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Marianne Episode I Recap

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I’m very excited about this show for many reasons. First of all, it’s about a writer, and it was released on Friday 13th, which is perfect atmospheric-wise, so I’m already hooked on the show premise.

I do recommend you watch this show with the lights off, at night and in an environment where you can watch each episode from start to finish uninterrupted, so you can pay attention to all the details and also so the tense horror moments get a better chance to find, because, believe me, you’ll want to experience them in this fashion so their full effect is felt.

That being said, let’s start with the recap for Marianne Episode One, shall we?

Things start in a very promising manner in this show as the intro to the whole season sets a nice unsettling tone by showing a woman at home with her mother, who’s acting in a strange way, so much so that, when the daughter, whose name is Caroline, comes into the room, she finds her mother leaning over a sink. The mother then turns around to face her, takes a knife and buries it into her gums, making them bleed.

This moment alone had me cringing early on, because, as you probably already know by now, the pain that anything happening to teeth causes is serious business, and here we see this strange old woman hurting herself and taking out her own tooth willingly and for no apparent reason. After she’s done this, she shows the tooth to her daughter, and the intro sequence ends after setting up this great tone for the rest of the episode.

Now it is time to meet Emma, the main character, a horror novelist who’s looking to move on from a Lizzie Larck, the character that she has been writing about for years.

Emma is participating in a reading of her most recent book, and she decides to spoil the ending for all present, stating this is her favorite part of the book. This prompts a member of the audience to ask what’s the point of even buying that book, now that they know how it ends. Her reply? That she doesn’t care if they save up the money and don’t buy the book. This, I think, sets a strong point about the main character’s willingness to move on.

Later, while at a signing, Emma is approached by Caroline, whom we recognize as the daughter of the old lady from the beginning, and it is revealed that she knows Emma from a long time ago, as they both used to live in the same town, Elden.

Emma signs a book for Caroline, who begs her to go back to Elden and speak to her mother, who has become obsessed with her stories and now believes herself to be the antagonist. Caroline blames Emma directly for the strange changes her mother has been displaying because of her obsession with the books and demands Emma to undo the damage she believes her to have caused.

This is where the name “Marianne” is first spoken to Emma by someone else, and when she hears it, there’s a flash of something on the screen, in the same way that you could see flashes of Tyler Durden at the beginning of fight club. It is so subtle that you could miss it in a blink, and it makes you wonder what it is that you just saw, which builds up to the strange sensation you now share with Emma during her encounter with her old acquaintance.

The disquieting sensation that Caroline’s appearance has brought to the show continues to build up when she gives Emma a little bag that contains her mom’s tooth wrapped up in it, and this revelation is followed by a story about how Caroline’s mother now stalks her while she sleeps, and how terrified she has become that she cannot even rest at her own home because of this.

This is where Caroline reveals that she’s got some strange marks that her mother carved on her skin, presumably while she slept. Upon this revelation, Caroline is taken away by security while she begs to a creeped-out Emma to go back to Elden and help her.

Leaving the horrors behind for a moment, Emma and her assistant Camille go to a bar where Emma goes heavy on the shots, and tells her assistant about the nightmares she used to have about Marianne, and how she created the character of Lizzie Larck to fight against her, even revealing that her nightmares stopped after she started writing, which leaves us as viewers open to wondering if things will start to come back to haunt her now that she has decided to quit writing.

After drinking too much, Emma goes back to her boyfriend Pierre’s home and cuddles up next to him for a quick shuteye that gives way to a nightmare sequence that, even if you can sense is not real as soon as it starts, Emma’s reaction and the tension that the scene creates with the shadows is perfectly achieved.

Emma sees a strange creature in her dream, crawling on the floor and slowly reaching up the bed, and she discovers that Pierre’s gone, and she is next. This sequence makes Emma wake up startled, and her first interaction with Pierre takes place. She asks him to turn around, seeking some form of reassurance that helps her mind get rid of the nightmare, but when Pierre turns around, his face is revealed to have turned all demon-like.

Upon seeing this, a terrified Emma starts to tell herself to wake up from the nightmare, but Pierre holds her down, stating that she’ll only wake up when he allows her to. After this, Caroline’s mom, who is apparently possessed by Marianne, makes an appearance and once again tells her to come back to Elden in this classic “dream within a dream” scene.

The next morning, Emma joins Camille again, and she tells her that Caroline is there and has been waiting for her to arrive. When she hears Emma, Caroline yells at her from a balcony on a top floor and she lets everybody in the building stare in horror as she prepares to hang herself while she tells Emma that her mother, or rather, Marianne, wants to keep her writing, telling her that Marianne would come after her parents if she didn’t, and asks Emma to give her crucifix back to her mother before she throws herself over the balcony she was standing on, breaking her neck.

After the horrible event, Emma calls her parents since a man advises her to do so after Caroline’s death, stating that she did threatened them before dying. Back at her place, she calls them, but they don’t answer, to Emma’s lack of surprise, showing a hint of how estranged they are.

