AMC’s The Terror
Episode 10: “We Are Gone”
Directed by Tim Mielants
Written by David Kajganich
* For a recap & review of the penultimate episode, “The C the C the Open C” – click here
Captain Francis Crozier (Jared Harris) has been led back over to the camp where the mutineers are staying, under the spell of cannibalism. We see a reversal of roles, as Crozier’s no longer really Captain there. Instead, it’s Cornelius Hickey (Adam Nagaitis) leading them. Francis doesn’t miss a chance to make fun of his true subordinate, for holding a “dog turd” the last time they spent a few moments together in the Captain’s Quarters.
The original Terror Camp are preparing to deal with the “coven of traitors” that took their Captain. They won’t sit by and let that slide. Not everybody’s keen on that plan, though. Edward Little (Matthew McNulty) does his best to fight for a rescue mission, however, the others want to stay the course with the original plan. They voted before Little even woke. He’s disappointed in them.
At the very same time, Crozier’s counting on Little, not realising the rest of his crew wouldn’t bend. The Captain is being tended to by Henry Goodsir (Paul Ready), as well as informed of the current situation involving Gibson’s death, the cannibalism. In addition to it all, the Tuunbaq is always out there; hungry and vicious. And a little later, Goodsir tells Crozier – if it comes to it, and they eat him, refuse; if he must eat the doc, only eat the feet. Surely a sign of Goodsir’s possible plans.
In a tent, Hickey has Crozier sit with him. They have a frank chat about appearances, in regards to how the officer sees his superior. Hickey speaks of the “spirit that dressed as an animal” – Tuunbaq – and he’s curious about the mythology from which it comes, all those unknowable mysteries. He also considers Crozier his equal, which is strange.
At night, Goodsir washes his whole body in a tincture of some kind of drug. But what, exactly? Thus begins his ultimate plan. He also drinks several mouthfuls of a liquid before dressing himself, then keeling over in fits of abdominal pain. Following the pains, he cuts his wrists open wide, committing a brutal act of suicide.
Next morning, Crozier wakes to find Goodsir dead, and the rest are readying for supper. Captain Crozier refuses to eat human flesh. When he’s pushed, he takes a bit of meet from the sole of the foot and eats it in front of the men. And then, the rest dine on their own plates.
Eventually, Hickey tells the others about how he wound up on that ship. He took a man’s identity for this berth. So, there’s nothing for him to go home to in England. He now wants to draw out the Tuunbaq. The creature soon appears on the horizon. Problem is, some of the men are already starting to get sick, one of them runs, and then the Tuunbaq attacks.
One by one, the men are killed. Hickey takes a chance and cuts out his tongue like Lady Silence (Nive Nielsen), feeding it to the Tuunbaq. That’s not enough – the creature tears Hickey apart. But the Tuunbaq chokes on him, on all the men with the poisoned meat in them already. The only one who survives is Crozier.
Silence comes upon the dead Tuunbaq. She finds Crozier not far; not dead, but not in good shape, either. She also can’t get him off the chain that’s linked to the rest of the men in the creature’s gut. She has no chance but to remove his hand in order to take him. On their way, Silence also comes across the mutilated, cannibalised corpse of Goodsir; one of the few white men she’s ever met who’s been any good.
So, Silence takes Crozier with her, and starts trying to nurse him back to health. It takes time and effort, though Francis survives. Losing a hand is nothing compared to what could’ve been, if Silence had never found him out there. When they’re able, they both head back across land. The pass the remains of Terror Camp, the last men to stay behind, and the remains of all the cannibalism and misfortune they all faced. Nothing except death and desolate landscape.
Along their journey, Crozier and Silence come to an Inuit camp. He’s able to speak some of the language, so he can communicate. After a night, Crozier wakes and discovers Silence is gone. He’s left only with a carving of a boat.
Skip to September of 1850 two years later.
Crozier is still living with the Inuit. His friend meets with the white men who’ve come searching for Sir John and Crozier. They’re told the white man called Iglooka died and wanted others to know: “We are gone. Dead, and gone.” And supposedly he urged there was no passage there. A way to vanish.
In a sense, Crozier renounces his old life, the society from which he came, and all the prideful exploring that accompanied his life working for the British Empire. He became a part of the natural world, choosing to stay there rather than ever go back to London.
Really excellent series. This was so well adapted! Although I wish there were more of Lady Silence, I’m glad they didn’t do everything from the book because it wouldn’t have come out exactly as intended. This way, things were a bit smoother. All in all, the atmosphere and the dread and the historical bits were what always sucked me into The Terror by Dan Simmons. So, A+ from me! Look forward to re-watching again, sooner than later.