It’s the penultimate episode of the series and they have only just now decided to introduce the best character, and eponymous non-talking dog: Cheeto. Despite only having less than a minute of screen time, it’s clear that he should have been the main character this entire time.
But in all seriousness, despite about a third of the episode being a happy montage where the remaining trio dance and have fun while Margot (Brianne Tju, Light As a Feather) tries not to seem as jealous of Dylan (Ezekiel Goodman, Rat Bastard) and Allison’s† (Madison Iseman, Annabelle Comes Home) closeness as she actually is, this episode has enough plot development and content for two episodes, though it manages to get everything set out without feeling too rushed, though it has to be acknowledged that even certain events either occurred off-screen and were either referenced in dialogue or implied as occurring right before the current scene, such as Allison† explaining the entire stalker situation to Bruce (Bill Heck, Locke & Key) in order to tell him her information about Riley (Ashley Moore, Popstar: Never Stop Never Stopping).
Speaking of which, the entire first part of the episode can be summarized with this:
While Margot plays conspiracy theorist, the rest of the town does the same as they rally together, at first with guns and fury in a genuine angry mob—if only Doug had been alive to see it—then as a search party, with Lyla (Fiona Rene, Stumptown) and Bruce trying to keep the peace.
While this section was over after just a few drone shots, there were still great moments, such as Lyla needing to talk down her shotgun wielding mother from leading the mob, Kelly (Chrissie Fit, Pitch Perfect 2) accurately describing Riley as “the sweetest fucking thing you’ve ever met,” and Lyla acknowledging her mistake of not taking Courtney (Cassie Beck, Connecting…) seriously and feeling guilt over it, as that is the correct response.
It was also great to finally hear from the twins’ undead mother, as it gave a new perspective to the scene from the first episode when Lennon told Allison that their mother didn’t love them, which they called back to; rather than it being a cruel stab in the heart by Lennon, it was her trying to make her sister aware of the truth she should have been told from the beginning.
Margot’s reaction to the information was also wonderful to see, not just because the scene began with her asking Allison† where the red ribbon for her crime board was—thus proving she was channeling her inner Charlie Kelly from It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia—but because she showed the right amount of care and concern without treating Allison† so fragile as to push her away; if anything, she just seemed just a tad too clingy again, but considering all that’s happened, it’s understandable.
But none of this lasted long since it wasn’t long after that Allison† went to Bruce to let him know about everything that was going on, which led to them finding Riley and Clara (Brooke Bloom, The Sinner) in the cave.
While it also explained all the promotional material and unit stills of the characters covered in honey, the shots of Riley’s posed, honey-covered body was hauntingly beautiful, as she looked like an otherworldly deity; a complete contrast to Clara who was slumped in the corner, which was the first indication that the theory of Clara suffocating herself with honey after posing Riley was false.
It should be noted that while it was never shown or explicitly stated what Dylan did when he saw Clara in the cave, he certainly gave enough clues to deduce that he was the one who killed Clara and, most likely, posed Riley to make her seem as ethereal as she was.
It doesn’t necessarily mean he wasn’t working with Clara for the other murders, but it does imply that he almost certainly didn’t have anything to do with Riley’s murder, since him suffocating Clara seemed to be more of a crime of passion rather than part of the plan; unless it was, but he seemed too distraught for that, though nothing is certain.
While his reaction at the end of the episode was justifiable, it’s still important to note that he didn’t seem at all inclined to lie to the girls about what happened; he didn’t outright say “I killed Clara” but he did say “it’s over” and at least implied that he was the reason why.
Either way, with the killer supposedly dead, it was time for the communal services for all the victims, which was far more emotional than expected and had the potential to elicit genuine tears.
Kelly’s one-way conversation with Courtney started it all off, and it didn’t pull any of its punches, with Kelly promising to follow her up there to help her if the people in heaven weren’t treating her right.
