Ep. 7: “De Vermis Mysteriis”
Directed by David Frazee
Written by Declan de Barra
* For a recap & review of Ep. 6, click here.
* For a recap & review of Ep. 8, click here.
Charles is in the throes of madness. He rushes through the woods after the undead Loa. Soon there are birds flying everywhere, the sound of their chips and their wings is deafening to Charles. But he keeps going. Until Loa stops and Charles turns her around, but it’s actually Marcella, her mouth pouring blood. Charles stumbles over and tips into an open grave, where his father stands over him repeating those words: “Blood calls blood, son.” Dad covers Charles in dirt, and Charles wakes up in a coffin.
Next thing, Charles is above ground again with his own shovel, digging into the earth. He eventually comes to a coffin, inside of which are two small skeletons holding each other, and also a book. Charles takes the book out and opens it, and he has strange visions: he sees an eclipse, a red sky, bodies all over the beach, and Jakub walking over the shore as black smoke reaches up from the horizon.
Afterwards, Loa tries to convince her father to come with her to Jerusalem’s Lot where nobody feels any pain. But Charles refuses, and he also knows that book is the “end of everything.” He doesn’t want to give over the book, either, for fear of what it might do. So Stephen also attempts to convince him, telling him “the undead” will find the book again and “free the worm.” Yet Charles won’t give the book over.
What will he do with it, then?
In Jerusalem’s Lot, all the flying birds alert Jakub that Charles found the book. Back at Chapelwaite Manor, Charles returns to a shocked Rebecca and his concerned children, all worried about where he’s been all night. He explains Loa’s with Stephen and Phillip, that his youngest daughter’s one of their kind now. He doesn’t explain much more about the book to his kids, but he confides in Rebecca that “the madness suffered by every Boone” is connected to the book he found; it’s not a hereditary illness, but an infection, so to speak, facilitated by the book and its curse. Rebecca says she read about the book in her father’s letters, that he brought Jakub to Maine; she suspects Stephen and Phillip killed her father due to the book. Charles warns “God dies” if they get their hands on the book, and he refuses to let it out of his sight. He also knows his vampire family will come back for it tonight, as well.
Able goes to see Constable Dennison, sent by Charles, telling him about Jerusalem’s Lot and the people living there. The constable wonders if “they are men,” or something else, and Able knows the cop understands what’s going on. He’s ready to help, given what’s happened to Mary, and what could potentially happen to the entire town. He also wants to enlist the help of Minister Burroughs if they’re going to tackle the problems in Jerusalem’s Lot. At the same time, Faith’s come back to town, strapped to a horse and carriage, covered in blood. The minister goes to cut her free and sees she’s dead. Old Sam’s there with the rest of the town, gawking, and takes the time to berate Burroughs for his sins, prompting the minister to beat him before Daniel Thompson has at the man in the frock. Perfect time for the constable to tell Burroughs they’re headed for Chapelwaite.
Jakub doesn’t want to wait for Charles, sure that this Boone is no different than any of the others in his family. So he and the undead are also going to take a trip over to Chapelwaite. At the same time, Charles isn’t doing well, the mere presence of the book making him sick. He and his family, along with Rebecca, are painting crosses all over Chapelwaite Manor and boarding up the windows in preparation for Stephen and Phillip, with no clue that so much more is headed their way that evening. Charles keeps on hearing screams from nowhere, while nobody else can hear a thing, and he even tries burning the book, which does nothing whatsoever. Rebecca’s starting to worry that Charles might be deeply losing it, to the point she and the children could be in danger. She wants to take the kids to town, but Charles lets the horses go, preventing anyone from leaving. Right now they’re all stuck inside with Charles as he descends into madness further.
“Everything is ill”
Rebecca soon finds Charles in the basement tying nooses for everybody. He’s talking quite crazy, believing that death is the only way to save himself and his family. He’s sure the world belongs to the undead now. And it’s time to die, apparently. Rebecca plays along for the moment, then knocks him out when he turns his back.
Charles wakes up, after a few nightmarish visions, and he’s okay again, for the time being. He realises what’s happened. Then Rebecca brings Constable Dennison and Minister Burroughs in. They’ve strapped the book to Mary in the basement, as a way to draw the undead to the right place. Charles tells the others about the “old god” worshipped by the undead and the book. He tells Burroughs the book was found buried in his children’s grave; the minister believes Marcella hid it in the coffin at the viewing.
Mrs. Cloris finds Stephen, Phillip, and Loa in her barn feeding. She’s no longer willing to turn away from what she sees. Though it’s much, much too late. Mrs. Cloris attempts to shoot the vampires, but Phillip attacks, cutting open her throat. At Chapelwaite Manor, the motley crew are gathered, waiting for the coming onslaught. They discuss how to possibly kill the undead, and nobody’s got answers; they’re willing to learn, though. Charles takes time to talk with his children, as well as bury the hatchet with Rebecca, with whom he shares a burden and a grief over everything that’s currently happening; both of them are shackled to the histories, and violences, of their families’ actions.
Simultaneously, Minister Burroughs tries to reconcile his loving God with the wreckage he’s created in his own life, from Faith and their baby to his own wife. Honor also asks the minister whether the undead will “find their way to Heaven,” specifically because she worries about Loa. The minister believes so; even if he doesn’t really, he puts on a good face for the girl. In the basement, Constable Dennison tells his wife what’s going on, but Mary’s hungry, and she begs her husband to feed her something. The copper’s love of his wife leads him to open up a cut so she can drink. Good idea? Hmm.
Jakub and the undead are coming to town as the sun sets. Although Stephen and Phillip are right outside the gate of Chapelwaite Manor. Phillip raves at Charles when a spear comes flying down, sticking through him; the spear’s attacked to a rope, allowing Charles, Burroughs, and Dennison to haul Phillip up into the house. The minister holds up his cross and Phillip fights them, stabbing Constable Dennison. But Charles manages to stick Phillip against the wall, giving him time to chop off his uncle’s head, tossing it down to Stephen below.
Moments later, Jakub arrives outside.