Post Mortems
Dead Of Summer Recap

Dead of Summer EPs Elaborate on That Killer Twist, Preview 'Intense' Finale

Heads up, campers: The following article contains major spoilers from Tuesday’s Dead of Summer. Proceed at your own risk.

Following Holyoke’s untimely demise, the penultimate episode of Dead of Summer found Jessie, Garrett and Alex attempting to exorcise Malphas from Amy’s body. Not only were they unsuccessful in saving their friend, but they also failed to protect Deb, who met her own bloody end after a fatal encounter with Amy/Malphas. (Amalphas? Malphamy?)

To complicate matters further, we learned that Amy was behind all of the murders this summer, including Blotter and Cricket. Hell, she even killed her friend Margo; we learned Amy was on the wait list to work at Camp Stillwater, so killing her best friend was merely — as Grease‘s Frenchy would say — a strategic career move.

We spoke with executive producers Adam Horowitz, Eddy Kitsis and Ian Goldberg for the inside scoop on Tuesday’s twist, as well as a preview of next week’s nail-biting finale:

TVLINE | First, let me just say that “How do you like my Jordaches now, bitch?” might be the best line I’ve heard in a while.
KITSIS
 | [Laughs] That and the montage to Mötley Crüe have been two of the highlights of my career.

TVLINE | And maybe I’m easily surprised, but that whole Amy reveal really threw me.
HOROWITZ | This was part of the pitch for the show. When we first came up with the concept, it was centered around this idea. We’ve been building to it all season. If you go back to the first episode, and I hope you do, you’ll see a lot of little hints throughout.
KITSIS | When we did the pitch — literally a year ago — we ended it with, “Oh, and by the way…” and then we explained Amy. The theme of the show is identity. You can be who you want to be.

TVLINE | Since it was always the plan, did everybody in the cast know all along?
GOLDBERG | A few of them did know, but we tried to keep it as secret as we could so we’d get maximum impact.
KITSIS | We wanted to start the show with what you think are very familiar tropes, then you realize we’re going in the exact opposite direction. For us, another perfect example is Joel’s camera. Everyone thought it was the obligatory found footage — like, “Oh, here’t the guy with the camera!” — but in Episode 5, you realize he’s doing it for his sanity. All of these twists were baked into the show.

TVLINE | And poor Deb got killed before we found out what she did. Will we find out next week?
HOROWITZ | That would be the line that sets up Season 2 — should there be one.

TVLINE | Who’s going to have the strongest reaction to Deb’s death?
KITSIS | [Laughs] I have a feeling there’s not going to be a lot of time for reacting. They’re all going to be running for their lives, so as much as one might want to stop and mourn, they’ve just got to keep going.
GOLDBERG | Next week, we pick up right after. It’s full-throttle. There’s the aftermath of the events of Episode 9 to contend with; we’re still in the middle of a very scary, intense situation.

TVLINE | Given the ghostly nature of the show, what are the odds we’ll see Deb — and maybe a few other dead characters — next week?
KITSIS | I would be really disappointed if I spent all this time with these characters, and we didn’t get to see at least some of them as ghosts.
GOLDBERG | I think there are some ghost curtain calls coming.
KITSIS | Yes. They come out, we clap and then they all sing a song from Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat.

TVLINE | Jessie seems to have an affinity for the supernatural. Will we find out why?
GOLDBERG | If you tune into episode 10, that will be addressed. It will make you look at Jessie’s character differently when you re-watch the first season. You’ll understand why she’s able to tap into the supernatural and why she was chosen to be that way.

TVLINE | And what’s Malphas’ endgame? What’s he really after?
KITSIS | That’s kind of what Episode 10 is about. Like anyone who’s trapped, they want to be free. Malphis feels like its in a cage, and like any caged beast, it wants to be free.

TVLINE | Are we looking at a cliffhanger next week, or will things be wrapped up neatly?
HOROWITZ | I’d say the finale wraps up the story of Season 1 and hopefully satisfies the audience in answering all of the questions we set up for this season’s story, while acknowledging that there’s a bigger story at play that hopefully we go to on and tell more stories from Camp Stillwater throughout the years. The approach of this series is that each series would be a different summer at the camp in a different era.
KITSIS | We’re very inspired by Fargo, the anthology. People will be connected. Season 2 would be 1970, the summer Deb was a counselor … and there could potentially be a Season 3 set in 2004 where one of these kids — if anyone survives — is now the director.

