BBC One’s Requiem
Episode 2: “The Blue Room”
Directed by Mahalia Belo
Written by Kris Mrksa
* For a recap & review of the premiere, “Matilda” – click here
* For a recap & review of the next episode, “The Necklace” – click here
Flashback to Janice Gray (Joanna Scanlan) talking with young Matilda’s (Bella Ramsey) teacher. The girl spat at a girl and wrote a story that’s supposedly “rubbish.” Yet it’s clear that mom told her daughter lies about dad. She says she never even knew his last name, it was a fling.
Cut to current day. Matilda (Lydia Wilson) is still seeing her mother occasionally, reaching out for her. Not only that, she’s convinced she is the missing girl from Wales, Carys Howell, who went missing all those years ago. She, Hal Fine (Joely Fry), and Nick Dean (James Frecheville) are showing a cop around the basement. Matilda tells PS Graves (Clare Calbraith) about what she claims is a hidden crawlspace. But she just looks a bit frantic and crazy to the others. A bit later Matilda sees somebody outside watching the house in the distance, though they disappear by the time she goes to look. She starts feeling maybe she’s going nuts.
Hal asks Matilda about her claiming she was Carys; he can’t believe that her mother would’ve been a kidnapper. Matilda is adamant she is that same girl. They never had any family, Janice wasn’t close to any friends in the neighbourhood, either. No family photos.
While Graves is looking into the death of Ewan Dean. The cops assume he fell off the roof. She gets the forensic report, but has to take off to see a man called Royce (Charles Dale) who’s had his sheep butchered.
Down at the pub, Matilda tries talking to a few people. She doesn’t get much in the way of friendliness, until Silvia Walsh (Tara Fitzgerald), a local antique dealer, extends an invitation to sit. The woman knows Matilda’s work. She also advises them that Mr. Howell took off six months following the disappearance of Carys. We also see that there’s always someone watching in this little Welsh village, an old woman eerily eyes them from a table nearby.
Matilda goes to see Rose Morgan (Claire Rushbrook) with the photographs she found amongst her mother’s things. She asks who the man is with her in them. She also shows Rose a picture of Janice to see if she knew her, too. However, there’s no answers. Although it really does seem as if the woman’s keeping something hidden, holding back; SOMETHING. So, who’s the bloke in the pictures? Rose does keep them, under the cutlery in her kitchen drawer with a bunch of others involving Carys.
Now Matilda thinks Rose is definitely lying. She decides on digging up her birth certificate, calling back home to see if a friend can go to her mother’s and get it for her. Hmm. Wonder what revelations that might bring, if she can actually find it. Meanwhile, Rose is sneaking away to have a cigarette at what looks like a familiar place for her. Just so happens it’s near the edge of a cliff, where she nearly lets herself fall over. She’s been there, many times.
At the big house, Matilda again notices the mirrors missing their glass. She looks around the place, as Hal listens to the odd recordings in the basement. She feels a strange presence in the walls. Moreover, she gets a call from Renata at home about the American adventure that’s currently being spoiled by whatever keeps drawing her into this village’s web. Plus, mom is always around someplace. Matilda’s confronted with a strange experience during the night. A symbol appears one of the walls, a voice-like noise calls out from somewhere else. She follows the sound down the hallway to one of the doors.
That’s when the electricity flickers all over the property. Nick and Hal both rush upstairs where they find Matilda. And the two men hear the same noises she does. The door at the end of the hall’s locked, though. They check outside and see the window to that room’s been “bricked up.” Out of nowhere, Matilda believes she sees somebody, chasing them into the treeline. But neither Nick or Hal saw anybody. They do stumble onto a piece of stone wall, which bears the same symbol Matilda saw in the house.
PS Graves talks to Stephen Kendrick (Brendan Coyle), who in turn goes to see Aron Morgan (Richard Harrington), telling him about Matilda asking questions, talking about possibly old man Dean being involved in taking children or who knows what. This all gets back to Rose. While Rose’s husband believes it’s nonsense she looks to take it a bit differently; weird, no? This woman knows something, and it’s dark, I’m sure.
In the Dean house, the trio finally get into the locked room. Matilda hears more of the sounds, all around her. She sees visions of the tunnel below the house, Carys, too. The men think the sounds were just the open chimney. We know that’s not true.
In a tree outside the big house Matilda finds a large piece of glass hanging from a branch. And somebody is still watching nearby. There’s also the old woman from the pub, she’s Nick’s great-aunt Meredith (Jane Thorne); trustee of all that’s left after Ewan died. She can’t speak, either, though it doesn’t mean she can’t communicate. That’s one tough old lady, and Matilda gets a chance to speak with her, asking about when Carys went missing. Meredith claims that Ewan was a good man, but “easily led.” Evidently the old woman knows about some of this village’s secrets.
Matilda goes to see Davey, Rose’s little boy. She wants to talk to his mom. It’s then she starts wondering if the kid’s nail biting is similar to her own as a child, the habit her own mother stopped her from years before. In the middle of the school playground she also breaks down in front of everyone when Aron shows up to pull his son away: “I‘m his fucking sister, okay?” This drives dad mental. He goes home, getting mad at Rose for bringing this into their lives. What we see is that Aron doesn’t care about his wife’s struggle, or he doesn’t know the full extent; either way, he’s a dick.
Hal’s gone to the pub for the night, to give Matilda space. She then goes back to the house and locks lips with Nick. Afterwards, she puts on the half of the heart necklace, and she goes downstairs to practise the cello a while. A bird pitches itself into the window, dying, so Matilda goes outside – once again someone creeps near the woods. Matilda goes off into the trees. She finds more glass hung from branches all over. Soon, she comes upon the other half of the heart necklace she’s wearing. And finally the figure watching her steps into the open, it’s a man named Sean (Sam Hazeldine). He says something cryptic to her before running off about the “Thin Ones.”
The electricity at the house goes back on. We hear Carys on the tapes downstairs, including a man’s voice: “You don‘t want to go yet, do you, Carys? We‘re going to have so much fun.”
GOD, I really love this series. The mystery’s done so well, drawing things out. I’ve decided to just go along as it airs on TV because I don’t want to binge this one, like I end up doing with so many great shows. It’s all available right now, though. Just check out BBC iPlayer if you’re thirsty for the whole series in one go!
“The Necklace” is up next.