School Tales The Series season 1, episode 8 recap – “A Walk in School”

August 10, 2022
Jonathon Wilson 0
Netflix, Streaming Service, TV, TV Recaps
3

Summary

Some rote scares and imagery are slightly elevated by a late twist which adds some needed character.

Previous EpisodeView all
3

Summary

Some rote scares and imagery are slightly elevated by a late twist which adds some needed character.

This recap of School Tales The Series season 1, episode 8, “A Walk in School”, contains spoilers. You can check out all of our coverage of this show by clicking these words.


Well, there is such a thing as asking for it.

School Tales The Series season 1, episode 8 recap

I’m staunchly against the idea of ghosts, spirits, life after death, and all mumbo jumbo, but do you know what I’m not spending my time doing? Trying to prove anything. I’m not out here doing Ouija boards or spending the night in abandoned, ramshackle hotels. Why risk it? I’m relatively confident I’m right since I tend to be about most things, but it’s definitely not worth my life if I’m wrong.

I raise this because the hook of “A Walk in School” is a particularly smug student, Boyd, trying to justify his skepticism about the supernatural by venturing into his high school after hours and live-streaming the corridors and classrooms. Schools, like hospitals and asylums and hotels and any other old, spacious building that tends to be crammed with people, are cauldrons for ghost stories. And ghost stories are fundamentally about death.

We know that Boyd’s theories about ghosts are that they’re essentially outgrowths of our fear; we worry about mortality so we create a scenario in which life goes on after death. We know this because the episode opens with him giving a school presentation about the subject. His friends seem to agree with him. One of them, Tum, even agrees to roam the campus with him, and with his eagerness, he’s already there when Boyd arrives. Tum’s into ghost stories and Boyd thinks that’ll make him a perfect tag-along for a live stream. And his viewers can laugh at Tum’s fear as Boyd confidently disproves the various ghost stories that are commonly told in and around the school.

So, “A Walk in School” employs a number of formal tricks based on this concept. We often see the view of Boyd’s camera, with the live chat full of excitable gibberish. As Boyd reaches each new area of the school and relays the story associated with it — the first one is about a bullied student stabbing one of his tormenters and then himself with a swapped prop during a stage performance; the second about a promising gymnast being sabotaged — we cut to brief flashbacks to see the morbid story first-hand.

This anthology-within-an-anthology format isn’t a bad idea but it’s undermined by predictable beats and imagery. Boyd lays out the story, then what he perceives to be the facts, and his insufferably smug know-it-all attitude basically wrings any ambiguity of the episode. It’s clear this is a story about a proud skeptic having his beliefs challenged in a very obvious way, so when the weirdness really begins in earnest, and the various characters from the stories Boyd has recounted come to torment him, it’s hardly a surprise.

Luckily there’s a twist that slightly elevates the episode by rooting it a little more in character. As it turns out, Boyd’s skepticism is a product of his own experiences, since as a youngster he made a bet with a friend about who should go through a very obviously evil-looking door on the school’s roof made out of bark. Boyd’s friend lost the coin toss, went through, and was never seen again. In his terror, Boyd didn’t respond to his friend’s cries for help. His whole debunking crusade has been an attempt to rationalize what happened to him — to alleviate his guilt.

Tum is privy to this story since… well, Tum’s dead. As the live chat reveals, he had an accident on the way to meet Boyd. This is his ghost, leading Boyd on a journey of self-discovery and acceptance. It’s a decently fun tweak to go back through the live broadcasts and see how Tum was never there in the first place, even if that bit of confusion at the top of the episode about Tum already being at the school kind of foreshadowed the reveal too early. At the episode’s climax, Boyd steps through the doorway this time, along with his best friend.

You can stream School Tales The Series season 1, episode 8, “A Walk in School”, exclusively on Netflix.

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