Channel Zero Season 1 Candle Cove is a very elusive and mysterious story that plays out on a visceral level without explaining explicitly what is happening. In this article I will discuss the Tooth Child, the tv show Candle Cove and the events that followed.
The return of Mike Painter
The story is about Mike Painter who returns to his hometown Iron Hill after 30 years. His twin brother Eddie went missing when he was 12 years old, but other children were abducted as well but found dead. Mike thinks it all has something to do with a tv show called ‘Candle Cove’ they all watched as kids. It was about a pirate named Percy who was looking for treasure at Candle Cove with his crew. But they had an enemy too, Jawbone.
Now the tv show is back and a girl went missing, just like all these years ago. But the strange part is, Mike while talking to his mother, finds out that they actually watched static on tv. Only the kids saw the tv show, but the adults all saw static. So what is going on?
Eddie and Candle Cove
It has all to do with Eddie. Eddie was a troubled and bullied kid. But he was a strange kid too and the wrong boy to mess with, he had special powers. He could warp reality, brainwash people, create his own world, control people’s minds and had psychic powers. With this he created a whole world of his own Candle Cove and showed it on tv for every kid to watch. With this show he lured children to his created alternate reality to keep his powers and make himself stronger. To cross over to this alternate reality each kid had to pay a ferry fee, a tooth. With these teeth a monster was created Tooth Child. But he went further than that, killing his bullies eventually, making him more powerful.
He made Candle Cove to create a world of his own, maybe even representing his own character traits. For example Percy is the protagonist, a cowardly hero. He is constantly scared and nervous and doesn’t even like his own crew. Neither does Eddie like his own friends and he can’t stand up to his bullies. But like Percy attacks them sometimes with a knife, so does Eddie eventually with his powers. Percy might also be a representation of Mike, when Eddie becomes more and more the Skin Taker or Jawbone, the villain. And Mike has to stop him with a knife-like weapon.
Who is Tooth Child
His teacher Frances Booth noticed Eddie was special. Formerly a religious fanatic, she has lost her faith when her son was mentally ill, while she herself suffers from seizures. To cure her from her illness she bargained her son’s life for Eddie to take. Eddie became her god, with his godlike powers and she helped him feed him blood of the children. Even in death.
Because when Mike found out that Eddie was killing all these children, he tricked Eddie and killed him. He buried him never to be found. But Eddie with the help of Frances returns in the body of Tooth Child to walk in this world. In his current form he lures children to his world to feed on their blood.
Who is Skin Taker
But he also shows himself as Jawbone or Skin Taker to scare Mike and his daughter whom he kidnaps. While he might not be physical he is visible. However, Frances does dress up as a physical manifestation of the Skin Taker to control the children and do her bidding, killing those who get in the way. Wanting to sacrifice them eventually to make Eddie stronger. These children are also dressed like puppets of the show.
The Skin Taker was the antagonist of the tv show. He believed death was just another state of being alive. And that is exactly what Eddie has accomplished in death, it’s just another state of being. Even more so, he thinks it’s better to be dead than to be alive. So Eddie thinks he’s probably doing no harm, just removing the bullies from his own life. The Skin Taker also takes pieces of skin from his victims, making pieces of clothing from them. So both the Tooth Child as the Skin Taker, take physical parts of their victims, wearing it.
Want happened to Eddie and Mike?
Eddie has lost himself in an alternate world a creation of his own, in life but also after he was killed, unable to distinguish between good or evil. The imaginative show Eddie has created with his mind, becomes real in more than one way. The manifestations of Eddie from his afterlife world and the real costumes Frances and the kids are wearing, and of course the show on tv. With only one purpose to keep strong, keeping his powers alive and to return to the real world.
He wants to use Mike’s body to return. He kidnaps his daughter Lily to lure Mike and to make a deal. Mike travels to Eddie’s alternate reality/dream world. Skin Taker is also present. But now he maybe isn’t the representation of Eddie anymore, but of Mike himself, coming for Eddie’s hide. The tables have turned. It might even suggest that Mike has the same powers as Eddie does, after all, they are twins. Mike might not be that powerful, but he has his mother for backup.
Mike has told his mother to kill his body while he is unconscious so Eddie can never return. Trapping them both in Eddie’s dreamworld, forever. She does so reluctantly and kills Frances too, freeing Iron Hill from its past and sinister future.
Real and symbolical escapism
It’s a story that is as real as it is symbolical. Pushed to his limits by mean bullies, Eddie saw no other way than to kill his bullies to stop them. Which was easy with his powers. These powers corrupted him wanting more, turning him into a monster that carried trophies of his victims with him, even turning it into a body of its own. With a troubled woman at his side they tried to corrupt the children to make them do their bidding, sacrificing them, making him stronger and stronger.
It’s a tale about consequences and responsibilities and it doesn’t end well for both brothers. It’s a sad story about feeling different and alone wanting to escape to a place that is entirely his own where he can be safe and control everything. It’s an extreme display about what bullying can do, but also the right or wrong way to react to it. It places responsibility on both sides, to create a safe environment.