[Warning: Spoilers for the season finale.]
I warned you the Slasher: Flesh & Blood finale was next-level. If you haven’t watched it yet, go do that and then come back. For those of you who have, read on as I break down some of the big moments of the season and the finale with series creator Aaron Martin and showrunner Ian Carpenter.
First up, Spencer had hired Dr. Trinh to do what now? Martin says that Spencer’s basic theme was that if his heirs weren’t good enough to win the game, then they certainly weren’t good enough to live. Thanks, dad.
“Spencer was a self-made man and truly believed that his progeny weren’t worthy of the empire he built. And so in his mind, ‘If you’re going to inherit my empire, you better earn it.’ And the best way to earn it in this case was to fight for your life for it,” Martin explains.
“That was our, our thought, right from the very beginning, of taking a family battle for the inheritance and making it the physical type of battle that most people probably would like to at some point engage in, and then he gave it to a psychopath to run. And Dr. Trinh was allowed to do whatever she wanted. So those deaths, and the way people were murdered, were her ideas, and her fun.”
“We wanted to talk about parenting and generational trauma and Spencer was [the type of parent] to throw the kid in the pool, so it was really interesting to follow someone taking that to the absolute extreme,” adds Carpenter.
We also learned that Grace had murdered her way into the household. “A lot of the season was about greed as well and the kind of stuff people are willing to do for money, which, sadly often does involve murder. This is not a new thing,” explains Martin. “And she saw her opportunity and she took it. And in many ways, I think that’s why she survives as long into the season as she does — because she’s a fighter.“
“It’s amazing that Annette saw that in her. [She] knows this is someone who can [assume the mantle]. And of course Spencer does, too. It’s like finding like,” explains Carpenter.
Despite her “me, me, me”-ness to the detriment of all others, Flo was hugely appealing as an off-the-wall villain. “A lot of [the credit] for the fact that you were able to enjoy her, despite all that, goes to the amazing work of Sabrina Grdevich in the role,” shares Martin.
“She just made sure that Flo, however horrible, was always understandable. And we did that, too, in the writing. Flo isn’t happening in a vacuum. She is the way she is because of her horrible parenting that she suffered through [that] she is now putting onto her own children.”
“When we shot the death of O’Keefe, Sabrina was sitting there processing it and [saying], ‘Oh, people are going to hate me.’ I think until that moment, she was the person they loved to hate,” says Carpenter. “She brings so much life to the whole thing. She did an incredible job.”
Fan favorite Paula Brancati’s Christy suffered a terrible, and terribly personal fate, and Martin says Brancati was thrilled to find out. “Paula loves it. When we told Paula her face was eaten off by her daughter, I think she almost screamed with laughter. She was very excited by it,” recalls Martin.
“Is there anyone who could do it better? Paula is a spectacular actor. I feel that way about our entire cast. In this season, [Christy] brings such a grounded gravitas. She’s the person who feels everything the most right from the start,” says Carpenter.
“Is she the person who suffers the most? I’m not sure. She feels like she’s our big feeler of the entire season. So it just makes sense. The degree to which people loved her [and said], ‘She better make it to the end.’ It is this weird thing that we sign up for when we’re watching horror…to grieve and miss people. Why are we drawn to that?”
Liv was the character I was rooting for to survive the season, who came into the weekend to see her mom, with nothing on her radar about being a Galloway, but I never guessed the how of her survival. I peppered Martin and Carpenter with questions on where she landed — and her choice at the end to continue the Galloway line. Sydney Meyer slayed it, and I freely admit that I nerded out throughout the season when I realized the funny behind-the-scenes component of Liv and Theo’s arc is that Alex Ozerov is Meyer’s husband.
Martin says Liv’s breaking point was a culmination of several things. “She realized that Theo was no better than any other Galloway. And ultimately, nor was she because she does something pretty horrible. It was a conscious choice on her part [to kill him]. It wasn’t a moment of passion or fury at him,” points out Martin.
“It was, ‘There’s two of us that are the people who could win.’ And he’s saying, ‘It’s going to be me because I’m the official or the legitimate Galloway.’ And she’s saying, ‘Well, I am, too, and I’m going to claim my birthright.’”
“There’s a whole pile of stuff in there that he sort of lays out like a list of transgressions and daddy’s money got him off that. But it’s also the presumption and misogyny [that he can] step into this power here [and tell her she] can never be a true Galloway,” shares Carpenter.
“This is the whole class system, possibly the race system, it’s all in this. There’s no super clear declaration, but you just feel all the judgment that he brings her in that world.”
While we at home discovered that Theo hadn’t fallen too far from the Galloway line in the finale, Carpenter actively disdained the character from the beginning and Martin often had to remind him to dial it back. “Ian hated that character from day one,” Martin laughs. “[Technically], you have to love everyone equally, but that kind of proselytizing, frigging do-gooder, smug person who always thinks they’re right and takes that role in a spineless, no-risk way [drives me] crazy,” explains Carpenter.
Before Liv can claim her prize, she has to literally wade into all of Spencer’s shit, and Carpenter says staging that was a ton of fun, and a little unsettling. “It was incredible.[And shit] was the metaphor that we were looking to stage,” he explains.
“When Black Spot FX, our incredible prosthetics team, brought that body out…there was a moment where we were shooting. The body had laid out and everyone had seen it. And obviously everyone knows it’s fake and all that kind of stuff. And someone jostled a table and the body moved and three crew members jumped because it’s so real-looking.”
“And I remember us setting it up and seeing all the blood being put in and all that kind of stuff. And then seeing the colon and then me worrying about the things I care about. I’m like, ‘Oh, I have to find Alex [Anger] and Monica [Pavez], our heads of prosthetics, because I need shit.’”
“And I turned around and then Monica was there and she has two jars of it, you know? And she says,’Don’t worry. I have it.’ It was amazing to set up and it was great fun to have [Liv, Theo, and Vincent] play in it. But the bit that really hits me is Sydney’s incredible work at the end when she comes back and just the rage….”
“I’m moved thinking about it…the rage, the sorrow, the exhaustion, the frustration, the trauma, like everything, all the emotion she puts into that final search through that body and the personification of that man that made all this stuff happen for her…I’m so happy with it.”
“Sydney played the season really wonderfully level, given everything that was going on,” adds Martin. “And then it was so great in the final episode to get to see her start to unwind a little bit and how controlled she was in her performance when we were shooting all those eight episodes at once, she was able to gauge her performance. So it rose and hit the peak when it was supposed to.”
In choosing to keep Theo’s baby, Martin says Liv steps into her birthright. “It’s because she has to have a kingdom, or queendom. If she doesn’t have any subjects, she’s just going to have a rich bank account in a beautiful house,” he says.
“We were definitely playing with that [theme]. This is the birth of a queen. The king is dead, long live the queen. And I think, too, not unlike Spencer, she would assume, and this is the sort of trickle down of all this terrible parenting, that her blood would be better. The greatness in her blood would cancel out the terribleness in his,” Carpenter adds.
“There’s something we’re interested in there, that you can sit there and maybe she’s your favorite, she’s the person that you wanted as your last person, there are ways in which, and the nod from Spencer in that final moment…maybe she is the most Spencer of all of them, just maybe.”
“Basically what we’re doing here is we’re setting up a Slasher: The Next Generation for ten years from now,” teases Martin.
Slasher Season 4 is streaming on Shudder in the US and premieres October 4th at 9 pm ET on Hollywood Suite in Canada with two episodes every Monday for four weeks. In case you missed it, all of our Slasher coverage is here
Photos courtesy of Shudder.