The Spiderwick Chronicles (2024) – Episode 8 Recap & Review

The Wrath of Mulgarath

Episode 8 of The Spiderwick Chronicles begins with Dr. Brauer and Helen buying tons of milk. It’s revealed that the dragons need milk to grow. As they leave, Dr. Brauer spikes the convenience store employee’s drink, turning her into a mushroom zombie.

People in Henson are falling asleep faster than anybody could have anticipated. With the dragon page finally with Mulgarath, he plans to feast the following night. Meanwhile, Thimbletack rescues Jared and he meets Mallory with her face taped with mushrooms. She does the same to Jafred’s face and they are able to sneak past the zombies unnoticed.

Jared and friends meet in the forest where Jared learns that Simon pretended to be a traitor to learn about Mulgarath’s plan. He also stole the antidote for the sleeping sickness, that’s made from the dragon seed, which revived Bree and Hatcher. The plan is to kill Mulgarath with the vorpal sword by Bree since Mallory cannot use it. But Jared just leaves.

Back at the Spiderwick house, Dr. Brauer wants to have a glorious dinner and is making Helen wear a dress for the night. Meanwhile, the friends try to think about a plan to get inside the house when Jared says that he has one. Simon tells him that Jared’s going to die as Calliope had a premonition. They argue about their differences and Simon agrees that he hates him but he also says that he loves Jared. And so, they act on their plan.

Simon enters the Spiderwick estate with Jared as a prisoner. They are able to convince that Simon is on their side, while it’s all but acting. He also tells them about the group’s plan to convince Mulgarath. Jared is taken to Helen where he says that only she can save them. Meanwhile Simon asks for Calliope’s help and she’s already recognised that Simon has been lying. And through some weak argument, he is able to win Calliope over and she gives him the antidote.

Helen and Jared plan to escape Mulgarath through Manchineel, only the problem is that Helen needs to remember the right way to stir the tea or they would die. Meanwhile, Calliope decides to help Simon and they visit a place to call on the sprites for help to defeat Mulgarath.

Meanwhile Bree and Malory find the Field Guide hidden in the attic but are also discovered by a mushroom zombie, that is Bree’s dad, Tanner. At dinner, Helen and Jared successfully become invisible since Helen remembered the recipe in time and they escape. Outside, while they are invisible in the real realm and in the spiritual realm, they meet Lucinda who has been helping them all along. She leaves them to find her father in the seelie court.   

Back at the house, Bree is unable to kill Mulgarath and Mallory is able to wield the sword to protect Bree. While they spar, Jared it trying to translate faerie in order to call the troll. Mallory somehow joins the group, after Helen sprays iron on Mulgarath’s face.  They come back to where Jared is and the three look at the window and whistle, trying to make the sound that wind through the trees make. As Mulgarath comes into the room, he is taken by a very stretchable hand of the troll. We never see the troll of course.

At the same time, the sprites come and sprinkle magical powder over the town like a water hose and the townfolk wake up from their everlasting sleep, while the zombies turn back human. Valentina meets Lucinda for one last time and everyone is rejoicing.

The Grace family along with Calliope enter their house to find the dragon which looks more like B-movie larva, hatched.  They contemplate killing it and Jared’s family apologises to him for trying to change him and pass him the beacon of deciding whether to kill the dragon. Thimbletack also changes from a brownie to a boggart with a change in his eye colour.

However, after much deliberation, Jared decides against it before another Jared appear, who claims to be the real Jared. The second Jared touches iron to prove himself and Mallory stabs the first Jared who is now assumed to be Mulgarath and he vanishes. The second Jared then hugs his family with a scar on his hand, revealing that he was actually Mulgarath. The real Jared finds himself in the fairy realm where he meets his great grandfather, Arthur Spiderwick.  

The Episode Review

Well, the ending was a trainwreck. It was not only rushed but highly unbelievable and anti-climactic. Mulgarath did not even have screen time for his original form before being eaten by the troll. And mind you, the troll seemed to have a very stretchy hand. The entire scene was absolutely ridiculous not to forget the Graces whistling while looking at the window to summon the troll.

On top of this, the acting by the cast is terribly lacking and seems shallow. Simon knows that his brother, who he loves so much, is going to die but not one time does he bat an eye. Likewise, Jared is told he’s going to die and his expression is rigid as a rock, like it’s an everyday thing to die.  

Moreover, Simon’s attempt to convince Calliope to give him the antidote is massively weak. He just says that dragons and ogres and everybody has a right to live as an answer to when Calliope questions him about her being death itself as she feeds on death. And, for some reason, she’s convinced to help Simon when he says that she’s “worth it”.

In short, Simon’s argument is for everybody to live, including the dragon, whose existence is going to kill all the humans. And this exchange depicts the weak scripting and dialogues where it feels the creators focus so much on the moral of acceptance for teenagers that they seem to have relegated reason in the background, hoping nobody notices.

Coming to yet another plothole, this time with the Manchineel tea. Remember in episode 7 when Jared found the recipe of Manchineel tea written on the floor? And the first few episodes where Lucinda makes Manchineel tea in her hospital room where Jared seems to be now? How in the earth could Jared have not known the right way to stir the tea when he had read the recipe himself?

In conclusion, the episode was anti-climatic, poorly constructed and massively rushed. This makes a disappointing ending to a disappointing show. 

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