Post Mortems
Dead Of Summer Recap

Dead of Summer Premiere: EP Breaks Down First Kill, Teases 'Creepy' Reveals

Freeform re-opened the doors of Camp Stillwater on Tuesday, claiming (at least) one life in the process.

Dead of Summer‘s series premiere took viewers all the way back to 1989 for an introduction to its staff, including Amy (Once Upon a Time‘s Elizabeth Lail), the new girl with the killer backstory; Blair (Ugly Betty‘s Mark Indelicato), the out-and-proud best friend of free spirit Cricket (Class‘ Amber Coney); Alex (Orange Is the New Black‘s Ronen Rubinstein), the hottie with a trunk full of stolen clothes; and Joel (The 100‘s Eli Goree), who never passes up an opportunity to creepily film his co-workers.

Lording over this motley crew is Deb Carpenter (Lost‘s Elizabeth Mitchell), whose memories of attending Camp Stillwater as a child inspired her to purchase the shady summer getaway. Or could there be another reason Deb returned to her childhood hotspot? I mean, I can’t imagine that someone walking through the woods with a shovel late at night could be harboring an intense secret, right?

TVLine posed that question — among others — to executive producer Eddy Kitsis, who teased more surprises to come in the near future. Read on for our full Q&A:

TVLINE | OK, let’s get one thing out of the way: Dave is dead, yes?
[Laughs] He looked pretty dead to me when he was floating underground, so I wouldn’t expect to see poor Dave again.

TVLINE | On a show like this, the first victim can really set the tone. Why Dave?
He kind of provided the warning to Amy and the audience about what this place is, so he clearly knew more about what was going on there. He had to go.

TVLINE | Are we going to be getting a death like this every week?
I wouldn’t say that. Death and killing are obviously scary, but there are other ways of haunting.

TVLINE | OK, let’s talk romance. Garrett and Jessie obviously have history, but are we crazy for also sensing a spark between Garrett and Amy?
I sense [those sparks]. But what do I know? I just wrote it! [Laughs] … I think you’ll have to see how it develops, but it’s certainly looking like a triangle.

TVLINE | Are you able to say what’s up with Joel? I don’t know what was weirder — him filming Deb, or her not minding that much.
Well, I can’t tell you what’s up with Joel, because that’s in Episode 5. But there are reasons why he’s into filming. There’s a lot more going on beneath the surface there.

TVLINE | It seems like everybody has a secret. Whose will surprise us the most?
Honestly, I think everyone has their really big own secret, and there’s something about the camp and the lake that’s going to reveal those secrets as the season goes on.

TVLINE | I imagine dynamics will change when the campers arrive.
We’re going to find that out in Episode 2, and I would be frightened for [the campers]. Let’s be honest: The thing that’s really creepy about camp is that your’e sending your children off for the summer, and the people in charge are 18.

Your thoughts on Dead of Summer‘s deadly premiere? Grade the episode below, then drop a comment with your full review.


Reporting by Vlada Gelman.

Comments are monitored, so don’t go off topic, don’t frakkin’ curse and don’t bore us with how much your coworker’s sister-in-law makes per hour. Talk smart about TV!

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16 Comments
  1. Jennifer says:

    As someone who finished high school in 1989 and spent many an 80s summer at camp, I really wanted to like this show. I just couldn’t get over the mish-mash of 80s references. It is supposed to be 1989 yet one girl is wearing neon and overalls from the mid-80s, one guy is dressed as a 1982 prep, Amy and Margo go out to party dressed like Madonna in 1984 and the openly gay guy (?) guy is wearing a Cure pornography tour t-shirt from 1982. The biggest misstep? In 1989 you’d be hard-pressed to find one girl without poufy bangs, let alone three or four.

    • NM says:

      And let’s face it, in 1989, the openly gay guy would not have been hired at the fear of him being a pedophile. Not being ignorant or a bigot when I see that, but just getting into the mind of one.

      • Pamela says:

        The world was a much different place in 1989. I was hoping this show would be more accurate of the times and style but I shouldn’t be surprised.

    • Scott says:

      Another thing that took me out of it was when they strip down to their underwear to go swimming and almost all the guys are wearing boxer briefs, which didn’t exist yet. They should have been wearing tighty-whities.

  2. tallsy says:

    Eventually someone’s going to get the teen slasher right for TV because everyone’s trying, but this still isn’t it.

    How about not piling mystery on pointless mystery? Or try telling the story from a different perspective as every other teen slasher series?

    • Cory says:

      The mystery aspect is the best element of any slasher movie worth its salt.

    • robandco says:

      I think the Scream TV series is rather good on the subject. Season 1 was pretty dramatic and I think season 2 is even better. Yes, it has its flaws but I has me on the edge of my seat most of the times.

  3. Tiffany says:

    I like it. And I’m happy I get to Elizabeth Lail on tv again

  4. Amanda says:

    I really liked it!!! Though I’m a huge fan of both LOST and OUAT so I’m a bit biased. I thought the pilot was great and sets up a lot of mysteries for the rest of the season. I really like the cast, especially Elizabeth Lail, Elizabeth Mitchell, Zelda Williams, and the newer actors playing Garrett, Alex, and the other counselors. Loving all the 80s shoutouts too.

  5. bluji says:

    Kinda meh. It wasn’t that bad, and hey, I watched all three seasons of this one dome-related summer show. Guess it’s worth keeping on my watch list.

  6. GuesMyName says:

    As an asexual trans man I can say I am excited to see Drew! Adam and Eddie this story is personal , don’t mess it up

  7. robandco says:

    I tried it. It was really okay. The overall story is somehow promising, I am sure the tension will build up gradually.
    However, the artistic director needs to be fired. It doesn’t feel like 1989 at all. If they remove every mention of when the story happens you can’t really guess. Too bad. I’ll give it a couple more episodes simply because of Elizabeth Mitchell whom I deeply love.

  8. C.S Lewis says:

    I remember when people watched tv shows for the story not to bitch about historic inaccuracies…
    I look forward to learning more about the characters and their secrets unfolding.

    • Jennifer says:

      IMO, the story is more believable if the setting is believable. I normally don’t care about a few inaccuracies but the 1989 setting here is a hot mess. It’s like an 18 year old kid’s view of what 1989 was like. If being in the 80s is relevant to the story (and I think the lack of cell phones etc. makes it so) then they should at least try to get it partially right. Look at the Americans – it’s not perfect, but it’s a pretty good representation of the early 80s and cultural references (The Day After, 80s DC TV commercials, Redskins Superbowl etc.) are appropriate to 1982-83.