Wreck (Season 1), On HULU: A slasher-whodunit set inside a massive cruise ship—what more can horror fans ask for? This diabolical nautical idea results from the mind of Ryan J. Brown and forms the core of his horror-comedy series, Wreck.

The series’ first season premiered on BBC Three in 2022 and is currently streaming on Hulu. Revolving around a young man, Jamie Walsh, who boards a ship to find out about his missing sister, Wreck is a solid six-episode mystery that marks an electrifying entry in recent slasher television. Interweaving disparate generic influences almost seamlessly, this is a series that horror fans should not risk missing.

The first season of this series is currently streaming on Hulu.

Wreck (2022) Season 1: Episodic Recap

Episode 1: Ship of Dreams

As the series begins, we follow Pippa (Jodie Tyack), an employee in the large cruise ship Sacramentum run by the company Velorum. As Pippa changes in the locker room after a swim, she is confronted by her ex-boyfriend, Danny (Jack Rowan), who wishes to make amends with her.

Pippa rebuffs his attempts and heads back. Just as she leaves, Pippa is attacked by a killer in a yellow duck costume. Before the masked killer can get her, Pippa chooses to jump into the waters below rather than fall into her assailant’s hands.

Three months later, Pippa’s brother Jamie (Oscar Kennedy) comes to Sacramentum in the disguise of a new recruit in the ship’s crew. Jamie seeks to investigate his sister’s mysterious vanishing, which the ship’s authorities had deemed a suicide. However, Jamie is adamant that the authorities are hiding something and plans to find out the truth about Pippa’s disappearance.

To evade suspicion, Jamie adopts the identity of a stranger, Cormac Kelly (Peter Claffey), by paying Cormac to stay home while Jamie adopts his alias. However, his plans are thwarted when Cormac turns up on the deck to spy on his ex-girlfriend, Rosie (Miya Ocego). Jamie orders Cormac to stay hidden in the bunker room so that his cover is not blown.

Along with the guests and recruits, the Sacramentum is led by Henry Allen (Donald Sage Mackay), the director of the ship. The recruits, in turn, are led by Officer Karen (Harriet Webb), a martinet and tough lady who commands other officers on the ship.

As he is balancing the recruiting duties with his investigative proceedings, Jamie befriends fellow recruits Vivian (Thaddea Graham) and Olly Reyes (Anthony Rickman). Soon, while working on the ship, Jamie comes across Danny—believing him to be responsible for his sister’s disappearance. When Danny is away, Jamie breaks into his bunker and retrieves Pippa’s phone from under his bed, further confirming his suspicion about Danny.

Back in Jamie’s room, Cormac threatens to leave the bunker to find Rosie but is stopped by Jamie. Suddenly, Vivian turns up inside the bunker, forcing Jamie to reveal his true identity to her and his true motive for being on the ship. After learning the truth, Vivian vows to help Jamie every step of the way.

The two further bonds over their dysfunctional familial past—Jamie’s mother died when he was young, which led his father to become a depressing addict. Meanwhile, her family did not take Vivian’s coming out well, prompting her to take a job and escape from her homophobic household.

That night after an initiation ceremony for the new recruits, Danny is attacked by the killer in the duck mask costume. After brutally stabbing Danny, the killer proceeds to take his body inside a secret room.

Episode 2: Catch of The Day

The episode begins with a flashback, where the relationship between Jamie and Pippa unfolds. It is revealed that Jamie had sent Pippa’s application for a position in Sacramentum, despite Pippa being reluctant to leave her brother in the company of their drug-addict father.

In the present day, a recruit called Lauren (Amber Grappy) discovers Danny’s corpse in a pool. Despite noticeable stabbing marks on his body, the Sacramentum staff rule Danny’s death as a suicide in order to avoid creating panic on the ship. Danny’s death especially triggers the theatre group of which Danny was a part.

Wreck (Season 1): Recap, Ending, Explained & Review

The group’s queen bee, Sophia (Alice Nokes), pacifies the group by mentioning that she would talk to one of the officers, Sam (Louis Boyer), to get them out of the ship. It is later revealed that Sam and other officers get Sophia and other theatre members to sell drugs to guests on the ship.

