‘Shining Vale’ Season 2 Ending Explained & Series Summary: Why Did Pat Think That Terry Is The Devil?


Essentially, Shining Vale season 2 has been one long story with very little happening and an extremely unsatisfying ending. Season 1 of Shining Vale at least had the grace to put us on the edge of our seats. It was confusing and infuriating, and the audience was genuinely scared at the sheer hopelessness of the situation. Season 2 has failed to recreate that. In many ways, it lost sight of what it was trying to do. Season 1 started the conversation about the lack of understanding of women’s mental health and how, even in the most well-meaning households, they do not get the support they need because society is simply not designed that way. The entire second season of the show should have been condensed to the first three episodes. Even if the show was meant for such a slow pace, shouldn’t the jokes have been spectacularly funny, at least? Essentially, we started watching Shining Vale season 2 with high hopes, only to have it all dashed to the ground and turned to hopeless rubble. There is no anticipation for a third season anymore because we can’t trust whether the storyline can be salvaged at all. Regardless, due to our love for Courtney Cox, let us go through the recap of the second season.

Spoiler Alert

How does Pat realize that she was actually possessed?

When Pat comes back from the asylum, she finds her family in tatters. Gaynor hates her, and Terry has no memory of his life before. Thankfully, Jake is the same, but that is not saying much. Gaynor had to put her plans for college on hold, and she even dropped out of school to take care of the house. She had to get an abortion after Ryan moved to a different city, and overall, she has been going through a lot. While there is no excuse for her bratty behavior towards her mother, and it is also unacceptable how she blames Pat for her mental health issues, it is evident that this is the only way Gaynor knows how to cope with her life at this point. Blaming someone else for it makes things easier, and that is what she is doing. Thankfully, Gaynor seems to be self-aware about this, which is why she allows for the moments of tenderness between her and her mother and seems to work towards believing Pat when she tries to take over some of the responsibilities.

Gaynor may think that her mother was insane, but this season showed that even she was not immune to hallucination, which in this case is the attack of the supernatural. Pat has always been the primary target of it all, but Gaynor and Jake are also beginning to see it. Other than the few visions that Gaynor has around the house, she meets a priest named Ennio. However, no one but she knows about him, and she doesn’t have a record of him despite having spent many months with each other. Gaynor slept with the priest the last time she saw him, and we suspect that Shining Vale season 3 would show her as being pregnant. As for Jake, he has been seeing a girl called Daisy. For a brief time, he even tries to escape her, but eventually, he just accepts her presence around him.

Why is Terry running for mayor?

The messaging around Terry’s character has always been the most interesting. Shining Vale uses the most stereotypical (and problematic) elements to emphasize the hypocrisy of the male view of women’s mental health. In season 1, Terry was an insecure man who was trying to do his best, but he never stopped to listen to or understand his wife. In season 2, Terry starts with a clean slate, with his memory wiped off. His condition also results in him not having any testosterone in his body, and he has to take shots for it every day. That results in his dominating emotions being a chase for more power and lots of anger in daily life. See where we are going with this? After Terry sees his friend’s girlfriend being run down by a bus, he decides to run for mayor of the town. That is not a bad idea, to be honest, except that not once is he shown to actually comfort his friend. Since Terry wants people’s support, he turns to the Women’s Association in town, and sadly for Pat, they are the witches’ coven of Shining Vale.

What is happening with Pat’s book?

