Stan’s The Gloaming
1×03: “The Casting of the Bones”
Directed by Greg McLean
Written by Victoria Madden
* For a recap & review of the previous episode, “Hell’s Black Grammar” – click here
* For a recap & review of the next episode, “Black Winged Angels” – click here
Grace is praying. She paraphrases Isaiah 45:7.
She also repeats the phrase we heard before, from Daisy: “We leave the dead to bury the dead.” (This is itself a paraphrase of Luke 9:60.) She shakes open a bag of bones and other objects. Suddenly, she feels the presence of those shadowy people, the Gloamers. They’re right there in the room.
At the morgue, Alex and Molly are looking into a theory from the medical examiner. Daisy has fractures in her wrist that suggest a particular injury, like a “chauffeur‘s fracture.” The device used on her is called “a strappado.” This is suggestive of a truly cruel and unusual punishment, a sadism that isn’t BDSM but only brutality.
While Gareth is out he passes a near life-sized chessboard. He notices a smaller chess piece that catches his eye, like it was left for him. Hmm(?). He looks for a security guard to find any possible footage of the chessboard, bribing the guy to get it.
What exactly does the figurine symbolise to Gareth? Is that from his house? And if so, is it Molly who did this?
At the murder scene in the tunnel the cops found a pair of glasses, matching fingerprints belonging to Daisy. Why would she have been there? Molly’s sure the girl didn’t have the strength to hurt Dorothy. There’s a connection, somewhere. They’ll definitely have to speak with Freddie. Molly mentions he “preys on young girls.” She shows the others the T-like chalk drawing from her shed, presumably left by Daisy. The chalk’s the same as the type used in the chip shop by Freddie’s mum.
Problems at school for Lily when someone hacked their way into her life, finding her cam shows. The whole school’s calling her a slut. A horrifying thing for any girl or woman to go through, especially in junior high. Won’t be good when Molly finds out. Mom’s busy with Alex questioning Freddie about his relationship to Daisy. The young man’s not filled with a particular willingness to talk apart from being defensive and aggressive towards Ms. McGee. He tries to taunt her about Lily. This sends her near over the edge and Alex pulls her out. She questions Mrs. Hopkins and the woman alibi’s her son, doing everything she can to make her boy cooperate with police. That afternoon, he’s out creeping on Lily outside school.
Up at Dorothy’s place in the woods there are strange findings. They’ve dug the place up and discovered all manner of buried treasures, like dolls, and mummified cats. Alex notes the mummy cats are an “old witchcraft superstition.” Along with the birds found, it’s all pointing to the woman having some connection to the occult. There’s a Bible recovered, circa the 1850s. Molly notices a symbol on the wall, just like the symbol in the trees at the old house where Jenny McGinty was killed— “a sigil” used for protection.
“Nothing good will come from this”
Alex pays a visit to Mrs. McGinty again. He believes there’s another reason than the official one for why Jenny was murdered. He had an old, expensive watch on him the day of the murder and that didn’t get stolen, still sitting in evidence to this day. He’s sure there’s more to it than a “robbery gone wrong.” Alex mentions not knowing Dorothy’s real name, and again Mrs. McGinty appears sketchy. It’s all connected.
But how? That’s going to be a longer, darker, twistier path to find.
After Alex leaves, Mrs. McGinty finds a hot poker dropped on her floor. In the background, one of the shadowy Gloamers lurks before disappearing quickly. Did it say “mum“? Is Jenny’s spirit lingering? Nah. That’d be crazy, right?
Arriving at home, Molly sees that Lily’s there with Freddie as her guest. Mom tells him to leave, but he refuses. She tells her daughter she has something important to talk about, explaining Freddie has to go. Not nice to have a paedophile around. After a tense moment or two the creep leaves. He blames Molly for not helping Daisy, telling her: “It‘s what I was trying to do.” This confrontation pushes Freddie to text Alex about Lily’s cam shows. Shit. Alex and Molly get called off someplace while the creepy paedophile is keeping watch outside the house, offering to take Lily for a drive once the coast is clear.
Alex and Molly meet the other police at a crime scene. A 50-year-old man was found dead in the water recently. He was strangled and drowned. Somebody saw a red truck around the night prior, like the one Freddie drives. Alex tries to tell Molly about the text he received, yet she’s only got a one track mind. She goes straight to Mrs. Hopkins looking for her son, and in the young man’s room they find the old backpack belonging to none other than Jenny McGinty.
Somewhere on the road, Freddie has Lily trapped in his car. He reveals he spread her secret cam shows around the school/internet. He’s taking her to an isolated dam. He may toss her off the side. Back at the house, his mother sees a suspicious car roll up. Then a dead crow appears on the porch and the car’s mysteriously gone.
Oh, and Gareth spies someone on the footage of the chessboard.
Someone in a hoodie placed the figurine there. Looks like a woman. Definitely Molly.
Great stuff again, building up all the various mysteries in the plots, as well as the characters themselves. Dark, dark fun. There’s something quite fantastical about it all, which is really nice alongside the grim and gritty. The performances are a knockout on top of everything else.
“Black Winged Angels” is next.