The Netflix series The Devil from Ohio, released in 2022, will certainly appeal to viewers who prefer films with an unusual plot and unpredictable denouement. All eight episodes are permeated with tension and make you keep an eye on how the life of the main characters is changing, and what unexpected events await at the very end.
One day, an unusual patient comes to the clinic to the psychiatrist Suzanne Mathis. This is a young girl, Mei, who spent her entire short life in a sect, but still managed to escape from there. Her back is disfigured by terrible cuts that are of an occult nature. She is frightened, afraid of everything and does not trust anyone. The only one she makes contact with is Suzanne.
While the police and child services are trying to get in touch with May’s family and deal with the cult, whose adherents live in the town next door, Suzanne decides to keep her. She sees how shaken her psyche is, and wants to help the girl adapt to a normal life. In her new ward, she sees herself, or rather, a reflection of all her childhood traumas and complexes. Therefore, it becomes very important for her that May feel like a full-fledged member of society, surrounded by close loving people.
Focusing on her desire to bring May back to normal, Suzanne gradually draws closer to her so much that her own family is literally relegated to the background. The husband and their three daughters are wary at first, but still try to establish contact with the new inhabitant of their house. But strange behavior and creepy habits, which she clearly borrowed from her sectarian past, do not allow them to fully accept this girl. As a result, the spouse and children completely move out of the house.
Why, then, did the experienced psychiatrist Suzanne allow this to happen? Most likely, she so badly wanted Mei to forget her terrible past that it became the main meaning of life for her. Finding out that her own parents wanted to sacrifice the poor thing, Suzanne was horrified.
Mei’s father and part-time leader of the sectarians does not give up trying to get his child back and complete a cruel ritual that could restore him to health. His assistants go to various crimes to intimidate the Mathis family. They set fires. And then they organize the kidnapping of their middle daughter Jules. But Mei herself suddenly comes to her defense.
Some more time passes, and it seems that Suzanne managed the incredible – May is no longer distinguishable from an ordinary teenage girl. She even becomes prom queen at her school. Out of nowhere, a bouquet of white roses coming from nowhere works like a trigger, and Mei, losing all control over herself, feels an irresistible desire to return to the sect. Before her eyes, the thought burns with fire that she should be burned at the stake, as required by the ritual. But Susanna miraculously manages to save the girl from death, and May’s mother dies in the flames.
And everything seems to end well. But the detective who is investigating the cult informs Suzanne that May herself ordered those flowers for herself and voluntarily went to her hometown, risking being killed during the sacrifice.
And then it becomes clear what a sophisticated game she was playing, which seemed so harmless and unhappy, Mei. She was really scared and really wanted to escape from the bloodthirsty clutches of the cult. But once in an alien environment, the girl realized that she alone could not survive. She needed a man who would penetrate her and open his heart. So, her target was the psychiatrist Suzanne Mathis.
With a distinct sense of the truly maternal care that Susannah surrounded her with, May was glad to stay with her. And, probably, she really wanted to become part of an ordinary loving family. But the time spent in the sect left an imprint on her psyche, and those close to Dr. Mathis could not come to terms with these features. And May continues to show her “child” love for Suzanne, getting closer to her more and more.
Fearing that she will be transferred to be raised in another family, Mei will come up with this terrible plan, which could well cost her her life. But the girl is sure that Suzanne will save her and will not let her go anywhere else. And so it happens.
Unbeknownst to others, Mei creates her own cult and even an altar, where she and her “new mother” are chosen for worship. She skillfully weaved her nets in order to lure an adult woman in them, who still could not let go of the resentment of childhood and youth. Suzanne became easy prey, and she herself sacrificed her family well-being for the sake of the seemingly defenseless girl in whom she saw herself.
The series “The Devil from Ohio” perfectly shows how monstrously sects change the worldview of everyone who got into them. And how difficult it is to get rid of this influence. After all, even having a completely normal desire to live like an ordinary teenager in an average family, May perverted this idea, forcing loved ones to part, leaving only Suzanne. And how this same Suzanne could not get rid of her old grievances, deciding to be realized through a completely different girl.