Haunted season 3, episode 1 recap – “In the Pines”

By Jonathon Wilson
Published: May 14, 2021
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Haunted season 3, episode 1 recap - "In the Pines"


“In the Pines” is surprisingly decent for an episode of Haunted, with a likable narrator, even if its cabin in the woods story is pretty old hat.

This recap of Haunted season 3, episode 1, “In the Pines”, contains spoilers.

I love this show.

It’s flagrant charlatan nonsense, of course, but it’s always good for a laugh, and the third season premiere doesn’t suggest anything has changed. Its cold open is actually decent, too. A caricature of a redneck sits on the stoop of his cabin playing the titular “In the Pines” on a banjo while a woman chained up in his bathroom with one breast rather titillatingly hanging out screams in terror. Eventually, realizing she’s ruining his song, the redneck gets up and slowly, menacingly walks towards her with a hatchet, at which point the credits roll and we’re told by Hannah that she and her boyfriend lived in a cabin in the woods that was PURE EVIL.

Hannah, she explains, moved from Alaska to Montana with her strict fundamentalist Christian parents — no alarm bells there! — who were pretty abusive. It’s hard to make jokes about that, so I won’t, but it is pretty telling about the general nuttiness of religious people of that type; Hannah being bound to a chair and gagged in order to be humbled before God really does ring true, which so little in this show usually does. As we discussed in the one good episode of the second season, human evil is much scarier than any other kind, and if “In the Pines” was about that kind of evil all the way through, it’d be worthwhile.

But it’s not. Hannah, for what it’s worth, is very likable, and I was happy for her when she explained how she moved away from her psychotic mother, got into the marijuana business, and hooked up with a guy named Drew, with whom she moved into a rickety logging cabin. Hannah’s haircut in the re-enactments gives her a look of UFC Women’s Strawweight Champion Rose Namajunas, which is nice. Soon, attention turns to a weird wall which Hannah is convinced there’s something behind. Drew, not one for subtlety, immediately pulls out a chainsaw and carves through the wood, and inside the space, they find the bathroom from the cold open, which is rotten and pungent. Wouldn’t they have been able to smell it through the wood in the first place? No matter. This could still be true!

The shower drain leads into the basement, which in turn leads into a network of tunnels leading further back into the house. Again, plausible. Kind of intriguing, even. The shower drains directly into a bucket full of a thick, black liquid that might be old blood, and a mattress in the space suggested that someone had lived there. After the discovery, “weird sh*t” started happening, and here we go. Drew and Hannah are pretty turned on by the fact that a creepy serial killer used to squat in their basement, but while they’re hooking up they begin to hear the tell-tale creepy sound of a banjo. Has any good ever come of that instrument? “In the Pines” floats through the cabin, and Drew roams around with the chainsaw like Leatherface. Eventually, they decide to board up the murder room and paint it.

But that doesn’t help! Hannah and Drew wake up with bloody slashes all over their bodies (she doesn’t show the scars during the present-day roundtable discussion, which you’d imagine she would.) Drew decides that perhaps he should channel whatever energy is in the house through him, in order to stop it from being angry that it’s trapped, which even for this show is one of the dumbest things I’ve ever heard. Lo and behold, Drew starts screaming that the house is hungry and should be fed blood. The house demands blood, even, which he repeats again and again in a frantic trance. Eventually, he gets in his truck and drives away, and banjo music starts playing on the radio, which Hannah hears back at the cabin, complete with flashes of the captive girl from the cold open. Drew, fiddling with the radio, crashes his truck, and Hannah collapses to the ground in tears.

Drew died on the scene. Hannah carries his ashes around. As I say, she’s very likable, and I hope she’s okay, as much as I can’t help but quibble with her theory that it was dark energy in the cabin that took Drew’s life. But hey, Haunted season 3, episode 1 wasn’t as bad as it usually is. Maybe we’re onto something.

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