‘Looking For Alaska’ Season One, Episode Seven Recap: “Now Comes The Mystery”
If you or someone you know is struggling with grief/loss, substance use, or mental health matters, visit hulu.com/looking-for-alaska-resources for help with these issues and more.
Morning dawns on Culver Creek. It’s serene and beautiful, except for the fact that The Eagle is is sitting in his car with a blank and stunned expression. He knocks on Miles and The Colonel’s door, telling them that they need to go to the gym right away. He says they’re not in trouble, but when they ask him what’s wrong, he can only get out the words “something terrible has happened.” The Colonel says he only did this one other time, when the previous dean died of a heart attack. He thinks it’s Hyde. Miles shares that he and Alaska got together, and The Colonel responds that he wasn’t that drunk.
The gym is buzzing with activity, and it doesn’t seem like anyone is especially devastated. When Hyde walks in and takes a seat, they realize their prediction was wrong. Takumi asks where Alaska is, and it dawns on them that something awful has happened. The Eagle asks if everyone is there, and Miles, in denial, says that Alaska isn’t. The Eagle tries to continue, but Miles doesn’t let him. The Eagle is forced to wait as Miles asks why they can’t wait for her. The Eagle, in tears, says that Alaska got into a car crash and was killed the night before. Miles runs from the gym, vomiting into the trash can outside. Then, still in denial, he says, “she’s not dead,” as he goes back to the tragic scene in the gym. The Colonel and Takumi are sobbing. The Eagle approaches Miles to offer comfort, but Miles insists that this must be a prank. The Eagle says that he saw her after the accident. He says that a truck had broken down and was across two lanes. The police were there, and she slammed into the police car without swerving. They knew she was drunk. The Eagle says she died instantly. Miles asks what she looked like, still looking for hope. But The Eagle says she looked like herself and that she was gone. Miles sinks to the floor, crying. The title card now reads “After,” and it’s clear this is the event the show has been moving towards.
The Colonel is angrily packing his things in a duffel bag. He rushes to The Eagle’s house and demands to be kicked out. He reveals that he set off the fireworks the night before. He blames himself and breaks down as The Eagle hugs him. Miles is at the Smoking Hole, hallucinating that Alaska is there with him looking for crawfish. Takumi interrupts his reverie. The Colonel also joins him, saying that he hasn’t been expelled yet. Takumi asks what happened, and Miles fills him in on what happened the night before. Takumi angrily asks why they didn’t stop her, that Alaska was impulsive and that she had to be watched. The Colonel goes to get some air, and Miles admonishes Takumi, saying that they already feel guilty. Takumi says that they should and leaves Miles alone. They all go their separate ways to grieve. Miles’ parents call, but he misses them and ignores the notes from others telling him to call them back. Lara goes to talk to Miles, trying to get him to call his parents back. Miles ignores her as he plays video games. She stays with him for hours, with him ignoring her the whole time. She finally leaves as night falls.
The Colonel has walked for hours along the highway, and it starts to pour. He turns around and heads back to Culver Creek. Takumi goes to see Miles, bringing dinner. Miles can’t cope with his inaction from the night before. Takumi apologizes for blaming them, but Miles thinks he was right. They realize no one has seen The Colonel, and Takumi fears something may have happened to him. They run to find him, jumping into Lara’s car. Just as they go leave, they see The Colonel in the rearview mirror. They bring him back to the dorm and get him into bed. The Colonel asks Miles to hold his hand, and he does.
The next morning, the sad group walks to class. Madame O’Malley has a moment of silence for Alaska. Hyde says that his class, unfortunately, is far more relevant than it was just a few days ago. Miles again sees Alaska watching him in his daydreams.
Miles is pulled back to reality when Weekday Warrior Holly claims to have received a spiritual visit from Alaska. The Colonel is furious, and the rest of the group is puzzled. The Colonel sarcastically asks God how it’s possible that Alaska is gone, and they’re stuck with Holly. Hyde stops them. He asks them to recall their final exam question. He writes Alaska’s question on the board and tells them that they will answer this question instead. Miles, overwhelmed, leaves the class.
Lara is crying alone in her room, and Takumi sees her though the door. He holds her as she cries. Sara approaches The Colonel and lets him know that the Weekday Warriors’ parents are dropping the charges and that The Colonel will be able to stay at Culver Creek. She offers him a ride to Alaska’s funeral, knowing how much Alaska meant to him. The Colonel declines, saying that he will go separately. Since the accident site is on the route, The Colonel doesn’t want to face it just yet. They prepare for the funeral, and Miles notices he doesn’t have the right clothes. He goes to Hyde for help. Hyde helps him tie a tie, saying that he wore it to his partner Diego’s funeral. He wasn’t officially invited since his parents didn’t accept him, but he watched from outside the gates. He hopes the tie gives Miles the strength that it have him. Miles says that it is harder to be left behind than to die. Hyde says everything must fall apart, that nothing lasts. But Hyde says Miles will survive.
