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On the Trail of Bigfoot Review (Episodes 5 & 6): A different approach, for better and worse

The final two episodes highlight the best and worst of the series.

On the Trail of Bigfoot is a six episode documentary miniseries from Small Town Monsters. The six episodes take a look at the famous legend and American folklore in general.  

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Episode 5: ‘Area X’

As OTTO nears its finale, the show travels to Oklahoma. It may seem like an odd place to look for Sasquatch, but there is a good reason. The team is in the Ouachita Mountains with the North American Wood Ape Conservancy. The NAWAC is a group dedicated to the investigation and research of wood apes (Bigfoot).

While the episode tries to come off as the most scientific of the series, it is also the most confusing. There is much time spent talking about the research done by the NAWAC. Members of the group talk about how they are attempting to track the wood ape, the debate between bringing one in dead or alive for study, and blood tests. This is not a random group of people sharing bizarre theories.

The show is also filled with stories of unexplained sounds and sightings. This has been the case with every episode, but none are given as much credence as in this episode. There is also a scene where someone talks about how they just saw a Bigfoot (complete with goofy theatrics) and even a shot at night involving mysterious “eyes”. The episode is more slapstick than science. Even the normally reliable Seth Breedlove never plays Devil’s advocate as he has in the past.

Episode 6: Finale

One year has passed since the first episode. Breedlove went in barely believing in Bigfoot. Over time, he has become frustrated with the lack of evidence. However, after his trip in Oklahoma led to a possible sighting, Breedlove is reinvigorated.

The episode is off to a shaky start. The entire series has seen groups dedicated to the scientific study of Bigfoot. Episode ten introduces the audience to the Ohio Nightstalkers. The small group has no interest in science and just want to find Sasquatch. The average Joe aspect should arguably be more fun, but it somehow instantly takes away much of OTTO’s credibility.

Thankfully, things get better when Breedlove focuses on why people look for the legendary creature. There are many people interviewed in different parts of the country. The show does a great job of getting across these believers continue their hunt out of genuine interest. It is interesting to hear what they go through and even better when many say they would tell others not to join the search. 

The final episode of OTTO is a fitting finale to the series. Instead of focusing on the mythical creature, the show is about those who look for it. It speaks to human curiosity and makes for a great watch.

Final Thoughts

There is only one major misstep in OTTO. At times, Seth Breedlove seems to be trying too hard to prove he his impartial. This is not necessary as his objective narration and the show’s solid structure do a good enough job of that. The penultimate episode is skipable, but the rest is a solid series that takes a different approach in dealing with one of the most legendary creatures of all time.

AiPT! Science is co-presented by AiPT! Comics and the New York City Skeptics.

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