Sometimes, you get a question in the horror community that completely breaks your writer’s block and gets your mind working. One question I always see is how is Jason Voorhees a young boy at the end of Friday The 13th, but a grown adult in the beginning of Friday The 13th Part 2, set only 2 months after the first film? The answer to that is pretty obvious. When Alice was pulled into the lake by young Jason, it was merely a nightmare. Jason never pulled her into the lake, but she was right when she said he was still out there.
This made me think about what happened to Jason between his disappearance, or “death”, and his reappearance many years later. For fun, I’ve come up with a little story/scenario that I think fits well enough into the plot. This is just my theory, and I’d love to hear your thoughts on it! (SPOILER ALERT!!!)
First off, let’s go down the timeline. Jason drowned at a young age in 1957. Pamela took her revenge against 2 counselors the next year. Then, over time, she has used fires and water contamination to keep the camp from reopening. Fast forward to 1979, when Steve Christy begins renovations, and Pamela begins her massacre. Obviously, Jason is a grown man by 1979, which means he didn’t die in the lake at all. So, what happened to him?
We don’t really know if anyone technically witnessed him die. As Pamela speculated, none of the counselors were paying attention, and obviously no body was pulled out. What if Jason wasn’t a terrible swimmer at all? Pamela stated that he wasn’t a very good swimmer, but that doesn’t necessarily mean he knew nothing. After the kids push him into the lake and walk away, Jason could be focusing more on keeping his head above the water than which direction he’s swimming.
Eventually, he hits land, but it’s an area completely unfamiliar to him. Now he’s cold, scared, and alone. Back at the camp, Pamela realizes that Jason is missing and one of the kids tells her what happened. Everyone rushes to the lake to find him – surprise, surprise, he’s nowhere to be found! Jason, still alive, is now walking through the woods, looking for his mother. He eventually comes across an abandoned shack.
Pamela most likely told him that if he ever got lost, he should stay put until he’s found. He stays in the shack because he feels safe in it. He sits and waits for his mother to find him, but because everyone was convinced he drowned in the lake, there’s no search party in the woods. Jason doesn’t lose a second of hope, though. As the years go by, he learns how to adapt and survive. He’s able to sneak around and steal all the clothes, food, and weapons he needs from nearby campers. His deformities have made him too shy to confront anyone so he rummages at night when the campers are asleep.
So, how come Pamela never found Jason in the years that she’s been sabotaging the camp? Quite simply, Pamela’s sole focus was Camp Crystal Lake, and Jason resided in that little shack on the other side of the lake. They never crossed paths. 1979 – Life is pretty simple for Jason now that he’s an adult. He’s now a skilled hunter and no longer needs to steal food or bother the campers. Even though he’s been on his own all this time, he still misses his mother deeply and believes he still needs her. One night, however, the lake is no longer calm. There’s disturbance in the woods. He suddenly hears a lot of screaming – Alice’s screaming.
With Alice screaming and all of the chasing and fighting going on, there is certainly enough time for the noise to draw his attention and for him to follow the screaming around the lake. As he continues walking towards the ruckus, he comes across a familiar place, and a face he hasn’t seen in years. He finally finds his mom! She’s in a fight, but he’s not focused on that. He’s overcome with joy. He tries to reach her, but stops dead in his tracks when he sees Alice pick up the machete and decapitate his mother with it.
In that moment, both Pamela Voorhees and what was left of Jason’s humanity died. Before this moment, Jason never had murderous tendencies. He took only what he needed to survive but he never had any problems with campers… until now. Jason tries to reach Alice, but he’s too far away, and he’s forced to watch her take a canoe out to the middle of the lake. He hasn’t stepped foot into the lake since he was pushed in the water. She got away… for now. Jason stares at his mother’s corpse. He takes her head and sweater back to the shack to keep with him forever. He now sees what an evil place Camp Crystal Lake is, and every person who steps into the woods is a reminder of everything he lost.