Stan Against Evil S2E7&8 Review

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S2E7 Mirror Mirror

Warning: Spoilers

We are down to our final two episodes of the season, guys! It’s gone so fast, and really–these last two are a doozy! These last episodes circle back to what the first two episodes of the season laid the groundwork for–trying to bring Stan’s wife, Claire, back from the dead.

We start in Willards Mill, 1907, where a doppleganger of a woman kills her husband (with a milk bucket), while the wife looks on in screaming horror. We haven’t had a demon that could take on the shape of our heroes, yet–so it is going to be more difficult to deal with this one.

Back to present day, where Stan’s going to visit Lara Bouchard (you know, the only sane witch from the coven). I love how this show sticks to its continuity–Stan’s car looks horrible, and after all it’s been through this season (I mean, we had to deal with crows two episodes back), it should look wrecked.

Despite Lara’s protests, Stan still wants to go through with saving Claire, and needs Gerard Ducette, the voodoo priest, to do it. She tries to summon him, but after a long, tedious time (Stan ends up hitting his head repeatedly on the table)…the spirit just doesn’t seem interested in visiting. At least, not with Lara around. Instead, Gerard wakes up Stan while he’s sleeping, and tells him he has to solve a riddle within 24 hours or he’ll die. Or, as a doppelganger of Stan says–he will do something so horrible the people of Willard’s Mill will kill him themselves.

What does the doppelganger mean? Well, Not!Stan is going to go around and just traumatize everyone in the town. He terrorizes Lara, kills the mailman, pees on an old couples tomatoes–just a lot of mayhem, all while being incredibly cheerful. Which, of course, is why Evie knows this is not the real Stan.

The real Stan in all of this is being held hostage by an incredibly high Leon, who has eaten some fudge provided by not!Stan…which is causing him to hallucinate the weirdest things…and makes him think shooting real Stan might be a good idea.

While trying to figure out the mess that not!Stan has caused, Lara tells Evie about Stan’s plan to resurrect his wife–something she is far from pleased about. Meanwhile, the mailman is back to life, somehow, and is staying true to his “no snow, nor rain–” motto, and is continuing to try and deliver mail. I mean–good on zombie!mailman, right?

This episode is pure chaos and mayhem, and has some of the best, and seamless, sound editing I’ve heard in awhile. It keeps you engaged as the scenes bounce from place to place.

By the time our Stan finally knocks Leon out, and Evie gets to him (incredibly pissed, of course) they only have one minute to solve the riddle–in the knick of time they realize they need the mailman’s eyes, and Stan wins.

He’s so grateful over it all, he hugs Denise, who is so freaked out by the overt affection she screams.

What do we end with…Stan digging up his wife’s grave. He knows what he has to do now, and damn it, he’s going to do it.

 

S2E8: A Hard Day’s Night

We immediately start off the episode where the last one ended–with Stan digging up his wife. Evie arrives to try and stop him, but he’s already jabbed his wife’s eyes out. Seriously, I feel bad for anyone who is triggered by eye-trauma, because this season has been rife with it. Following him to Constable Eccles’ cabin, Evie confronts Stan one more time, and she confesses that if he goes back in time, they might not(?) know each other when they meet again. It’s an incredibly touching scene, and I really appreciate what the show has done with these two characters. Male/Female friendships so rarely exist on shows, and Evie and Stan’s friendship is at the very core of this one. In the end, Evie understands why Stan has to do this–and she lets him go.

As you might know from watching 12 Monkeys, time travel is not something you mess with lightly–and of course, Stan might have thought he was saving Claire, but nothing is that easy. Evie knows something is wrong when she wakes up the next day and she still remembers everything–and she’s still the sheriff.

Seems that in saving Claire, he lost his life in return–which still made Evie the sheriff. Freaking out about this, she ends up telling Claire everything. The woman tries to play dumb over it all, but finally comes clean about what happened, prompting Evie to tell her that Stan deserves to live over her. Which means, of course, Evie is off to dig up Stan’s grave. Kevin attempts to give her some advice, about how things don’t turn out the way they want (I’ve been trying to tell them, Kevin!), but she would rather mess with time than lose her friend.

Once she gets back to the past, she definitely isn’t the sheriff anymore–which is an issue, since she’s still wearing her uniform. In proper Leon fashion, once he comes upon her, he thinks she’s a stripper, prompting her to punch him in the face, which gets herself arrested. It’s interesting to see Leon as a more stern-type character, given how lackadaisical and silly he is.

Ida, the very nasty witch who Claire needed to stop in the first episode (along with making sure those black flowers didn’t bloom), shows up and ends up ripping Leon’s head off. It’s definitely a practical effect and looks amazing. With Leon dead, Evie needs to get to Stan as quickly as possible.

We are also treated to a lovely scene between Stan and Claire. For as grumpy as he pretends to be, it’s clear that he loves his wife very much. Getting to see them together, even for a short moment, shows what they must have been like before her death–and how his grumpiness may be caused by her death. Death, especially sudden ones, cause people to react in ways that aren’t always easily anticipated. It makes me really wonder what Stan was like before we lost Claire.

To attempt to save Claire, again, Stan goes off to fight Ida, but it goes incredibly badly–leaving Claire to abandon her task of destroying all of the flowers to try and help him. She’s knocked back, but her intervention provides Evie enough time to come in and kill the witch.

Sadly, some things just can’t be changed–Claire has died from her wounds, but she’s still able to say goodbye to Stan. I think that matters more than anything, really. Before, there hadn’t been a chance to close that chapter, to make peace with it all. But by being there, to say goodbye…maybe Stan can find some peace.

He and Evie go back to Willard’s Mill, thinking everything will be fine–but instead they find a hellscape. …remember, Claire didn’t finish destroying all the flowers? That means a portal to Hell opened up.

…and Constable Eccles somehow destroyed his house, so there isn’t an easy way back to the past.

Well, shit.

It’s a great way to end the season, and I really hope there is a third. While the first season was great, I think the second found its footing in a way that the first took some time to do, and allowed for some really poignant moments within the comedy. It’s a show that deserves to be continued–I just hope IFC thinks that, too.

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