies was favourite to win. He lied about being afraid of snakes but his real fear was actually bats. He was hit with a nasty dose of bad luck, especially when he realized the barn is full of them. This led to his downfall as he fell to his death.
Anyway, back at the police station the officers set to work trying to find out who the judges are. Last year’s were hand-picked by the year before and it seems this goes all the way back as a sort of tradition. That means if the officers can figure out who the judges were last year, they can in turn see who they’ve passed the torch on to.
Sergeant Langley starts to get closer to the truth, speaking to Sarah Miller who definitely has something she’s hiding. She’s not speaking though, and this brings Langley before Abby’s Mum, Mary Clark.
According to her, Abby was always running off with Myra and it seems like Jimmy was pressuring her. Mary believed it was to do with sex at the time, but it also seems like she received threats in the mailbox pressuring her into continuing to play. It seems like Abby wanted out but whoever the judges were, they may have been the ones behind this.
We also see more about our different contestants here too, especially Dodge whose family is obviously new in town. Dodge’s sister Dayna is in a wheelchair after an accident in the past. Natalie has done her homework though and knows Dodge has graduated already.
He’s not a judge, according to him anyway, and he’s playing the game again because he wants to rustle up money for his family. Namely, he’s trying to help his sister.
Natalie is clever, and plays him at his own game, deciding to blackmail Dodge and tell him to split the winnings if he happens to win the game. Without much of a choice, Dodge begrudgingly agrees.
The group finally reconvene together and prepare for the next challenge. Given the police raided the tower gig, no points were actually awarded and as such, everything is reset again to what they were after the cliff free-diving.
Ray and Heather aren’t exactly happy, but now they’re forced to turn their attention to entering Spurlock’s farmhouse and stealing something. Only, the place is full of traps and breaking in is easier said than done.
That much is especially true when Adam Lyons, the metal-detector wielding goofball, trips the wires and causes Spurlock to head out his house and start firing his shotgun wildly.
Back in town, Tyler Young is grabbed by masked thugs and bundled into the trunk of a car. While he pleads with them for help, Heather hides out in a trap door. Only, the door suddenly slams shut and the lock seems to bolt too.
The Episode Review
The third episode starts to see allegiances shift as the different players all team up and form cliques to try and win this game and see it play out.
I’m quite surprised more people didn’t kick off about the second game being null and void though, especially given half the candidates actually crossed. Wouldn’t it have made more sense for the judges to collect up the candidates who didn’t cross and start a similar crossing somewhere else? Anyway, I guess we’re onto this breaking and entering gig with Spurlock instead.
This is another point of contention, especially after the Spurlock Farm incident in 2012 resulted in a dead body being found there. With police all over this case, surely they would have gone back further into the game’s history and pieced together its origins? Either way, the setting is certainly tense enough to warrant this breaking and entering gig.
The series itself is certainly bingeable though, and there’s an element of Fear Factor and Saw wrapped up in this; you want these kids to come up against different obstacles and see what they’re made of.
This episode sees Natalie start to turn on her friends too, setting up some intriguing drama to come in this YA adaptation.