SurrealEstate Season 1 Episode 10 Review: The House Always Wins


Whether SurrealEstate Season 1 Episode 10 was the finale we wanted or needed is up for debate.

Compared to other episodes from SurrealEstate Season 1, it was kind of tame.

Without the proverbial case-of-the-week, the hour was slow-moving and filled with a little more fluff than expected.

So what did the finale provide?

First of all, seemingly, the end of the Donovan House is upon us.

That’s a little more complicated than it seems if the portal has been around since the beginning of time. The portal will always cause problems.

But, for now, the portal is closed again, and not without a hefty price.

August was down for the count and alone in the house. His teammates weren’t going to let him figure it out on his own, so it was ingenuity time. Well, ish.

Susan manipulates buyers all the time, so it was easy to gain access to a house with a tunnel attached to the Donovan House.

Apparently, the house was so stuffed with spirits that a significant number of them milling around the tunnels.

August, Susan, Phil, and Zooey bumped into people they loved who had been trapped. That’s somewhat mysterious since the tunnel was open when they died.

I guess the idea is that the portal allows the dead to return as if they’re on vacation from wherever they wound up or something. And when the portal was closed, they couldn’t return to where they’d come from.

As someone pointed out, that’s a stupid idea since the portal was closed with material that elsewhere spirits freely move through it.

But that’s what we got.

On the interesting scale, Susan’s closure with her dad came in a close second to Zooey meeting her dead boyfriend, Kyle.

My dead boyfriend, Kyle, says hi. Turns out it’s not my fault he’s my dead boyfriend, Kyle.


They’d both been troubled by unfinished business, and closure is good. Susan’s dad, while perhaps suffering some anger issues, was funny. He seemed like a good dad who would have been tough to lose.

Zooey got to ask Kyle everything that messed up her love life after his death. She held onto all kinds of feelings that were devastating by way of guilt or by losing confidence in herself.

August saw his late wife, which was sweet. Phil was blindsided by another asshole talking about his perversion.

The Catholic Church has changed its opinion on many things, including sexual orientation. Like they do with virtually everyone else, they want them to be celibate. But since that rarely ever happens in the priesthood, they don’t run about bonking people on the head to make a thing of it.

That said, Phil had the worst role models in the Church. Like all priests, celibacy is part of the gig. At that point, who the hell cares about sexual orientation? If they’re having sex, then they should be Episcopalians or something.

The point is that Phil’s history with the Church is wearing thin, and if SurrealEstate returns for a second season, I’d like to see him find something positive to take his mind off of all that nastiness.

Maybe a baby will do the trick, although it seems like he shouldn’t be a father until he’s dealt with the baggage he’s carrying about that awful treatment.

Luke made his way back into the house, too, but nobody knew. They were all busy attending to things in the basement while Luke met with his dead sister, Victoria.

That his mother he believed he had seen so many times wasn’t his mother at all was a shocker. Every other spirit we’ve seen this season was age-appropriate, just like all of the dead who returned to address unfinished business in this episode.

But Victoria, little dead baby Victoria, never made it out of the womb alive, so what the heck was she doing masquerading as an adult woman?

That story was awful. I refuse to believe that an innocent child would harbor such anger against her twin or her mother. That’s a sick story. Did I miss something, like why an innocent soul would be hell-bent on vengeance like that?

The House, who looked like Bela Lugosi, Boris Karloff, and the Lon Chaneys all morphed into one must have grabbed her on her way into the portal just after birth, giving life to a vengeful spirit.

Didn’t the portal take every dead spirit as some kind of gateway to the afterlife? Or didn’t we get that clarification?

Luke was shocked to learn he had a twin and astounded when he realized his mother was still alive and out in the world somewhere.

Wait. She’s still out there? Alive?


Since his gift was tied to Victoria and Victoria is gone into the portal, he’s giftless.

A few observations about that. Why can’t she come back out? The portal is open. She hardly seemed interested in laying low. And did anyone else think that it was Victoria in his body when he first emerged from the house? She said he had to die for her to live, but we didn’t see the end of their altercation.

Phil: How long you been here?
Luke: Feels like forever.

Yet, once Luke got past August with that quote above, he seemed all Luke again. So the finale was a setup for SurrealEstate Season 2, should it ever exist.

Luke lost everything. He didn’t get to say goodbye to his dad, Megan gave him a gentle, if not necessarily permanent, heave-ho, and he cannot service clients without his gift.

As predicted after SurrealEstate Season 2 Episode 9, Susan found her people. She’s embracing powers that were previously stuffed deep inside her mind, and she’s having a good time using them.

Susan: Hey! You OK?
Luke: Something’s changed.
Susan: I feel it, too. The, what I do, moving things around, the fires. It always felt like this shameful, secret thing that only happened when I was upset or scared.
Luke: In case of emergency, break glass.
Susan: Yeah. [Smiles] But since I, since we started working together, it’s been different. I’m not scared of it anymore. And tonight, tonight, for the first time in my entire life, I really felt like I was in control. It was precise. It was not emotional. It was tactical. And honestly, it was a rush! It was fun! I’ve never felt this way.
Luke: The voices? The ones I’ve heard since I was little? They’re not there.
Susan: What do you mean?
Luke: They’re not there. Gone. Silent. I try to reach out, but…
Susan: Maybe you’re just tired.
Luke: No. [he tries] I got nothin’.

She’s enjoying the power and how it can be utilized for good.

Her speech was almost like she was a superhero joining the Justice League. But no, she’ll just be leading the Roman Agency while Luke is out of sorts.

Of course, Megan left Luke because his oddball life wasn’t for her, although she didn’t word it that way. So, all else considered, she might be interested again as Luke will be as boring as the next guy now.

Susan: Hey, I could handle things for a little while.
Luke: I’m afraid you’re gonna have to.

Final thoughts on the season go like this: Actions drove plots when characters driving action would have been much more satisfying. And stories were weak, without multiple layers to allow for easy viewing.

That might have seemed like a good idea, but it was, in the end, unfulfilling when it could have been so much more.

Carissa Pavlica is the managing editor and a staff writer and critic for TV Fanatic. She’s a member of the Critic’s Choice Association, enjoys mentoring writers, conversing with cats, and passionately discussing the nuances of television and film with anyone who will listen. Follow her on Twitter and email her here at TV Fanatic.

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