BBC One’s Requiem
Episode 6: “Carys”
Directed by Bahalia Melo
Written by Kris Mrksa
* For a recap & review of the penultimate episode, “Bessie” – click here
23 years ago, Mary McEwan (Joanna Scanlan) has Carys Howell (Emmie Thompson) in her trunk. She’s outside of town now, and she tapes up the mirrors on the car. The little girl screams for her mother. But Mary says they “need to hide.”
Current day, Matilda (Lydia Wilson) refuses to believe Hal (Joel Fry) is gone, she wants to figure out where he’s ended up. However, we see that Nick (James Frecheville) knows more than he lets on. Finally Matilda gets around to listening to the voicemails Hal left for her; about Janice actually being a policewoman years ago, so on. She also starts figuring out that Nick’s been deceiving her. “They told me to watch you,” he admits. He was pulled into it all by Sylvia (Tara Fitzgerald) and the Satlows. He tells Matilda they have big, sinister plans.
That’s when Sean (Sam Hazeldine) turns up at the Dean place, he’s injured, bleeding. Seems that while the thin ones were “riding” Matilda, she hurt her father. Dad warns her of some different kind of entity there, too, and it’s looking to kill her.
Kendrick (Brendan Coyle) talks to PC Graves (Clare Calbraith) about seeing Hal not long before the accident in the road. She mentions that Ed said Kendrick was involved in the weed growing op. Steve claims that it was all out of concern for Ewan’s reputation in the village. He was called by Aron (Richard Harrington) when the old man died. None of this impresses Graves.
Poor Sean has to go to the hospital, though he doesn’t want any medication. Probably because it leaves him defenceless against the thin ones. With Mr. Howell around others are starting to be convinced of Matilda’s stories, and she gets talking to Graves about it all. While it sounds crazy, the cop’s slowly beginning to see something isn’t quite right in their little Welsh village. Only strengthens the case with the proof about Janice aka Copper McEwan. This takes Graves and Matilda up to the Satlow house. Things get a bit intense when Matilda barges in after seeing David there with the bracelet on. Soon, she ends up in cuffs, and just looks crazy to everybody else. It all pleases Sylvia, playing into their occult plans.
The lights start flickering not long after Kendrick gets down to the police station, where Ms. Gray’s locked in a cell. The whole village’s electricity flicks on and off. Kendrick goes to get Matilda out of her cell, saying David’s “in danger” and she’s the only one who can help him. He believes that Matilda is actually Carys and wonders if Mary aka Janice was actually trying to save her, not kidnap her in the traditional sense.
Simultaneously, Rose (Claire Rushbrook) comes out of her coma in the hospital. And on his farm, Royce (Charles Dale) hears the thin ones lurking. Except he finds a naked Hal in a pile of sheep, bloody and feeding. Whoa.
Matilda figures out that Kendrick knew about Mary – the woman told him about people “doing magic” in their village, yet like everyone else he didn’t believe her. He intends now to make up for not believing Mary all those years ago. Off into the woods he and Matilda go. Let’s hope he’s actually being honest.
They get to the Dean house, where Matilda sees a vision of Janice. Her ‘adopted’ mother talks about their life together, she laments the struggle of their situation. Kendrick and Matilda later head downstairs through the trapdoor. In the basement they find another door leading further. Matilda winds up in a room with Sylvia.
Of course she was led there by Steve, as I thought. They needed her “pure of heart” by coming there to save a child. Sylvia makes it seem like they’ll give Matilda the world by helping her rediscover the past. Without much choice left, Matilda aka Carys opts to stay. She then passes through another door, through which she’s told the truth lies. From inside the voice calls: “Here I am.” Meanwhile, the worshippers left behind in that room sit listening to the eerie music, they light candles, and they sit together in a circle.
Matilda passes through that rocky tunnel she recognises. She goes deeper and deeper, until there is another door. Through that she goes farther. Somewhere comes an opening, the moon shines down through a hole. The thin ones are all around her.
She soon speaks those familiar words – “Here I am” – before she undergoes a transformation. She feels her body bulge all over. Something inside is itching to get out. Matilda aka Carys feels her whole body crack and rattle. Before long she floats up off the ground momentarily, and falls back down. We discover an “archangel” is inside her, which the group have been trying to bring out all these years.
The occult group take Matilda out of the tunnel. She isn’t moving. Sylvia says it may take some time until the angel’s fully comfortable “in control.” But will it all turn out as they’ve planned? Nope. Because Matilda’s woken up already, and someone’s woken up with her.
Across the village, Hal stumbles bloody and naked to Trudy, and he worries that it’s too late for them to help save their friend. At the same time, Graves gets to the Dean home and heads inside when nobody answers the door. She finds Matilda upstairs cradling David in her arms.
At the hospital, Rose gets to reunite with her daughter Carys after all these years, and David officially gets to hug his sister. Afterwards, Matilda goes to talk with Graves about where the occult group ended up. Did the archangel kill them and take revenge? Certainly a true angel wouldn’t want to have been borne of such horror. Either way, Matilda doesn’t remember; blackouts and all.
Where does she go from here? She certainly has a few lingering memories of what went on at the Dean house recently. And the archangel’s taking control, no doubt. Maybe bringing the angel about was the ultimate downfall of that group. Now the archangel is on Earth to live out its days.
Absolutely adored Requiem! The palpable mystery, all the drama, a bit of a crime bend at times, it all worked for me. Some don’t dig the slow burn; for me, it’s one of the best parts, and the writing worked for that gradual, creeping horror. It’s almost an existential bit of supernatural drama, too. All the angelic stuff was really interesting. Love that there was this kind of ending. Not everything’s perfectly tied up, but it’s cauterised just enough. Would love to see more stuff from the BBC like this, using a dark, gritty sort of atmosphere with mythological elements from various areas. Just fantastic, can’t wait to rewatch in a couple months.