We've only got a dozen episodes left before Carmilla officially comes to an end. But fear not Creampuffs, we still got one hell of a treat with the second act of the final chapter in this webseries!
Act 2 had only seven episodes released, but we got approximately 47 minutes of a roller coaster of emotions that moved our story forward. So let's break it down!
Episode 18 picks up right where Act 1 left off: with Carmilla and Laura realizing that Mattie is sitting next to them and not as dead as they had thought. Because powerful Gods enjoy twisted irony, the Death Goddess resurrected Mattie to be her messenger to deal with the dimwit squad's quest to take down the Dean. They're too late to have the Death Goddess stop her sibling, but they can attempt to win back the third talisman. Because getting world-saving items is never as easy as opening up a cereal box and finding them, Laura has to wager against Mattie in a game of the tiny journalist's choice.
If Laura wins, they get the talisman. If Mattie wins, Laura gets a one way ticket to the underworld. Even though 9/10 vampires would recommend this, Laura takes on the Death Goddess Minion Mattie in a game of Scrabble and somehow wins with an absurd 300+ word score. Mattie tries to convince the tiny journalist to a rematch with bigger rewards, but a certain broody vampire makes sure she doesn't. Before anyone can get too happy about the successful ownership of three Dean-Stopping Talismans, their bubble is burst because the 4th Talisman was literally Vordenberg's heart. Since Vordiemort is rightfully deader than dead, this makes things quite awkward in their plans.
You better be ready with some sort of your own coping strategy for the next couple of episodes, especially starting with Episode 19. I'd offer good suggestions, but my coping strategy to deal with this episode was throwing pillows and crying. They need a new plan after realizing the Dean, ensuring that Laura killed Vordie, also effectively killed the last thing that could stop the impending Dean!Perry apocalypse. Mattie is reasonably not too pleased about this development and lets Laura know just how much she's pissed. Even though Carmilla tries to defend her ex, Laura doesn't make any excuses and just straight up apologizes for having a part in Mattie's death before leaving the siblings alone.
Mattie seems to be cha-cha real smooth-ing the whole line between being alive in this world and whatever world the Death Goddess exists in. She is semi-existing, and her new undead life has greatly affected how she acts. Both Mattie and Carmilla would love for the older sibling to come back into this world and not be stuck in a world with only your regrets and mistakes haunting you.
Laura's reflecting back to her camera about her current loss at what they should do to save the world when we get a Papa Hollis interruption. (Remember how I said tissues helped me cope? Now is the time to have those nearby.) In one of the best conversations possibly ever, Sherman is trying to comfort his daughter with the fact that not having all the answers is very normal for a 19 year old. He also acknowledges how Laura has always been the type of person to be a hero, even when it puts her in danger. We get to hear about when the father and daughter got into a car accident back when she was young and how Laura didn't leave her father's side and basically helped save his life by staying.
Sherman knows his daughter is a hero and there's nothing he could do about the inevitability of life hurting her. But he can do his best to help her in this battle, so he's going to leave the library to meet up with his Giant companion Bob to try to find any help they can to help Laura save the world. After a promise from Carmilla to protect his daughter and telling Laura he's proud of her, Sherman Hollis leaves the library and everybody cries because Laura cries.
After a bit of time passes to allow Laura to process her emotions, Carmilla comes back to have a serious talk with Laura about everything that happened that day. Carmilla, naturally, isn't too pleased that her ex was so willing to risk her life for the Talisman. Laura isn't having any of that because she's a responsible adult and can do her part in saving the world, too. Their discussion eventually leads to how well Laura is(n't) dealing with controlling her hormones and their relationship. Surprising no one, both exes have no chill and somehow end up in a round of life-affirming "Technical difficulties," which has Laura realizing that maybe her belief of it being a one time slip-up is a little off.
Episode 20 has our trio of heroes trying to figure out a new plan in stopping the Dean, and, needless to say, there isn't much agreement happening. Carmilla is all for super violent methods that would kill the Dean, LaFontaine believes a shock collar might be effective, while Laura breaks out the sock puppets once more to help emphasize her plans to have the Dean talk about her issues instead of destroying the world. But before the plans can get any weirder, JP comes to the rescue.
JP has come across an exorcism that he believes the group can try on the Dean when she's weakened from opening the 5th Seal. LaF is immediately for this plan, while their companions aren't so sure. LaF and Carmilla start bickering, and Laura leaves them to their disagreements for a while. The tiny journalist later returns to find Carmilla sitting alone while LaF goes to experiment with the glasses a bit.
