Bonjour! And welcome back to another recap of the Shudder original series, Deadwax! Where vinyl tracker Etta Pryce (Hannah Gross) is on the hunt for a rare record that, unbeknownst to her, kills anyone that listens to it. If you aren’t caught up then I suggest reading our recap of episode two. Or do yourself a favor by watching the thing. Because it is exquisite and no amount of rambling I do is going to do it justice.
Here’s what we know so far: Etta is on a mission! Once this girl gets her mind set on something doesn’t let up. Determined but at a dead end, Etta visits her mentor, audiophile repairman and beetle farmer, Ian Ullman (Ted Raimi), for information on the Litton Lacquer. She learns that Litton pressed three of the same record, the mysterious circumstances surrounding Litton’s death and gets some of the Litton Matrix code from the Key Two record. Ullman tries to warn Etta about the record when he brings up a radio DJ that went mad on air after listening to one of the records. It was a noble effort but Etta was undeterred.
Later in the episode everyone’s favorite tech wizard Lana (Tracy Perez) searches for something relating to the Litton Matrix code. This is when we find out that someone entered the Litton Matrix code into the LAPD Evidence Database the previous night. On top of that there is an active investigation surrounding the evidence logs. Insinuating something must have happened at the police station. We last see Etta when she gets the address of our favorite mummy man and learns of his demise.
Meanwhile, something is going seriously wrong with crime scene handler Len Perry (Evan Gamble). After listening to a snippet of the killer record, it would appear he is going insane. Things get worse when his partner, Daryl Burnett (West Liang) is killed in an unusual way after attempting to seal away the bloodthirsty record. “And how was he killed?” You may be asking. Let me answer with two words: beef chunks. Since there is no evidence of Perry being involved in Burnett’s death he is sent home by Detective Rhodes (Dohn Norwood) after seeing the scrambled security footage and hearing a terrible scream among all the scramble. Which wouldn’t be too unusual except for the fact those security cameras were not designed to pick up any audio.
Now let’s continue to the next episode simply called ‘Part Three’. Consider this your major spoiler warning. I should mention that the very beginning of Part Three there is an important warning: PHOTOSENSITIVE EPILEPSY SEIZURE WARNING. So if that’s something you have to worry about maybe skip out on this episode. I am going to recap it after all.
The first minute of the episode checks in on Perry at his home. He is having a bit of a meltdown, hearing things, his head appearing to bother him, the camera fading and shaking violently suggests he is on the verge of passing out. And the cherry on top of it all? His hand is doing that funky fading in and out of existence thing.
Etta is now at the mummy man’s home. After cutting through the crime scene tape, she silently walks around the house, steals a horse key chain for Lana’s key chain collection (which is adorable) and admires the sweet sound equipment. Among the equipment she discovers a hidden flash drive thingy. It turns out to be an encrypted file and not a very big one. Since it’s only a couple hundred kilobytes Lana, over the phone, suggests it’s probably just text. Regardless of what it is Etta asks Lana to do what she can with the file. Lana makes no promises but agrees to try.
Our two stories seem to be coming full circle when Lana informs Etta she just sent her the address of one of the people involved with the evidence log investigation. Did you guess? That’s right, Leonard Perry. Before ending the call Lana gives Etta warning to be careful, reminding her that this is an investigation so she better watches what she says. The conversation ends with Lana telling Etta she loves her then, as if sensing Etta wasn’t going to say it back, hangs up. Etta!! What is your problem?!
Etta makes her way to Perry’s house. Rather casually, she strolls right up and begins knocking on the front door. Which is obviously very different from her usual sneak in, sneak out cat burglar routine. It only takes Perry a moment to answer the door. At first Etta tries to act like she is a new neighbor just coming to introduce herself, then there is some confusion about his name. At this point everyone is under the impression that Perry and Etta have never met before. That quickly changes when Etta throws out “You married the chick I cheated on you with…bold move…and you took her name. That’s weird but okay.” Shut. The. Front. Door!!
Etta tries at being condescending. This quickly comes to a stop when Perry explains that his wife/Etta’s ex is dead. Perry really can’t win, can he? Despite his hesitation Etta is allowed inside Perry’s house. They converse about what Perry knows about the record (which isn’t much), he denies listening to the record even though he looks awful and ends up asking Etta to spend the night. “On the couch. Just in case, you know, just in case.” Oddly enough she decides to stay.
Much later in the evening we find Etta, possibly unable to sleep, scrolling on her phone. Things seem fine until we hear this low, electric like buzzing, followed by all the lights flickering on and off and a banging sound coming from upstairs in Perry’s room. She makes her way upstairs to find Perry. And she does. Just not in a way she was expecting. With the lights still aggressively flickering she finds Perry on the floor of his bedroom, screaming, his entire body seeming to flicker in and out of existence before her very eyes. Even his scream seems to fade at times; sounding almost like an echo and a CD that’s skipping mixed together.
In a bold move of her own, Etta calmly approaches Perry to give him a hug. For some reason this works. All the lights shut off, there is no more electric buzzing and Perry stops flickering. Outside Perry’s house is Detective Rhodes on an old fashioned stake out. From where he was sitting he could clearly see all the lights acting up and the episode ends on his confused expression. DEADWAX!
What we know so far/ Thoughts:
- I really hope Lana actually makes an appearance instead of being a voice on the phone.
- If Rhodes dies I’ll be so pissed.
- That light flickering scene gave me a literal headache.
Wanna know what happens next? Too impatient for me to write the next episode’s recap? I don’t blame you. Do yourself a favor and binge all 8 episodes of Deadwax on a 7-day free trail via Shudder.