Episode 9 brings the ultimate twist to the entire story as the teens scramble to finish the game. However, as the story hints, it’s more about the game at this stage as plenty is on the line, which brings an exciting penultimate chapter.
This recap of Amazon original Panic season 1, episode 9, “Cages,” contains major spoilers.
This series was always going to have an orchestra, and if you haven’t figured out the twist by now, then episode 9 is a huge “oh” moment.
Episode 9 opens with Heather looking in shock after the last chapter; Ray (played by Ray Nicholson) feels the competition and wonders if she rigged it. Heather (played by Olivia Welch) raises that she knows about the gambling system — Ray tells her the truth; he has no idea what’s going on or who has Luke by the balls. She asks Ray about Luke running over Dodge’s sister, but he says he doesn’t know what to believe. The pair continue bickering until Heather drives off. Meanwhile, Dodge tells Natalie to stay away from him — he knows about the video and Natalie telling the game about his sister.
Dodge tells his sister Dayna that they used her voice for the challenges — he’s also figured out that Natalie is one of the judges. It then flits to Natalie going through the game scrapbook.
The truth about Jimmy
Episode 9 brings more truth bombs as it starts to zero in on Sheriff Cortez, who has been on the sidelines all series, which is a massive giveaway.
Sgt. Christine Langley asks Melanie Cortez how she knows her son switched the guns for the Russian roulette — she tells her that she gave her son the code when she went on vacation one year. When she looked inside the safe last night, there was a note left by their son — based on the note, Melanie believes her son killed himself; she doesn’t want Christine to tell her husband, the sheriff. Sgt. Christine Langley asks why she wanted the guns last night, and Melanie says she misses her son — she contemplated killing herself.
Melanie confronts her husband about their son killing himself, but he seems to be in denial about it.
Bishop’s parting gift
At the farm, she works at (and lives now), Heather has a package delivered to her — she’s given a book of short stories that she has written. Bishop has collated it for her. She meets Bishop, and he tells her that he’s leaving soon for college. Heather tells him that he can’t leave in seven days and wonders what she will do without him.
The brothers argue // Ray searches for the truth
Ray confronts Luke about the girl that was run over a few years ago at Halloween — he tells him that she’s alive, and he’s furious. Ray tells Luke that it is f****d, and he believes this will land on him. Luke tells him that on Halloween three years ago, he was sitting in prison. Ray visits Natalie and asks her to request that her father pulls up his brother’s record — he believes his brother is innocent, so someone has been spreading lies, and he wants to know why.
The challenge // Lily is in trouble
And then episode 9 takes a sharp turn as Heather is yet again compromised in the games.
Heather is given the location of her new challenge, and there are bloody-looking ice skates at the back of her car. She heads to her individual challenge — it’s an escape room. Heather needs to crack the codes to reach her victory. When the challenge starts, Diggins releases loads of rats, and Heather is grossed out. Heather receives a call from Summer and is told her sister is in trouble — so she leaves the challenge. When she enters her sister’s room, there’s a clue. Lily is in the tiger compound at the farm — Heather tells her not to move and talks her through it.
Heather grabs meat and enters the compound, and Lily starts screaming, so she tells her to stop. She throws meat for the tiger to eat and asks Lily to come towards her slowly as she throws more food. The tiger lunges at them both, but they manage to get out. Heather meets Diggins and Summer afterward. Diggins apologizes and thinks she’s done enough to get into the “Joust,” but she can’t be in it. He tells her Panic is a dumb game. Heather looks at the betting slips and sees “Doc Magic” at the top. It’s then revealed that the tiger is on the loose as the gate was not shut properly.
Luke couldn’t have done it
At this point, you can sense that a twist is coming, mostly because Luke’s innocence is becoming apparent.
Natalie wants to give something to Dayna — Dodge sees her and asks why she made a deal if she was a judge. Natalie tells him that she recorded his sister because that is the game, and she wanted to get out of the town. She then explains that Luke Hall couldn’t have been there the night Dayna was run over. Dodge and Dayna look over the evidence — Natalie is telling the truth.
Questioning Myra // and the relevation of Doc Magic
And then the ultimate twist arrives, and if we are sincere, it isn’t surprising, even if it does come as an initial shock. The person manipulating Panic was always going to be someone powerful.
Sgt. Christine Langley and Capt. John Williams approach Myra about the threatening notes Abby received. Myra explains that Abby was her best friend — and that Abby told Jimmy’s parents about the pregnancy. She reveals that Luke told her that a lot of money was riding on the game — apparently, Luke was scared of someone. The officer looks through Myra’s things and finds Jimmy’s coat that still has blood on it; his prom photo with Abby is inside with a note that says, “you took everything from me”. Inside the jacket, it says “Doc Magic.”
And then, Heather learns there is a tiger on the loose and a warning that has been sent out — she heads to the station and wants to talk about the tiger. She hears a staff member ring the sheriff and calls him “Doc Magic” — that’s his nickname. He’s the guy creating the betting system for the game. That’s why Luke is scared.
And then it flits to Sheriff speaking to Dodge and his mother — the mother tells the Sheriff that Dodge is going to forfeit “Joust”. The Sheriff asks if she will let Luke get all that money and get away with what happened with Dayna. He doesn’t want to let the Hall family win. So the Sheriff says he will win “Joust”. Meanwhile, Heather tells Natalie that it’s much worse than she thought on the gambling system — however, Natalie has another story — Luke has been beaten up badly. They also talk about Luke being in jail the night Dayma was run over, so he couldn’t have done the hit and run. Meanwhile, Bishop sees the Panic money has been stolen. Sarah has taken it. The game is in serious jeopardy.
Flashback scenes show Sheriff Cortez beating Luke up into a pulp; Heather tells Natalie that it’s no longer their game anymore, and they have to fix it. It’s also revealed that the sheriff led Heather’s sister Lily into the lion’s compound.
Panic season 1, episode 9 brings the ultimate twist to the entire story as the teens scramble to finish the game. However, as the story hints, it’s more about the game at this stage as plenty is on the line, which brings an exciting penultimate chapter.