Were you surprised by the big Amy twist? How do you predict next week’s finale will play out? Drop a comment with your thoughts and theories below. 

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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31 Comments
  1. Suso says:

    I feel like this is fundamentally why slasher movies cannot work as television series. It’s the same thing with the second season of “Scream.” Interesting things happen in the last episode or two that the writers have obviously been seeding all season (this is a cool twist, as was the killer’s ID in “Scream”), but to get to those moments the writers HAVE to set up things as if they are cliche and been-there-seen-that in order to make the twists pay off. It has to be a boring bland troubled heroine. Or (SPOILER) the loving, protective boyfriend in “Scream.” Curious viewers who dive in at the start only see the cliche, and jump ship before the interesting things happen. Pity.

    • Andy Swift says:

      I was ~just~ saying that about Scream the other day.

    • florianques says:

      Probably just my opinion, but I thought Harper’s Island worked out pretty well for a slasher series a few years back.

      • John036 says:

        I share the same opinion as you. I think Harper’s Island worked out as a slasher because the cast was HUGE, and they weren’t afraid of killing main characters off or having multiple deaths in one episode. The problem with Scream and Dead of Summer is they have such a small number of potential victims/killer(s), it becomes predictable on who is going to die/survive. In order for slasher series to work, they need A LOT more characters than what is offered, or cut down the episode count (but honestly do both). A season of a slasher series doesn’t need to be 12 episodes long (*glares at Scream*), but instead 8 or 10 episodes.

      • Andy says:

        I really enjoyed Harper’s Island, too, and was a bit sad when it got cancelled. I wanted to see how they played around with an anthology format. It was a bit ahead of its time.

        • florianques says:

          I definitely agree on that. Slasher series would probably work as an anthology format rather than keep the same cast every season which forces the writers to have a core group of survivors (and that’s boring). The Canadian series “Slasher” was just 8 episodes long and managed to stay interesting (without ever being too revolutionary or addictive).

          • Andy says:

            I hear Slasher was really good, but I didn’t know it was a thing until the season had finished. I have yet to find it on streaming or in reruns.

      • Kristen says:

        I loved Harper’s Island. I wish it would’ve been renewed.

  2. Ken says:

    I was actually surprised by that reveal and can honestly say i didn’t see it coming. I have thoroughly enjoyed this summer show and i hope they get the chance for more seasons! Freeform renew for season 2!

  3. Bedhead&Dead says:

    Amy being the killer surprised me and at the same time not. When Garrett killed the sheriff (his uncle), he accused him of killing the other people and he said he didn’t do it. I knew it had to be Amy since she’s possessed. There was another time Amy was by the lake and you saw the demons hand come up from the lake and almost touch her hand, she didn’t even freak out.

  4. Matthew B Lawler says:

    I was surprise last week when Holyoke turned out to be a good guy and again I was surprised when Amy turned out to be a cold-blooded psychopath and not an innocent victim fell again with a twist like that then it makes other things that we saw earlier dont make sense like when we originally saw the death of Amy’s friend when Amy was Being “haunted” it was totally shown to be an accident and now suddenly it was cold blooded murder

    • Andy says:

      Because when we saw Margot’s death the first time, Amy was telling it as a story to, I believe, Alex (but it might have been Garrett). So being the psychopath she is, she lied to him. This time, we’re seeing it as either an actual flashback or just Amy admitting the truth.

  5. spindae2 says:

    Turned out a much more enjoyable show that I initially thought.
    I’m happy I stuck with it after that pretty awful pilot. Looking forward see what they have in store for next week.

  6. Jennifer says:

    I have to admit that as much as I ragged on the pilot (especially the perception of what 1989 looked like), I’ve really enjoyed this show. The Holyoke twist didn’t surprise me (although he has a really bad way of communicating – would it have killed him to be more specific about the danger with Joel?) The Amy twist, however, did suprise me quite a bit. The one thing I still don’t get – the creators mentioned that at some point it would be obvious why Holyoke chose to speak to Michael, Joel and Anton specifically. It certainly isn’t obvious to me!

