As predicted, the cannibalism comes out in full force this week and although it was foreshadowed numerous times, it was still horrifying to watch. That, coupled with saying goodbye to a few more characters made this a fascinating and disturbing episode, as The Terror continues to up the ante in terms of new levels of fear and death.
Hickey has been slowly built up as the worst human being on this show and it comes out in full force this week. His speech about cannibalism, the rationalization of eating something where the men at least know the food source, is right on point and delivered in a twisted and cold-hearted fashion. When it finally came down to eating a human, one Hickey ended up killing himself, I was aghast that they ate the meat raw. Why wouldn’t you at least try and cook it, BBQ the idea of what you’re eating out of your mind?
James Fitzjames’s health deteriorates quickly, maybe a bit too quickly, and his death is sad and emotional. His pleas to Francis to help him end his life came off very sincere and the whole scene was very well done. We also said goodbye to Mr. Blanky, who we find out is also dying and volunteers to sacrifice himself to help the men by leading Tuunbaq away, at least for now. It is bittersweet to see him discover the Northwest Passage, Mr. Blanky deserved at least that, before Tunnabaq finally caught up with him.
It is tough to watch sometimes, how far removed these men are from those that set out on this voyage. Their collective mental and physical state is such that you can just see in their eyes how lost they really are. The only exception to this might be Francis and Hickey. Francis is a true leader, someone who recognizes how slim their chances really are but puts up a brave face to help push the men forward. Hickey, on the other hand, is an opportunistic animal, one who has no regard for anyone but himself. With Francis giving himself up to Hickey’s lackey’s, their face to face meeting should be something to behold.
I am curious how the show will wrap up some loose ends, specifically Lady Silence and Tuunbaq. It seems the two are joined at the hip yet only appear when the story needs some kind of boost from the outside. Tuunbaq itself is a curious creature, one who will still have very little understanding of yet seems to eat people’s souls? I’m sure chaos will reign supreme next week but I hope it is not simply about the monster as that would be a shame.
The ugliness of the situation has indeed reached a boiling over point, with death, cannibalism, and Tuunbaq stalking the remaining men. Whatever happens in the finale, The Terror has been a remarkable show that has given a clinic on how to build terror and dread, to the point that it is at times very hard to watch.
Four stars out of five
- An incredible feeling of sadness and dread
- Great performances sell the feeling of desperation perfectly
- The atmosphere is beautifully depressing
- The Tuunabaq/Lady Silence storylines must be wrapped up in a realistic way