We’ve reached the end of Guillermo del Toro’s Cabinet of Curiosities, Netflix’s latest horror series to be released right ahead of Halloween. The concept of this show is really interesting, as it’s an anthology with a different cast and director for each episode. If you’re not really into one story, that’s alright because you’ll be getting something completely different from the next.
The final two episodes, “The Viewing” and “The Murmuring,” just premiered on Oct. 28, and we’re sure viewers will be fully enthralled with both of these stories. We’re here to break down episode 7, directed by Panos Cosmatos (Mandy) and starring Peter Weller, Eric Andre, Sofia Boutella, Charlyne Yi, Steve Agee, Michael Therriault, and Saad Siddiqui.
This episode takes place in 1979, following a group of people who are selected for a mysterious viewing. They receive invitations with more details to follow, and they gather in a parking garage to find out what’s next. There’s Charlotte, Targ, Randall, and Guy, and they’re greeted by a man named Hector in a car who instructs them to hop in.
We briefly get to meet the two people who live there, an older man named Lionel Lassiter and a woman named Dr. Zahra. The doctor is giving Lionel some type of injection as the guests arrive. When they enter, they’re in a strange living room with a conversation pit in the middle. Dr. Zahra is comfortably laying on the couch but Lionel is nowhere to be seen. The guests’ favorite drinks are set out for them as they get to know their new surroundings.
The group is surprised to see their favorite drinks are made exactly how they like them, and Randall’s even given a rare brand of cigarettes he likes. Confused and intrigued, Lionel finally arrives, holding a bottle of aged whiskey with him.
They all start to have a conversation led to Lionel, who encourages them to keep drinking. It becomes apparent he wants to use their various skills for something, which includes science, music, spirituality, and more.
As their compelling conversations about self-doubt and other life struggles continue, they all smoke marijuana, and Dr. Zahra serves them cocaine with another substance sprinkled on top. She says it’s something she made in her lab to keep the anxiety and paranoia away. Lionel talks about Dr. Zahra lovingly, saying she “keeps [him] alive.” He also sheds some light on how he has so much money, saying he invested in uranium.
They ask Lionel about a gold gun he has hanging up on his wall, to which he says that’s Hector’s story to tell. But before he can tell it, Lionel cuts him off. Still, at this point, the guests don’t really know why they’re there. So it’s time Lionel explains it.
What does Lionel want to show his guests in Cabinet of Curiosities episode 7?
Lionel tells the group that he hand-picked each person to look at something he possesses. He needs each of their skill sets to determine what this thing is. He explains that it was very hard to obtain and was at “great expense.” He takes them into a different room where they see it.
At first, what they see looks like a huge rock. A couple of possibilities are tossed around. Fragmented meteorites? An ancient power totem? Lionel says he doesn’t know where it came from and they’ve tried all the tools to figure out what it is to no avail. There’s a lot of energy inside but he can’t figure out what for.
At one point, Randall, despite Lionel’s urges to stop, keeps smoking in the room. The rock seems to inhale the smoke, and it starts making a warbling noise. The group becomes mesmerized by it, with Lionel calling it “so beautiful” and Targ stating, “You think you’re looking at it, but it’s looking at you.” Suddenly, it starts making an awful, high-pitched ringing, which disturbs everyone. They’re in a trance, paralyzed by the energy the object is producing.
The rock then starts cracking and crumbling, and inside of it is something from another world. There’s some type of wet, red creature sitting there, with horns sticking out of its head like two tentacles. It starts growling and the ringing stops, but everyone’s still hypnotized. Faces start melting and people start dying as Charlotte and Randall somehow snap out of it and escape.
The creature melts into an orange goo liquid that drips down to the floor and reaches Lionel. It swallows him up, using his body to create an even bigger, humanoid monster. Hector grabs the gun off the wall and starts shooting repeatedly, but it’s no use. The monster zaps Hector to death.
Randall and Charlotte make it outside, take a car, and speed away. Meanwhile, the creature makes it out and ends up near the city sewers. It’s loose now, and we can only imagine how much destruction it will cause next.
“The Viewing” is one of my favorite episodes of Cabinet of Curiosities. What are your thoughts? You can stream all eight episodes of the horror series right now on Netflix.