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Episode Recap: Back to One
The Hastings family is trapped in a time loop, designed to result in their deaths, unless they can find the root of the loop and break the spell.
The family is back together at the funeral home — and Russ is there too. He wants to continue his path into the magical realm, courtesy of the Hastings. First thing he's got to do is select his significator — a special card that marks his level of magical maturity. But when Bea lays out tarot cards for him, he gets the same sequence: Empress, the Hermit, the Fool, Justice, the Emperor, the Star. Interesting. That’s odd.
Calvin and Tilly hear about Russ' cards, and they rush over to Aunt Nancy. She's in the middle of a trance when they find her. She’s seated in front of a container with a rock in it — is that the source of the trance? Mayor Bickley enters the house and snatches up Aunt Nancy's special rock, called a vajra. It's supposed to be able to harness the power of lightning. Bickley uses it to shoot Calvin full of voltage. And kill him. After the Mayor has killed Tilly and Calvin, he goes to wake Aunt Nancy from her slumber. But just then… the floor starts shaking. And then…
Things restart. It’s the morning again. Isaac gets a call from the Mayor to meet up. This is no surprise to Isaac, who seems to have predicted a call from Bickley. And Russ seems to know what cards Bea is going to turn over before she does. Looks like we're in a time loop. Meanwhile in the chiller, Tilly is examining a corpse with cobwebs on it. Looks like Aunt Nancy's spiders have been spinning up something.
Isaac meets with Bickley, and Bickley tells him he thinks they're all trapped in something called a Zurvanian Loop — a time sand trap. Isaac is apt to believe him: he's been feeling strange lately, a possible symptom of time travel. Bickley returns to Aunt Nancy's, and proceeds with the preordained course of events: to kill Calvin, Tilly, and May, and attempt to offset the loop. Doesn't work, and the same shaking overtakes them, and sends them back to…
The same moment in time. Bea and Tilly come to the conclusion that they're in a time loop, too. Bea thinks that the only person who could have caused such a thing would be Chronos, the governor of time. But they don't know why he would do such a thing. At Aunt Nancy’s, Mayor Bickley is about to follow through with the murder of the Hastings, but May intervenes, and instead shoots him with Calvin's gun. Of course, it doesn't seem to do any good, and the shaking happens again, and everyone is sent back to the beginning.
Later, Isaac interrogates Aunt Nancy, who's now out of her trance. Looks like she's been causing the time loop as a revenge for the Civil War, and all the evil that followed. Isaac is furious. Things start over again. Back at the Hastings, the family all seem to have the same memory: either of killing Aunt Nancy… or not. They decide to go to her together. Maybe there's power in numbers.
Once at Aunt Nancy's, everyone debates whether or not to kill her and end the madness, or do something else. It's very confusing. Then… The Dredge speaks to Calvin from the ring. He wants to make a deal with Calvin — his help for freedom. Calvin doesn't bite, and the day starts over again.
The next day, at Aunt Nancy's, Calvin decides to make that deal with The Dredge. He advises Calvin to smash the rock in Nancy's jar. And it works! No more time loop! Aunt Nancy bought the rock from Chronos because she thought she was getting a good deal on it. But it wasn't, and the time loop started to spread to all of La Rochelle. Freedom from it was dearly bought, and now Calvin is in the Dredge's debt.