Dead of Summer Round Table: Quickie Exorcisms

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In the aftermath of Cricket's death, Dead of Summer Season 1 Episode 6 follows Deb to the past as she grapples with her guilt over not one, but two deaths, and Blair's grief overwhelms him.

Below, TV Fanatics Yana Grebenyuk, Caralynn Lippo, Allison Nichols, and Jay Ruymann discuss Deb's past, Garrett's father's involvement with Stillwater and Holyoke, and much more!

Dead of Summer Round Table

What did you think of Deb's flashbacks?

Yana: I was never expecting much from Deb. I always had her filed away as a character who wouldn't make much sense to me, but her flashbacks definitely proved me wrong. It all made sense after we saw her side of the story, especially why she came back and what her motive was. This didn't explain why she thought flirting with Joel was a good idea, but I can excuse it in the grand scheme of things.

Caralynn: So much better than I expected! Her switch over from hippie-save the world type to high-powered corporate lawyer was a bit too quick for me to buy it, but I thought her love story with Keith and the tragedy of his death was well done and nicely explained Deb reopening the camp. RE: Flirting with Joel; I think that was actually disproven last week. Joel re-watched the footage and it seemed like he hallucinated all the flirtations, I thought?

Allison: I enjoyed learning more about her. Her past was not what I was expecting at all, and I was curious as to why she would put everything into Camp Stillwater. Yeah, I had the same thought as Caralynn. I think Holyoke/the lake/the camp made Joel believe that Deb had been flirting with him, but it wasn't what happened at all.

Jay: When she said she wanted to save the world, being a lawyer was the last thing I expected. But her shift from save-the-world to corporate lawyer was strange, and not explained very well. I have a hard time believing she'd simply do that for a guy that she obviously barely liked.

You want to see the world, Keith. I think I want to try and save it.


Did you suspect that Keith was a ghost? (Seeing as he was wearing the same outfit.)

Yana: Now that you mention that outfit, it was pretty obvious, right? But it didn't click in my mind, mostly because I was waiting for him to shift from that nice guy to something dark. The actor behind Keith always reminded me of his creepy roles in Lifetimes movies so I was just waiting for that to factor into the show but it didn't this time around.

I had time to think about it, and maybe Keith's ghost was still sinister. Could it be that this dark force took that Keith form to appeal to Deb and make sure she didn't leave camp? Maybe this dark spirit took the ultimate precautions so that this evil ritual could be completed?

Caralynn: Yep. The same outfit was one thing. The way Deb reacted when she first saw him in 1989 was another. Their whole conversation hinted at Keith being a ghost, basically. It's a little weird that Deb was a-OK having sex with a ghost and all, but whatever. I liked that he was Deb's own personal "spirit guide" to get her back on the right track.

Allison: I knew it from their first meeting in 1989. The conversation, like Caralynn said, suggested that he was a ghost. I definitely have questions about why/how Deb had sex with a ghost/spirit/zombie thing. 

Jay: I noticed the outfit thing about halfway through the episode, but I simply discarded it as he was a poor, traveling writer. I understand not being able to buy new clothes. I was genuinely shocked when we discovered he was a ghost, but I shouldn't have been. That's what happens at Stillwater. Now this brings up some interesting question about Deb and her mission to save the children, as she's the only one.

React to Blair and the others using a ouija board.

Yana: Can this happen every week? I thought Blair rushed the situation but they got some answers and it had to be done. That small Cricket appearance was very sad and it didn't help that she sounded scared.

Caralynn: Blair's ability to suddenly summon the dead and perform quickie exorcisms was HILARIOUS. I loved it, so corny. The entire seance scene was very well done and basically confirmed what I expected – Amy is going to be used by forces of evil and, for whatever reason, Ghost Holyoke is no longer down with resurrecting the demon.

Allison: It was so corny and campy, but in an enjoyable way. I am glad that everyone is on board with the camp is haunted theory. I just loved watching everyone react to what was going on during the seance.

Jay: I agree, it was so corny. But also, these kids are stupid as hell. You're seeing ghosts already, so you decide to use a oujia board and summon them? In the words of Parks and Recreation's Leslie Knope...

You're in trouble because of your own stupidity.


Theory about Garrett's father and his death?

Yana: All of my theories started after the promo for next week aired. I think that the teacher is The Sheriff, he went to camp with Deb and got caught up in all of that crazy ritual stuff there. As he got older, he continued his research until his possible partner, Garrett's father, caught wind of these satanic rituals. Garrett's father started to dig into what was going on and either figured out that it was him, or the Sheriff realized that he was close to finding out and killed him before he could connect the dots.

Caralynn: I had no theories because Garrett is a snoozefest and I basically tune out whenever he's on screen, but I really like Yana's theory, so let's go with that. I had no theories for who the teacher was, so that nicely ties it all together. Or, he could be the mysterious person helping the satanists out by reburying their bodies?

Allison: I really don't even remember what we knew about Garrett's father's death. Did he die under suspicious circumstances? Maybe, like Caralynn said, Garrett's dad isn't dead after all. I also don't find Garrett all that exciting either. 

Jay: Honestly? I don't really care about Garrett or his father. It's very clear that Amy is the answer to Camp Stillwater and whatever's going on, so I'd like to see more focus on her than on an inexplicable death that they'll have to wrap up in two to four episodes.

The hard truth is the quicker people leave us, the harder it is to say goodbye.

Garrett's mother

How do you feel during the first episode without Cricket? Excluding the creepy possession.

Yana: Cricket was clearly written for us to fall in love and stay invested in her so that her death would hurt that much more.  I definitely missed her and I wish she could come back somehow. I just wish the remaining members of the group didn't need to start believing after someone already died from what was going on at that camp.

Caralynn: I miss Cricket! She was my fave. I was expecting her to actually show up as a ghost this week (not just a ghost possessing Amy) so that was super disappointing. I loved her friendship with Blair.

Allison: Is it bad that I didn't care that she was gone? I enjoyed Cricket, but I was not super attached to her. I didn't miss her. I did tear up at the end when everyone was putting things in a box as a way to remember Cricket.

Jay: I missed her, but it seemed like more of a horror flick without her. Blotter's death didn't matter much because no one knew he died, but Cricket was close to everyone at Stillwater, and as the most relatable of the bunch, now we're watching stereotypical teenagers lose their minds in the woods. It's more fun this way. But I still miss Cricket and Amber Coney, though I'm sure she'll be present for Blair's flashback episode.

Make sure you're here for a full review of Dead of Summer Season 1 Episode 7!

Jay Ruymann was a staff writer for TV Fanatic. He retired in January 2018.

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