Shining Vale – Season 1 Episode 2 “She Comes at Night” Recap & Review

She Comes at Night

Episode 2 of Shining Vale starts with a riff on Paranormal Activity as Pat awakens, possessed. She taps Terry on the back multiple times.

When she finally wakes up properly at 3.33am, Pat heads downstairs and follows an eerie yellow ribbon into a closet playing old music. This is all a dream though, as she’s encouraged to “use her words.” However, Pat does have a cigarette burn on her arm to show for her troubles.

That morning, Gaynor’s new friend from school, Ryan, shows up. They’re both part of the Chastity Club, with Gaynor even changing her attire completely, with a cross around her neck. However, Ryan’s Mum, Valerie, appears too. She claims that something is closing in on Pat and that the house isn’t right. Pat inevitably jumps all over this, reinforcing her own insecurities.

During these therapy sessions we return to, Pat and Terry continue to discuss their issues. Terry admits he chops wood when he’s stressed (something we saw from the stack of wood in the last episode) while Pat opens up about the 50’s housewife she’s been seeing across the house.

The therapist decides to increase her dosage of antidepressants, while Trish urges Pat to lean into the trauma she’s experiencing, given her first chapter (the one she wrote while seemingly possessed) is actually really good.

Terry marches over to Frank’s place to return his drill – and call him out for drilling his wife. As compensation, Terry takes the coffee machine… which Frank has to help him with because it’s so heavy.

Elsewhere, Pat heads out and meets the Shining Vale Auxiliary Club. They’re the middle-aged housewives of the town and they exhibit concerns about Pat moving into this house – but don’t exactly reveal why.

While this is going on, another subplot stems from Gaynor making an online friend from Fred. Terry believes he could be a paedo but when he shows up at his door – with his eccentric and weird father Laird – then they both have a good chuckle about the same thing. Laird is undeniably creepy and weird though.

As the episode closes out, Patricia realizes that “using her words” stems from grabbing her scrabble tiles. Rearranging the tiles, they spell out “Daisy was the last to die.” Now, Daisy was actually the 8 year old we heard about earlier in the episode. As Pat heads into the closet, the door slams shut, the strange housewife appears, and she tells Pat she’s not crazy.

The Episode Review

It’s really difficult to know exactly what tone this show is going for. The first chapter played this straight while the follow-up leans into the comedy and satire. It’s a bit of a whiplash effect in truth, one that can’t quite make up its mind what sort of show this wants to be.

There are jokes about Paranormal Activity as well as Haunting of Bly Manor, while at the same time the show tries to present a mystery and horror elements, but plays both of them completely straight.

It’s still too early to tell whether this show is actually going to continue flirting the tightrope between the two or lean into the comedy more. We’ll have to wait and see but for now, this follow-up is a marginal improvement. Let’s hope next week’s chapter knocks it out the park!

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