This is the episode of Shining Vale season 2, where everything starts making sense for Pat’s journey. We finally know the ghost that she has to deal with this season, but on the other hand, it makes us think once again about the relationship between women and mental illness and how it is perceived by the world. Mostly, this episode was about situational comedy and some toilet humor. But otherwise, it was pretty lighthearted, and in many ways, it has already told us what is going to happen for the rest of the season. Let us explore that through the recap and ending of Shining Vale Episode 3.
What happens after Terry gets back his memory?
It is not easy to accept that the wife that you have been trying to rebuild a relationship with tried to kill you with an ax. So far, Terry has been feeling that his condition is a limitation to their family’s recovery to normalcy. But knowing that his wife was responsible for the condition makes him indignant. Both of them go to the therapist, who once again demonstrates that he is a terrible choice because he calls periods gross. If only the Phelps could afford a better therapist, things would look a lot different for them. Terry demands to know why Pat hit him with the axe, and she says that it was her mental health. The therapist suggests that the anger could have been an accumulation of many unsaid things over time, and that makes Terry think that they were not as perfect as Pat had told him they were. Pat doesn’t want to tell him more things because she sees his memory loss as an opportunity for a fresh start. Pat and the therapist recommend that Terry try to get back to his old job, and that may jog his memory or give him a better sense of normalcy.
Terry likes the idea of him being a functional human being who could do things when he did not have trouble stringing together sentences. But when he goes to his old office, there are some memories still present—the unpleasant ones, which have been turned into some noteworthy memes and jokes. The first is Terry’s famous line from when he quit his job. The others will come soon. He meets Kathryn, and Terry can feel the attraction between them. He could tell that they probably shared something, but Kathryn doesn’t divulge too much. In many ways, she seems to understand Terry more than Pat, but their love story is not the focus of Shining Vale, at least not so far.
When Terry goes back home, he asks Laird whether he ever mentioned Kathryn. Laird knows about it, but he also doesn’t say anything. However, they find a letter in Terry’s drawer, and when Laird reads it out, Terry understands a part of what may have happened. During the finale of season 1 of Shining Vale, Kathryn and her husband had come over for dinner at the Phelps’. Kathryn had shared a moment with Terry, while Pat, possessed by Rosemary, had slept with Kathryn’s husband. While Pat wanted to forget the whole thing, Terry had written a letter admitting to kissing Kathryn and apologizing to Pat. It was that letter that they had found now, and Terry concluded that it was why Pat must have attacked him. He thinks she had read the letter, was devastated, and had taken out her anger with the axe. It is funny how Terry believed once again that it was all his fault.
What was in the herbs Ruth gave Pat?
It is surprising that a person who has just come out of a mental asylum and who needs to make her health her topmost priority decided to simply take unnamed herbs given to her by a neighbor who looked like the ghost that used to haunt her. Maybe Gaynor is not simply being a brat; she actually has a point with her fears. The herbs that Ruth gave Pat have given her a new kind of youth. Pat looks and feels younger, and she has also gotten her period, which feels strange because she was very close to menopause, so much so that she did not even have any sanitary napkins with her. Everyone compliments Pat on her glowing skin, but for the audience, it is clear that things are far from alright.
There are ravens landing at Pat’s book signing, and when Pat tells a woman (who sold the house to Ruth) that she knows Ruth from Brooklyn, the woman is tensed for a second as she probably expected Pat to say something else. That is the first clue that there is much more to Ruth than Pat has found out. Secondly, Ruth constantly evades the question of the exact herbs she has used, and she tells Pat to just deal with the side effects, which are going to be some very vivid dreams. That should have been Pat’s next clue, especially after she spoke to her mother. Pat’s mother tells her about how she used to see a man with a hat, and the first time she was discharged from the asylum, she saw him in her room, which is why she went back to the hospital. That is what she asks Pat to watch out for. The connecting dream factor should have alerted Pat.
Another thing is that while it is constantly said in Shining Vale seasons 1 and 2 that the mental illness is hereditary, everybody seems to think Gaynor is next, and nobody has thought about Jake having it at all. We are not saying that there is no supernatural force around, and Jake is certainly being haunted by some goat, but his mental health is being ignored in favor of his being used as comic relief.
During the end of Shining Vale season 2, episode 3, Terry prepares a surprise for Pat as a way for both of them to move on together. He tells her that he knows about the affair, and Pat thinks that he is talking about her affair, which is why they moved to the new house to begin with. Either way, they both enjoy this confusion and eat some chocolate made by Ruth with her herbs, and they end up spending the night together. Gaynor takes the sign of her parents’ improving relationship as permission to go to college. But something else is happening with Pat. She hallucinates that Ruth, along with the other women, have surrounded her and are holding some kind of seance while the goat violates her. Pat wakes up from the dream, but the audience knows it is a reality, as the costume hand of the goat is on the floor.
Our guess is that Ruth is a witch, and the other ladies are her coven. Pat is their target to carry the devil’s child, and the herbs she has been giving her have been targeted at her fertility so that she is capable of bearing a child. It looks like this season of Shining Vale will be a parody of Rosemary’s Baby, except that Terry was probably an unwilling participant. We can bet that Pat will be pregnant in the next episode.
While the plot of the season has become clear to us, we just want to understand how it connects to the previous season. That is the answer we are waiting for. We don’t want to assume that it was just Pat’s mental illness because we are positive that the supernatural was involved in her trauma. We hope the series doesn’t make us wait too long for that.