BBC One’s Requiem
Episode 4: “Blaidd Carreg”
Directed by Mahalia Belo
Written by Kris Mrksa
* For a recap & review of the previous episode, “The Necklace” – click here
* For a recap & review of the next episode, “Bessie” – click here
23 years ago. Sean Howell (Sam Hazeldine) is sitting in a police interrogation room being questioned about the disappearance of his daughter Carys. The cops don’t believe him. Meanwhile, the poor guy sees strange things in the mirror, in the glass, and he looks terrified. Yet he reaches a hand out to touch the two-way glass, as if to connect with whatever spirits are surrounding him.
In present day, Matilda (Lydia Wilson) wakes up in Nick’s (James Frecheville) bed, though her head isn’t quite right. We see she has a strange rash or scars around the top of her sternum, like she was burned. She finds torn up clothes, as well as the smashed up cello and other bits of furniture she brutalised the night before. Downstairs, Nick is making breakfast and surprised to find Matilda doesn’t remember coming to his room last night. This is when she remembers seeing scars on her mother’s corpse just like those on her now. Yikes, that’s creepy. It sends Matilda into a fit, too.
Rose (Claire Rushbrook) is still in a coma, while Aron (Richard Harrington) is left waiting to see if she’ll be brain dead or not. Doesn’t look good. Dad’s got to go back and try explaining the whole situation to their son, which is never easy. The kid blames himself for saying “mean things” to his mum before it all occurred. Poor little lad. He doesn’t understand the deep sadness of Rose’s life. It’s only now her own husband is beginning to understand.
In the big house, Matilda finds some books have fallen off their shelf. One is Dr. John Dee and the Language of Angels by Geoffrey L. Baker; another is The Enochian Works of Dr. John Dee by Shirley N. Marfield. These refer to Enochian – a name used for an occult, angelic language written about by Dee and Edward Kelley in the 1500s. She finds pictures of the hermonus hieroglyphica, among other things. Afterwards, Nick asks her to see a doctor, after having blacked out last night, plus nearly fainting again, and she reluctantly agrees.
Trudy (Sian Reese-Williams) goes to see Hal (Joel Fry), believing the village will be dead set against Matilda particularly after the incident at the Morgan house. She believes that Matilda is Carys, and wants to try helping the two of them. But they’ve got to figure out a proper way forward. Then there’s PC Graves (Clare Calbraith), she’s looking for a way to settle things, as well. It just might not be so easy. Could get messy.
At the hospital, Dr. Verity Satlow (Pippa Haywood) sees Matilda, checking her out all over. Nothing seems wrong at all. “I don‘t feel normal,” the young woman tells the doctor.
“Here I am”
Outside the hospital, Matilda comes upon a woman called Laura (Anastasia Hille), whom she believes could know something about Carys. The two women go back to Laura’s place for a cup of tea and a chat. The older woman’s been hearing a voice for years – she calls her Bessie, and Bessie has always claimed Carys was alive out there somewhere. Laura shows Matilda things she drew from Bessie’s descriptions, and they’re haunting. The voice told her Carys is “trapped in a field of yellow flowers.” We also see a bit about “black mirrors.” This last bit relates back to Dee, who used the mirrors to try speaking with angels. Yet only the pure could hear them. So, a child was required. Perhaps his son Theodorus? Then Theo moved to the Welsh village and continued trying to speak with the angels there? Just an idea.
Later, Matilda and Hal sit with Trudy, looking at old photos and speaking of the past. Hal recognises someone – Trudy’s father Harry (Ifan Huw Dafydd). Is that who’s in those pictures with Rose from years ago? SO. MANY. SECRETS. Constantly. You need a machete to hack through the mystery; I dig it.
At the pub, Hal gets attacked by Aron, though luckily he isn’t hurt too bad. But the whole place is falling apart worse by the day. And whatever’s really at the heart of all this has caused so much madness. Trudy calls the cops on Aron, so that’s more trouble all around.
In the basement of old man Ewan’s place Matilda turns on the tape of the child’s voice singing the ceremonial song, she stares into the makeshift black mirror. From nowhere come strange noises; voice-like sounds. Then, suddenly, she’s in the forest and running. She comes across a cave, but Sean comes out of the woods to tell her “it‘s not safe” there. Up out of the cave a small thing flies. A bug? A fairy?
PC Graves has tracked down phone calls between Ed Fenton (Dyfan Dwyfor) and Aron. She asks Aron about it, and the day Ewan died. But of course Mr. Morgan is less than forthcoming. He has plenty to hide, just can’t tell what he’s hiding. Appears he and Ed have some kind of business together.
Sean cooks over a fire for himself and Matilda, they talk about her past and the “thin ones.” Her real father tells her about the cave, and the things down there. The things are capable of manipulating people. Possibly what happened to Matilda; how she got those scars. Dad has the same scars. He first saw the thin ones when he was taken to the police station, lurking in those mirrors. As if they were trying to communicate.
Now, Matilda wants to know how to communicate back.
Dad takes her down to Blaidd Carreg – Stone Wolf or Wolf Stone – which is the cave, where the thin ones go. The place is quiet. Sean is worried, but he gives his daughter a mirror, and he tells her to wait for one to come to her. She sits in the cave holding the mirror. Eventually, the eerie voice-like sounds come, and a thin one comes to visit her. It shows her visions. Briefly, we see Sylvia (Tara Fitzgerald).
And then Matilda wakes up in the woods someplace, she has blood on her. She rushes back to the house where she looks for a tear in the wallpaper of one of the rooms. There, behind it, is the field of yellow flowers; where Carys was supposedly trapped. What truly happened in that house? What did Ewan do? And who owns the blood all over Matilda; her dad? Uh oh.
Another excellent episode. Too bad it’s only a 6-episode series because this is really fantastic stuff. Here are writings by John Dee if you’re interested. Wild stuff! This episode is digging deeper into the mythological/occult themes. Excited for more, as we’re only left with a couple episodes now.
“Bessie” is up next.