Ep. 5: “The Prophet”
Directed by Rachel Leiterman
Written by Jason & Peter Filardi
* For a recap & review of Ep. 4, click here.
* For a recap & review of Ep. 6, click here.
We see a scene from 1780. Silence was alerted to her father, James, murdering at the chapel, all in the name of “the book” and more talk of the worms. She was nearly killed by her own father before armed men took him down. Jump to the 1850s. Charles questions Loa about what Stephen said to her the night before. She doesn’t feel as threatened by Stephen as her father, claiming that he could make her well. But Charles says his cousin is “a deceiver” who preys on weakness. Yet he and his daughter are at odds in general, about Stephen, about her mother.
Able offers to bring Charles to Jerusalem’s Lot. However, Honor just wants to get away from Preacher’s Corners altogether, and I don’t blame her. So Charles has a conversation with his oldest daughter, being honest about his ‘condition’ and simply wanting to get answers, which means talking to Jakub, who’s supposedly got answers. Meanwhile upstairs Loa discovers Rebecca’s little Gothic story, “The Curse of the Boones,” as if she didn’t distrust people enough already.
Dr. Guilford (Dean Armstrong) looks at Mary’s neck wounds, determining that there’s been some bloodletting. What will Constable Dennison do now? Is he going to go with superstition? Not that he’d be wrong, since we know there are nasty vampires crawling around Preacher’s Corners. At the chapel, Minister Burroughs finds his wife Alice and they get into an argument over God and the personal, devastating loss of their children. They also have somewhat of a discussion about Martin’s infidelities; he reveals being the father of Faith’s newborn.
A shocking flashback as Constable Dennison stands outside Chapelwaite, recalling Silence hanging from a noose, alongside her young sons, Phillip and Robert. Looks like he was the one to cut the boys free, just a young man himself at the time. Back to current timeline, the constable gets no answer when he knocks at the door of Chapelwaite Manor, so he takes a little walk around the grounds, noticing the disturbed grave of Stephen. That night at home, Constable Dennison makes sure his wife is comfortable in bed and gives her a cross to sleep with; he stays up by the window all night holding a loaded rifle.
At home, Rebecca looks through those old letters and reads about a book called De Vermis Mysteriis, a.k.a Mysteries of the Worm; this is Stephen King’s use of some Robert Bloch, extending the mythology which also intertwines with Lovecraft’s Cthulhu mythos. Her mother Ann then takes out a letter that reveals her former husband didn’t make it back from a meeting he went to with Jakub. Across town, Martin talks with Faith and she tells him about being a sex worker, when she met the fabled Jakub. She says the man spoke of “the original God… before Jesus, before Satan.” This is “the Worm.” Naturally none of it sways Martin, a Man of God, and he says he has tickets for them to get away tomorrow.
On the road, Able takes Charles towards Jerusalem’s Lot. They stop just outside the border of the town, where Charles tells Able to turn around, to go back and look after his family for him. Charles goes on the rest of the way himself. The place is a ghost town. According to Ann “nobody‘s lived there for decades,” and yet there seems to be a small group of townsfolk living there, just as Charles gets past the foggy blanket outside Jerusalem’s Lot. And now, Jakub (Christopher Heyerdahl) is ready to meet. The place Charles is summoned is terrifying, including a few people strung up being bled into buckets. See, “humans are food” for Jakub and his pals.
Charles sits with Jakub, who explains he’s a vampire, no matter the name you choose. He’s surprised to be face-to-face with a Gothic monster in the flesh. But he wants to know why he’s there. Jakub explains Der Vermis Mysteriis was found by James Boone many years ago and it doesn’t belong to the Boones, or any other human. That’s why the Boones have been cursed all this time; it’s the book, calling, wriggling with worms. And it’s why Charles has been called to Chapelwaite, to find the book for Stephen. But Jakub wants the book back, and Charles wants to be rid of this curse. A mutually beneficial arrangement? Or an invitation to madness? Charles doesn’t want any part of it. He’d rather die. Well, Jakub has ways of making Charles talk and they work quickly.
At home, Honor and Tane confront Rebecca about what the writer’s been doing underneath their noses. They argue a moment, but they’ve also got no idea where Loa is and this has the governess concerned, especially because of everything that’s been going on as of late.
Then there’s Constable Dennison, discovering Phillip letting Mary feed off his undead wrist. What a terror! “She‘s mine now,” says Phillip before attacking the constable, trying to take a bite of him, too. The constable’s able to stab Phillip with the cross, running him off. Mary remains in a bad way, though her husband hopes to keep protecting her.
Loa is, in fact, having a chat with Stephen back at Chapelwaite Manor. They’re getting closer. when Honor, Tane, and Rebecca get back they find only an open window, no Loa. The following day, Charles is riding back towards Preacher’s Corners from Jerusalem’s Lot when he stops on the road to find his daughter lying there. He can do nothing except weep, holding her body. Is she really dead? Or is she undead? Regardless of which option it is, it’s not good.