    • Andy says:

      I think he’s able to speak to them because they’re descended from the original lake community that Holyoke presided over. Michael and Joel might even be descended from Holyoke himself. It’s likely an answer we’ll get next week in the finale.

    • Deyanna says:

      Yea, im still confused about the Michael, Joel, & Anton situation too. They never gave us any implications of them having some sort of connection. Hopefully that’ll be answered in season 2?

  7. bluji says:

    Some things I’d like to point out:
    1. Blair didn’t get a flashback episode like everybody else. I know he was in Cricket’s flashbacks, but still. :(
    2. I was surprised by the killer reveal this episode. The twist that Amy was actually evil and not just possessed worked actually quite nicely.
    3. Love the (probably unintentional) nods to Once Upon a Time writing. Snuffing out the light, for example. :P

    • sterling says:

      I was actually really disappointed that Blair didn’t get a flashback. I love him.

      • Boyd Davenport says:

        Don’t give up yet! I think Blair’s story will be shared this week and it will be key to wrapping up season one…maybe a tragic hero?

  8. McSatan says:

    Have to say, I’m glad I stuck with it. I almost didn’t watch any more after the pilot, but because there was little else on this summer that interested me I kept watching. Nice twists in the last 2 episodes, even if they did have to bend over backwards, writing-wise, to make them work. Fun series, I will recommend to some of my friends that they watch it on Hulu or Netflix or on whatever streaming platform it lands.

  9. DKU says:

    When the series started, it appeared that Dead Of Summer might be something more than just another slasher film. I believe that the Writers started out in that direction, but obviously they have lost their focus and no longer know what direction to take the series. Episode 9 shows that the series is going to turn in to a typical slasher series. If you haven’t already lost the series and you want to continue in this direction, save yourself some money, fire all your Writers and hire a bunch of no talents. Anyone can write crap.

  10. Lydia says:

    I was very shocked that amy wanted malphus back and she was a murderer from when she was 8 but I don’t understand how she drowned holeokes men and wemon if she didn’t ever come to campus befor.

    • Andy says:

      Holyoke’s community was murdered in 1870 by the group of Satanists. Amy’s victims are her family, Margot, Dave, Blotter, Cricket, Joel, Krissy, and Deb.

    • Leslie says:

      That was the gardener from camp that she drowned, not one of holyokes people from the past. Can’t remember the name but the found him in the water in the first episode.

  11. cej says:

    I’ve stuck with this show even though it hasn’t been the best. And then last night’s twist! WOW! I did not see that coming at all. Made the whole season worth it, so far!

  12. Najali says:

    Amy Better stay and I think Elizabeth Lail Amy. Needs to show what her real name is and how everything started rough for her

  13. Leigh-Anne Crottie says:

    Reminds me of that little seen movie that came out a decade ago called :”Everyone Loves Mandy Lane”

  14. Zane says:

    Am I the only one who was like, why kill Deb, as I saw someone say, I think that Deb and her dead boyfriend are Amy’s birth parents and Deb got pregnant at camp in 1970, that would put Amy around 19 at the time, and that she hated them for giving her up so she killed the man and made it look like he did it, and later killed Deb, and her adopted family didn’t except her because she was different, makes me think of the dursleys.. I hope there is a season 2 on Debs past!!

    • Leslie says:

      Ooooh nice theory!! Not sure about her killing the boyfriend, I don’t think the timing works for that but love the idea of them being her parents.

    • Boyd Davenport says:

      I like that theory, too! Definitely interested to see how Deb/summer of 1970 unravels. There was definitely someone with one of those goat/sheep wooden masks on at the party in her flashback. Maybe it was just part of camp legend back then?

      A few things I think will play a role in the finale:

      -The recording of Holyoke’s hymn, perhaps bringing back the spirits of light he was not able to summon

      -Anton will somehow play a role off of the bus in fulfilling Holyoke’s mission

      -Blair’s back story was saved for last on purpose. It reveals a surprise, unforeseen connection and will help bring closure to season one. Maybe separates Malphus from Amy, making her mortal and killable (only to have her dead body possessed again and come back to life at the end of the episode. Something cliche like her eyes opening but in a crazy color like yellow or red.