By Cady Inabinett, Managing editor of content
Purple Side’s “Cryptid Conspiracy: The Lost Episode” focuses on two radio cohosts, Jane and Carter, as they become trapped in a dimension called The Woods.
The show opens with Jane and Carter preparing for their special 100th episode of their radio show “Cryptid Conspiracy.” Reporters and fans surround the pair, questioning them about their newfound fame through song “What Comes Next?!”
A reporter reveals that Jane has gotten a job offer with “The Lavender Letter,” a newspaper in Chicago, and asks if she will be leaving “Cryptid Conspiracy.” Jane doesn’t answer the question and tells the reporters and fans to leave.
As they set up to start the episode, Carter notices Jane has something on her mind. When Jane asks him if he has ever thought about doing another job, he hints his romantic feelings for Jane, quickly playing them off as love for their radio show.
He then realizes he left their microphones in the car and goes back to get them, leaving Jane alone. While alone, Jane performs “Soliloquy,” detailing her doubts about staying on “Cryptid Conspiracy.”
Once Carter returns, they start airing the show, but, just as they start, it starts to rain. As Jane goes to check the weather forecast, she realizes they’ve lost cell service. They also hear strange whispers coming from the woods that are saying their names.
In a panic, the pair run through the woods trying to get to their car. The whispers continue, and the two quickly become disoriented.
Just as they realize that they’re lost, a figure appears. Through song “The Woods,” they reveal Jane and Carter are stuck in a pocket dimension that they control and are the personification of. They also tell Jane and Carter that they can see all possible timelines based on decisions the two make.
As Jane and Carter head into the woods, The Woods stops Jane, giving her the ominous warning, “Lovers never prosper, Janey.”
As they wander, Jane and Carter encounter two people. They introduce themselves as Councilman Abram and his wife Goody Blythe. They’re from the Lost Roanoke colony, which they lead Carter and Jane back to—introducing the colonists through song “Welcome to Roanoke.”
When Jane asks about leaving the woods, Goody Blythe reveals that her cousin had left the colony in search of escape, heading to a place called The Watchtower, but was never seen again. Goody tells them The Watchtower is a portal, saying the prophecy that accompanies is, “As this is written, let it be done. The portal shall open, but only to one.”
Carter decides to record a video of the colonists for the show, but the villagers accuse him of witchcraft and prepare to burn him at the stake. They tie him to a stake to be burned with another witch, but Jane uses her taser to scare them away before they can burn them.
After being untied, Carter asks the other alleged witch about The Watchtower. She introduces herself as Alice and tells them that she’s the protector of humans in the woods. She reveals she’s never gotten the portal in The Watchtower to work—trapping her in the dimension for 46 years. But Carter convinces her to take them to The Watchtower anyways, and the trio set off on their way.
On their journey, Jane and Carter stop to rest as Alice scouts ahead. Alone, Jane confesses her fears of never getting out of this dimension to Carter. He comforts her, telling her through song “Me and You” that what’s most important is that they’re together.
As the song ends, a banshee comes onto stage. Alice, Jane and Carter prepare to fight the banshee, but Councilman Abram runs onto stage to confront them. The banshee sees him, carrying him off instead.
The trio heads off again, arriving at a tavern called The Crypt! where they meet a menagerie of cryptids, including Bigfoot who is tending the bar. When Jane reveals to the tavern’s patrons that they’re headed to The Watchtower and assures them that the portal will open for her, everyone is apprehensive of her optimism and grows angry with her. However, Carter unites everyone through song “Stuck in the Middle.”
As the song ends, The Woods enters and chastises the patrons for resisting their power, singing a reprise of “The Woods.”
Alice, Jane and Carter rush out of The Crypt! and head to The Watchtower. Jane confronts Alice about not standing up to The Woods more and being pessimistic about escape. In a moment of vulnerability, Alice reveals her past, singing “In Every Lifetime” which reveals that she died in a car accident on the same day she got engaged.
Jane apologizes for prying into Alice’s past, but Carter convinces her to use the love she felt in her past life to help them open the portal. Alice becomes hopeful at this idea and heads into The Watchtower, leaving Jane and Carter alone.
Before they head into The Watchtower, Jane confesses to Carter that she has a job offer with “The Lavender Letter.” Carter reveals to her that he already knows this and encourages her to take the job. As he encourages her, Jane kisses him before the two head into The Watchtower.
Inside The Watchtower, the trio examines the portal. It’s engraved with the prophecy, reading, “As this is written, let it be done. The portal shall open, but only to one.”
Alice says she has tried everything and still can’t figure out what the prophecy means. Carter then discovers a hidden second part to the prophecy, which reads, “A trio arrives and the lonely succeeds. Sacrificed lovers, and prophesied bleeds.”
Hearing this part of the prophecy, Jane cuts her hand over a bowl in the center of the room, causing the portal to open. With this, The Woods enters and tells them that only one person can go through the portal. Jane and Carter begin to fight against Alice over who gets to go through the portal, singing “Final Hour.”
Alice runs towards the portal, but Carter tackles her to the ground, telling Jane to go through. The Woods snaps, pausing the scene. They outline to Jane that she can either leave this dimension and Carter or stay here with Carter. They also point out that in all timelines Jane is the only one who is able to open the portal.
The Woods leaves Jane to make her decision. She agonizes over the decision through song “Lament.”
As the song ends, the moment resumes. As Carter looks to Jane, she steps through the portal.
The scene transitions to reveal that Jane has been transported to the beginning of the day again, as Carter and reporters come on stage talking about their special episode.
As Jane becomes increasingly confused and panicked, everyone sings “Signing Off.” Jane realizes that she’s made the wrong choice and screams as the curtains close on the play.
Cady Inabinett is the managing editor of content for The Alabamian. She’s majoring in English and double-minoring in political science and peace and justice studies. She enjoys reading, watching movies and generally just being pretentious in her free time.