There’s a brand new episode of Bright Falls that seems to have hit the web before Xbox Live. Not sure what’s going on over there…anyways the episode is called “Lights Out.
If you haven’t already watched them, the previous two episodes are also available. Episode 1: Oh Deer and Episode 2: Time Flies
This episode is a little different in that it focuses equally on Jake as well as Sam Smith (Cooper Huckabee’s character). Seeing what Sam’s up to while Jake isn’t around is revealing, as I’ll get to in a moment. The tone remains very suspenseful without the usual scare moment we’ve come to expect. A nice way of mixing things up.
As with each episode, the more we learn the less we know. The characters are front and center in Lights Out. We knew there was something not to be trusted about the people of Bright Falls, but now it’s a question of who to trust the least. Motivations are really starting to come into question. Everyone is suspect, although I’m starting to change my mind about a few of them.
EPISODE SPOILERS BELOW
Jake starts in the woods, with what he’ll later describe as red-ish mud on his hands. At first I scoffed at this, thinking he didn’t want to admit it was blood. Thinking back to insane flashes in episode two, perhaps it was some kind of red dirt. There’s that brief scene of someone digging, which I’m almost positive was Jake. As Jake is having a look around, he sees Daniel – the weird kid from the motel – who quickly runs away. Daniel seems to wander through the woods a lot…we also seem him doing so in the intro to each episode.
Jake goes to talk to Ellen Adams (Allison Lange’s character) at The Bright Falls Record. This gives us some confirmation that she’s also a reporter (or at least writes for what I’m assuming is a newspaper or sorts). Her co-works seem just as odd as the rest of the people in town, although she’s pretty level. On the table is something peculiar – a bunch of photo slides and a magazine article with the headline Alan’s Wake. It’s either signifying that Alan recently passed away (in which case what a tasteless headline!) or is a criticism of the direction he has chosen to take in his new novel.
Ellen wants Jake to leave, which is really odd. This is where I start to question her. What is she protecting? The town? Jake? If something insidious is going on, you might assume she would tell him outright – but remember that their relationship is a bit awkward. She doesn’t know exactly where they stand, and whatever is going on is probably bigger than he connection with Jake right now. She’s either protecting something in the town, or wants Jake to get out (but doesn’t disclose the full reason, thinking he won’t understand).
This is where the focus shifts to Sam. He’s seen with Daniel (who’s holding an orange bucket). Sam hears something and then looks at Daniel. With a recognition of what I think is some understanding between them, Daniel runs off. It’s possible he’s going to investigate, but I think it’s more likely he’s running off to hide. I get the feeling that noise signifies something unsafe. Then again, the way Daniel runs off is almost as if he has a job to do. As we’ll see later, perhaps he’s preparing one of Sam’s guns.
The titular moment from the episode comes from the next part of the scene, when Sam sees the lightbulb above the employees only door is burnt out. He goes to change it…everything seeming pretty mundane and routine…until you notice the trash can below is full of broken lightbulbs. The obvious question here is what’s making the lights burn out? As we’ve seen in the previous two episodes, light and darkness (without any kind of balance between) are key elements of Bright Falls. There’s almost two worlds, but we probably haven’t seen enough to know the key differences yet. Pretty vague, although certainly something important to keep in mind as things develop.
As Sam reaches for the light, he strains with a look of discomfort or pain on his face. He motions to adjust something velcroed at his waist when he hears another sound behind him. He goes back to the motel lobby where Daniel helps him put a vest on. Sam picks up a shotgun, checks to ensure it’s already loaded, and heads out into the woods.
Sam fires off what’s probably a warning shot. He goes to reload (checking for ammo in the vest Daniel put on him) but hears another sound. Stepping backwards, he slips on the shotgun shell and injures himself. He’s in pain and startled for a moment before he begins to laugh. I get the impression his laugh is a show to taunt whatever is in the woods. As he begins to revel in that show, he’s pulled away unexpectedly.
The big question at the end is pretty clear – who or what pulled him away? Is it a person, or something a little crazier? Bright Falls has done a good job following it’s predecessors lead of only alluding to the supernatural. We know something’s not right, but what is that something? An even more important question is probably why was he taken away into the woods? Whoever (or whatever) is stalking the motel is doing it for some reason. I think figuring out why is crucial.