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Moonhaven S1E5: “Dreadfeel” — Things Change

Tomm leans forward, looking stern
Courtesy of AMC+

The following contains spoilers for Moonhaven S1E5, “Dreadfeel” (written by Jim Gavin and directed by David Caffrey)


So the artificial flower thing leads to a tree that lights up, and the leaves of the tree tell you who you are related to by blood, which I guess is a big threat to everything about the civilization on the Moon, according to Indira. She says it will lead to tribalism, but this totally ignores how tribalism has already happened in Moonhaven and it had nothing to do with blood relations. The Moon is already split into factions, that is, and the idea of solidarity with the Earth is already broken.

The way in which the characters in Moonhaven act like this isn’t the case for most of S1E5 feels a bit contrived. While Paul telling Elna that the transports landing will mean everything will be OK sets up a nice ending to the episode (with them landing while things definitely are not going to be OK), it’s naïve of him to actually believe this to be true, and naïve of Indira to think that she can fix things with regard to the Bridge. Basically there is just a bunch of naivete all over “Dreadfeel” when what people should be feeling is right there in the title.

The whole thing is coming apart at the seams. The beloved project—and perhaps the hope of humankind—is dying, and this is only a metaphor to the extent that we’re talking about an abstract idea and not a concrete individual.

A row of figures lined up near a glowing tree
Courtesy of AMC+

As for concrete individuals, a number of them seem to die in “Dreadfeel” as well. After the fracas by the tree, Arlo would seem to be dead, and if we believe Blu’s report on the matter I guess everyone else who was with their party is as well. This would include Indira, so I’m not sure I believe that report. Tomm and his gang opened fire, but since we didn’t see Indira die and Moonhaven is a very basic TV show, I’m prone to follow the logic that tends to govern such shows and conclude that Indira is definitely still alive. Arlo may well be, too. And Blu is probably a traitor. That’s kind of interesting.

Maite looks on, with a quiet smile
Courtesy of AMC+

At the same time, however, it would seem that IO reads Maite as having perished, since we can conclude that her power transferred to Sonda by the fact that the transports land. I’m not sure why Tomm wants the transports to land, and how this factors into his plan to Make Luna Great Again, but I suppose we’ll find out next week. Since the whole thing with the flower seems to have been how it leads to a literal family tree, I can’t say I’m holding my breath for a nuanced explanation at this point.

But whatever the explanation is, I’m pretty confident that will be overshadowed by the aliens, or whatever beings we’re actually dealing with in the weird pit of fog substance Maite drops into. We see the wild girl there, and she appears to levitate before going down into the fog of her own free will, after she attacked Bella but then for some reason stopped trying to drag Bella into the pit. I can’t say I understand what happened there at all, really. I thought she was trying to drag Bella in, but maybe I’m wrong about that. Maybe you can let me know how you interpret this scene.

The wild girl levitates in the air with her hands up, fog below her
Courtesy of AMC+

The truth is that Moonhaven has gotten unfortunately ridiculous as it has proceeded, so maybe it would be best to just not think too hard about some of these things. But mixed are some questions that I hope the show addresses in its season finale, which I can’t help but wonder about.

Paul and Bella trek into Primo, for example, and encounter Gazers who live there. I gather that Primo is where the first settlement happened, which ended in blood, but I find myself wondering why it still exists to the extent that it does.

Why are people living there? The line about the Glade being too stressful for them doesn’t quite land, so might it be a cover for something a bit darker?

And as the Gazers report tumult in the area, which is ascribed to IO, well it has me wondering what exactly IO’s deal is. We haven’t really been told in a direct way, and it’s pretty bizarre if this AI is having spasms that affect the topography of the Moon.

Beyond that, there is the area with the tree, where it is hard for people to breathe, but not impossible. Why is that the case? And who constructed the tree there? I’m assuming it was constructed as opposed to growing of its own accord.

Maite watches Loa approach a gate made of sticks
Courtesy of AMC+

The flower resembled a painting that was Loa’s, so should we conclude that she made it (and the tree)? I think there is a good chance of that, and that something about Bella’s mother will be the endgame of Moonhaven Season 1, but it seems kind of weird that Bella isn’t connecting those dots.

Perhaps the others that Loa found aren’t aliens, but are something more like the ghosts of the original settlers. That would tie everything together, except I guess the stakes of the premise of the show, which it feels like we’re just leaving behind.

This narrative is kind of a mess, but I think the best hope at this point is that the premise only served as a jumping off point to get to the real story, which is only just beginning.

We’ll find out next week.

Written by Caemeron Crain

Caemeron Crain is Executive Editor of TV Obsessive. He struggles with authority, including his own.

Caesar non est supra grammaticos

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