Then came Margot’s moment with Johnny, which really solidified that, no matter what, the two really did love each other and were soulmates, even if it wasn’t romantic in the end; this was only made all the more emotional with Allison† beside her as, while not officially a couple, it showed the two deep, reciprocated loves that Margot had, as Allison† cares far more about Margot than Lennon had.
While it’s still not quite clear whether he had anything to do with Riley’s death, Dylan’s moment her was still heartbreaking, with him fighting back tears as he playfully mocks her taste in music as he set down a USB mixtape. It was only when he said, “I will be. Next time,” that a sliver of doubt seeped in as to whether he had anything to do with it; there’s a 50/50 chance it was either just him innocently referencing his spiritual beliefs, or him hinting that this was all part of the plan, but he still is sad that she had to be hurt.
Either way, after the funeral and Margot’s in-patient therapy, everyone seems to have completely healed and moved on, Allison† and Dylan having gotten over their initial weeks of tension due to the grief and trauma of “Allison” dying, and Bruce and Lyla potentially getting married. With the town festival it truly is the quintessential calm before the storm.
Of course, with everyone’s guards down and trust reinstated throughout the community, there’s no better time for things to go completely off the rails.
The biggest moment—more than the very intense shove that managed to send Margot completely through her supposedly good quality glass windows, or the three-week-late arrival of the twins’ mother to confront the husband she cut off all contact with about not letting her know that the daughter she didn’t care about died—was the scene where Allison† finally told Dylan the truth about her identity.
There was absolutely no way it could have gone well, and it’s only due to the post-sex high and three week lull period of happiness that Allison† managed to convince herself that revealing her identity to Dylan would result in anything better than his actual reaction; if anything, it was rather tame.
Neither of them was more in the right than the other, as Dylan was correct in saying that she shouldn’t blame her mistakes on him, but he also blamed his murders on her despite it all being conceived by him since, as far as he knew, Allison was dead.
This scene actually acknowledged a very important aspect of the show that reinstates the previous beliefs that Dylan wasn’t as great as Allison† thought he was, and she really should’ve just moved on.
As she said, “I’m sorry I’m not your sad pixie dream girl,” which was exactly how Dylan had remembered her. He hadn’t been close to her at all by the time of graduation, so he let himself imagine her a certain way that elevated her to a status she never actually achieved, and while he’s right that she’s not a good person considering all she’s done, he’s in the exact same boat, and to blame all of that on her is missing the point; in the end, his actions were his own, fueled by his own thoughts.
The most frustrating thing about it is that, while it’s not wrong of Dylan to go to the police chief and finally tell the truth about what happened, he’s a complete hypocrite for only doing it now.
The boy whined about it for over a year, hurting everyone around him as they tried to mourn the loss of their friends and somehow move on with their lives, but he never actually went the police. He reached a point where he was actively enjoying his time with the remaining two friends he had, both of whom he thoroughly hated at the start of the summer because of what happened. It’s only when he realizes the truth and his feelings are hurt that he feels that he has to go tell the truth to the police, even though he had (probably) killed people; he was fine with continuing on that way until his bubble was popped and he had to realize that Allison† was never who he thought she was to begin with, even before Lennon’s death, and he doesn’t know how to handle that in a non-destructive way.
Then again, none of this is confirmed in any way. There’s no concrete evidence that Dylan actually killed Clara, nor is there proof that he’s going to tell Lyla what happened with Lennon and the truth about Allison†. All that’s known is that he’s waiting at the station and, for some reason, it seems as though Margot† knows that Allison† isn’t who she’s been pretending to be.
Out of everything, the least surprising is the theory that Margot has known Allison† wasn’t Lennon for some time. Whether it was just during the three-week time jump or even longer, it wouldn’t be surprising that Margot figured it out and made peace with it, possibly even convincing herself of the lie, because her relationship with Allison† is generally much better than it was with Lennon, as Allison† actually seems to care and the relationship is less toxic.
Then again, this, too, is just speculation, so all that’s truly confirmed is things are about to take a very intense turn in the finale and there’s no telling how this will all end.