Séance (High Falls), Episode 5: Shards

By Mark Harris, Harlan Guthrie

(4 Reviews)


Final Price: $2.99


Lina Fox discovers some new talents of her own. But when an old friend returns and tries to use her talents for nefarious purposes, only Oliver Hollo can help. So he and Lina team up. But Hollo demands a steep price.

© 2022 Mark Harris ℗ 2022 Soundbooth Theater

About The Authors

View Mark Harris's Page

Harlan Guthrie (he/him) is a creative, nerdy, medium sized dynamo. He is a writer, voice actor, editor, and creator of a number of different shows and streams. He has a Dungeons & Dragons Actual Play Podcast called Dice Shame that has been featured on Wizards of the Coast Podcasts of the Frostmaiden event and you can find him pulling the strings in the Audio Drama “Malevolent” or streaming Wednesday nights on The INVICTUS Stream.

View Harlan Guthrie's Page


Additional Credits

Reviews (4)

I Listened to It Twice...

So… I really wanted to like this series because the spirit world fascinates me. I listened to this episode twice just to make sure I was actually hearing what I thought I was hearing, and wasn’t being too harsh. The production was utterly phenomenal and I loved it. Yet—not enough happened. Again. So I’m ending here (probably a relief to the creators, sorry about that). Short version: There’s just not enough story here for me to continue. (SPOILERS FOLLOW) Long version: So either 1) the team decided to ditch a faux-drama moment where Kitty leaves Otto only to return, and shortened it to Kitty just being back with Otto as a nod to past listener comments, or 2) the faux drama really didn’t last more than a few seconds before Kitty and Otto were best friends again, all taking place off-screen between the end of Episode 4 and the beginning of 5. Either one is painful. If it was Option 1, I recognize that the team was trying to take listener suggestions into account, and that’s cool and admirable. If it was Option 2…why even do it in the first place??? It’s just…fake…and uses time/words that could be spent on some real story progression, not these little mini-drama resets that go nowhere. The focus on Lina Fox really, really bothers me. She’s not a likeable character, so nobody’s going to care what happens to her. I certainly don’t. To have so much of the story being told from her POV makes me cringe. Again, not much happened. Like, basically nothing. Some people got mad. Someone considered trying to try Lina Fox as a witch, but that went nowhere. Lina Fox got kicked out of the group that hasn’t really done anything cool and whose powers/influence we are unaware, so again it falls flat because we don’t understand the stakes (plus it’s Lina, so I care even less). Styles goes evil Super Saiyan and attacks peeps, but nobody gets hurt or even really scared. Lina very briefly gets possessed by Styles. Hollo has everything under control pretty much the whole time, and Lina has to agree to give Hollo the rock binding Styles at the end—the same ghost who had just possessed her and shown he was an evil creeper. That wasn’t a huge reveal or a huge loss on Lina’s part. And the pastor who has every reason to screw over Lina Fox goes all Good Christian and doesn’t even try when he has the chance. Even the mayor just wants Hollo to leave, and doesn’t even try to recapture him when he escapes the jail. There’s literally no long-term consequences for these characters and what they do. This story is in desperate need of serious conflict. People that the listeners care about getting into situations that they can’t easily get out of, where tension is really high because the stakes are real. Stakes like, gee, they’re standing at a gallows about to be hung and someone’s reading them their final rites with ropes around their necks; or Lina has the entire town wrapped around her pinkie and is pinning Kitty for murder and Kitty is half-dead or in a coma from surviving something Lina did to her and Oliver has to save her, but Lina’s got an army of ghosts surrounding Kitty’s cell; or one of Oliver’s ghosts get ripped apart and destroyed by the bad guy; or Kitty gets possessed by Styles and forced to do horrible things like murder someone; or Oliver gets caught by a mob and branded as a witch right on the forehead and a couple of his fingers cut off so he can no longer show his face in public and working his magic is harder, or the Feds come in having chased Oliver and Kitty down from all the other cities they’ve bilked and drag them back for fraud. SOMETHING. The stakes are just so low I can’t care about what’s happening to these characters. Here’s what I mean by the stakes are low: Nothing has really changed for Oliver and Kitty. They could walk away today and their lives really wouldn’t have changed. They’re still grifters. They haven’t gained or lost anything. They don’t seem to have any powerful, driving goals. Even when they briefly need money, Kitty just miraculously thieves enough for them to live in luxury in only an hour or two, with literally no fear of consequences or getting caught. Lina Fox is basically the only one who has goals in this story, and her goals are just not something I care about. (Controlling a small town.) Which brings me to my last serious issue with the storyline: I can’t tell who the protagonist is supposed to be. If it’s Lina Fox, that’s just a superbly horrible choice because she’s not fun to follow around. She doesn’t do anything interesting. Boiled down, she is a caricature of selfishness… Nobody really wants to read about that. If it’s Oliver Hollo… Why in the everloving fuck is so much time (and the first episode!!!) being devoted to Lina Fox??? I think Oliver would make a decent protagonist, but we’re not seeing enough of him to make that decision. Why is this whole series not being told from Oliver and Kitty’s POV, with Lina Fox popping in here and there to laugh maniacally for a minute or two and then go back to being evil off-screen so our protags can stew over how hard Lina is making their lives and how they’re gonna survive it? It makes no sense. Anyway, it feels like a kid’s show, like Power Rangers or something, where no one we care about ever gets hurt, but without the bad guy to beat each episode. That said, why in the fuck is such a wonderful production spinning its wheels like this? The voice actors, the sound effects, the mood, it’s just fucking superb. Totally pro level stuff. But the story isn’t going anywhere. Stuff is being repeated, episode after episode, stuff we have already been told or can assume is being told to us again, in other ways, wasting time and space that could be putting towards character or plot development. Why are we being told the same story by two different POVs, covering the same stuff twice, one from a POV we (or maybe it’s just me) literally don’t care about? Wtf is going on? Everything we’re getting from Lina’s POV we could hear as gossip or by happen-stance from Kitty and Hollo’s POV in like 1/10th of the time, then use that saved time to progress the story. We don’t need to be told it all twice! Anyway, I won’t be commenting any more because I’m stopping here. Hopefully other people are having better reactions.


