Ep. 10: “The Keeper”
Directed by Michael Nankin
Written by Jason & Peter Filardi
* For a recap & review of Ep. 9, click here.
* Recaps & reviews of Season 2 to come
Charles and the others from Preacher’s Corners are headed towards Jerusalem’s Lot for a showdown with Jakub, who’s begun the ritual of raising the worm god. The vampires in the ruined church watch on as Jakub sings from De Vermis Mysteriis and then thanks Loa for all she’s done to bring the book to them, even calling her daughter. Jakub urges Loa to read the final page of Latin, after which they’ll all be plunged into darkness “for all eternity.” The girl then reads from the book.
An eclipse above is slowly beginning to blot the sun from the sky.
Charles and the others prepare to burn the ruined church when the sun disappears. All the stars are suddenly being sucked out of the sky and total darkness is setting above them. The vampires start filing out of the church so Charles and the gang have to take up arms; more vampires move in from all directions. A nasty fight between humans and vampires ensues. Charles discovers piercing the heart will kill them, telling the others. Meanwhile, Rebecca’s hauled off into the darkness by one of the vamps.
Charles, George, and the others head are nearly overcome by vampires from all sides. They retreat into the woods for cover, though Charles calls for Rebecca and, obviously, can’t find her. And devious Stephen continues to lurk out beyond the edge of the shadows, killing one of the townsfolk. At the same time, Rebecca sees she’s been pulled away by her father. He offers her his blood: “Drink and live.” She won’t and she questions why her father would want to live that way, urging him to make things right again. She tries appealing to his humanity. “I feel as much as I choose to,” he says. Rebecca now sees her father was never worth her loyalty all these years. At least Papa Morgan lets her live.
The worm eclipse continues to throw shadow over the world.
In the woods, Able and some of the men come upon all the newly murdered, resurrecting vampires. It’s a brutal fight they have on their hands. Elsewhere, George and Charles are hiding. The constable offers his pal a cross, then he sacrifices himself to allow Charles time to run for the church’s door. Inside, Charles finds his daughter with Jakub. The vampire chastises Charles for not bringing the book: “I mistook you for a better man.” Charles offers a coexistence, but he demands the book. Jakub isn’t satisfied with how vampires have been forced to exist. He wants humans to live in the shadows. Charles prepares to fight Jakub but the vampire sends Loa to fight her father instead. He tries to talk to his daughter and Loa saves him from one of the vampires hiding to kill him.
But now Charles has to face Jakub, who’s far stronger than a mere mortal. Loa tries to help her father, yet Jakub is still too strong. When Jakub’s just about to chow down on Charles he’s distracted by someone stealing the book; was that Stephen? It gives Charles a chance to stab Jakub in the throat with the cross George gave him. Then he chops the vampire’s head off with an axe.
That doesn’t stop “the coming of the dark.”
Stephen’s out there still using De Vermis Mysteriis. He’s confronted by Charles. He wants to keep bringing the worm while his cousin won’t allow it, no matter if they’re family. So the cousins fight each other. Stephen nearly kills Charles when the latter cracks him over the head with a rock, gaining the upper hand. Charles beats Stephen repeatedly over the head with the rock, then uses a stake to pierce his cousin’s heart. Rebecca then closes De Vermis Mysteriis. The eclipse recedes and the light returns to the sky. Is it that simple? (I would venture to bet, uh, no.)
Charles goes back to the ruined church to find Loa. They apologise to one another. Charles goes back outside afterwards to see the wreckage, including George and others. It’s only the doc and Able left alive, apart from Charles and Rebecca. So they set fire to Jerusalem’s Lot, then take Loa, covered from the sun, and ride back towards Preacher’s Corners.
Honor’s thankful to know her father’s returned, even though he’s not at the church with Able and Rebecca to greet them. Charles is back at Chapelwaite with Loa, who’s unsure of how people will react to her now that she’s one of the undead. Soon, Honor and Tane arrive with Able and Rebecca. Loa greets her siblings, though they’re not quite sure how to feel about her. Will a vampire ever be able to live among them, even if it’s Loa? Honor says she can’t trust Loa. And the book still puts them in danger with vampires still out there lurking in the darkness someplace. Can Charles actually keep his family safe while they have the book?
Charles asks Able to ride into town to get the doctor, asking that he bring “surgical instruments.” (Is he planning to remove Loa’s vampire teeth? Just a disturbing thought.) He talks with Rebecca about what to do to keep his family safe from other vampires like Jakub seeking De Vermis Mysteriis. He seems to have a plan; a very serious one, a plan that involves a deep and permanent sacrifice, by the sounds of it. Charles shares it with Rebecca and then they share a kiss. He then has to go tell his children.
Charles knows that the book needs “a keeper” to guard it. To be that keeper, he must become a vampire; to do that, he requires his daughter’s assistance. Loa reluctantly allows her father to feed from her, then she forgives him for all his mistakes and she bites into his neck, draining the life out of him. What a devastating scene.
Later, Loa goes downstairs solemnly to see the others, silently affirming she’s finished what Charles has asked of her. Rebecca goes in to see Charles’s corpse on the bed, mourning the loss of the man she knew; he’ll come back, but never again as the man she knew, the man she loved. After that the doc has work to do. Guilford goes about sizing Charles up: he’s going to literally put De Vermis Mysteriis inside the ole captain. Whooa. Now, that’s a plan! Utterly macabre. Gorgeous.
Nevertheless, the Boone family is in shambles. Rebecca’s planning to stick around for the kids, who are glad to welcome her as family. Dr. Guilford soon brings down Charles’s death certificate, telling the family: “His secret dies with me.” And a while later, Charles returns to life as a vampire. He sees the horrible stitching in his chest, where the book now lies. He looks into the mirror but no reflection peers back at him anymore.
It’s great to see Rebecca use what her awful vampire father said to her in Jerusalem’s Lot to instil some degree of hope and affection back in Honor, regarding Loa. She knows that it’s possible for these vampires to feel affection, should they choose so. That means there’s also some sort of hope for Charles in his new state, as well. Can the Boones life a somewhat happy life, even with Charles and Loa being vampires? Vampire Charles emerges from upstairs to greet his family, and also to say goodbye. He’s not only becoming a vampire, he’s leaving, to ensure the book won’t bring any further harm to his children. He offers a few last words for Tane and Honor, asking big sister to look after Loa, extending a hand to the younger sister as if to rejoin them all together.
On the shoreline, Charles says his final goodbye to the family and Rebecca, then he heads back out into the sea again in a little boat—a captain once more. Loa calls out “I love you” one last time as Charles rows his way across the waves. Is it all over now? Well, Season 2 has been ordered, so the story of the Boone family continues. Just how that looks, we’ll see eventually. It’ll be exciting to see where the story goes from here, especially with De Vermis Mysteriis sewed up inside Charles. Can Charles stay away from his children forever? For eternity? Hmm.