On the other hand, Jamie manages to hack into Pippa’s phone—which he had retrieved from Danny’s room. From Pippa’s chat, Jamie and Vivian learn that Pippa was probably blackmailing a guy with a fish tattoo near his penis. Cormac suggests that Jamie talks to the Filipinos who reside on the ship’s lower deck and do most of the tattoos. Jamie and Vivian take Olly’s help, who is himself a Filipino, to find out about the tattoo.

The tattoo artist, “The Baby,” reveals that although he did the tattoo, he cannot recognize the exact person because of the vast number of clients he gets daily. The Baby nevertheless specifies that the tattoo probably belongs to one of the officers on the ship. Following this revelation, Jamie is elated, and he and Olly share a kiss.

On the other hand, Sophia is attacked by an unknown intruder who leaves a threatening message for her. After a vigil for Danny, a ski-mask-wearing person again attacks Sophia in the auditorium, but she is saved by Jamie, who rushes after the killer to unmask him. Before Jamie can catch up with the killer, he manages to escape in an elevator. As the episode ends, the killer pulls off his mask, revealing it as Olly.

Episode 3: Showtime

The episode again commences with a flashback focusing on Pippa as she brings drugs inside the ship. In the present day, the ship prepares for The Captain’s Ball—an important event for the guests. On the other hand, Detective Martinez (Marcia Lecky) arrives at the Sacramentum to investigate Danny’s murder, thanks to a phone tip from Jamie.

Later, Vivian goes to a room to deliver an order where she meets Lily Tee (Ramanique Ahluwalia), a wealthy guest who is here with her parents and stepbrother, Nile (Ned Costello). Lily and Vivian are infatuated with each other and begin a relationship. Lily reveals she is forced on a cruise holiday by her parents every year.

Due to the presence of a detective on board, the officers conduct a drug raid inside every recruit’s bunker. Jamie comes to Olly’s room, and they kiss each other. Suddenly, Beaker (Warren James Dunning), a frightening and intimidating officer, comes inside Olly’s bunker to search for drugs. During the search, Jamie spots the ski mask amongst Olly’s accessories. Believing Olly to be the killer, a terrified Jamie leaves the room.

Vivian and Jamie go to Sophia. They request that she talk to Detective Martinez and reveal that she was stalked by Olly yesterday. Sophia reveals that she cannot talk to the detective because she, like, other theatre recruits, has been trading drugs inside the ship.

Officers force the recruits to bring drugs inside the ship in exchange for special privileges. Sophia also reveals a rivalry between the officers and the Filipinos, as both deal in drugs—the officers to the guests while the Filipinos to the crew. Since Olly is a part of the Filipino mafia, he was trying to scare Sophia yesterday.

Jamie offers to get rid of all the drugs if Sophia agrees to talk to the detective. Although Jamie sticks to his promise by dumping all the drugs inside the toilet, Sophia backstabs Jamie by refusing to speak to the detective.

Meanwhile, Detective Martinez is bribed by director Henry Allen to drop her investigation. Tempted by the offer, Martinez leaves the ship. Olly finally meets up with Jamie and reveals that he was told to scare Sophia by the Filipino mafia, who left him with no choice. The Filipino mafia arrives at the scene to scare Jamie, but he is saved by Olly, who reveals that Jamie is only investigating the murder of Danny and has nothing to do with drugs.

On the other hand, Cormac, who is following Rosie, hides in one of the dressing room wardrobes to catch a glimpse of her. There he sees Sam and Sophia having sex and is able to spot the fish tattoo near Sam’s pelvis. After Sam and Sophia leave, Cormac apologizes to Rosie, and they both reconcile.

As the episode ends, one of the recruits, Jerome, is abducted and taken to an abandoned basement, where he is brutally murdered with a tire iron.

Episode 4: The Sacramentum Slasher

Back in the bunker, Cormac reveals the identity of the fish tattoo person to Jamie and Vivian. When Jamie confronts Sam, he reveals that he is the reason that Pippa committed suicide. Sam had an affair with Pippa but did not reveal to her that he was already married.

