What happened to Savannah? That’s the question that’s plagued everyone watching Disney Channel’s Secrets of Sulphur Springs since the show began on January 15th. In the eighth episode, titled “If I Could Turn Back Time,” we finally got an answer. Now streaming on Disney Now and airing on Disney Channel tonight (February 19th) at 8/7c, here’s a detailed recap of everything that happened in this episode.
Griffin and Harper are still trapped in the back of a police car in 1990 and Griffin is upset that he just heard his dad confess to being at fault for Savannah’s disappearance. Harper reminds Griffin that they still don’t know what happened to her and they continue to bang on windows, eventually getting the attention of a police officer. Harper tricks him into letting her out to go to the bathroom, leaving Griffin locked inside.
In the present, Zoey and Wyatt hear a noise coming from the secret room, which Ben recently boarded up with plywood. It sounds like music and Zoey pulls part of the plywood away, seeing the tape recorder is on even though it’s not plugged in. It’s playing the Camp Tremont song Savannah sang in the talent show, the same one that previously scared Ben when he first heard it after finding the secret room with Griffin.
Sarah and Ben are having a conversation by the door and Sarah believes Griffin may have gone back to Chicago where they moved from. Zoey and Wyatt interrupt their conversation, telling them about the music playing in the secret room and swearing it was a ghost. Wyatt sings part of the song and there’s a noticeable change in Ben’s eyes. He lies, telling them that Griffin probably recorded it as a prank to scare them. Zoey pulls Wyatt away, saying they were just playing around and Wyatt is very confused.
At Harper’s house, Jess is searching through her room for signs of clues as to where she could have gone and Topher is helping. In a bag under the bed, Jess finds clothes in 1990’s style and in the pocket of a blouse, she finds the roster for the camp talent show in her own handwriting. “Has Harper been going through a box in the garage?,” she asks Topher, who says that he remembers Harper looking for a picture of their dad not long ago. He has a moment of realization, thinking he knows where she might be.
Back in the past, the police officer waits for Harper outside a bathroom in The Tremont. When he knocks and doesn’t get an answer, he opens the door to find the bathroom empty and a window open. Harper opens the door to the police car, freeing Griffin and they run away. Thinking Jess might know something, they go to her cabin and tell her Bennet’s dad took him back to Chicago. She’s very upset at him and doesn’t want to talk about him, telling them that he blamed her for Savannah’s disappearance.
Not finding useful information from Jess, Griffin and Harper have another idea. What if Savannah found the bunker in the basement of the hotel and went through the hatch? They go to the basement of The Tremont and realize they can see the bunker through the shelves, just like in the present. Harper thinks Bennet may have known about the portal and kept it a secret because his overprotective dad might have tried to destroy it. They head towards the bunker.
In the present, Topher has taken Jess to the cemetery where their father was buried. He reveals that Harper has been going there to see their dad sometimes, something we haven’t seen on the show before. “Harper will be okay mom, she’s tough like you,” Topher says to comfort her.
Inside The Tremont, Ben goes into the secret room alone and whispers “C’mon, Savannah. What are you trying to tell me?” Sarah finds him there, upset that he’s seemingly looking for ghosts instead of their missing son. She begs him to tell her what’s going on and he finally comes clean, telling her there’s something she should see.
Up in their room, Wyatt is mad at Zoey for not fighting harder for their parents to believe them about the ghost. She says she didn’t want to give them more to worry about with Griffin missing, but Wyatt proposes the possibility that Savannah has taken Griffin. They prepare to resume their search for Savannah’s ghost, hoping it also leads them to Griffin.
Ben takes Sarah to the abandoned Camp Tremont grounds where all that remains are the support structures for the cabins, which were torn down. He tells her not all of his camp memories were happy, revealing that he was not only at the camp the summer Savannah disappeared, but that they were good friends and that Jess was there, too. Sarah is very upset with him for lying as the police officer shows up, asking for a piece of Griffin’s clothing to help the K-9 unit so the dogs can track his scent.
Harper and Griffin come out of the portal on a very windy day. At first, they think they’re still in 1990, but then they see one of the Camp Tremont cabins under construction with a sign saying it will open in 1960. They’ve gone back in time another 30 years and they run to The Tremont to find it abandoned. A carpenter finds them as he’s boarding up the windows, telling them the hotel was evacuated due to an incoming storm and they need to get home. Before they leave, Harper sees a shadow through a window and they run inside the hotel.
Savannah is inside! She thinks Bennet has pulled a prank on her and Harper tries desperately to persuade her that she’s actually gone back in time, showing how the phone on the desk and even the guest book are different. She says that since Bennet’s dad has money, he could’ve afforded an elaborate prank like this.
In the present, Jess is on her front porch looking through family photos when Ben pulls up. Telling Jess that the police need a piece of Harper’s clothing for the K9’s, Topher runs inside to grab something, leaving them alone. Ben reveals that Sarah knows they were at camp together with Savannah. Jess reveals that she’s been thinking about the day Savannah disappeared a lot. “What really happened that night, Ben?,” she asks.
At The Tremont, Sarah makes a phone call, presumably to her mom, saying she and the kids are moving back to Chicago as soon as they find Griffin. While on the phone, the line cuts out and becomes a high pitched noise. Looking at the mirror, Sarah sees that the corners are fogging up and a handwritten word appears. “Stay.”
Harper and Griffin are running to the hatch with Savannah in tow, the wind having picked up a lot. With the hatch open, Harper starts to climb through as Savannah trips. Griffin sees her get up and continue forward, so he goes through the hatch, too. At the bottom of the stairs looking up, they hear Savannah sounding like she’s about to come through when the wind blows a tree down on top of the hatch, blocking it from letting Savannah through.
What a shocking ending! Before the credits roll, we see a few clips from episode nine. They’re quick flashes this time rather than three longer moments and include Griffin trying to open the hatch with the tree on top, Harper and Griffin looking up records for evidence of Savannah in 1960, Sarah grabbing Zoey and Wyatt having just seen signs that The Tremont is haunted, and Harper getting a call from Griffin as he tells her his family is moving back to Chicago.
Here’s the description of the next episode, “As Time Goes By”:
“Once Griffin and Harper learn they can’t reopen the hatch to let Savannah in, they quickly go back through the portal.”
What was the rest of the mirror message going to say? Did Savannah die when the tree fell on the hatch in 1960? Is Griffin going to run away again so he can stay in Sulphur Springs to try and save Savannah? We’ll have to wait until February 26th to find out.
BONUS: Check out our interview with Landon Gordon, who plays Wyatt on the show.
Alex has been blogging about Disney films since 2009 after a lifetime of fandom. He joined the Laughing Place team in 2014 and covers films across all of Disney’s brands, including Star Wars, Marvel, and Fox, in addition to books, music, toys, consumer products, and food. You can hear his voice as a member of the Laughing Place Podcast and his face can be seen on Laughing Place’s YouTube channel where he unboxes stuff.