Slasher Season 4, Episode 1 recap: Thicker Than Water

Slasher Season 4, Episode 1 - Photo Credit: Cole Burston/Shudder
Slasher Season 4, Episode 1 - Photo Credit: Cole Burston/Shudder /

Given the subtitle “Flesh & Blood,” you probably could have guessed that Slasher Season 4 would revolve around a dysfunctional family. The premiere introduces us to the Galloways, a wealthy bunch held together by shipping magnate and patriarch Spencer (David Cronenberg) who, by all appearances, hate each other.

In the opening minutes of the first episode, we see Seamus (Chris Jacot) hobbling toward the final prize while his foot is trapped in a bear trap. Neither his stepmother Grace (Rachael Crawford) nor his sister Florence (Sabrina Grdevich) bothers trying to help him, both preoccupied with scoring the prize (a bar of gold worth around $180k) for themselves to be concerned with Seamus’s loss of blood.

**SPOILER WARNING** The following article contains spoilers for Slasher Season 4, Episode 1.

Florence lunges for the gold bar and is immediately electrocuted via a hidden booby trap, leaving Grace, and a delayed Seamus, to squabble over it. But then Florence’s son, Theo (Alex Ozerov), cries out for her. Florence rushes to his side as Theo reveals something terrible has happened to his brother Vincent.

Then we hit the fast-forward button to 25 years into the future. In the present, the Galloways are reassembling for a family reunion on the secluded island where the Galloway patriarch lives with his wife Grace and their son Jamie.

The remaining cast of characters includes Seamus and his wife Christy (Paula Brancati) and their adopted daughter Afra (Nataliya Rodina), who has a psychological disorder known as pica, which gives her a craving for things like the paint chippings on the dock where they’ll board the boat to the island. Afra also appears to have some issues toward Christy, given the way she acts toward her in a few scenes during this episode.

Then there is Florence and her nonbinary queer teenager, O’Keeffe (Breton Lalama). Theo, who hasn’t attended a family reunion in over five years, shows up at the last second, much to Florence’s surprise.

Next is Lavinia (Sydney Meyer), the housekeeper Birgit (Patrice Goodman) daughter and army vet who might be a secret descendant of Spencer’s, and the ship captain/handyman Merle (Jefferson Brown).

Slasher Season 4, Episode 1 recap: The drama starts almost immediately

Once everyone is on the island, it doesn’t take long for the drama to start. Our first introduction to Spencer presents him as an arrogant jerk who “doesn’t give a f**k about PC bullshit,” (a real line of dialogue among many standouts).

He and Grace briefly squabble about their son Jayden (Corteon Moore), who charged a bunch of lapdances and strippers to the company’s expense account. Grace assumes Jayden will one day inherit the Galloway fortune, it’s probably why she married Spencer in the first place. Florence even makes a dig that Grace is a gold digger in the opening scene and given that she’s having an affair with Merle, that’s probably true.

Speaking of Merle, he’s the first person on the island to get killed by this season’s “slasher,” a killer who looks like they walked out of the Victorian era with a modified plague mask hiding his face. Not long after Merle and Grace bang it out in the shed (while Afra watches them in secret, by the way) does Merle get brutally killed by the slasher.

Based on that one kill, Slasher Season 4 is not holding back on the blood and gore. Merle doesn’t just get killed but he gets a Texas Chainsaw-style meat hook through the mouth and then completely gutted with the slasher yanking out all of his gooey inner bits for good measure. I think it’s the most brutal kill on this show out of all four seasons.

slasher season 4
Sabrina Grdevich as Florence – Slasher _ Season 4, Episode 1 – Photo Credit: Cole Burston/Shudder /

Slasher Season 4, Episode 1 recap: Who is The Gentleman?

Back inside the manor, we meet Jayden properly for the first time as he tells Christy the story of the Galloway house’s ghost, known simply as “the gentleman,” is that our slasher? It would fit his getup. According to the legend, the gentleman was the house’s original owner until he died in the wine cellar under mysterious circumstances. He’s supposedly haunted the estate ever since and is apparently one of the “angry ones.”

The family later assembles at Florence’s weird memorial service for Vincent. In the end, she talks about having twins and then cracks two eggs on her hips. I don’t know, it’s weird and Spencer thinks so too since he bursts into uncontrollable laughter and Grace has to escort him back to the house.

Once there, Spencer finally assembles his family in the dining room and reveals the truth about why he’s gathered them all here for this particular family reunion, apart from it being the 25th anniversary of Vincent’s disappearance.

As the cold open showed us, the Galloways used to have a family tradition of competing in games each year for a prize. But after Vincent was kidnapped, they stopped. Spencer reveals that he is reviving the games, this time in a competition format, for one final weekend. The prize? His entire fortune. The reasoning behind Spencer’s decision is that he’s dying from stage four cancer and plans to hurry the process along with the assistance of his personal care doctor (and the executor of his will), Penelope Trinn (Jeananne Goossen). At the end of the family reunion weekend, he’ll pass away peacefully in his sleep.

Slasher Season 4, Episode 1 recap: Vincent returns

Right now, he doesn’t think any of his family members deserve his fortune. He calls them all awful, selfish people. Perhaps one will manage to impress him by the time all is said and done. Except, Spencer doesn’t wait until the end of the weekend to die. Dr. Trinn administers his lethal injection before the first game can begin, leaving the good doctor in charge of overseeing it all as he dies in his sleep.

But Spencer doesn’t get to die peacefully as he planned. As he starts to go into the light, he sees his dead wife Annette (Seamus and Florence’s birth mother) reaching for him, coaxing him to the other side. Except it’s not Annette! It’s the slasher and he injects Spencer with acid. Not a fun way to die, I imagine.

The twists don’t stop there either. In the final moments of the episode, as the entire family is preparing for the first game, one that’s meant to test endurance, a final competitor reveals himself: Vincent (A.J. Simmons).

Next. Slasher: Flesh & Blood cast and crew discuss the brutality of the new season. dark

The first two episodes of Slasher Season 4 are now streaming on Shudder, new episodes drop on Thursdays.