The blurb for this episode was a very elegant. Come to find out it described the whole episode in four sentences. I didn’t need to listen to it. ————- I’ll break it down the blurb below. Lina Fox discovers some new talents of her own. -Lina Fox died and came back to life with the same powers as Oliver- This is not new info. But when an old friend returns and tries to use her talents for nefarious purposes, only Oliver Hollo can help. -Stiles died and has returned as a very upset shard ghost telling Lina how she should use her powers but she is torn and wants to use them for good- Yes it was new to find out that Stiles came back “wrong/shard of himself” which is revealed at the end of the episode. Now he wants to make Oliver pay for his death. So he and Lina team up. But Hollo demands a steep price. -Oliver steps in telling Lina I will help you get rid of him but you must give me your anchor so you can’t use your powers completely. You still have access to them but you won’t be able to pull spirits from the dead- To me this is not a steep price. For something she has no idea on how to handle herself or control her new abilities it would be best to have her get rid of them. She will think she is helping people but may reek more havoc instead. —————— I don’t like the how the episodes are shorter and shorter. And in the episodes I only learn the tiniest bit of info at the end like it’s a big reveal. I was really looking forward to listening but I feel as though this should be one of those kids tv shows that you play in the background while cooking or cleaning. You won’t miss anything. Not a lot goes on. I understand there is some aspect of drama but we know the bad guy won’t be taken out that easy because that is the plot. If you take him away what else is there. I am unsure on what roles everyone will actually play. Lina seems so damaged now. Stiles is broken. Oliver is ….. Oliver(whatever that may be) with his Kitty whom I enjoy the most but she is in the back. Which I get if she were to actually get her point across there would be no issues. But here we are. Lina has become good. Oliver seems shady and selfish. Kitty is smart but over looked and unheard. Stiles… he just a dead vengeful ghost wanting destruction. With Lina knowing Stiles she will not let go so easy even if he is broken she will want to find a way to save not evaporate him. My overall feelings on Seance aren’t good. I’m bored, it drags on with the same info the episodes are short and I feel like I’m wasting my time. If I can just read the blurbs posted when the episode drops or just skip to the end, that’s not good. That’s when anything of relevance happens though. The plot seems very weak and basic. This could be a kids show and it would be great. I would like something with more depth to it. More drama with twists and turns that catch me off guard. And I don’t feel that from here. I’ve listened as a listener but the listening has ended.