Channel Zero - Butcher's Block - Alice In Slaughterland - Review: "I've Got A Dead Peach In My Basement And It Ain't Gonna Keep!" By Claire Serowinski (March 2, 2018, 6:30 am) Channel Zero



Episode 4 of season 3 was written by Harley Peyton and directed by Arkasha Stevenson. And, it's another breath-taking episode!

Welcome to the Peach's summer house: "custom made by request, our little plantation atop of the food chain!"

Alice has ascended the staircase and opens the door to a bright, beautiful day. She makes her way through a hip-high field of pale yellow and green. It looks like heaven; looks can be deceiving.

As she makes her way towards a beautiful mansion at the edge of the field, each step takes her no closer to the 'Emerald City.' I say this because the scene reminded me of Dorothy trying to make her way through the poppy field.

Dorothy was trying to get home. Alice is trying to get to Zoe; her home. But, maybe in finding Zoe, she'll lose Alice. Alice also has a 'secret companion' following her; the tall, skinny embodiment of her disease.

She spots a white-faced Izzy, still covered in whatever 'the meatman' has spread on her. But Izzy runs upon seeing Alice's 'monster.' Alice also encounters the riddle-loving gardener, a nice fellow who is harvesting the latest crop of human hands.

Next, she happens upon 'Peachy', lounging underneath an umbrella and having a 'snack.' He tells her: "stop running around like a crazy rabbit!"

He welcomes her to their summer home: "our little plantation, although the landlord's a bit of a prick!"

Downstairs, Luke brings Robert's bullet-riddled body to Louise's house, like she had said. "When I said you could bring him to my house, this is NOT what I meant." Love how this show walks the fine line between horror and comedy.

Luke needs help and Louise relents. For someone who did not want to get involved, Louise is quickly becoming a 'savior': of Alice, Zoe, Luke and maybe Izzy, too?

They take the body to her basement and scrub out his squad car. She blames him for getting her involved, but he rebuts with: "this is what you've been waiting for, answers to all of those questions."

Upstairs, Zoe is seated at the Peach's formal dining table; attired and coiffed as if it were 1950. Edie is sweet and smiling, per usual; talking about how she met Robert. 'He picked her out of a secretarial pool in Atlanta and made her a Georgia Peach.'

She'd 'follow Robert anywhere.' Oh, true love! "Robert is the best Peach of them all, mama's favorite!" Edie is sweet to Aldous's sour. Aldous bristles at all of Edie's talk about 'perfect' Robert. He knows the truth; about the 'troubles' Robert makes: 'typical sibling rivalry or disdain?'

Aldous: "Robert can take care of himself, like father. I'm sick of cleaning up his messes, from upstairs and down. Do you think he cares about me?"

The family begins to wonder what has become of Robert. Edie thinks he is off on one of his 'pirate adventures' and will return with wonderful stories and a smile. I actually feel sorry for Edie. What is wrong with me?

Grandma looks happy, as always; played by the wonderful, 95 year young Doreen Brownstone.

Aldous makes an ominous statement: "the rent is due!" And, he walks away from the table, defeated.

The butler serves what looks like pork. Edie asks for extra: "it's like everyday is Easter!" There are a couple of Easter references in this episode.

When Alice happens upon two rabbits in the field, she has a flashback to Zoe's descent into madness; a breakdown/paranoid episode outside of their home, at Eastertime, with cops and pitying neighbors, staring on.

Could these Easter 'eggs' be in reference to some 'resurrection?' Who is 'alive' and who is 'dead' in Butcher's Block?

Though her stomach is grumbling, Zoe will not eat, even when Edie tries to feed her: "here comes the bat into the bat cave." Edie is such a 'mom.' Or when Edie tells Zoe how the body will eat itself if she starves herself, ironic.

Zoe is no longer happy to be 'cured,' knowing she has traded one illness for another? Even having Edie as a friend is not a comfort: "I'm starting to really like you." Edie says in her sweet, Southern drawl.

