Previously on N0-End House, “This Isn’t Real”
I didn’t have to deal with the grief that comes from losing a loved one until pretty late in life. I think it’s why I’ve had such a hard time navigating it the past few years. It also means that I’m probably a bit more understanding when others who are grieving behave in ways most don’t like or understand. When Margot decides she wants to spend some time in the alternate reality the No-End House created (and deep down, she knows that’s the case despite saying otherwise), all so she can be with her father again, I got it. Jules? Not so much.
All of their unspoken issues come to the surface when Jules tries to get Margot to leave. Margot felt abandoned when Jules drifted away when Margot needed her the most, and she’s been living with the knowledge that her father’s death wasn’t an accident; he killed himself. Margot sees their current predicament as an opportunity to ask him why, but Jules sees it as opportunity for them to end up dead. Unable to convince Margot to leave, Jules heads back to the No-End House hoping to find an exit. There she runs into Seth, who split from JT when he decided to wait around for Margot and Jules while JT — thinking they were out of the house — went home. There’s only a hint of what the house may be doing to haunt Seth: a family in a cage inside a cul-de-sac call to him, but he ignores them.
JT quickly realizes they’re not free when he finds another, more confident, version of himself at his house. This JT has his memories, but doesn’t have the sensory recall that comes with them. For instance, he knows JT’s favorite flavor of ice cream, but doesn’t know what ice cream actually tastes like. Hold that thought…
Prior to Margot finding her in the house’s backyard, Jules had an odd encounter with a giant sphere. A flashback to the day leading up to her reunion with Margot reveals tension at home between Jules and her mother and a secret that has her crying in the car alone, but putting on a brave face for others. When she and Seth find an empty house to hole up in for the night, Jules is once again drawn to this glowing ball. She touches it — just as she did in the No-End House — and becomes entranced. Inside the ball, a hand presses against hers.
Alone with her father, Margot learns he’s fully aware that he’s been dead for the past year, but claims to have no understanding of why he’s there now. He wants to spend as much time with her as possible, and Margot is content to play along if it means being with him again. While she sleeps, he touches her and gets flashes of his wife. As he does, she materializes out of a pool of liquid in the basement. He finds her there, unconscious, naked, and in a fetal position. He rips off her arm and begins to eat the jelly-like balls inside her skin.
Two major events in “Nice Neighborhood” suggest that getting out of the house alive is possible: One, Dylan (Sebastian Pigott) — the only other person to remain in the house with Margot’s group — has been there before and left without his wife, Lacey, who we met last week. He’s returned to find her, and he does. The first time, she’s aware of who he is, but he notices she’s wearing a shirt that’s still hanging in their closet in “the real world.” He shoots the imposter in the head.
Later, he finds her in their home, but she has no memory of him and claims to be married to someone else. Dylan also bears a scare on his arm where he cut the words “This isn’t real” into his flesh, just like Lacey did last week. Finally, JT’s doppelganger beats him to death with a liquor bottle because he really wants to know what ice cream tastes like. This implies he expects to leave the No-End House and take JT’s place in the real world.
… when Margot took a carton of eggs from the fridge and found the same carton in its place when she went to return it. Also, I wouldn’t eat an omelet cooked by a dead man, even if that man was my father.
… when Margot’s dad ask Jules to come talk to him alone and then called her out for abandoning Margot because her grief was too heavy. Actually, hat tip to Jules because this is exactly when she got the fuck up outta there.
… when I ran into another version of me with the confidence of a lion and a sexy, submissive, and silent girlfriend. That shit couldn’t have ended well, JT. You knew better.