The Big Door Prize (Season 1) Episode 9 Recap & Ending Explained: The story of Deerfield residents is finally coming to an end. After taking us through the storylines of its individual characters, ‘The Big Door Prize’ on Apple TV+ has reached its penultimate episode. 

The previous week’s episode explored Izzy’s anxieties about feeling like a Ghost in their small town. It also made Dusty and Giorgio good pals after Giorgio said that he wouldn’t obsess over Cass anymore. 

Now, ‘Deerfest: Part One’ shows the residents questioning the life’s potential cards they received in the Morpho machine. It also shows them confronting their truths to others in an attempt to be more sincere about their thoughts and emotions. 

*spoilers ahead*

High On Films in collaboration with Avanté

The Big Door Prize (Season 1), Episode 9 Recap:

Episode 9: Deerfest: Part One

Mr. Johnson (Patrick Kerr) walks into his store and goes through the magic tricks book he had for a while. This is after his magic show, which does not turn out to be the kind of success he expected. Xander (Seoum Tylor Aun) walks into the store. Mr. Johnson recognizes him as the kid that tried to crack open the machine with a screwdriver. 

Despite that embarrassing intro, Xander decides to cheer up Mr. Johnson by showing how his Morpho potential of Gum makes sense. He shows a broken theremin – the same one that Dusty (Chris O’Dowd) threw in the dustbin before. Xander fixed it by using a piece of gum. He thinks this machine can go along with the Morpho one since its interior is also designed according to the Morpho machine’s theme. 

Back at home, Cass (Gabrielle Dennis) and Dusty talk about the eventful night. He feels utterly enraged that Izzy (Crystal Fox) insulted Cass in front of all the people. He agrees never to talk about her henceforth in their conversations and jokes about how it would be a ‘great sacrifice’ from his side! Their shared laughter wakes them both up, and he starts talking about their Morpho cards. 

After his epiphany about his Teacher/Whistler card (that he might be meant to teach skiing in the mountains from Whistler), Dusty starts questioning the value of these results. Cass shares how she saw her Royalty result as her fulfilling her desire to be seen. Dusty tells her that Giorgio wears a wig. Their loud conversation makes it difficult for Trina (Djouliet Amara) to fall asleep. So, she comes up to their room to shush them. Her parents say how they look at the results differently now – and how there can be different interpretations of those. Unable to control her emotions, she decides to spill the beans.

Does Trina tell her parents about her real potential?

Trina reveals that, before Kolton’s death, she had an affair with his twin brother, Jacob (Sammy Fourlas). She kept lying to Kolton about it. She also shares that she did not get Potter on her Morpho card, but ‘Liar.’ That’s why she sees coming clean about her emotional struggles as a way to correct that result. Cass feels bad for how she may have unknowingly hurt her daughter with her gala attempt. They hug out their differences.

Later, at Giorgio’s, Dusty, Cass, and Trina go have dinner with Nat (Mary Holland). Natalie narrates the story she wrote about Cass’s event as a way to use her Storyteller abilities. Cass now questions her utmost support for the Morpho results. She also does not want to attend Deerfest, which is their annual ritual. She agrees to take back the Morpho merchandise in case someone wants to return them. 

What did Cary guide Giorgio about?

Sheila (Lynne Ashe) shows up to return her Rockstar sweatshirt. Then, Giorgio comes to their table to apologize for his attempts at breaking Cass and Dusty’s family. He looks at his past to realize the adverse effects of a broken family. So, he now does not want anyone else going through it. He then says how he has been getting guidance from Dusty’s dad – Cary (Jim Meskimen). Cary offers the pearls of wisdom he shared with Giorgio – ‘Face your fears, don’t leave in the ‘what-ifs.’ You’ll never know what’s on the other side of it.’

Why does Trina decide to tell the entire school about herself?

Trina gets inspired by Cary’s remarks about facing one’s fears. So, she approaches the announcement mic to reveal that she had an affair with Jacob. Principal Pat (Cocoa Brown) tries to stop her. But seeing Trina do something brave, she lets her speak. Trina becomes honest about her ‘Liar’ result and how she does not want her fear to dictate her life. She also says that Jacob is a good boy despite it. 

Savannah (Elizabeth Hunter) feels bad that Jacob didn’t tell her about it before. While the students argue about it between themselves, Dusty points out how both Jacob & Trina are owning their mistakes – which is brave. It intensifies Jacob’s anxiety about not being a hero since he does not own it; only Trina does. He does not like that she did not even consult him before announcing it to everyone else. 

