Goosebumps has been an easy and silly watch for a few weeks now, which is why its attempt at a twisted commentary was a jarring moment in its finale. Overall, the caricature of gore has been done well, and in many ways, the teen attitude has been captured admirably. Here is a recap of Goosebumps finale as we get ready to say goodbye to the series.
How did Slappy come to be?
The origin of Slappy started with Rupert, who was about to die in a war in the 1800s. He had been shot by a bullet and was in his final moments when he accidentally landed in a dungeon that had some ancient chants inscribed on the wall. Rupert and the rest of the soldiers had been taught the local language to communicate during the war, so he was able to read it. With the first chant he read, Rupert’s wound was healed, and he was once again safe. He must have inscribed the rest of the spells into a book and spent time studying them for the next few years, after which he met Mahar, a puppeteer whose carnival was failing. Rupert, who had changed his name to Kanduu, told Mahar that he would help resurrect his business in exchange for the building of a spire. That started their association, but a year later, when Mahar saw that Kanduu was turning people into puppets, he understood what was going to happen and decided to fight against it. He made a puppet called Slappy, and he tried to capture Kanduu’s spirit in it. When Kanduu realized what was happening, he stabbed Mahar; however, the latter finished the incantation before dying, successfully trapping Kanduu in Slappy.
The puppet was lost for a while, but as luck would have it, years later, it was a descendant of Mahar who found it once again. His name was Ephraim Bratt, and he was also a failing magician when he found Slappy in a magic shop. Slappy gave a new lease of life to Ephraim’s career, and when it was his turn to return the favor, Ephraim had a vision about what Slappy would do, and that is when he cast away Slappy once again. Another period of time passed, and Ephraim’s great-grandson found Slappy on his estate. Harold Biddle was struggling socially, and Slappy was once again his savior. Harold may have gone through with fulfilling Slappy’s wishes, but during one show, he had taken things too far, and his friends wanted to steal Slappy as revenge. This resulted in an accident, and Harold’s house was set on fire, which also took the boy’s life.
How does Kanduu cause chaos in the present day?
In the present day, Nathan Bratt inherits the estate, and it is not long before he is possessed by Harold Biddle’s spirit. Harold holds his friends responsible for what happened to him, and now he wants to take revenge against their children. It is important to remember that through all this, Harold is under the influence of Slappy, who is none other than Kanduu.
After a lot of struggle, Harold finally comes to his senses when the kids tell him that his parents are still waiting for him to join them so that they can move to the afterlife together. That makes him realize the brainwashing, and he throws Slappy down the mountain and decides to move on. But Slappy is brought back by Nathan Bratt, who has started writing a book and cannot figure out a good ending for it, so he decides to take the puppet’s help. That ends up starting the chaos again because this time, the puppet insists on Nathan keeping his end of the deal, and Kanduu finally comes back to life.
How do the kids fall into Kanduu’s trap?
Strictly speaking, only Lucas is the gullible one of the group. The rest of the kids realize something is wrong the moment they come back to town. A scholarship too good to be true is waiting for Isaiah; Margot’s parents have gotten back together; James’ crush is asking him out to prom; and Isabella’s parents are being nice to her. They all sense that something is off and rush to protect Lucas, not knowing that he has already been turned into a puppet by Kanduu. They follow him in their car, only to find that it was a trap, and they are all brought in front of the magician. He tells them that his purpose is to release all the monsters in the world so that people will start fighting them and stop fighting amongst themselves. It is a rather twisted way of saying that he just wants to see the world burn, and the kids call him out on that. Kanduu did not need to explain himself to the kids, and he ordered Fifi to kill them all. But Nathan takes some courage and stabs his dog. He also tells the kids about the book by Mahar and that it has a solution for stopping Kanduu.
Is Kanduu still alive?
The principle of turning people into puppets is that they first need to be convinced of a fantasy, and when that happens, Kanduu has the power to turn them. It sounds like a loophole because this is not how the first few people on the show were turned, including Harold’s parents.
Anyway, Mahar’s spirit comes back and tells Kanduu that he is sorry for the betrayal and would like to join him in his quest to burn the spire. This was Kanduu’s ultimate fantasy, and just when it looks like he is under their spell, he breaks out of it and tells the kids that it doesn’t work on him. Kanduu is ready to start the fire, and Isaiah goes to stop him, while Margot looks for the spell to reverse the magic. Just as Kanduu is about to do something terrible, Margot finds the original spell and chants it in reverse, undoing all the magic that Kanduu has done over the years, including the healing of his own gunshot wound. Once again, Kanduu is mortal and is about to die when, in a fit of fury, he fires at Margot, but Isaiah ends up taking the hit. Kanduu is dragged down by the other spirits while the entire town has turned back humans and taken Isaiah to the hospital.
The doctors tell the family that Isaiah may not make it, and Margot is close to tears. She sits by Isaiah and says that she wants to give them a chance. She has always wanted to be with him, and she doesn’t want to let it go at any cost. Therefore, at the end of Goosebumps episode 10, Margot once again reads the spell that ends up healing Isaiah, and he is safe.
Meanwhile, Nathan is struggling with the guilt of what he has done. As he looks in the mirror, he finds a reflection of Kanduu. One explanation could be that Nathan is experiencing some form of PTSD. He had spoken about it when he was possessed by Harold, so it could be a remnant of that. The other explanation is that when Margot read the spell, she not only brought back Isaiah to life but also invoked some leftover part of Kanduu that took residence in Nathan. Additionally, Nora keeps saying that it is their fault that they did not end things all those years ago. Is there something more to their past that the audience was not told about? In its trademark style, Goosebumps has left the audience with far more questions than answers, and only season 2 could help us now.
At the heart of it, Goosebumps was never a serious story, despite its moments. Neither was it something that would have us on the edge of our seats. It was a fun kind of horror, and so far, it has been on point with that. It is recommended for an easy time.