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Monsterland Episode 7

Monsterland Episode 7 Iron River, MI Explained- Bitches Make Witches Of Us All

Monsterland Episode 7, Iron River, MI is about dark secrets and long-held resentments. It is the face of abuse and trauma of the past in fable form.

Easily the most fantastical of all the episodes, Monsterland Episode 7 is a dark fairy tale invented by a neglected girl desperate for love and absolution. At once, beautiful and haunting, it is what lurks in the dark recesses of our minds. We would make all of the terrible thoughts and choices if no one were looking, and no one was guiding us.

The episode opens with a look at two teenage girls. One is awkward, and the other is pretty and manipulative. Elena seemingly has it all. She has a family that loves her and lives in a lovely house. Pete, her boyfriend, is cute in a goofy teen boy way. She is the head Heather of their friend group, and Lauren worships her. Elena goes missing the next day and is never found. Flash forward ten years, and Lauren is marrying Pete. She is now confident and happy and goes by L. Lauren has stepped into Elena’s life like it was always her own. The genuine pressures of a wedding, spiteful friends, and the discovery of a dead body are too much for her fragile mind. As she unravels, so does her reality.

Is the witch real?

The witch and the cabin in the middle of the woods are not real. They are the representation of Lauren’s guilt and envy. Human minds are great at excusing and rationalizing behavior. The tipping point for Lauren was her mother arriving at the wedding. Abby paid her to destroy things. After having a panic attack, she heads into the woods where she last saw Lauren. She imagines a place where El is alive, albeit living a terrible existence because it is better than the alternative.

Lauren has a rich imagination, as we see play out throughout the episode. The events that led to Elena’s disappearance are replayed repeatedly, each with a different result. In early ones, she broke off her friendship with El and stood up to her. In that reality, she never went into the woods. Later, memories show her going into the woods and fighting with Elena. She and Lauren fought, resulting in an injury that may or may not have killed her.

In one such “memory,” she cuts her head off to make it look like the White Woods Killer caused it. The beheading never happened. It was her mind’s way of protecting itself. Lauren convinced herself that she took charge and covered up the crime. A beheading would have made Lauren very bloody, not just dirty. Faye remembers dirt being on her daughter’s coat and scarf. There would have been blood as well.

Lauren did go into the woods with Elena but likely never had anything to do with her death. At some point, Lauren and Elena got separated. It’s the beginning and the end of Lauren’s culpability. For Lauren, she feels guilty for leaving Elena there. Several other versions of this same event show slightly different variations. What happened in the woods was a coming of age for Lauren. Easily swayed by the girl she was secretly in love with, Lauren is frozen in time along with everyone else. She may have seemed to move on, but the fact that she clings to Elena’s identity so firmly says otherwise.

What happened at the end?

El had power over Lauren and knew it. Often the dynamics between young girls are complicated and messy. Caught in a time of emotional and physical growth, friends become obsessions and sometimes family. For girls like Lauren, frenemies take the shape of love interests without a healthier option. At the beginning of Monsterland Episode 7, Elena even makes Lauren go to the literal closet while she and Pete have sex on her bed. Elena knows Lauren has a crush on her and uses it to manipulate the vulnerable girl. Lauren probably felt confused and shameful about her sexual feelings for her friend.

She bullies her into going into the woods when Lauren doesn’t want to by telling her she shouldn’t let her mother control her. Lauren knows Elena is a bully, but she so desperately wants what she has. She wants to be popular, loved, feared even. Elena is everything she has ever wanted. She has a family and friends that revere her. Lauren only has an alcoholic mother who is mentally and physically abusive.

Abby, Pete, Lauren, and Elena’s mother have not moved on. Elena is frozen in time and every one with her. Abby still harbors resentment that she was replaced by Lauren shortly before going missing. She is jealous, and her resentment never dissipated. Pete is marrying his old girlfriend’s childhood friend. That could be a coincidence, but it is just weird. Elena’s mother dotes on Lauren as if she was her daughter. Elena’s mom needed someone to care for and Lauren needed a caring parent. There is nothing worse for a mother than losing a child.

The pressure of an impending marriage and the mean girl Abby coupled with a recent discovery of human remains in the woods, triggers Lauren’s anxiety and guilt. When she finds the witch in the woods, it is her conscience confronting her. The witch gives the most accurate account of what happened. Something terrible happened with a man and a sexual assault in the woods. Whoever took Elena also hurt Lauren, and it is that trauma she carries with her. Elena, stuck in the cabin with a frozen larynx, is the part of Lauren that wishes she had told the truth. If she had given voice to the abuse at home or the assault in the woods, things might have been different for Elena.

The witch wasn’t real, but her story was. Everything she said that happened to her actually happened to Lauren. Lauren sees Elena in the cabin, but it is adolescent Elena and, therefore, not real. It is Lauren’s mother’s voice she hears when the witch screams at Elena and beats her. This is the abusive history Lauren remembers from her childhood. Lauren leaves Elena behind in her mind only. She is moving on from her abusive mother and insecure thoughts. They will all stay locked away in the cabin in the woods.

Connections to the Monsterland Universe.

Monsterland Episode 7 connects directly to Episode 1 in that this isn’t the first time a character has reinvented themselves. In Episode 1, Alex can change his appearance and life by literally changing his skin. Toni leaves behind her life with Jack when she leaves her daughter in a stranger’s car. The recurring theme of mothers and their children is explored in Monsterland episodes 1,2,3,5,7 and 8. Alcoholism plays a role in episodes 4,6, and 7. Lastly, we know Pete went to medical school. It’s possible Annie’s husband and Pete went to the same school and knew each other.

Lauren imagines the witch and the cabin as a way to compartmentalize her regret and guilt. She never killed anyone; she just feels shame for not saving her and claiming her life as her own. Something horrible happened to both the girls in the woods that night, and only Lauren walked away. She thinks it was her fault. Without a mother to tell that told her she was worthy of love, she doesn’t think she deserves it. Lauren assumes Elena’s life because she thinks Elena deserved happiness, not herself. Follow all our Monsterland coverage here.