Warning: This story contains major spoilers from the penultimate episode of Dead of Summer. Read at your own risk!
It turns out, even the innocent can’t be trusted at Camp Stillwater.
After a summer of slayings and satanism, the penultimate hour of Freeform’s summer camp horror series Dead of Summer revealed that nice girl Amy (Elizabeth Lail) has been pulling the strings this whole time.
After the surviving counselors believe they’ve exorcized the demon within Amy, viewers learn that she was never who we thought she was. In short, Amy has always felt caged, and anyone who caused her to feel this way met a grim fate; as a child, she even killed her parents and brother.
Amy was drawn to Camp Stillwater because the demon Malphas, who resides in the depths of the lake, is the only one who ever understood her. Upon learning from Deb (Elizabeth Mitchell) that the camp was all staffed up for the summer, Amy killed her friend to take her spot. Oh, and Amy was the one to slaughter all the staffers throughout the season, culminating in Deb’s death at the close of the penultimate hour. What’s in store for the finale? EW turned to executive producers Adam Horowitz, Edward Kitsis, and Ian Goldberg to find out:
ENTERTAINMENT WEEKLY: Did you know from the beginning that Amy was basically crazy?
ADAM HOROWITZ: Yeah, that was the pitch for the show. When we first pitched the show, the idea was to subvert the trope of the innocent girl who comes and is the victim, and make her the psycho. The idea was that Amy would come here and she would present as the innocent girl, but really she was a dark, dark person with a dark agenda, and that by the end of the season, we would see her unleash. Then we’d have the audience be able to look back at the whole season and see all the clues we littered along the way.
EDWARD KITSIS: That was how we ended the pitch, on this twist, because, as we say, it’s a show about identity. At camp, you can be who you want to be.
IAN GOLDBERG: We’ve also been saying that demons are the masters of deception and trickery all season. If you go back and watch the first nine episodes, you realize that’s Amy. She’s been fooling everybody right from the beginning.
KITSIS: Dave the gardener told us that she doesn’t belong here, and he was right!
Moving into the finale, how much is Amy driven by her own dark side and how much is it the demon possessing her?
KITSIS: What we learn in episode 9 is that the possession had nothing to do with her soul, meaning she already came in there a killer. The reason we realized they were never able to bring back Malphas is because they had watched too many horror movies and believed you needed the pure virgin, when what you really need is a dark soul. What you have in Amy and Malphas is a duo who feel caged and are looking to unleash evil on the world.
The other satanists didn’t know what was happening, right? They didn’t realize she was pulling the strings.
KITSIS: She stole their ceremony. The very first time she got the call from Malphas is in episode 9 flashback where she goes to meet Deb, and we see her hand in the water. If you look very closely, you’ll see a very euphoric look on Amy’s face. Then when she gets to camp, she’s very interested in Garrett’s research and the ceremony. What you realize is she stole it from them. She knew the missing ingredient was her.
Amy says Deb isn’t so innocent. What did she mean by that?
GOLDBERG: That is setting up what we hope to do if there’s a season 2 of the show. We’re going to go back to 1970, the summer when Deb was a counselor, and pay off what Amy is talking about right there when she says, “You’re not so innocent.”
KITSIS: The idea is that this, like Fargo, is an anthology series. We see Deb as a counselor, and we’re going to flash back to her summer as a camper. So although each year of the show will take place in a different year of camp, they may all be tied together through characters and relationships, just like we saw Joel’s brother as a counselor in the Townie-Braces flashback and in Joel’s.
GOLDBERG: But you see, too, starting in episode 8, Deb’s starting to remember things that she’s repressed. The eclipse jarred something loose for her, and there’s a lot more still to be recovered from what happened back in 1970 that she may not even realize yet.
What was the friend of Amy’s, Krissy, going to tell Deb?
KITSIS: Krissy sees Amy’s reaction staring at the bracket at the party, and what we realize is that she came there to warn everyone. She came there to say Amy is not who she says she is, but unfortunately she got axed.
HOROWITZ: Yeah, Krissy put it together the night of the party we saw in the pilot and then again in episode 9 that Amy let Margo fall to her death. Krissy figured out Amy’s trouble.
KITSIS: She doesn’t have proof, but she’s got a lot of assumptions, and she came there looking to confront Amy. In one way, she was successful: She saw Amy.
GOLDBERG: She really shouldn’t have insulted her Jordaches.
KITSIS: That’s the lesson of the ’80s is you don’t f— with someone’s Jordaches.
There are so few people left alive on the show. Will anyone survive the season?
KITSIS: I would say I hope so, but it sure doesn’t look good for anyone.
Blair and Drew got away from camp. But will they get pulled back into the action for the finale?
KITSIS: If I were a fan of this show, I would be severely disappointed if that was the last I saw of those two. I know Stillwater sticks together, so I hope they come back, but I hope they don’t come back to die.
HOROWITZ: If I were writing this show, I’d bring them back, and luckily I am. [Laughs.]
What can you tease about the finale?
KITSIS: All killer, no filler.
HOROWITZ: In the finale, we’ve suffered a lot of loss over the season, a lot of death—
KITSIS: More to come.
HOROWITZ: But just because of that doesn’t mean you can’t see them again. There might be some ghost curtain calls to come.
What’s going to surprise us about the finale?
KITSIS: I think what’s going to surprise us about the culmination of the season is that everything we thought we knew in the pilot was wrong. We were warned by the Tall Man. We really were interested in creating the first few episodes to make it feel like we were hitting all the tropes of these movies, and then we wanted to turn it on its head, because at its core, the show is about identity.
The Dead of Summer finale will air Tuesday at 9 p.m. ET on Freeform.