Netflix’s The Haunting of Bly Manor
Ep4: “The Way It Came”
Directed by Liam Gavin
Written by Laurie Penny
* For a recap & review of “The Two Faces, Part One,” click here.
* For a recap & review of “The Altar of the Dead,” click here.
We’re given a look at Dani as a little girl. She and her glasses-wearing friend Edmund ‘Eddie’ O’Mara grew from kids to teenagers together, going from just friends to childhood sweethearts preparing to tie the knot. Eddie gives a wonderful speech and how after that he asked her to marry him at such a young age. A cute history of their relationship. Eddie’s mother gave Dani a dress of hers to wear that overwhelmed the soon-to-be daughter-in-law.
Now Dani’s getting dressed up for another big life occasion: a funeral. Poor Owen is left grieving for his mother, and the household are preparing to go. It isn’t something Dani wants to do, so Jamie lets her know she doesn’t have to go. She decides not to because it’s clearly too much for her to handle. This provides another somewhat intimate moment between the two women, as Jamie helps unzip Dani. That’s when the new governess sees yet another bright-eyed shadow figure, frightening her.
Flora is out among the graves doing rubbings of the headstones. She and Dani wind up talking about the afterlife. The little girl seems to have an eerie handle on the afterlife. She sounds very sure that her mother and father are no longer on the grounds, despite Dani trying to be comforting. And who’s Viola Lloyd? I’m sure we’ll find out.
After the funeral, everyone’s back at Bly Manor. Dani again thinks she sees Quint outside, though it’s only Owen. She remembers getting ready for the wedding to Eddie again. She was being fitted into the dress her mother-in-law gave her, enjoying the touch of the seamstress more than listening to her two mothers chatting. Back to the dinner table at Bly, Owen gets to sit back and enjoy supper for once rather than making it. Little Flora says some sweetly reassuring things, albeit slightly macabre, to Owen about what it’s like going on living after a loved one dies, feeling as if you’re dead, too: “I wasn‘t dead, I was just really, really sad.” The sweetness ends when Miles wants a drink of wine. When he’s refused he gets angry, so his governess sends him off to his room.
Creepy dollhouse Flora has there. There’s one scarecrow-like figure. Then there’s a symbolic setup in Miles’s room, where a doll representing Quint is standing above the boy’s bed, his figurative spirit looming over him. Dani can’t get any answers out of Flora about Peter, nor about why she’s always looking over the au pair’s shoulder like a ghost is there. She goes to talk to Miles before bedtime, telling him about being her “own parent” due to how she grew up with her mother. She explains that kids who grow up fast, like the brother-sister pair or herself, are special people.
That night the grownups have a fire and drink wine together. Dani remembers more of her past. She and Eddie were trying to have a night out for dinner and not talk about the wedding. She wanted the wedding to be less a spectacle. It’s clear she was having second thoughts, not just about the expenses and the planning. She broke it to him then that she couldn’t go through with the marriage anymore. They argued back in the car, so much so he angrily got out, right as a bus run him over in the road. No wonder Dani’s haunted.
Back around the fire, the group talk about those they’ve lost. Hannah speaks of how “brilliant young women are always punished” in relation to Rebecca’s death. Jamie speaks of Dominic and Charlotte Wingrave, whom she considered good folk. Dani chooses not to say anything. Owen, obviously, talks of his mother Margaret and how she forgot him because of dementia, and how that’s not the stuff you talk about at funerals. He remembers all the lovely things about his mother, like her “dirty laugh” and her big, big love. (Note: This part made me cry. A lot.)
“We’re heading into the dark, and we have to hang onto each other.”
It was after Eddie passed away from his injuries in hospital that Dani started seeing the strange bright-eyed shadow figure. Is the dark thing Eddie with headlights for eyes? Dani couldn’t escape the apparition, particularly at the funeral where the bright-eyed Eddie was right over her shoulder, that guilt refusing to let go of her. She had to throw a coat over the mirror at the funeral home, shocking everybody. Either that or stare her guilt right in the face, literally.
Around the fire, Dani talks more with Jamie about her dead fiancee. She reveals that she sees Eddie, that she’s never told anyone. She explains everything about what’d happened the night he died. Jamie, as always, uses her humour to try cheering “Poppins” up. She tries reassuring the new governess it’ll be okay. This leads to a kiss, finally! But even while kissing Dani can’t escape that dark vision of Eddie.
Eerie things are afoot at Bly Manor.
The kids are out of bed. Flora’s had a bad dream and her brother’s trying to lend a helping hand. She tells Dani about something “horrible and loud” in her wardrobe. She says there was a creature with “bones for hands” saying her name under the bed. The au pair tries getting them back to bed, but Flora isn’t quite ready. Soon, the children are in their rooms once more. Dani tucks Flora in then goes downstairs with a bottle of booze. She heads out to the fire and burns Eddie’s glasses, hoping that it’ll somehow release her. Yet the dark vision of Eddie remains.
A gorgeous, haunting episode. Nothing else to be said.
The best chapter in The Haunting of Bly Manor so far.