‘The Stranger’ 1×07 Review: “1:00 AM”

Remember when I mentioned that I wasn’t terrified for the first time watching Quibi’s The Stranger? Yeah, well, that feeling lasted a single episode as the seventh hour left me with chills running down my spine.

There’s something so sinister and terrifying about Carl E’s demeanor — the way he takes his time, with his walk, with his hunt — and how he’s managed to think 5,000 steps ahead of either Clare or JJ.

Carl E isn’t just trying to kill her — he’s trying to destroy her life.

Look no further than the fact that he set her up for the murder of a police officer. Remember the bad cop she handcuffed to his motorcycle on the overpass? Apparently, he was brutally shot to death in a gang-like slaughter.

Now, the police believe that Clare murdered him — and there’s no going to the cops for help. Which is exactly what Carl E wanted.

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So, basically, Clare and JJ are on the lamb. They need to get out of Los Angeles, first and foremost. JJ suggests they head to El Paso, Texas, should they need to cross the border into Mexico. They hop the 1 AM train to El Paso, and Clare thinks that perhaps she’ll finally get a moment of reprieve. If only.

As fas as JJ goes, he’s going to be collateral damage. I am convinced of it. He’s been unknowingly dragged into this murder/witch hunt involving Clare — all because he wanted to help out a girl in trouble. Now, he’s in deep shit.

Naturally, he’s pissed. Why shouldn’t he be? Just a couple hours ago, he was working in the gas station with no worries. Now, he’s on the run from the police. But it’s important to remember that this isn’t Clare’s fault — this is all Carl E.

Not that JJ knows the extent of what Carl E is willing to do in this cat and mouse game. But he’s about to find out.

Because on this train, Clare notices a security camera, which naturally makes her uneasy. Carl E has made it clear he’s always watching her. Even more terrifying is when the train comes to a halting stop and there are the pair of shoes sticking out from a few rows ahead of her — the same sneakers that belong to Carl E. And she knows it. He’s here.

Even creepier, he leans forward, with that creepy-ass smile and blows her a kiss. He’s fucking enjoying this. The more she runs, the more he enjoys it. He’s willing to let this game play out for as long as she’ll allow it. He gets off on this kind of stuff.

I was screaming at my phone for Clare to GTFO — so she pulls JJ up and they’re on the run through the train car, Carl E hot on their heels — with a gun.

I’m not convinced this game is over for him yet — personally I think he wants to eliminate JJ and leave Clare to himself.

As Clare and JJ are running through train cars trying to find a way out, Carl E is hot on their trail and fires a warning shot. They get to the end of the train, where they find nothing but a dark, empty tunnel ahead.

They have no other choice than to make their way through the dark tunnel with a psychotic murderer on their heels.

Now, if you’ll excuse me, I’m going to watch puppy videos to get raise my spirits after that episode.

The Stranger airs new episodes weekdays on Quibi.

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