Monsterland Episode 8 – Newark, New Jersey: Breakdown & Explanation

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Set in Newark, New Jersey, episode 8 follows married couple Brian (Mike Colter) and Amy (Adepero Oduye) Cooke. Tabitha, their daughter, had been kidnapped and their relationship as a couple suffer as a result of grieving her loss.

At the beginning, Brian was shopping for a doll to add to the pile of gifts beneath their Christmas tree. Suddenly, when the cashier drops change on the ground, it triggers a memory and he storms out of the store. At home, Amy tries to encourage him to go to a counseling session for parents who have lost their children. Brian is reluctant about it because it would mean admitting Tabitha is dead. He later feigns sickness to avoid going.

While he’s not interested in attending counseling sessions, Brian does visit a personal hypnotherapist. However,  he does so in order to conjure old memories that could potentially hold clues to finding his missing daughter. During one session, he remembers a license plate and then takes it to the precinct. The officer assures Brian they’ll look into it, but it appears that the result will not lead anywhere.


As a result, Amy attends a group session alone, revealing that Tabitha wanted to be a ballerina. She also admits that some part of her wants Tabitha to be dead so they can put her to rest.  Afterward, she was contacted by the police informing her that the license plate number search lead nowhere. Amy then gets furious with Brian for digging up the case once again.

On her way home, Amy thinks she sees Tabitha running down the street so she follows her. Instead of finding her, she sees the decapitated head of an angel. Amy takes it as a sign that Tabitha is really dead which infuriated Brian. He can’t believe that she would go that far as if already giving up on their daughter. Later on, Brian gets arrested for trespassing after digging more into the license plate number. This further complicated their situation, reaching the break point in their marriage. Amy then admits to cheating on him with a guy from the counseling group, but he hardly cares. 

Eventually, Brian makes his way to a diner where Toni (from episode 1) is working as a waitress. They casually hung out and Toni tells him about these drugs she found made out of chopped up angel bits. They helped her see clearly for the first time that she is a monster. Toni then admits to abandoning Jack and confesses that even if she could find and get her back, she wouldn’t. Brian also says he is a monster after losing Tabitha under his watch. He says he turned away shortly to pick up change off the floor, but when he looked back, she’s gone.


After leaving the diner, Brian witnesses a similar vision of Tabitha in her ballerina costume running down an alleyway. He instead finds a wounded angel in the dumpster and takes it home so they can help it. They lay the creature down in Tabitha’s bed. To thank Amy and Brian for their generosity, the angel feeds them a drop of its blood from a cut in its abdomen.

Shortly after, Brian and Amy experience an effect as if accelerating their grieving process. In a fit of rage, Amy destroys all the Christmas presents and decorations. On the other hand, Brian wants to know if Amy’s affair was a good f**k. She says it was and then starts to laugh, realizing Brian finally cared and showed interest in saving their relationship.

Brian goes to the support group to punch the guy who slept with his wife in the face. When he returns home, he and Amy have sex in the living room. The angel comes downstairs to watch them and slits its throat, soaking them in its blood as they make love. When they’re done and still blood-soaked, Amy and Brian are transported to a theater where Tabitha performs ballet on stage.


Monsterland Episode 8 (Newark, New Jersey) Explained

Monsterland caps off its first season giving an insightful story about a couple grieving over a missing child. Amy and Brian must find their way through the stages of grief and overcome the loss together. 

All of Amy’s piled up rage and hopelessness poured out until Brian asked her about her affair. She cruelly tells him it was good, but then realizes that Brian is finally ready to fight for their marriage. After punching the man Amy cheated with, Brian reunites with Amy and they have sex with the angel watching. The angel then slits his throat and blood washes over them.

The disturbing scene symbolizes rebirth or baptism in blood. Shortly after, Brian and Amy enter a theater and get to watch their child dance one final time. In a fitting closure, they are finally able to say goodbye to her. It is the gift of renewal that the angel brought them – to be able to start their new lives where they can put Tabitha to rest and hopefully find peace.

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