The Spiderwick Chronicles (2024) – Episode 4 Recap & Review

Tastes like Chicken

Episode 4 of The Spiderwick Chronicles begins with Jared being able to catch hold of Thimbletack using a mouse trap. Elsewhere, Dr. Brauer’s neighbour visit him to complain about his activities in the garden, resulting in her pets to faint and the plants to die. When she leaves, he finds a ‘beware’ sign painted on his door by Jared.

In the meantime, Simon is empathetic towards Thimbletack, and is gathering berries and other offerings in the hope of a truce with him. Meanwhile, Jared repeatedly expresses his suspicion of Calliope with whom Simon feels close.

Back at the Spiderwick house, Hatcher and Emiko arrive to help with Thimbletack’s case. Thimbletack tells them that Lucinda is alive but he’s too scared to leave the “protection” of the Spiderwick house. But since the ill-tempered Jared doesn’t believe him, they leave. Except for Simon.

Later, Bree arrives at the Spiderwick house for what was supposed to be a sparring session, but ends up throwing a huge party with the excuse of working on Mallory’s “motivation”, since she’s too “uptight”. Meanwhile, it’s revealed that Tanner, Bree’s dad and the real estate agent, is set to shut down the psychiatric hospital. Helen defends Dr. Brauer and the hospital.

Back at home, Simon relays that Thimbletack has told him about a magical circle, passage to the realm of the elves, and that he believes that Lucinda is stuck with the Elves for making a deal at the Goblin Market. Simon tells them that Thimbletack gave him information on the location of four vaults in Henson as truce. They divide the map and leave to retrieve the pages.

Jared and Emiko visit the hospital and are able to retrieve one of the pages while Simon and Hatcher visit the abandoned auto factory. After Hatcher leave to find the vault, Calliope visits Simon and clarifies that Mulgarath is not her father. She further emotionally tells him about how humans destroyed the environment, making iron structures, killing the fae. Simon, being the “nice guy” deeply empathises with her cause. He also finds out that the twin secret language is a pidgin version of fae language.

At the psychiatric hospital, Grace comes across a huge painting describing the legend of founding of Henson and the Meskwaki tribe. Legend has it that the Meskwaki tribe warned the new settlers against the evil, since they believe in the existence of the wendigo, a beast with an insatiable hunger. While having a feast, the settlers kept eating until 200 of them died, later becoming a food of the wendigo. The rest were somehow saved by the tribe and hence, the psychiatric hospital is named after the tribe in their honour.  Dr. Brauer of course is aware about this story in person but feigns ignorance.

Meanwhile, Emiko and Jared bond over their inability to make friends. They decide against venturing into the troll territory which houses another page though. At this home, Dr. Brauer invites his neighbour for some snacks he had made. When she eats it however, she cannot stop. Dr. Brauer then tells us how he killed the people at the feast and reveals that he’s growing dragons to kill everybody in the town. Dragons poison the earth, seeping into the water system leading to the people falling asleep. That is when Mulgarath wishes to eat everyone in the town.

Jared comes back with Emiko to find Thimbletack free. Simon tells him about the secret behind their twin language. They follow the recipe to grow the mushroom circle to find Lucinda but they invoke an angry sprite instead. Thimbletack has tricked them and disappears. In the party, Mallory is set up with a boy who later turns out to be Bree’s boyfriend. Bree’s motivations for such an act are unclear. Right at this moment, when Mallory confronts Bree to no avail. The spite is creating a ruckus but instead of trapping it, Jared smacks it with a pan.

This leads to an argument between Simon and Jared, and Jared ends up hitting him and he leaves. When Helen arrives, many of the students, including Emiko fall mysteriously asleep and are taken to the hospital. Mallory goes inside to look for Bree and sees her with the sprite. She whispers something to revive it and sets it free. Meanwhile, Simon goes to Dr. Brauer and Calliope’s, knowing that Dr. Brauer is Mulgarath.  

The Episode Review

In episode 4 of The Spiderwick Chronicles, the first observation is that many of the scenes and dialogues are repetitive, which quickly become frustrating. For instance, the tale of the wendigo, once told by Helen and yet again, by Dr. Brauer. These scenes could have been easily animated and depicted but instead, the show relays on one too many discussions between the characters instead of show-telling, making the scenes boring and monotonous.  

The episode does include a diversity of cultural and contemporary references but they seem forced, almost preachy at times, and out of place with the fantasy genre of the plot. And cringeworthy, unimpressive dialogues like Calliope’s “Healthy, Non-GMO organic human” doesn’t help the episode’s cause either.

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