Panic season 1, episode 8 recap – what happened in “Returns”?

By Daniel Hart
Published: May 28, 2021
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Amazon original Panic season 1, episode 8 - Returns


Episode 8 sees the games manipulate the contestants, as the true test of each character is put on the line. The story has managed to keep itself maintained, despite many converging plot points and complications.

This recap of Amazon original Panic season 1, episode 8, “Returns,” contains major spoilers. 

After a calmer chapter, episode 8 gives the audience plenty of drama, plus twists and turns as it starts to naturally journey to the finale.

Enjoying their new romance, Heather (played by Olivia Welch) meets up with Bishop (Camron Jones) for coffee. They kiss awkwardly, excited and giddy by their new chapter. Heather wonders if they are making a mistake, but Bishop reassures her that they will be okay, and he is not going to change his mind. Then, she asks for advice and raises the possibility that there is a betting system on Panic. Heather explains that Luke is the one who hit Dodge’s sister and left her paralyzed. Bishop believes Ray is in on Luke’s betting system. Heather defends Ray, which frustrates Bishop — he questions whether Ray was falling for her or if it was for the game, which annoys Heather. She talks about how $50,000 is not a lot of money for rich people, referring to his family. As she walks off, she tells him that maybe he doesn’t know her anymore.

Well, folks, that relationship got rough quickly.

Playing for Dayna

One relationship turns ugly, and so does the other one.

Natalie tells Dodge about the betting system, but he already knew — he’s helping to get Luke in jail and that this is the only way. Natalie feels like he has been spying, but Luke says he still wants to win and that he’s playing for Dayna.

A broken mother/daughter relationship

And another relationship turns ugly, but this time it’s between a mother and a daughter.

Heather sees her mother at her work, and she throws back the car keys. The mother and daughter argue — the mother claims she was scared to death and wondered where they both were. Heather tells her mother that she’s not a bad person, but she’s not good at being a “mom”. Emotions run high as both women tear up. Her mother asks, “how did you turn out so good, huh?” before walking off. Heather talks to Anne and tells her she can raise Lily better than her mother; she then reveals she dropped out of college. Anne offers Heather and Lily a place to stay.

Bishop tells Ray to come clean

And so the love triangle turns on its ugly head, and as usual, it’s those plotting for the first position that ends up fighting.

Bishop meets Ray, and he’s pissed. The men scuffle and Bishop tells Ray to prove him right and hit him. But Ray does not fall for it. Bishop raises the betting system and raises that it’s going to go down on Luke over Dodge’s sister and that she will be in a wheelchair for the rest of her life. Ray doesn’t seem to understand the situation at all — it seems he’s unaware. Bishop tells Ray to come clean about Luke, and then the Sheriff might not come down on him as well.

Leela and Hunter tell the police what they know

Episode 8 reveals more truth about the previous games a year before — the more the police look into it, the more it looks like the deaths were completely avoidable.

Leela heads to the police station with Hunter to answer questions. Hunter has gone cold turkey with the drugs. Hunter tells them that he was in the games last year, but he didn’t want the money that bad. Capt. John Williams and Sgt. Christine Langley raises how a training pistol was swapped in the Russian roulette with a real gun. Hunter claims he knows little but that Myra was last in the games, so she sent threatening notes to Abby. Myra also knew Abby was pregnant but that she had an abortion. Sheriff Jimmy knows this is enough for a warrant.

The games begin

Ah, we missed the games, and episode 8 manipulates the minds of the teens to an extreme degree.

The remaining four participants are given a separate location for the games; for Ray, he’s told to sleep on one of the shelves in the morgue — the longer he stays, the more points he gets. Ray tells Drew that no matter what he says, do not let him out; as soon he’s put in, Ray changes his mind, but Drew walks off, as he’s following his instructions. And then it flits to Dodge, and he’s told to look for a key in the Tumbleweed Maze — he has one hour. As for Shawna, she has a bowl with balls — each one has a pill inside, and she has no idea what drug it is. Finally, she gets upset and tells Tyler that she quits. As Shawna walks off, Tyler tells her they were sugar pills. Ouch.

The keys and the hatch 

Dodge reaches a room full of keys, and he has to decipher which key it is — however, he hears Dayna from a hatch — she’s locked in, and she tells Dodge that they know about their plan. Dodge tells her to calm down and starts playing with different keys. He shouts for Summer and asks for help, but no help arrives. When he opens the hatch, there’s a device inside — Dayna isn’t in there; he’s been tricked. He picks up a key and walks out.

Natalie’s video

And then the biggest moment of the chapter arrives, which will potentially end a friendship for good.

Heather heads out to meet Diggins after he text her for a movie night — however, Natalie turns up, and she’s confused as to why Heather is at the challenge. Suddenly, the TV in front of them shows Natalie at the last challenge been recorded — she’s telling the camera that she’s made a deal with Dodge and that Heather doesn’t know — she goes on how Heather will not win and is not even going to college — she admits to sabotaging her in the “stealing” challenge and locked her in the hatch at the farm. Natalie is distraught, but Heather appears disappointed, cries, and runs off — Natalie tries running after her, but Diggins stops her. Two best friends, their friendship ruined over the game. All of a sudden, it doesn’t seem like this game is worth it.

The ending

The Sheriff’s wife heads into the police station and tells Sgt. Christine Langley that it was her son Jimmy that switched the training pistol with the gun. Meanwhile, the Panic participants gather. Diggins reveals that Shawna is out and that Dodge is in the lead — his competitor for the “Joust” is not determined. Natalie is also disqualified for cheating in the “stealing” challenge — she never entered the farmhouse, and Dodge got an item for her — her points have been removed. Natalie storms off. Diggins reveals that the final three are Dodge, Ray, and Heather (she’s back in due to Natalie’s disqualification and her immunity returns). Diggins tells Heather to move to her individual challenge.

Juicing up the story further, Panic season 1, episode 8 sees the games manipulate the contestants, as the true test of each character is put on the line. The story has managed to keep itself maintained, despite many converging plot points and complications.

Additional points
  • Dayna tells Dodge that she could be in competition state for next year. However, her brother is doubtful, but Dayna says everything that happened cannot be fixed, and the closer they get to justice, the more she doesn’t care about it. She claims her life isn’t ruined.

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