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In Preparation for the ‘Dead of Summer’ Season Finale: A List of Questions


In preparation for the Dead of Summer season finale, I wanted to make a list of questions that I still have about the show. To do this, I sat down and re-watched the entire season with a handy notebook by my side (the things I do for you guys).

On a side note: while watching, it was jarring how differently I saw nearly all of Amy’s interactions the second time around. Everything that I thought was cute, endearing and sweet on my first viewing I interpreted as calculated and deliberate on the second. This is a testament to both Elizabeth Lail and the showrunners  talent for creating a character that can be read as either innocent or evil depending on the lens that you are viewing the scene.

Now onto the list I broke it up into three sections 1) Questions I Need/Expect Answers To 2) Questions I Would Appreciate Answers To and 3) Questions that Most Likely Won’t Be Answered but I Will Mention Anyway

Question I Need/Expect Answers To

  1. A better understanding of the mythology behind Malphas? A lot of my difficulty with fully immersing myself into this story is that there are too many unknowns about Malphas. I do not understand this demon, what he is, and what he wants. What I know is that he is trapped in Lake Stillwater and feeds off of people’s insecurities and secrets which causes them to see things. He is the prince of hell and promises his worshipers to set them free if they set him free.dead of summer From what we have seen, it seems as though he only recruits in the confines of Stillwater, Wisconsin. My first issue I was having was figuring out when Malphas came to Amy. Evan pointed out in the comment section last week that it was probably when she first came to camp to see if she got the job. While it was initially hard for me to accept that long list of coincidental events that got her to camp had nothing to do with Malphas (becoming friends with Margo; applying to camp; deciding to follow up on her application by driving to camp; going to and killing her friend by calling the cops) I let myself accept these assumptions. But once she was at camp, that is where I have even more question. Where did she get the mask and how did she learn about the mythology and what she needed to do. Heelen recruited and taught Damon and his crew about all the rituals. How did Amy just know these things? Did Malphas talk to her? There are just missing pieces that are making it hard for me to understand what is really going on.
  2. Holyoke and the Light Spirits? This may be something that the show somewhat holds back on to explain in upcoming seasons, but I need to know a little bit more about the connection between Malphas and Holyoke. Is Holyoke the one who trapped Malphas in the lake? Is that why Holyoke’s skull was needed for the the ritual that electrocuted Amy in the lake? Also what are these light spirits. They came out of nowhere and were not actually explained.
  3. How/why did Jessie survive the pure Lake Stillwater basin? I was confused about whether the purification didn’t work, which is why Amy was able to call Malphas back to her body, or if Jessie was so special that she was able to survive the purification.
  4. Deb’s past connection to the whole mess? I think this question is pretty self explanatory. Again, I understand if this is not fully answered as the showrunners have stated that each season would be set in a different summer at Camp Stillwater. That said, they have to give us something about why there is a picture of a horse mask man standing behind Deb from 1970, why she has a wooden horse mask in her wardrobe, and why Amy tells Deb that she is involved.

Things I Would Really Appreciate Having Answered:

  1. Why did Holyoke haunt Michael in the summer of ‘83, follow him home and keep tormenting him until he killed himself? I am assuming there was another vessel that was at camp that summer, but why then did he follow Michael home? The answer could be that Holyoke is just horrible at his job. If your goal is to get the kid you are haunting to save the world and instead cause him to kill himself, you did something wrong.
  2. The timeline of how Amy killed Cricket? I know that editing and timelines are sometimes ambiguous on shows, but the night of Cricket’s death seemed pretty clear. When did Amy have time to kill Cricket? Cricket did not leave to meet with Alex until after Joel and Amy came back to camp with Francie’s inhaler. After that she was sitting around the campfire with everyone talking about Holyoke. How could she have possibly gotten away, gotten into her Malphas Worshipping Attire and killed Cricket via a bear trap before Cricket reached Alex? This one just does not make sense.
  3. Is Anton going to come back into play? If Holyoke was using Joel, why did he need Anton?
  4. Why did Damon et al. think that Cricket was the vessel at first?
  5. Will Heelen’s previous role as the Teacher be further explained? 

Things I know won’t be answered but I will point them out anyway:

  1. What is Blair’s backstory?
  2. Did Amy carve the sign into the piano when she went on the date with Alex?
  3. What is the importance of Amy’s brother’s electric piano she has in her trunk? Is it just a collection of trophies from people she killed?
  4. What was with Joel’s imaginary relationship with Deb? Like was that Malphas fucking with Joel because he knew Holyoke was talking to him? Or was Malphas fucking with Deb and they really did have sex in the woods?
  5. How did Cricket get her nickname?
  6. Where did Hear n’ Speak girl go? Is she teamed up with Amy?!?!
  7. What happened to the rest of the camp staff? They weren’t on the bus, so were they just like chilling in their separate staff lounge while campers were being evacuated and a demon loving psychopath was running around killing everyone?


  1. Excellent list of questions!

    I will wait until after you make your next post to comment on the finale (which I really liked!) but i will mention one question that I had at the end of episode 9. When Amy says to the rest of them something like “no matter what happens, this will always be home to me. can you give me a second alone?”, my question is…how does that make any sense whatsoever? I understand that if you go to camp, have a great time, make lifelong friends, etc. is might feel like ‘home’ to you, but for HER, in this PARTICULAR instance? This was her first year here, she didnt have the years of memories that the others had. And in her first year, even falsely assuming she isnt an evil psychopath, she saw several counselors die, herself kidnapped and cut to bleed in a creepy cave, was possessed by an evil spirit, and almost killed some of her fellow counselors while being possessed…what about all of this makes it feel ‘like home’ to her? The others did not know at that moment that she was still inhabited by Malphus, and also didnt know she killed her parents and stuff in the past, but they DID KNOW all the stuff I just mentioned, so wtf would it make sense to them that she wanted a moment alone to bask in her love for the camp as opposed to thinking something like ‘hey, maybe something is still wrong with Amy?’

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