Main cast: Doug Jones (Grady Edlund), Molly Hagan (Elena Edlund), John Pyper-Ferguson (Rowdy Edlund), Gordon Tootoosis (Eddie Bear), Brett Dier (Derek Edlund), and Cole Heppell (Tim Edlund)
Director: Larry Fessenden
Meet the Edlund family. It’s complicated. Elena is sleeping with her brother-in-law Rowdy. Her eldest son Derek is being all emo and “You ain’t the boss of me!” Grady, her husband, is missing in a snowstorm, presumably dead, and one of the reasons why Derek is emo is because no one seems to be succeeding in locating his father. That and he knows that his mother is sleeping with Rowdy. What can I say? They are all living a ranch in what seems like the middle of nowhere – they need something to do to pass the time. This episode opens with Grady unexpectedly showing up, staggering home. All seems well… until it becomes apparent that Grady isn’t what he seems to be.
You see, he left with some guys ten days ago to the mountains, and when they became lost in a bad snowstorm, he was forced to eat the flesh of those men to survive. As a result, he is now possessed by a wendigo, a cannibal demon. He begins wasting away further despite displaying a ravenous appetite, his emaciated form becoming more and more demonic in appearance, and his behavior becomes more erratic, even violent. Oh dear, can Elena somehow find a way to save her family from the thing who was once her husband?
Doug Jones is predictably excellent in his role here, as he looks creepy enough even before the show starts making him look even more demonic, and he effortlessly veers from being a pitiable character to a terrifying monster, and back again. Every leer and glare from him makes Skin and Bones a disturbing thing to watch. This episode can be seen as a spiritual sequel to Eater, because the threat of violence and abuse on women is palpable and obvious. Unlike Eater, however, there is a happy ending of sorts here, so there’s that.
Meanwhile, the kids are a pain in the ass to watch, but while the bratty emo Derek becomes more tolerable as things progress, that younger kid Tim becomes even more obnoxious. Still, I suppose they are young, and besides, with Tim being what he is, maybe he’d step into a bear trap soon.
The only downside to this otherwise very watchable and scary episode is that things become increasingly cartoon-like as it progresses, to the point that the last fifteen minutes are almost like a parody of itself. The parts up to that point are great, with excellent build-up and perfectly paced chilling moments, but the moment Grady becomes a full-fledged monster, he is another MUAHAHAHA ME EVIL AND ME LOVE GIVING EXPOSITIONS INSTEAD OF BITING ANYONE MUAHAHAHAHA. How disappointing, sigh.