Dessert is served: a lovely kidney parfait with an ear wafer, yes an actual ear! And mama throws a finger at Zoe: "here girl, have some marrow!" Evelina is a dear.

Zoe fights her hunger with great strength, but relents and slices off a piece of her own leg, devouring it and relishing it; licking her fingers as if it were fried chicken.

Edie is truly disgusted! "What are you doing?" Really, THIS is what disgusts you?

Louise and Luke, attired in garbage bags, return to the basement to take care of the body, but he's gone...

They find Robert, knock him to the ground, stabbing him with a shovel and work on making sure that it 'sticks this time!' Louise, the badass that she is, takes a power tool to his neck and the blood commences splattering. She's 'got this.'

Ironic that the power tool is called a lopper, as in lopping off Robert's head!

Luke puts the head in a bowling bag, the body in his trunk. He wants to go to his dad, but Louise warns him not to. She doesn't trust him, what did she learn during her reporting days?

He says that his dad will have his back, that he believes in his dad: "he's harmless, his favorite show is Futurama."
He's also tired of everyone thinking that he is weak, he's not.

Louise is worried, but relents. You can't stand in the way of family, maybe she's thinking of her long lost brother...She tells Luke to keep her name out of it. He confronts his dad; with Robert's lovely face peeking out of the bowling bag. But, his dad is not who Luke thinks he is.

Chief Vancyk tells his son of a deal he made with the Peaches' for the betterment of Garrett. He just has to look the other way when people from Butcher's Block keep disappearing: 'they're the vermin I'd want to get rid of, anyway!'

Luke is devastated; telling his father that he will be a better man. "I'm not like you, dad." Luke is a good guy.

Luke and his dad drive to a field with high voltage power lines to bury the head and body. It is very reminiscent of the movie Seven: the middle of nowhere, power lines, a head in a bag/box; except instead of Gwyneth Paltrow's head, we have Andreas Apergis's head.

Luke digs Robert's grave and then chucks the body and bowling ball bag in it. His dad starts to help him, but, astonishingly, he cuts Luke's throat and pushes him into the grave; crying and screaming the whole time as Luke grabs his bloody throat.

I did not see this coming, but that holds true for most of this series.

Thankfully, Louise has been following Luke and when the chief drives away, Louise finds Luke still alive and goes for help. The song playing in Louise's car is Brenda Lee's 'Break It To Me Gently.' The hauntingly, beautiful song is playing as the scene cuts out.

Upstairs, Alice has found her way to the house by way of the gardener's riddle: "I am made of wood, but am not a table, have a handle, but am not a brush, don't live within a house, nor do I live without, have jamb, can't be spread on toast, what am I?"

Alice only wants to find her sister and take her home. She guesses a door.

Three ethereal looking doors appear. One of them leads her into the house and almost immediately her 'monster' starts chasing her throughout. She locks herself in a room, but the monster enters; as she cowers in a corner.

She has flashes of her madness: her mother stabbing Zoe and herself with a knife, a red door.

Peachy saves her, stabbing it, but he tells her that it must be cut out or it will grow back. He can 'cure' her illness, 'extract' her disease, but she must say: "Joey, cut his head off!" She is terrified and haltingly nods yes.

Alice and Joey, holding hands, enter the living room with the family gathered. A beautiful picture of the Peach twins, Ivy and Amelia, hangs over the fireplace. They bear a striking resemblance to Alice and Zoe.

Again, the aesthetics of this show are breath-taking: the glowing fire, the dark, rich colors of the furniture and walls.

Zoe pleads quietly with her sister: "no, Alice." But, as the sisters gaze into each other's eyes, Joey makes a toast: "to family!"
And Alice drinks to that toast: "to family."

Random thoughts:
So, is Alice still there to save Zoe or is Alice going to save herself?
Is Louise's taxidermy also a nod to resurrection?
Inscribed over the fireplace is MCMXII (1912), what does this year represent?

So sad that there are only two episodes left and I want to see how it ends. But, I don't want it to end!