This angered Pippa, and she blackmailed Sam and later committed suicide due to being depressed because of her thwarted relationship. Despite Sam’s earnestness, Jamie does not believe in Pippa’s suicide and tries to convince Sam that she was murdered.

Later, Nile tells Vivian that Lily is only seducing Vivian because of a Cruel Intentions-esque bet between the two of them to see who can first sleep with one of the ship’s workers. Vivian is heartbroken by this revelation and refuses to listen to Lily.

Jamie and Vivian break into Room 208, where Pippa had been staying, and spot a weird map drawn by Pippa on the carpet. Jamie also finds a list, hidden in the smoke alarm, containing the names of some random people. When he searches these names on the computer, Jamie realizes that all of these people have seemingly deactivated their social media with the same caption of “digital detox.”

Cormac and Rosie decide to stay on the ship and help Jamie and Vivian with their investigation. The four of them break into the central system to retrieve information about the people on Pippa’s list. Jamie realizes that the main system has all these people listed as “absconded,” including Jerome. Seeing Jerome’s name puzzles Jamie, and he decides to take the information to Sam.

Meanwhile, Lily apologizes to Vivian, telling her that although she had made a bet with Nile, she genuinely fell in love with Vivian and hopes to continue their relationship. Both of them reconcile.

Jamie goes to Sam and tells him about Pippa’s list. While talking to him, Jamie realizes that Sam already knows about Jerome. This scares Jamie, and he ultimately realizes that Sam is the killer. Sam reveals that it was he who had chased Pippa and watched her fall. Before Sam can kill him, Jamie bites his hands. As Jamie is escaping, all the ship officers surround him, and Karen hits him with a rod, causing Jamie to faint.

Episode 5: Needle In A Gaystack

In a flashback, we see Sam taking Pippa out on a date when he proposes to her. Before he can reveal the truth about his marriage, both of them hear a scream outside. Sam goes to investigate. Pippa also steps out and sees a girl running and screaming and then disappearing behind a secret door.

In the present, Jamie is taken to a mysterious, darkened room—where he sees Jerome’s corpse. Karen instructs Sam to kill Jamie, but Jamie manages to escape and meets up with the group, including Vivian, Cormac, Rosie, Olly, and Lily. Jamie believes that Sam is the psychopathic killer of the ship, and the rest of the officers are covering for him.

The group decides to click a photograph of Jerome’s corpse as proof and expose Sam. Karen puts out a wanted sign for Jamie and Vivian, which prompts everyone on the crew to look for the duo. Vivian goes with Lily so that they can tell the truth about the ship to Lily’s affluent parents.

On the other hand, thanks to Pipa’s maps, Jamie, Cormac, Rosie, and Olly manage to find the secret passages in the ship. The group decides to split, with Olly and Jamie reaching the spot to click the photograph of Jerome’s corpse. Before they can escape with the proof, they are caught by Karen, who takes the boys inside a secret base room—where they are greeted by Henry Allen—the director of the ship.

Allen makes the boys sit down and shows them the live footage of two wealthy guests hunting an incarcerated housekeeper, Leila. Before Leila can escape, she is killed by the guests. Allen reveals that the wealthy guests often choose prey from the ship’s crew and then hunt them as a pastime—which explains why Jerome was taken to the basement and killed. Other guests in the bar room then watch this hunting.

Wreck (Season 1): Recap, Ending, Explained & Review

Back in Lily’s suite, Vivian talks to her stepbrother, Nile, while waiting for Lily to return with her parents. Suddenly, Lily steps inside the suite with the officers. It is revealed that Lily, just like other wealthy guests, has chosen Vivian to be her prey—and it is Vivian’s turn to be hunted next.

Episode 6: Water Off A Duck’s Back

It is revealed that Pippa had managed to uncover the names of people who went missing due to being hunted by wealthy guests. Back in the server room, Allen reveals that Velorum, the shipping company, has been running these hunting expeditions for rich people since 1893.

Pippa had uncovered the plot, which caused Allen to order Sam to kill Pippa, but she jumped off the deck. Allen also reveals that it was Sam who had killed Danny, fearing that Pippa might have told him about the plot. Allen then chides Sam for not adhering to his duties and falling in love with Pippa. To everyone’s shock, Allen stabs Sam to death.

