Salad Fingers Episode 11: "Glass Brother" Review
The deranged being makes his creepy and triumphant return.
When David Firth launched his first Salad Fingers flash video back in 2004, it is doubtful he knew just how popular his dark web series would become. A total of ten episodes were released sporadically between 2004 and 2013, with the eleventh finally premiering this week after a five-year hiatus.
The story focuses on a physically deformed and mentally deranged green entity with three elongated fingers on each hand called Salad Fingers. He has a propensity for rubbing those giant fingers on rusted or sharp items (such as rusty spoons) and lives in a small shack in the middle of nowhere sometime after the events of World War I.
While Salad Fingers occasionally comes across other live people, his only "friends" consist of three finger puppets and occasionally various dead bodies he has collected. This is the basic premise for the series, although there is a level of complexity to the story that would take a ten-page essay to fully explain.
Salad Fingers has set a high bar in terms of its weirdness and overall quality, and this new episode absolutely delivered on those exceptions. It seems like the wait was worth it, since it was evident right away that there has been a huge leap forward in production quality, animation, sound, and storytelling.
David Firth has been at this for a long time and it shows with this newest episode being his most polished work yet. "Glass Brother" looks amazing and sounds great in terms of both the voice overs and the haunting music. My favorite thing about the opening moments, however, was that familiar and unsettling vibe the series has become famous for. Salad Finger's story was continued without missing a beat and it was almost like seeing an old, albeit creepy, friend again.
This newest episode shook up our established knowledge of the Salad Fingers character quite a bit through the introduction of his Glass Mother and Brothers, who apparently live in an alternate reality only accessible through either mirrors or water. He is bossed around by these evil entities, forced to harm himself and do what they say. As with other episodes, it is hard to know what is real or not in this world. Is there really another dimension, or are these tormenting forces simply a representation of the character's mental illness?
It could make sense either way, since looking into a mirror would force Salad Fingers to confront his reflection and thus himself. I'm personally on the fence, since the alternate dimension angle could make sense for how we've seen so many other "clones" of him over the years. If it is Salad Finger's own mind, he certainly seems intent on punishing himself, but why? Part of me is starting to think maybe he is already dead and he is simply in Hell, being endlessly tortured for some past misdeed. We may never know the answer, but damn if it doesn't makes for some great entertainment.
We also got to see some development with Salad Finger's favorite finger puppet, Hubert Cumberdale. Prior to this episode I always thought his puppets were inanimate objects and anything we saw otherwise was all in his head. This episode brought everything back into question when Salad Fingers turns Hubert into "a real boy" by sewing him up inside a little suit made of human flesh. This new physical form seems to have brought Hubert to life as he was moving on his own and talking throughout the entire episode.
It was an unexpected twist and is definitely making me second guess everything I thought I had figured out up to this point. Prior to viewing "Glass Brother," I was under the assumption that Hubert Cumberdale was Salad Finger's true identity and that he was suffering from a dissociative disorder of some kind due to the trauma in his life. Now, I'm not so sure and my last ten years of perceived insight has gone right out the window. However, that excites me. I'm not mad, but rather more intrigued than ever to get to the bottom of this ongoing mystery.
Just as David Firth has matured his skills, so too are the characters maturing, quite literally in the case of Hubert, who is now a Pinocchio-esque freakshow that really does have his own personality and quirks. Meanwhile, Salad Fingers seems to finally be taking a stand for himself, combating his mental illness and/or tormentors and not letting them take away the things that he holds most dear. Honestly, this is the most character development seen in an episode yet, so let's hope this narrative trend continues in future installments.
This new episode of, despite the long hiatus, is honestly creepier than ever before. Watching it felt like a bad acid trip or staring at a horrific car accident that you just can't pull away from, which is exactly how you want to feel while watching this series.
While not really a negative point, even as a long-time fan of the series, it is still somewhat hard to understand what is actually going on., as always we are left with more questions than answers. Those not familiar with the series will want to start from the beginning or they may get lost altogether.
"Glass Brother" demonstates that this creepy web series is not going anywhere. David Firth has honed his skills to deliver a familiar, yet fresh take on Salad Fingers with what seems like more emphasis on fleshing out the story, world, and characters. I cannot wait to see what will come next.
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