The ninth episode left us with Randall, Mari, and Julie struggling to survive and whether they are going to make it or not. The same goes for all the towners completely clueless about this new threat. The season finale doesn't disappoint and waste any time as the sun rises and the town prepares for the end.
The 10th and final episode of this season, titled, "Once Upon a Time...," begins with Boyd looking for answers as he visits Julie and her family. Boyd seems to be losing this battle and doesn't know what to do next as time is running out for all three victims and probably the whole town. As a final resort, he takes Kenny and Sara to the tower in the woods where the new nightmares seem to begin. Boyd tells Sara, "You wanted to do something good for the town, this is your chance."
As the three find the location (destroyed tower), Sara sees some things that the other two are not able to see as she tells them about the music box. She hears a voice that thanked Boyd for making it free and taking it to the town. Sara also reveals they have only a few hours left to save Julie and the whole town. But yes, this place also answers how to save everyone and everything as Sara informs Boyd that the only way to keep them alive is to destroy the music box, which at this point doesn't physically exist.
This episode is probably the scariest of this season with not even a minute of boring stuff. It has all the horror elements including some jumpscares and ghosts of the past. This is a satisfying finale as it redeems almost every character and shows where it's taking them.
Among all the chaos and a possible end of the world, Ellis and Fatima decide to get married on this day, which might be the final day of their existence. Boyd and Donna are the only two guests in their marriage ceremony which takes place in their living room at the Colony house.
Meanwhile, Tabitha takes a bold decision amid the deteriorating condition of her daughter. She thinks the children could be the key and the answers to her visions may lie in the tower where Victor's mother wanted to go and save those children. She tells Jim the same and asks Victor to help her find a way to the tower. Victor tells that he doesn't know a direct route to the tower, but he knows that his mother went to the bottled tree which has a way to take her to the tower.
Jade also finally decides that there is no other way than visiting the tunnels escaped by Tabitha and Victor, to find the answers to the Symbol he sees everywhere. Jade makes his way to the narrow tunnel and gets inside. Without a doubt, this is the scariest place in the town and as described by Victor in the first episode of this season, "This is where the monsters sleep." Jade sees seven children lying in a particular pattern and spots the symbol in a way he didn't expect. This was possibly the scariest scene of this season, but it doesn't give Jade or us any answers. Probably we hae to wait for the next season where it leads.
After attending his Son's marriage, Boyd seems to have found a new energy and idea as he heads toward the container where he hid along with others after escaping from the tower in the first episode of this season. He takes the fire torch which he brought from the tower, but as he was making his way out, Reggie blocks him with a shotgun and holds him responsible for all the recent happenings. Boyd tries to explain, but Reggie, who has already killed one person to acquire the gun, doesn't listen and shoots Boyd in his arm, and as he tries to make the killing shot, Boyd shoots Reggie to the ground.
An injured Boyd finally makes it to the destroyed tower, he lights up the torch and suddenly everything appeared as it was in the first episode where an old man was chained. But this time they are Randall, Mari, and Julie, who are chained to the walls as the music box plays. After having a vision of his wife, Boyd finally destroys the music box freeing all three from their nightmares. Everything now seems normal as an injured Boyd heads to the town.
The most exciting part of this episode was its ending. Tabitha makes it to the tower (lighthouse) but there is no one. As she reaches the top of the lighthouse, a kid appears and pushes her from the top. When she finally wakes up, she is injured and in a hospital bed. She asks the doctor about her whereabouts, who tells her that she is in St. Antony's Hospital after a few hikers found her in the woods three days ago. As Tabitha looks out from the Window and realizes she is in a new place, the credit rolls, leaving the audience to wait another year for an answer.
This episode brings closure to the music box storyline that began at the start of this season. The mystery at the center of the whole will continue in the upcoming season, however, this season has definitely quashed all the fan theories that stated that this is all a simulation. There is a way out from this place, and it's about time that everyone figures this out as Tabitha did.
The third season, which is currently set to begin filming next month, is likely to be set in two locations and possibly two dimensions - obviously, one will be the town and the other will also be the town. But we have to wait for another year to find it out.
Final Score - [10/10]
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