It’s summer in the city and a killer is on the loose again as Slasher drops its third season, Solstice, Thursday on Netflix.
[Warning: General spoilers ahead.]
Set on the summer solstice, the new eight-episode season of Slasher is broken out into three-hour increments. We begin at 6am the morning that the high school members of the ensemble are set to take their final exams. It’s the longest day of the year, and aside from finals, tensions are high because it’s the first anniversary of a standalone murder that opens the new season.
That murder takes place in an appropriate-for-Miami-but-actually-in-Canada apartment building with technicolor and palm-tree-wallpapered hallways that’s a bit of a nightmare on its own. The residents do nothing to help the victim, and when the year rolls around, they start to pay for that reticence with their lives.
Stalked by a neon-masked killer cloaked all in black coined “The Druid,” the building’s residents are a fairly toxic stew of folks from a range of ethnicities, politics, moral compasses, and sexualities, ranging roughly from 17 to 50.
They’re personally and professionally entangled in various ways that aren’t always good — and all are somewhat slaves to their tech. Here’s a rundown on the who’s who, populated by series and TV newcomers and Slasher alumni.
Our center of gravity, if you will, is high school student Saadia Jalalzai (Baraka Rahmani). She’s been left on her own this day as her parents travel to see her brother. Aside from the hostility directed toward her because of her Muslim faith, she has other reasons to be nervous about the anniversary.
Her BFF is Jen Rijkers (Couple-ish‘s Mercedes Morris), who does what she can to lighten the load for her friend but is only successful to a point. She has her hands full with her brother, Connor (Impulse‘s Gabriel Darku) and Amber Ciotti (Season 1 and 2’s Joanne Vannicola), a neighbor whose PTSD about the initial murder has seemingly forced a break with reality.
Erin Karpluk from Season 1 is Kaili Greenberg, a teacher at Saadia and Jen’s school who’s harboring a different side of her personality. Season 2 alumni Paula Brancati and The Walking Dead‘s Ilan Muallem are Violet and Joe Dimashke. Violet is addicted to her social media feed, running a vlog with her unfiltered theories about the killer and commentary on her neighbours. Joe’s unhappy with her online fixation and his marriage but flailing at the alternative.
Angel Lopez (Mary Kills People’s Salvatore Antonio) is a gay activist with ties to the first murder who’s also prone to hidden, dark biases. Dan and Cassidy Olensky (Season 1 and 2 alumni Dean McDermott and new cast member Genevieve DeGraves) are a father and daughter, in the loosest definition of the terms. They live an aggressive, rage-fueled life down the hall from their more reserved neighbours.
Amy Chao (Rosie Simon) is a professional gamer who lives with Xander Lemmon (Season 2’s Jim Watson), a judgy hipster who runs a pretentious café. Amy came in at the very end of the first murder and watched her friend die, which has weighed on her for a year. Robert Cormier (Ransom/Designated Survivor) is Kit Jennings, a party boy who hasn’t met anything he can’t drink, smoke, snort or screw.
Roberta Hanson (Bad Blood‘s Lisa Berry) is the detective who catches the first case and is drawn back in when it seems to restart. Pujit Singh (Kim’s Convenience‘s Ishan Davé) is her new partner who gets a crash course with the Druid killings.
Series creator Aaron Martin returns as executive producer. Ian Carpenter steps into the showrunner position and wrote episodes 304, 307, and 308. Christina Jennings, Scott Garvie, and Thomas P. Vitale also executive produce alongside producer Jay Bennett. Martin wrote the premiere with the remaining seven episodes split among Carpenter, Lucie Pagé (302), Duana Taha (303), Matt MacLennan (305), and JP Larocque (306). Rookie Blue’s Adam MacDonald directs the whole season.
The vibe from the first two episodes made available for screening is much more frenetic than the first two seasons.
Three years have passed since Season 1 aired. Now, we’re in a bit of a different headspace where people are just generally more pissed off, and that’s a fertile playground for a diverse neighbourhood dealing with killer.
That simmering rage and fear begets defensive and offensive posturing, and also folks who just tap out entirely and turn inward. Two episodes in, the series effectively captures that volatile combination of opposing personalities. Going forward, I expect they’ll be forced to get past their differences because they need each other to survive.