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The Father Thing Recap

Charlie Cotrell makes a video about how his father Matthew has always been there for him. A month Matthew came back from a conference two days early so he could see Charlie play in the playoffs.

Matthew and Charlie spend nights at the diamond practicing Charlie's batting.

Charlie says that after everything that happened, Matthew would be proud of him.


Matthew and Charlie are out camping and talking about baseball. They go to bed and Matthew looks at his son for a moment. When Charlie wonders what's the matter, Matthew tells him that it's all good. Charlie asks him the answer to a baseball question and outsmarts his father.

Later, meteorites fall through the clouds. Matthew and Charlie go out and look at the falling stars. As they drive into the town, the radio reports that a huge cluster of meteorites came through the atmosphere. Matthew stops at a gas station, fills up the tank, and goes inside to pay and goes in while Charlie waits in the car. Inside, Matthew gets the attention of the attendant, Sam, and pays for gas and food.

Out in the car, Charlie is playing a game on his phone and sees a hunter with a dead deer in the back of his truck. The man stares at Charlie, and Matthew gets in the car bringing hot dogs. They drive away, the hunter still staring at them.

Charlie and Matthew return home and Mrs. Cotrell greets her son. Matthew claims that they stopped off for a healthy snack, and Charlie runs inside. As they go in, Mrs. Cotrell says that the neighbor dog was freaked out by the meteor shower. She asks if Matthew told Charlie, and he says that he didn't.

That night, Charlie calls his friend Dylan Peretti on the computer. Dylan quickly signs off when his mother calls, and Matthew tells his son to go to bed because he's trying out for the all stars the next day. He tells Charlie to do his best, and goes downstairs. Charlie dreams of the dead deer and the hunter, and wakes up when Dylan calls him on the computer. Meanwhile, Mrs. Cotrell asks him if he told Charlie, and Matthew says that he didn't and it will kill his son. She wonders what Matthew wants, and he says that he can at least move into the garage so he'll be around. Mrs. Cotrell asks what they're going to do, and Matthew hears something moving outside in the garbage cans.

Dylan tells Charlie not to be late and mess up the plan, and Charlie promises that he won't. As Charlie signs off, he hears the noise and looks out the window to see Matthew going out to the street. Matthew finds overturned garbage cans and throws a baseball at the dog poking around. As it runs off, more meteors come down out of the sky and Matthew stares at it starts to rain.

The next morning, Charlie wakes up and runs to meet with Dylan. Dylan says that it worked, and they go to school. Their friends Dashiel and Rotko run up and join them. In class, Dashiell notes that a lot of kids are gone and figure that they're sick after the Labor Day weekend. The teacher, Philip Dick, comes in and tells them to pass up their assignments. Philip hesitates and looks at the board, seemingly confused, and then starts talking about the Viking invasions. Dashiell asks if they want to hang out after school, but Charlie says that he has to be home. Philip asks Charlie about the significance of 1066, and Charlie recites the information and then glances at the clock.

Later, Charlie returns home and checks the all-star postings. He discovers that he made it and calls Dylan, but Dylan's brother Henry is on and tells Charlie that Dylan has been grounded off of electronics for a month. Henry promises to capture and beat Charlie the next day and signs off

Matthew pulls up in the driveway and a basketball rolls up to his car. He gets out to pick it up and Charlie waves to him from the radio. Matthew pulls his car into the garage and Charlie runs down to see him. He sees lights flashing through the garage windows, and looks in to see a naked figure wearing Matthew's shape shooting beams of light from his eyes onto the real Matthew. The windows crack and the lights flare up, and a horrified Charlie backs away.

Charlie goes into the house and Mrs. Cotrell realizes that something is wrong. Matthew comes in behind him, kisses his wife, and washes up. Mrs. Cotrell is surprised that she's there, but says that it's okay. Matthew sits down for dinner and Charlie stares at him and then nervously sits down. As they eat, Matthew suggests that they go to the Galapagos Islands for Christmas because she always wanted to go there. He asks Charlie what he thinks of the idea, and Charlie mutters about the "other one". When Mrs. Cotrell goes back into the kitchen for more food, something moves beneath "Matthew"'s face. He shakes his head and reverts to normal, and Charlie runs up to his room.

Matthew goes upstairs to Charlie's room and knocks on the door. When there's no answer, he tries the door and discovers that it's locked, and asks if they can talk about it. Mrs. Cotrell comes up and tells Matthew to give Charlie his space, and after a moment Matthew walks away. Charlie grabs a flashlight, climbs out his second-story window, and discover that the garage door is padlocked shut.

Matthew and his wife clean the dishes, and she thanks him for trying. He wonders why he wouldn't try, and offers to finish up. As Matthew looks outside, he sees Charlie's flashlight as he peers in the windows. He goes out and confirms that the door is still locked, and Charlie runs off leaving his flashlight behind. Charlie runs to Dylan's house and throws rocks at the window until he gets his friend's attention. They meet in the backyard and Henry comes out and demands to know what's going on. Charlie tells both of them what happened, insisting that some thing ate his dad. Mrs. Peretti says that Matthew is there.