During the bickering, LaF pointed out that Carmilla doesn't care enough for Perry and literally only cares about one certain person in the entire universe. Surprisingly, Laura takes this opportunity to segue the conversation to start talking about the current status between them. Since neither Laura or Carmilla can avoid the Jupiter-sized attraction for each other, she proposes that they just "enjoy" each other's company without the strings of emotions. Before they can get too carried away with their newly-agreed friends-with-benefits status, LaFontaine bursts back into the room with an unconscious Perry over their shoulder.
Naturally, Carmilla isn't too pleased at the sudden presence of her mother in their hideout and is all for immediately killing Perry to deal with their problem right now. LaF and Laura win in the end and convince the vampire that they need to at least try to save Perry with the exorcism. So, according to JP, a stronger version of the circle they intended to use to trap the Death Goddess and an exorcism should get rid of the Dean. After a quick prep, Laura and LaF have a few hours to kill before performing the ritual at midnight. Laura lets the mad scientist have the first watch of the unconscious Dean.
Episode 20 might have featured LaF carrying Perry into the library, but Episode 21 was definitely carried by Kaitlyn Alexander's performance here. LaFontaine is so obviously distressed at their best friend's predicament and, during their watch, just breaks our hearts at showing how much they care. They try to talk to Perry even though she's unconscious, apologizing for how they've acted for a while and reminds her that "you're the biggest thing in my world, and I'm getting you back."
Soon, it's time for the midnight exorcism, and it looks like everything's going well. The circle successfully contains the Dean in place, and things get spooky enough to make you think the spell actually worked. But, of course it didn't work, and not without the Dean being RUDE as hell and giving LaF false hope that Perry was free by trying to trick them into letting her out of the circle.
Things are not all fun coming into the next few episodes. The Dean suspiciously seems pretty indifferent to the fact her plan has been thwarted. She, then, tasks herself with trying to tempt the various heroes into snapping through annoying manipulation and letting her out. Carmilla is the constant source of strength for the group, with the vamp keeping LaF from trying to strangle the Dean and making sure Laura doesn't give away all their plans (or lack thereof) with the Dean. They all take shifts in watching her, with, later, Carmilla checking on Laura while the Dean is passed out from her emotional harassment of the heroes.
Laura isn't handling the Dean's attacks well because she does find some truth behind the harsh words of the evil woman. Carmilla doesn't let the journalist get too caught up in those thoughts. The vampire acknowledges that Laura has been through a lot and that she's struggled so much, but that shouldn't take away from everyone making the best of the life they were given. Here we get the full context of that quotation Carmilla says in the full trailer; she knows Laura is flawed, and she tells her so, but she still sees the beauty in Laura Eileen Hollis for everything she does.
As if it couldn't get more emotional, Laura's response is just as powerful. She's almost crying, and she kisses Carmilla. Even though she said that she just wanted a casual thing, she knows it's not enough because CUE THE CHOIRS, LAURA HOLLIS FINALLY ADMITS TO CARMILLA THAT SHE LOVES HER. Carmilla makes her happy, and she wants them both to have their love for each other as something to hold onto to help them get through the impending end of the world. A beautiful moment like this just had to get ruined by the Dean, and, thanks to Mattie, Carmilla doesn't try to charge at their mother for ruining said moment.
Mattie is soon left alone with the Dean, and she's justifiably still pissed at the fact that her centuries of loyalty resulted in her death being used to open the 1st Seal. We find out that the Dean is trying to unleash hell on Earth because she wants to get what was hers. The God is still bitter at her siblings for trapping her in a body and leaving her to suffer with all the horrible parts of the world, including bad reality television. She was forgotten, and now she wants revenge.
Dean!Perry is very confident in her own success to bring the end of the world. She only has two gates left to open, there's no way to get the 4th Talisman and Mattie, who is the only real threat, is dead. With the Dean trapped and Mattie just being frustrated with her mother, Carmilla soon intervenes and convinces her older sister to try to get suggestions from the Death Goddess for their next step. The Dean isn't too sure why Carmilla is so angry (I feel like a century would be the required minimum to begin to explain.) when Carmilla belongs to the Dean.
Carmilla isn't swayed by the doubts that her mother tries to implant into her head about being with Laura. As the conversation goes on, the vampire realizes that the Dean was pushing the heroes into gathering the Talismans. Before she could get too far into figuring out her mother's motives and logic, apparently it's a reverse trap. The Dean was planning to get captured because vampire!Danny and douchecanoe Theo appear in the library to help the Dean, which brings us to the last episode of this batch.
Danny is securely holding Carmilla back as the Dean explains that JP was given false information about the exorcism because she planned to exploit the fact that LaF would do anything to save their best friend. Although the vampire life has given Danny a new hairstyle, nice outfits and super vampire abilities, she was not graced with the sense to not blab the secret evil plans. The Dean planned to get captured because not only does she want the Talismans but she needs Carmilla to be sacrificed for the 6th Gate.