The group takes Lara’s car to the funeral. We flash back to the night Alaska left. It’s revealed that she left Miles to answer the ringing pay phone. Miles startles awake, telling the group what he has remembered. He says she was fine until the call. The Colonel asks who called her that night. They arrive at the church in Vine Station, and The Colonel remarks that it’s no wonder Alaska wanted to leave. Alaska’s father is alone in front of the casket. He is the picture of suffering, not the man we had been told about. He tells Miles that they closed the casket, because after Alaska’s mother’s funeral, Alaska told him to never let anyone see her dead. He says that she’s not in that casket, that she’s with the Lord. He slumps back into the pew as The Colonel and Miles kneel in front of the altar. The Colonel says he thought he’d feel her presence, but that she’s just gone. He whispers that she deserved a better friend.
The school bus arrives, and The Eagle sits in the empty bus as everyone else exits. Longwell notices this and heads back to check on him. The Eagle says he tried so hard to have authority that it cost him his marriage. He says that Alaska was in pain and that he made it worse. Kevin says that they all made it worse, but The Eagle says that they are kids, and they are supposed to make mistakes. He’s the adult, and he failed them. Longwell says that it’s not too late, and they could really use an adult right now. They get up and join the service. Hyde delivers a reading. They leave the church with Alaska’s father leading the way.
Each of the students takes a moment with Alaska’s casket. Miles breaks down, yelling “I love you,” and “I’m sorry,” as Takumi and The Colonel lead him away. Miles can’t handle all the students who barely knew Alaska talking about her as if they were her friends. The Colonel, seeking to escape his own guilt, starts loudly talking about how it’s really her dad’s fault, since she was trying to avoid going home to him when she ratted. He gets up to confront her father and gets in his face, saying that it’s all his fault. Several students and Dolores pull The Colonel off of him, with Dolores telling Alaska’s father not to listen. Alaska’s father says The Colonel is right, that he lost Alaska a long time ago. He says he didn’t deserve her. He breaks down and sinks to the ground, saying that now he can never make it right. Everyone is stunned, and Dolores approaches him. She hugs him, praying with him as he mutters, “I’m so sorry, baby.”
Outside, The Colonel lights a cigarette. Jake approaches with Fiona and says that he, too, feels guilty. Fiona tries to absolve them, saying that whenever someone young dies, everyone tries to find a reason to distract from the fact that the universe can sometimes be a random, awful place. Miles disagrees, saying that even if the reason she died is unknowable, there is a reason she got in the car that night. Jake reveals that he was the one who called her. We flash back again to that night, and Alaska is on the phone with Jake. He says he’ll never let “this date” go by without thinking of her, and Alaska asks what he means. He says it’s their anniversary, which prompts Alaska to remember something else. She drops the phone and runs away in tears, leaving Jake on the other end of the line. In the present, Miles is convinced there must be more to it, but Jake says that’s all she said.
Back at the Smoking Hole, The Colonel theorizes that missing the anniversary upset Alaska because of how she treated him and that she left campus to go apologize in person. Miles protests, based on her interactions with him that night. Takumi says he’s making this all about himself, that Alaska didn’t mean more to Miles than anyone else just because they kissed that night.
The Eagle shaves his mustache, which he had originally grown to give a sense of authority, but now feels silly in light of Alaska’s death and his perceived failure to protect her. Madame O’Malley comes up behind him and kisses him. The Colonel says that Alaska’s father is coming to clean out Alaska’s room and that they need to get rid of anything they wouldn’t want him to find. Miles doesn’t think that he can do it, but The Colonel begs him not to make him do it alone. Miles leaves the room to finally call his parents, who don’t even know what Alaska meant to Miles. His mother realizes that this must be the girl he spent Thanksgiving with, and they both ask him what he needs. Miles says he just needed them to pick up, and they did. He rejoins The Colonel in Alaska’s room to help him. It’s a melancholy scene. Miles asks to keep Alaska’s labyrinth book, and when he flips through it he sees “straight and fast” written next to “how will I ever get out of this labyrinth?” They both realize that Alaska might have ended her own life, and the screen cuts to black.
“Now Comes The Mystery” Mixtape:
“Man O’War” by Eric Bachmann
“Orange Sky” by Kat Cunning
“Such Great Heights” by Iron and Wine
“Salvation” by Bailen