Beaker then takes Olly and Jamie to torture and kill them—but Cormac and Rosie save them. Jamie then goes to all the other recruits and tells them the plot of Velorum to kill them for sport. While initially disbelieving in his theory, Jamie’s impassioned speech rouses the group, and they join hands to bring down Allen and the rich guests. Olly also brings the Filipino mafia to help them and all the proletariats rise against the ruling class. A fight ensues between the masses and the officers.

On the other hand, Lily proceeds with her hunt for Vivian—who is tied to a honeymoon bed. Her hunt is being watched by all the wealthy in their room, including Lily’s parents. Before Lily can kill Vivian with a chainsaw, Jamie breaks into the room, distracting Lily. Vivian proceeds to chainsaw Lily in half.

Eventually, the recruits and Filipinos break into the rich’s cabin, forcing them to surrender. Beaker tries to attack them with an axe but is shot in the chest by Lauren. A defeated Allen tells Jamie that Sacramentum is not the only ship where such expeditions happen—hinting at Velorum’s extensive outreach in continuing such diabolical activities.

As the police helicopters are heard coming in, Olly and Jamie share a kiss. Jamie and Vivian stand at the deck, vowing to stay together and burn Velorum to the ground. An unknown figure seems to be spying on the ship from a distance. It is revealed to be Pippa—having survived her fall and sailing in a small motorboat.

Wreck (2022) Season 1, Ending, Explained:

Is The Story of Jamie and His Gang Over?

Even though the first season of Wreck ends with the mystery behind the killings uncovered, the story is far from over. The director of the ship, Allen, warns Jamie in the final episode that Sacramentum is not the only place where rich people conduct their nefarious killing activities. Hence, the main villain of the story, the company Velorum is still in operation. Moreover, the series’ final scene also teases Pippa’s survival, which Jamie remains unaware of.

Thankfully all of these queries and plot threads will be resolved in Season 2—which is set to premiere later this year. As teased by its creator, the sophomore season would likely follow Jamie and Vivian as they join hands to bring down Velorum and put an end to its evil plots. It is also highly possible that Jamie would finally unite with his beloved sister, Pippa, for whom he had joined Sacramentum in the first place.

Wreck (2022) Season 1: Review

Wreck evidently borrows from a plethora of horror television and cinema, with the influence of Harper’s Island, Ghost Ship, Squid Game, and The Hunt—apparent in the series. Nevertheless, it amalgamates its influences within its own distinct aesthetic, which is surprisingly both part camp and part serious.

The biggest highlight of Wreck is its game cast, led by the amazingly talented Oscar Kennedy and Thaddea Graham. By centering the story between two vulnerable queer individuals who always have each other’s back, Ryan J Brown creates a ground-breaking representation of queer friendships in a genre that has largely devalued LGBT characters as instant kills or disposable sidekicks. The remaining cast is stellar as well—the series will definitely be a calling card for several of them once it takes steam.

Another outstanding feature of the series remains its production value, which alone should have gotten it a viral status. Despite being modestly budgeted, director Chris Baugh and his team make such a believable set that the ship of Sacramentum becomes its own character. Baugh also displays great dexterity in creating suspense, deftly editing his episodes and ending each episode with an intriguing twist—making it a highly binge-able narrative. However, in the shocking finale of the series, the payoff is rather diminished, lacking the kinetic energy needed for its cathartic end. But then, hopefully, Season 2 would have that covered!

As I finish writing this review, a part of me wonders how such a queer-horror series got made in the first place—and was also surprisingly renewed for a second season despite modest audience ratings. The fact that something like this is created, consumed, and discussed in our culture is already a testament to the power of queer creators and their pioneering visions.

Related to Wreck (2022) Season 1: How is Titane (2021) Sexually Liberating but also Stifling?

Wreck (2022) Season 1 Links: IMDb, Rotten Tomatoes, Wikipedia
Wreck (2022) Season 1 Cast: Jodie Tyack, Oscar Kennedy, Louis Boyer
Where to watch Wreck

Similar Posts