DISCLAIMER: This recap of the SurrealEstate episode “For Sale by Owner” is rife with spoilers. You’ve been warned. Proceed at your own peril.
Welcome back, stigmatized property hunters! SurrealEstate returned with “For Sale by Owner” — a delectable treat for Earpers everywhere! This episode reunited Tim Rozon and Melanie Scrofano for the first time since Wynonna Earp. While it was initially strange seeing them sans the Purgatory setting, these two versatile performers convinced me they weren’t Doc Holliday and Wynonna Earp. At least for 40 minutes.
“For Sale by Owner” is a spooky good time. I’ve been on the fence regarding this show for the past two weeks, but I think I’m on this train. I’m riding with cautious optimism. Finally, the writers gave Rozon some meaty scenes on which to chew. He’s such a talented dramatic actor.
Ready to delve into “For Sale by Owner”? Let’s get to it.
We open with a young woman named Harper North (Scrofano), giving a tour of her home to an older couple. She’s … eclectic. Harper attempts to dissuade the couple from buying her house by recounting all the scary stuff that’s transpired.
Suddenly, Harper is knocked down a flight of stairs by a gust of wind. Apparently, the house hath answered, and it doesn’t like this couple.
Then, Luke (Rozon) is asked by Harper’s tool of an older brother to figure out why the house isn’t selling. They’ve had countless potential buyers but, ultimately, no sale. Luke is on the case! He tasks Susan (Sarah Levy) with escorting William Larson, famed horror novelist, through house tours. Zooey (Savannah Basley) offers Susan some property suggestions, but the latter brushes her off. She’s a pro when it comes to handling celebrities.
Next, Luke makes a pit stop at Megan’s (Tennille Read) house. He’s staring at the window where he saw the ghost of his mother. Luke vows to have August do another survey of her home to ensure that the portal in her cellar is tightly closed. That’s when Megan reveals that her fiancé moved out. She’s single and ready to mingle. Luke is over the moon.
Later, Luke meets Harper, whose arm is in a sling. She looks wary of him. Harper proceeds to give Luke a tour of her cabin. She mentions the same factoids that scared off the elderly couple. However, nothing appears to phase Luke. He’s heard it all. Harper even tries the “spooky wind” trick on him.
Once she realizes she’s been had, Harper, disgruntled, removes her wig and sling. Luke praises her for her commitment to the craft. Game recognizes game.
Meanwhile, Susan has a meeting with William Larson. He’s an arrogant, bombastic fellow with a penchant for the dramatic. He demands to speak with Luke, but unfortunately, he’s stuck with Sharon. Erm, Susan.
Then, we see Luke and Harper are having dinner. Apparently, Harper and her brother inherited the lakeside cabin when their father passed away. She just finished school and had to move home to oversee the property. After dinner, Luke encounters the spirit of Harper’s grandmother, Samantha. She’s clad in a black dress and humming, as ghosts are wont to do. But she vanishes before Luke can ask her questions.
Next, the following day, Luke learns that several of Harper’s family members have died on the premises. He wants to do all he can to help the North siblings sell the property. Harper offers to get him a shovel so Luke can fix the “for sale” sign. Time to move on!
Meanwhile, August (Maurice Dean Wint) visits Megan. He holds a device up to the entrance to the cellar. Nothing. Just standard interference from Megan’s wi-fi. Phil (Adam Korson) enters the fray and informs the pair that one neighbor claimed to see demonic raccoons, but it turns out they were normal raccoons. He may or may not have been smoking weed.
Megan discloses that Luke’s interest in her home stems from his missing mother. This is new information for August and Phil.
Then, while Luke procures signage from his car, Harper whacks him over the head with a shovel. So, there’s that.
Next, Susan shows William a bevy of spooky homes. None of them tickle his horrific fancy. Susan urges him to stick it out. She has one more property to show him. That’s when she finds a manila envelope marked “For Emergency.”
Back at the North residence, Luke is bound and gagged in Harper’s closet (and not in a kinky way). Harper appears to be possessed by a malevolent spirit. According to it, nobody can sell the house, and Harper must live there forever. Luke surmises that the spirit is using Harper as a conduit. She’s inexplicably tethered to this place.
After some prodding, Harper finally unties Luke. But the spirit still inhabits her body. He runs out onto the pier to find a slew of North family members rising from the lake. Harper brandishes her knife. Luke flees into the surrounding woods. Grandma Sam is back, and this time she’s chanting something. Luke records it on his phone and sends it to Phil for translating.
He wakes up the following day after a night spent in the forest. Luke finds Harper inside, cheerfully chopping up food. She’s singing to herself. This might be the creepiest part of the episode so far. Suddenly, Harper spots him. Luke tries to coax the real Harper out. It works, and Harper drops the knife on the counter. Luke ushers her outside and into his car. They’re going to leave.
Unfortunately, driving away from the property doesn’t pan out. Luke and Harper wind up right where they started. Oh, and that recording? Neither Phil nor August can translate it. Phil suggests that Luke play it backward.
Meanwhile, Susan introduces William to yet another house. It looks innocuous on the outside. Quite drab, actually. William emerges after a short stint inside. He looks worse for the wear. Aghast, even. It’s the perfect environment for writing a horror novel. He wants the house. Well, that and a Xanax.
Later, Susan apologizes to Zooey for not trusting her. William adored the property. Susan underestimated Zooey. “I contain multitudes,” Zooey replies. I want her to be my best friend. Phil and August reveal that they’ve been digging into Luke’s past. Notably, his connection to Megan’s house.
Then, Luke and Harper are visited by the spirits of Harper’s family. They demand that she stay. One of them proceeds to choke Luke. He urges Harper to play her grandmother’s music box backward. She does. Suddenly, Grandma Sam arrives.
Now, Harper’s granny reveals that she committed suicide after her husband passed away. He gave her that music box. She didn’t realize the repercussions of her actions — that every North family member would be bound to this cabin. That is unless someone played her music box backward. Granny Sam encourages Harper to move on with her life. Thankfully, her deceased relatives can fly free.
Next, Luke drives Harper to the train station. She’s free to live her life! Perhaps she’ll move to a small town called Purgatory and kill some demons … I’m getting ahead of myself.
Later, Luke reunites with his team. He informs Susan that the house she sold to William was his childhood home. It’s laden with supernatural phenomena. Susan offers to be a friendly ear should he ever want to vent about his past trauma. She urges him to seize the day. Tell Megan how he feels!
Then, Luke shows up on Megan’s doorstep with a bottle of liquor. He’s not here for business. It’s the other kind! She grabs ice and directs him to her upstairs library. He runs into the spirit of his mother, Victoria (Jennifer Dale). She spews vitriol, vehemently taunting poor Luke. She claims she never loved him. Mama Victoria fled because she didn’t want to have a son.
She presses one too many of Luke’s buttons until she finally disappears. We see tears streaming down Luke’s face.
“For Sale by Owner” does more than serve as a much-needed reunion of Rozon and Scrofano — it begins to mold SurrealEstate into the show it can be. We’re seeing more layers to Luke. His family drama is intriguing, and that final scene solidified my interest. Rozon is holding his own as a series lead with top billing. I hope the writers continue to flesh out Zooey, Phil and August. They could be fun characters in their own right.
Let’s see where this train goes, shall we?
SurrealEstate airs Fridays at 10 pm on your Syfy affiliate.
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