Pat’s book, “Rosemary’s Revenge,” has been topping the charts ever since it was released. But it is also having an unprecedented effect on women. The moment they read the book, they kill their husbands with an ax. Initially, Pat is concerned about it, but she doesn’t know how to address the problem. However, when she starts hallucinating again, she realizes that there may be something more to the problem. The hospital doesn’t want to take Pat back, and she is not getting help from anywhere else. The therapist is helpful, but only to an extent, and he is largely biased against women, so he can’t do much. That is why Pat finds that, as long as she gives in to the hallucinations nominally, her life is mostly under control. She meets a woman named Nellie in her dreams, who has Rosemary’s face, and she says that she was an undercover reporter who was trying to find out how the mental asylum was harming women by misdiagnosing them with hysteria. However, Nellie gets stuck in the hospital and falls prey to their scheme. She gets pregnant, and anything she says against the institution is diagnosed as her being crazy. Nellie tells Pat to check her hospital tapes, and when Pat does that, she discovers that she was never mad. She was indeed possessed, and just like others, she had convinced herself that she had gone mad. Now that she knew the truth, she tried to tell people not to read the book, as she thinks that Rosemary must have hidden messages inside the book that were forcing them to kill their husbands. During this time, Pat has gotten pregnant herself, and she is scared for the baby that is about to come into the world.

Why does Pat think that Terry is the devil?

Pat overhears Ruth’s (a lookalike of Rosemary) conversation about their plans for the baby. They are descendants (in a manner of speaking) of the original coven of Shining Vale, and they are after Pat’s baby. Pat sees Rosemary once again, and she says that she was a victim just like Pat. Rosemary also says that she finally found her freedom through the book that she wrote through Pat, and if Pat wants to be free of the mess, the only way out is death.

Later, when Pat scrambles to protect herself and the baby, she finds that all doors are closed for her. Her mother, her neighbors, and even all the women around her insist that Pat is just being hormonal, and they send her back to her house. Pat has realized that she cannot count on her husband (who has been brainwashed) or her doctor (who is part of the cult), so basically, she is once again all alone. Pat sees Nellie, and she comes to know that after she lost her baby, she and the rest of the women took over the hospital and formed the association that is after Pat today. The doctor of the asylum had made a deal with the devil, and it was his children that Nellie had miscarried. After all these years, Pat was the one chosen to give birth to the devil’s child, and she would be taken care of by the association.

Perhaps Pat was chosen because of the history of mental illness in her family and the fact that nobody would believe her if she ever tried to tell people the truth. Maybe it was a way for the association to gain their own freedom from the devil, and Pat and her child were the sacrificial victims.

During Shining Vale Season 2’s ending, Pat gives birth to a baby girl, and for a brief second, she thinks that everything is alright once again. Terry has been made the mayor of Shining Vale; Pat knows that she has a sister who was given up for adoption by her mother, and Gaynor wants to become a writer. Even Jake wants to ‘stop hiding, so he may not be such a recluse going forward. Surprisingly, Pat finds that Ruth is an old woman. She is not who she remembered her to be. The dream may have continued if Pat had not read Page 111 of the book given to her at her baby shower. That page spoke about the ‘Devil Doctor,’ the one that Nellie mentioned. His name was Armin Strong, and he was known to have taken advantage of women in the asylum regularly. He fathered many children, but none of them survived past a week. However, Armin Strong had a daughter named Button with his wife. The wife was burned at the stake for witchcraft, and he lost his daughter to the state. Armin Strong was killed during the uprising in the hospital, though his body was never found.

It is the name ‘Button’ that strikes Pat in the present day since that is what Terry calls Gaynor. When Pat stepped out of the room, she found that their dog, Roxy, had become feral. All the women of the association are fawning over Terry, feeding into his image of power and ego. The sight is very similar to witches worshiping Satan, and Pat realizes that Terry is the devil. It is perfectly in line with what the Wiccan had told her about the devil aiming for positions of power, which is what Terry was doing. They were also living in the portal to hell, so it was all lined up. Perhaps Pat’s only hope going forward is that her child is a daughter. The witches were expecting a son, and maybe this difference will help Pat fight against whatever is coming her way now.

Final Thoughts

The ending is fantastic, but it does not make up for the slow and terrible narrative throughout the eight episodes. That should have been different and better. It wouldn’t even have taken that much effort for it to be so. Either way, we are curious about Shining Vale season 3, but we won’t be as patient with it as we have been with season 2.

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Divya Malladi
Divya Malladi
Divya spends way more time on Netflix and regrets most of what she watches. Hence she has too many opinions that she tries to put to productive spin through her writings. Her New Year resolution is to know that her opinions are validated.

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