Monsterland season 1, episode 7 recap – what happened in “Iron River, Michigan”?

By Daniel Hart
Published: October 2, 2020 (Last updated: January 10, 2024)
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Monsterland Season 1 Recap
Monsterland Season 1 Promotional Image Courtesy of Hulu


Monsterland season 1, episode 7 takes a while to settle in but once it becomes a conspiracy, audiences will be found waiting for an answer.

This recap of Hulu’s Monsterland season 1, episode 7, “Iron River, Michigan” contains significant spoilers.

We recapped all of the anthology series — check out the archive.

The opening

Elena and Lauren talk about sex with guys — Elena is getting ready to meet a man. Lauren tells her friend that her mother has never been endearing towards her. Suddenly, Pete comes over and starts hooking up with Elena immediately — they ask for privacy and tell Lauren to go in the closet so they can have sex. Lauren goes in the closet, puts her hands over her ears and cries.

As you have guessed already, you can tell why Lauren has serious issues with Elena — this is downright being taken advantage of.


Elena gets Lauren out of the closet and suggests they go to the woods to smoke a spliff. When Lauren says no, Elena says that her mother is controlling and a b*tch and she needs to live a little. Lauren tells Elena she is done with her using her. Elena tells Lauren that she will be going in the woods on her own and Lauren is scared for her.

Elena is missing

The next day when Lauren returns home from school, the police are in her home and are asking about Elena. Lauren is shaking and Elena’s mother calls her “Sweetheart” — a nickname that her mother has never called her.

This is a turning point — the endearment resonates with Lauren — she feels the love; a void that has now been filled.

10 years later

Episode 7 sees Lauren taking over Elena’s life and transparently so.

Lauren is getting married and she’s doing a rehearsal. Elena’s mother Rebecca is walking her down the aisle. She’s getting married to Peter, the boyfriend of Elena when she was younger. A speech confirms they grieved together when Elena died. One of the guests, Abigail, is not happy about the whole Peter/Lauren marriage. Lauren joins the table and reveals she calls Elena’s mother her mother. Her real mother kicked her out. Abigail raises how bone remains has been found in the woods and it could be Elena.

A generous donation

Abigail wants to tell Rebecca about the news on TV about the bone remains. Lauren remembers warning Elena about going into the woods by herself. As Lauren is about to tell Rebecca about the bone remains, she gives her a good contribution of money which makes it a bad time for her to reveal what is in the news.

She’s stolen Elena’s life

Before the wedding, Abigail asks Lauren why she changed her hair from straight to wavy. For the ceremony, Lauren will be wearing Rebecca’s wedding dress. Abigail storms out and speaks to the other bridesmaid — she’s not coping well with the situation; she doesn’t want to participate in the wedding anymore. Abigail believes Lauren has stolen Elena’s life.

What really happened

Monsterland season 1, episode 7 turns into a story about perspective and forces the audience to put Lauren on trial — the question is always did she murder Elena?

Episode 7 then flits back to the scene again where Elena tells Lauren they should smoke in the woods and claims that her mother is a b*tch. In this version of events, Elena and Lauren go to the woods. They then smoke together. As Lauren blows out the smoke, Elena disappears. Afterward, Elena tries to scare her and they keep pushing each other — when Lauren pushes her again, Elena hits her head on a sharp rock and she dies instantly.

The mother returns

But this version of events is Abigail’s theory. The other bridesmaid says she has no evidence of this — Abigail believes she can get proof. Before she gets married, Lauren’s real mother Faye turns up. Lauren asks her to leave but she refuses. Faye talks how she’s dressing up as the dead girl — she goes on about the day Elena died and how she had dirt on her shoes which makes the situation suspicious. Lauren says nothing happened in the woods — Rebecca walks in and tells Faye to leave. Faye tells Lauren to tell the truth.

Her version of events

Lauren reveals her version of events that inject an unexpected end to the story.

There’s a flashback with Elena calling Lauren’s mother a b*tch again. Elena mocks Lauren that she’s scared about the woods and says if she goes to the woods with her, she’ll tell her a secret. In the woods, Lauren asks Elena what the secret is — Elena does a blowback with the spliff and then kisses her. Lauren then smokes it and Elena tries to scare her — she then hears Lauren genuinely screaming in the distance. This is the story that Lauren tells Rebecca. Abigail says the story is a lie and that they can never be sure what happened.

The crooked old woman

Abigail then pays Faye money for showing up and they all leave. Lauren runs through the woods with her bride’s dress on and screams for Elena. She finds an old crooked woman and asks Lauren to follow her. The woman gives her a drink and asks Lauren why she ran from the wedding. Lauren states she doesn’t deserve that life. She admits she wanted what Elena had. She feels that in a way, she did kill her.

The ending

And then there’s a twist…

The crooked old woman explains the time she thought she fell in love — the man pushed her out of the car and into the woods. She believes that they have to take what they don’t have. Elena then walks through the door. The crooked woman says Elena is late and demands that she makes the fire. The crooked old woman kidnapped her as she always wanted a daughter.

Elena’s vocal cords are frozen but she still manages to communicate with Lauren — the crooked old woman attacks them both and then offers a trade — Elena leaves, Lauren stays. As the chapter ends, Lauren walks through the woods — presumably, she left Elena behind, again.

Monsterland season 1, episode 7 takes a while to settle in but once it becomes a conspiracy, audiences will be found waiting for an answer.

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