Season 1, Episode 2: “Torches and Pitchforks”
Directed by Andrew McCarthy
Written by Daniel Cerone
* For a recap & review of the premiere, “All That We Left Behind” – click here
* For a recap & review of the next episode, “The Abyss Stares Back” – click here
In the wake of Murphy being all but burned alive, the Nightflyer’s situation is getting dire. Karl D’Branin (Eoin Macken) and Melantha Jhirl (Jodie Turner-Smith) tend to him, both worried about what will happen once the rest of the crew finds out. Lommie (Maya Eshet) is still reeling from the experience while last connected to the ship— visions of death, blood, and destruction fill the spaces of her mind. She’s surprised when Thale (Sam Strike) turns up right behind her. He says he’s “been waiting” for her. She starts seeing more visions of the blood, of her holding a mallet and a man tied to a chair. He wants to know things about the ship, which she tells him before he vanishes. He’s seen her deepest, darkest secrets, holding onto them as potential blackmail.
On the bridge, Captain Roy Eris (David Ajala) blames the L1 for what’s happened, but Dr. Agatha Matheson (Gretchen Mol) is sure someone on the crew let him out. Karl is on Agatha’s side. That doesn’t matter, because what the cap says goes. D’Branin and his people need to find the telepath first, or else things could get terribly ugly. Or, should I say, uglier? Of course Agatha takes it upon herself to go searching the ship, hoping she’ll locate her patient before anybody else. She stumbles onto another crew member with his eyes bleeding, rambling: “He was in my head.”
Note: Dig the opening titles sequence and the theme music. Definitely fits + isn’t too long.
Lommie tells Melantha about feeling something within the computer. She explains it as a feeling of “heat” and “rage.” There’s an evil sense about the Nightflyer’s inner workings. It’s taking a horrible toll on Lommie, who’s already tried tearing the neural implant right out of her flesh. Worse still, she’s seeing visions of the bloody man tied to a chair, recurring like genuine pieces of reality in front of her eyes.
In the natural garden forest aboard the Nightflyer, Agatha and Karl go to speak with Thale. The telepath is fairly pissed off with his doc, believing she’s betrayed him by putting him under for the captain. D’Branin takes the blame as his own. They ask Thale about what happened to Murphy. But they get no answers, interrupted by the security team. Their lead man Hartley (Youssef Kerkour) gives Karl a crack in the jaw for debating with them about the L1. No match for Thale, though— he needs no weapon to fight these men. All the same, he’ll take one if it’s available.
Relationships on the Nightflyer are deteriorating fast. Captain Eris and D’Branin are at odds over the telepath, despite the latter believing the young man’s responsible for his upsetting dreams about his daughter Skye (Bronte Carmichael). Roy’s given the order to his crew: if they find the L1, they kill it. And Karl keeps on seeing Skye running through the corridors in that Don’t Look Now raincoat. He goes to see Rowan (Angus Sampson) with his concerns. He believes they need to send something called the “White Rabbit“— a device intended to, hopefully, get pictures of the Volcryn.
“You don’t know anything”
Elsewhere on the ship, Thale encounters a woman clothed in bees, Tessia (Miranda Raison). He’s decided to use the lady as his hostage for the time being. They talk and get to know things about one another. She asks what he sees when he looks into her. She believes everybody is full of “darkness and light.” Yet Thale’s seen the dark heart of others around him.
Lommie goes through the ship’s footage from Murphy, hooked up to their machine, looking for any evidence of what happened before he was burned alive. They see Thale smash a bottle, igniting the fire that nearly killed Murphy. Is it really what went down? Could something else be manipulating the Nightflyer entirely to make it seem that way? The way Captain Eris talks to Melantha suggests there are definitely other things at play apart from the telepath’s powers. Eris then tells Karl they’ll keep the crew from discovering what Thale has done, all in the name of accomplishing their mission. Very, very mysterious.
Again, things become worse for the Nightflyer’s crew once something inside the computer starts re-writing the code, and one of the spider-like defence machines comes alive, working entirely on its own. Not long before the security team are hunted down and several of them killed. Captain Eris holograms into the room later, realising the spider has made its way out around the ship.
Melantha convinces Lommie to go back into the computer to help D’Branin. Meanwhile, Karl speaks with Eris, and the captain vaguely speaks of “a force that‘s trying to stop this mission.” The cap says no more. He leaves and comes across the spider, using his override to shut it down. He speaks to the computer, as if they’re old friends, telling the machine it’s “gone too far.” What is Captain Eris hiding? What IS the Nightflyer exactly?
Solid follow-up to the premiere. Bring on more!
“The Abyss Stares Back” is next. Maybe a drop of Friedrich Nietzsche in there?