Day 7: Night
Episode 7 of Them picks up with Henry breaking into Stu Berks’ house and helping himself to a drink. With a gun in hand, he heads upstairs, ears ringing.
After heading into the bathroom, Henry has second thoughts and walks outside. Heading to a diner, he finds the Tap Dance Man sitting opposite him while he’s drinking coffee. This apparition continues to berate and taunt Henry, eventually descending into maniacal laughter – something Henry takes up himself as he starts giggling.
Meanwhile, Betty heads up to see George at his farmhouse. He hands over a drink to calm her nerves. After taking several sips, she asks him to get rid of the Emorys. In fact, she brings up the violence as a motivation, in turn allowing George to open up and admit that he knows how to get rid of them.
Collecting up rope, Betty continues to drink but eventually starts to lose control. It seems George has spiked her drink, as she starts slurring her words. Eventually she drowsily lies down.
An afraid and erratic Lucky heads back over to see Hazel. She holds her sister, encouraging Lucky to open up. This eventually sees the girl weep and pray with Hazel. Only…it’s not actually her. As the camera pans out, and Gracie arrives, she questions why her Mother is alone in the living room.
At school, Ruby continues to see visions, with Doris enticing her to put on make-up and change her appearance. With white paint, she douses herself completely and heads out by the bonfire. She starts dancing around as the other students and teachers watch on in confused horror, shocked by what she’s done.
Henry heads home but on the way he sees the smiling, snarling face of the Tap Dance Man again. When he’s stopped by Sergeant Bull, questioning him over Lucky and what happened at Betty’s, Henry suddenly leans out the window and shoots the man in cold blood. Composing himself, Henry heads back home.
The grief-stricken family then gather together, believing a supernatural force is trying to turn them against themselves. In the middle of the night, they bundle into the car and decide to leave.
Just before they do, Henry finds the trunk with the initials C.E. on, with their baby boy’s deceased body still inside. With the neighbours watching on, Henry leaves the house weeping and cradling the blankets.
The Episode Review
Regardless of whatever the show is trying to make happen, it’s clear that all of these visions have stemmed from the death of their child.
In terms of showcasing the damaging effects of mental health and grief, Them has actually done a pretty good job of it, but this is certainly not a horror in the conventional sense. The whole “malevolent forces” hook is really just individual visions that are specific to each of these family members.
The Tap Dance man is timely and relevant to Henry’s time in the war. Mrs Vera is the manifestation of the woman who horrifically murdered their child, while Doris reflects Ruby’s own desire to fit in and be like everyone else.
What’s perhaps more questionable and eyebrow-raising however, is the way Henry is now a murderer. Regardless of what this crooked cop had planned, him killing this officer in cold blood doesn’t exactly set the best precedent. At its worst, it actually undoes some of the good work Them has done to build up these characters as decent individuals.
Despite that though, Them is still an enjoyable watch but it’s not quite the horror showpiece it so easily could have been.