Ally Maki and Damon Gupton in The Big Door Prize, Season 1 – Episode 9

What does Dusty realize about the Morpho results? Does Dusty change his mind about the Morpho card results?

Dusty wonders why Trina told Beau (Aaron Roman Weiner) before him. Still, he tells his young students that it is okay to make mistakes – that’s how we learn. It makes him reflect on the early years of his own life, where he wished he made some mistakes to realize some truths about himself. Dusty then reflects upon their life’s potential and how they need not be conformed by it. 

Principal Pat shares how she does not regret the decisions she made post the Morpho machine’s arrival. She also shares how it is different for her neighbor, who is not a good archer despite getting that result. Father Rueben (Damon Gupton) also walks into the classroom when Dusty suddenly has an epiphany – how the card results are not the destination or the professions one needs to follow – but an arrow, a direction in which they can lead. 

‘It’s a thing you need to be told about yourself in order to question or confront yourself but need not stick to it,’ he says. He ends his chain of thought by saying how the people have been asking the wrong questions. They should rather question how the machine got into their town and why did it arrive in Deerfield out of all the places. 

High On Films in collaboration with Avanté

Later, Beau and Jacob have a heart-to-heart about their lives. Beau does not regret modifying his garage into a saloon. He talks about how people are sometimes known for the things they once did despite being regretful about them. Moreover, he wants Jacob not to let Trina go through the same turmoil. He also praises how courageous Trina is. Jacob empathizes with that and, thus, decides to go to the Hubbards’ house with him.

Beau goes with his chainsaw to scare off Dusty. After making that wicked joke, the father and the son enter their house. Before that, Trina gifts Cass a pot she made to take her mind off of things. Cass feels bad for how her recent decisions may have made her daughter feel forced to choose her interests as a career choice. Cass apologizes for not paying attention to her needs. Trina says that she is not as bad as her own mother. 

Anyhow, the Hubbards and the Kovacs have a heartfelt conversation when Jacob asks Trina officially on a date to the Deerfest. Trina says that she wants their parents to join them. Despite her earlier disinterest in participating, Cass agrees to it. 

The Big Door Prize (Season 1) Episode 9 Ending Explained:

What does Cass ask Dusty about during the Deerfest?

As a mayor, Izzy starts looking around at the preparations for the Deerfest. She worries it is not up to the mark. Urie, who got Sole Survivor as his Morpho result, worries about the possible danger to their survival due to recent changes in the climate. Izzy does not care about it since a tornado warning did not materialize. 

Besides, despite the thunder and the clouds, the residents also start walking toward the Deerfest. During their walk, Cass acknowledges Dusty’s arrow theory and questions – what if their arrows are meant to lead in different directions? Maybe they can lead different lives in the future. While neither makes a firm decision, they both now seem open to talking about it.

Why does Father Reuben not attend the Deerfest?

On the other hand, instead of going to the Deerfest, Reuben walks up to the bar. He notices a room on the back and goes in to find Hana (Ally Maki) taping a space on the rooftop. She is concerned about what the possible rain will do to her abode. Only then does Jacob realize that she lives in a dilapidated place. They both talk about getting rid of most of their stuff before coming to Deerfield. 

While he revealed his reason for coming to Deerfield, she didn’t. So, he asks her about it. Eventually, he says that he does not want to be a priest anymore. Then, the two share a kiss. So, we essentially meet two people who want to get away from their pasts for one or the other reason to have a new life in a relatively unknown place.

What do the blue dots on Mr. Johnson’s neck indicate?

Back in his shop, Mr. Johnson tries to use theremin for a magic trick to open the Morpho machine. Since it does not work out, he becomes restless. He takes a long blade and goes up there to open it. A woman walks in just then to notice his attempt. He falls down on the ground, and the woman notices three blue dots on Mr. Johnson’s neck. They look pretty similar to what Dusty had on his lower back. So now the question is, what do they represent? Do they signify the people who doubt Morpho’s potential to reveal other people’s? Maybe. Let’s wait for the season finale to know what the show’s writers have to say about it. 

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The Big Door Prize (Season 1) Episode 9 Links: IMDb, Rotten Tomatoes, Wikipedia
The Big Door Prize (Season 1) Episode 9 Cast: Chris O’Dowd, Gabrielle Dennis, Sammy Fourlas, Damon Gupton, Ally Maki, Josh Segarra
Where to watch The Big Door Prize

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