overnights

Forever Recap: Cabin

Forever

The Lake House
Season 1 Episode 3
Editor’s Rating *****

Forever

The Lake House
Season 1 Episode 3
Editor’s Rating *****
Photo: Colleen Hayes/Amazon Prime Video

We’ve now been reunited with Oscar who has, for better and worse, died. He’s dead! And June’s dead, too! They’re both gone, done, a whole year apart. Now they’ve been reunited, dearly, in the afterlife.

On the surface, this isn’t the worst news that we’ve gotten during this series. The neighborhood that June’s woken up in is more akin to The Good Place (a comparison I’ll try to stay away from going forward, but still, it’s there, and entirely unavoidable) than Dante’s Inferno. June has all of her faculties intact. And she’s with the man she loves. Or at least the man she married, even if, right at the end there, she was just beginning to reconcile with a life in his absence. On the cusp of a major change in her life, it ended. She was literally turning a new page, drinking on a paid flight to Hawaii. And now she’s back where we found her, so to speak.

But there are things to learn about this new life — this new death — and Oscar is here to show them to her. The dead coexist among the living, although the latter doesn’t see the former (as evidenced, sort of, by the sort of funny anecdotal bit opening the episode, between two dudes we probably won’t be seeing again). There are “Currents,” and then there are the folks like Oscar and June and their neighbors. There’s a fountain that no one really knows what to do with in the center of town. But if the dead stray too far from it, they become noticeably weaker. It’s one of the handful of concrete details about this new “life” that really sticks out.

And then there are the remnants of Oscar and June’s relationship. Before they begin to find something like a routine again, the couple runs into a teen named Mark (Oscar’s “friend”!), played by Noah Robbins, who’s actually older than the both of them by miles. He’s sort of an asshole, but he’s an asshole in a way that probably won’t be too grating over time. Which is to say that we’ll probably be seeing him again. And his presence really comes into play once Oscar and June, on a midday escapade, rediscover the cabin that played an integral role in their relationship (or, really, their routine).

But, eventually, June reveals that she sold the cabin after Oscar’s death. It’s been bought by a new family. And while the couple initially makes an attempt to coexist with them (nobody can see each other), Oscar just isn’t having it. He enlists Mark’s help to perform something like a haunting, and after enticing him with a number of things that he ultimately declines, the trio sets out to scare the new occupants out of their occupancy. After a handful of More Racist Than Funny Jokes That Still Aren’t Terribly Funny At All (the new family occupying the cabin is Asian), Mark, a white kid, tells June and Oscar that, sometimes, if they really focus their anger, the dead can move things in the living world. Small things, like flicking a light switch. Or pushing something off of a shelf. But not creepy shit, to say nothing of creepy shit occurring in a cabin in the middle of nowhere.

When Oscar tries to make his mark on the real world, he is entirely unsuccessful (which makes sense, given his demeanor; he doesn’t have much to be upset about). But June pulls it off with relative ease (which makes sense, for the opposite reason). And with the same nonchalance that she goes about causing problems, the family occupying the cabin finds their way around them. They are truly happy. It becomes apparent that the haunting is a bust. And after a last-ditch attempt from Mark (to “flip” himself), Oscar and June and their friend decide that giving up the ghost here (ha) might be for the best.

This escapade was, all things considered, something to do. Which is exactly what Oscar and June needed. And now that it’s gone, we’re left with our heroes’ original dilemma: the question of monotony within monogamy, and what happens when one party has simply had enough. But while a breaking point was avoided for Oscar and June by his death, here they are, stuck in the same place, again. Only now, they don’t even have the finality of the end to look forward to. The loop we began with in the very first episode is a hell in itself, which, for June, might be entirely too much to bear.

Forever Recap: Cabin