Emma and Camille decide to take a road trip to Elden, during which the writer’s assistant asks her about Marianne, prompting another sudden flash to the character, as Emma explains that Marianne is a witch without a body of her own that can enter people’s soul and possesses them, and she cannot lie about who she is, which appears to be the only weakness she has.

Camille asks Emma how Lizzie beat Marianne in the books, to which Emma replies by saying that she never came up with a way for Lizzie to beat Marianne, and that she died in the end, leaving the horror story with a tragic open ending as most horror stories conclude.

Once back in Elden, Emma gets out of the car and walks towards a place that overlooks the lighthouse. When she is there, looking at the lighthouse, she hears a song about Marianne, and whispers in the old lady’s voice that tell her to go to see her.

A priest with a restrained barking dog arrives, ordering Emma to leave Elden, revealing that nothing terrible has happened in that town since she left fifteen years ago, and now that she is back, the horrors have come back as well. She is not welcome there, not even for Caroline’s funeral which is the main reason for Emma’s return.

Before leaving town, Emma tries to honor Caroline’s last request by visiting her mother and giving her a crucifix that Caroline used to wear. It is here that we see that Caroline’s mom is the first person in town who seems genuinely pleased to see Emma, and even greets her with a smile.

When they get inside the old lady’s home, Emma sees that she has lots of Lizzie Larck books on her table and all around the house, a callback to the obsession Caroline told her about.

The old lady acts strangely, and calls her daughter Catherine, instead of Caroline, which we also saw her do in the beginning of the episode. Disconcerted, Emma offers to sign one of the books for the woman, and asks her name, possibly testing to see if Marianne is actually within the old lady, which she confirms by telling her to sign it for her under her name, Marianne, and tells her that she is excited to find out how the story continues, even though Emma has decided to stop writing altogether.

Emma tells the old lady this, and her reaction is calm, stating that now that Emma has stopped writing, her nightmares are back, which is something she has no way of knowing about, unless she truly is Marianne and not just a delusional old woman. The old lady then confesses that people reading Emma’s famous horror stories feed her somehow, and she wants her to keep writing.

After acting unphased about her daughter’s death once more and saying she hopes Emma stays in Elden for a long time, the old lady scares Camille, and she and Emma leave the old lady’s house quickly towards Emma’s parent’s house, with an overexcited Marianne screaming at Emma to continue writing about her, or she’ll go after her parents, and many others.

Upon arriving at her parent’s house, Emma finds a similar bag like the one Caroline gave her at the book signing tied to the doorknob. However, remembering her experience with the first one she got from Caroline, she quickly throws it away.

Emma knocks but there’s no answer, so she decides to enter the house. Her parents are not home, and she sees a spilled drink on the table and scattered stuff on the floor, which causes her to worry about the things that could have happened there, especially since she calls out to them and nobody answers.

Emma walks further into the house, and hears her mother moaning, which brings her more worry about the possible reasons for this, but instead of the sound being from a supernatural threat, Emma discovers that her parents were sharing an intimate moment at the top of the stairs.

After this embarrassing moment, they all share dinner and Emma reveals to her parents that she’ll stop writing horror novels but is unsure about what her next project will be. Her parents react normally to the news, and the conversation shifts to more hints about why people in Elden hate Emma so much. Her father even states that the priest who came at her when they arrived would have forgiven her, and so would many others as well if she had just asked for it, leaving us as viewers to wonder what Emma could have done to deserve such animosity.

When they finish dinner, they all go to bed, and Camille stays with Emma in her old bedroom, but she is in an unknown place, so she has trouble sleeping and gets up to go to the toilet. This is a tense moment, because you know she is in a horror story, and something could happen at any moment now that she is away from Emma.

Camille goes to the restroom and hears steps outside, and then a violent knock on the door. The doorknob turns slowly, and she announces that she is using the toilet for whoever is out there to go away. This scene is made even more unsettling because the doorknob has a face carved in it, which is one of the creepiest things I can think you could be looking at when using the toilet at night at a stranger’s house.

Camille comes out of the bathroom and sees Emma’s mom walking around the house, and then she starts throwing up on the floor. After getting startled by watching this, Emma’s father pushes Camille towards a wall, and you see similar carvings to the ones Caroline showed Emma at the book signing on the man’s back. They seem fresh and they are still bleeding.

After slapping Camille and telling her that they are not Emma’s parents at all, the man and the woman walk outside, leaving her scared on the floor, and the alarm goes off to complete the horror moment with perfect timing.

Camille tells Emma that there’s something wrong with her parents, and the writer sees them staring into the night with smiling faces, and they hold hands and walk into the woods. Emma chases after them while she yells at them to forgive her.

It is here that you wish that this too was a nightmare sequence, but that’s not the case, and as Emma follows her parents through the woods, her father comes out of nowhere, ordering her to write with a yell. Emma falls to the ground and the screen fades to black.

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Posted by on Friday, September 13th, 2019. Filed under Dark TV, Releases. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. You can skip to the end and leave a response. Pinging is currently not allowed.

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