Matthew drives Charlie home and the radio is filled with static. When they get home, Matthew barricades Charlie in his room. Charlie checks the Internet and discovers that lots of people are wondering if they're crazy because people are acting strange. The Internet connection goes down and Charlie looks outside to see Matthew meeting with a group of strangers. Matthew looks up and Charlie quickly drops back from the window. Charlie then peers out and sees the people walk off.

The next day, Charlie goes to the kitchen and finds Matthew making breakfast. Charlie says that he's not hungry, and Mrs. Cotrell comes out to go to work. She says that she can't drive Charlie, and Matthew offers to take Charlie to school. Charlie begs her mother to take him, and she gives in. Once they're alone, Charlie tells his mother that they need to leave and she's not safe. He admits that he knows Matthew was going to move out, and Mrs. Cotrell says that things are complicated but he's not alone. Charlie says that "Matthew" is an alien, and Mrs. Cotrell tells him that's enough.

At school, Philip bumps into Charlie and mutters about "the other". Henry has already spread the word that Charlie thinks his father is an alien. In class, Dashiell isn't there. They hear sirens and look out the window, and see Philip up on top of the building on a ledge. Emergency vehicles pull up and Captain Miller and meets with the principal. Miller goes up to the roof and tells Philip that things are temporary. Philip says that he wants his wife back, and explains that his wife is still there but she's not his wife. He insists that his wife is something else, and then jumps to his death.

As the students pass between class, the principal speaks over the intercom saying that the teachers will be there for them. He says that they'll dismiss school by grades and their parents have been notified. Matthew is waiting outside in his car, but Charlie doesn't come out.

Charlie goes home and breaks the lock off the garage door. He goes inside and sees a bin with books piled on top of it. He looks inside and moves aside the dead leaves, and finds his father's skin inside, the face drawn in terror. The Father Thing comes in and says that he thought they could play some ball. They go to the diamond and Charlie yells that he knows what the Father Thing is. The Father Thing ignores him and talks about baseball stats from Matthew's memories. He talks about how him and his people wandered the star winds, and he's alive and it feels right. Soon Charlie will have a chance to join them and become a more perfect version of himself. Charlie yells that he'll never be like him, and the Father Thing says that the history of humanity wasn't always perfect. He hits a ball, slamming it into Charlie, and Charlie runs off.

Later, Charlie goes to a restaurant and finds two police officers. He tells them that he needs to talk to someone about his father. They drive to the Cotrell house and one officer, Golan, says that they're waiting for someone who will know what to do about it. Detective Nancy Fernandez gets in and Golan tells her what Charlie said. She asks if Matthew did something to Charlie, and Charlie says that the Father Thing isn't his father. Charlie tells her that Matthew and others are monsters, and Fernandez tells her that he's not the first person to report that something is going on. She calls him by name and Charlie asks who she knew it. Fernandez goes over and asks Golan and Miller what they're going to do with the boy. When they go back, they discover that Charlie is gone.

Charlie goes to the nearest L station and misses the train. A policeman sees him and comes over, but then passes on. As Charlie walks off, he sees Dashiel with his father, and Dashiel's father has the same things moving beneath his skin. When the train passes, Dashiel and his father disappear.

That night, Charlie goes to Dylan's house and says that he needs help. He takes Henry and Dylan to his garage and they discover that the skin is gone. Henry points out that it's Trash Tuesday, and the boys ride to the garbage dump. The workers are clearing off hundreds of skins, and Henry and Dylan realize that Charlie was telling the truth. They go back to Charlie's house, and peer in to see the Father Thing assuring Mrs. Cotrell that Charlie is out playing with his friends. They hug and Mrs. Cotrell says that she's forgotten what it's like. Charlie figures that they have to save her by getting her away from the Father Thing. The three kids go into the garage

The Father Thing dances with Mrs. Cotrell, and it sees Charlie watching outside. He gives the alien the finger, and the Father Thing comes outside and sees the open garage door. The Father Thing goes to the door and says that time is up. Charlie is waiting and says that he's ready but scared. The alien walks in and sets off a trip wire. A pitchfork shoots at him and misses, and a shovel and hammer swing down and misses as well. Henry swings a crowbar at the Father Thing, which grabs him by the throat and chokes him. Charlie hits the alien with a baseball bat and tells the others to run. They run out and the Father Thing walks after Charlie, who is separated from Henry and Dylan.

Charlie runs into the woods and the Father Thing arrives, saying that there's no use hiding. The boy sees dozens of egg-like cocoons in the forest, filled with copies of himself and his mother among others. The Father Thing comes up and says that Mrs. Cotrell is beautiful, and promises that he'll never leave Charlie. The creature projects light onto Charlie, just as a car drives up and hits the Father Thing. Henry and Dylan get out, and an alien bug crawls out of the Father Thing's mouth and scurries off. Dylan crushes it with his foot and then the kids pour gasoline and lighter fluid on the eggs. Henry tosses his lighter to Charlie, who lights the fluid. The eggs burn and the creatures inside scream.

When Charlie comes home, he finds Mrs. Cotrell waiting for him. She asks where Matthew is, and Charlie tells her that he took care of everything. Charlie gets onto the Internet and records a video, saying that he won't stop fighting and neither should they. With that he sends out the hashtag #RESIST.

Written by Gadfly on Jan 28, 2018

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