Turns out the other Gods might have hoped for some bit of humanity in the Dean because, to open up the gates, she must sacrifice something she holds dear. Once Theo returns from retrieving the talismans, Mattie comes back in to take them back. Before she can get the chance to physically fight her mother, the Dean apparently was prepared with the dust from the grave of a hanged woman, preventing Mattie from saving anyone or anything. As the Dean prepares to use the book for whatever reason, Laura just casually walks back in.
Since Laura doesn't take her kinda-girlfriend's advice and RUN, we get our first epic on-screen fight scene. Carmilla suddenly has the strength to fight off Danny while Laura tries to get her hands on the Talismans. The fight takes a turn, and Laura ends up in a tough spot with the Dean using her powers against her, resulting in Carmilla getting burned by the Blade of Hastur that we can assume she was going to use to save Laura. After a failed attempt to convince Danny to join their side and what would have been an irritating gloating rant by the Dean, Laura gets free and takes the Talismans. She doesn't get too far because she gets tripped by the Dean. The Dean is ready to kill Laura in front of everyone (pro-tip: Don't look at Carmilla's face during this because your heart will hurt) but then LAURA DISAPPEARS SOMEWHERE ELSE, AND WE'RE AT THE END OF THIS ACT.
This act was so emotional, powerful and extremely important. We got a lot of development of characters, the plot moved along very well and the feels were attacked constantly. It's crazy that Act One was full of happy, laughing tears while this act was just full of tears. And before I get emotional about the fact that this is the last time for speculation for Carmilla ever, here's what Act Two has left me thinking:
- This cast has done an amazing job in their roles this season. Every single one of them. There aren't enough words for each one of the cast member's ability to bring this story to life and really tell the story in a way that resonates so strong with an audience.
- I'm pretty sure that Laura's in an alternate dimension. I've had a long running theory about time travel for a long time, which would also make sense because of how much Laura loves Doctor Who. I'm thinking she might be back in the past before everything went to hell at the end of Season 2. Maybe she's the voice that Carmilla refers to in the Season 2 finale when LaF is talking to the library. It wouldn't surprise me if she's the one who left the runes somehow and manages to get the 4th Talisman by going back to the past.
- I also think it's an alternate dimension because her shirt changes color from red to blue in this weird universe, but the logic of time travel applies. The particular logic I'm referring to is that you can't just travel throughout time and not leave some sort of impact if you do. She'll make it back to her proper universe if the full trailer gave us that quick shot of Carmilla hugging the hell out of Laura like she hasn't seen her in that blue shirt.
- Will they need to form a new type of Board of Governors to contain the Dean? Like it'd be easy to just follow what the Talismans suggest and trap the Dean just like before. But that wasn't a 100% effective method to keep her trapped obviously. What if her trip to wherever she is helps her find a new way to have a new board properly trap the Dean and defeat her once and for all?
- What else has the Dean been sacrificing? Mattie was the 1st sacrifice, Carmilla is expected to be the 6th. There's four other sacrifices that she should have done. I also assumed she would have tried to sacrifice Carmilla for the last one since she's been so adamant in keeping her alive this long. So what else could the Dean sacrifice for the final gate to unleash hell?
- Is it weird I'm happy that all the characters are actually communicating? Laura and Carmilla's ability to actually talk about things and eventually for Laura to admit she loves Carmilla was huge, but this act let us see others shine as well. We got a little bit more into Mattie's mind about how it's been being undead once again. The biggest thing is that we really get to hear LaF talk to Perry. It may have been a one-sided conversation, but LaF doesn't express their emotions much. Hearing from them the pure emotion and care they have for their best friend was just so important because it shows that friendships aren't perfect, but you never give up on the people that mean the most.
- Is Danny 100% evil? Bitter, yes. Evil? I don't think so. She's been given this chance to be a stronger version of herself and told manipulative nonsense while she was incredibly vulnerable. Unlike Carmilla, she didn't have an older figure to help keep her grounded in her new abilities. I'm curious to see what else is in store for Danny in the final act.
- Lastly, Mel is going to have some kind of hand in the final act. If I remember correctly, Nicole Stamp mentioned that Mel is going to do something that she doesn't exactly like. If you've listened to the podcasts, she's currently trying to warn Elsie about the impending wrath of the Zetas. Will this have an effect on the gates? What will be so bad about whatever she'll do?
Only a dozen episodes remain -- ever. Carmilla comes to an end on October 13th.
If these last two acts have taught us anything, it's going to be an epic ride of emotions to tell this final act. Now, until then, I'm going to pretend my favorite webseries isn't coming to an end by binge-watching everything again.
See you at the end, Creampuffs!