Requiem – Episode 6: Carys
Starring: Lydia Wilson, Joel Fry, Joana Scanlan, James Frecheville, Claire Rushbrook, Brendon Coyle, Sam Hazeldine
Director: Mahalia Belo
Writers: Kris Mrksa
Reviewed by Sidney Morgan
This review CONTAINS SOME SPOILERS. You should watch the final episode before reading.
At the end of last episode, Hal got into an accident after seeing something that wasn’t there in the back seat of his car. But strangely enough, when the police arrived, he was nowhere to be found. Meanwhile, Matilda found out, with the help of Laura, that something ominous is going to happen that coming night.
Also, remember Aron and Rose’s son David? Well, we find out he’s being kept at the Staddler’s house. As we see Sylvia visiting, he’s almost forcefully fed a plate full of cookies. And she also gives him a bracelet, one that is identical to the one they found on the dead child in the woods. Matilda is convinced that there may have been a second child kept with Carys in that room in Dean Ewan’s house. If she’s right, could it be that David is in terrible danger? Is Sylvia behind these events? Is Carys in danger herself? It’s the last episode and answers have to be forthcoming, right? Well, they did. Kind of.
We’re all rooting for Hal, the nice guy stuck in the friend zone (though he and Trudy took a fancy for one another). The good news is that he was able to walk away from the crash, physically unscathed. The bad news? When we finally see him, he’s sitting in the midst of a few dead sheep, reminiscent of David Naughton’s hunger satisfying behaviour in An American Werewolf in London. Clearly, this isn’t the same Hal from the first few episodes. And on top of his lycanthrope-like conduct, he also appears to have some insight into Matilda’s condition as he ominously tells Trudy that “it’s too late” for her (Matilda), without explaining why. So what did happen to him? Why these new appetites? And how does he come to know certain things unknown to most? So yes, some answers were given, but just as many new questions were generated.
PC Graves turned out to be a disappointing character given she showed promise at the beginning of the show. When Sean Howell resurfaces and is brought to the hospital, she finally realizes that Matilda may not have been lying after all and decides to look into some of her claims, starting with the involvement of the Staddlers. Furthermore, she also realizes that Kendrick is someone who shouldn’t have been trusted, though it’s a little too late a realization. Her analytical and crime-solving abilities are a little naïve, especially when compared to the answers or suspicions Matilda, someone who has no law enforcement background, can come up with.
What was the point of having her in the show? PC Graves as a stronger character would only have improved the quality of Requiem. It would have required very little modification of the existing storyline. It seems like a missed opportunity.
Carys revolves primarily around Matilda, who finally fulfills the role she was meant to play all those years ago. First, as has been evident for almost the entire show now, it’s finally confirmed that Matilda is Carys. Surprised? You really shouldn’t be. Also confirmed, yet not surprising, is that an angel (or devil) worshipping cult is behind all these events, lead by none other than Sylvia. In fact, by the time this episode had started, most of the mystery had already been solved. Most of the information served to confirm what was known. That isn’t to say there weren’t a few twists. They felt somewhat contrived and designed to tease a possible second season. And as much as it is a bit disappointing, if a second season were to happen, it will have been worth it.
Requiem is a fun ride. As a horror show, it was well done, unabashedly throwing various horror tropes at us in an effective and attention-grabbing way. The first three episodes, in particular, merged the mystery and horror well together. Mixing up the determination of uncovering Matilda’s true identity and the reasons why she was kidnapped was carried out long enough not to drag it out. Adding more episodes would have diluted the story to its detriment. However, the real coup de grâce is how the endgame came about as a result of Matilda’s own conscious decisions, made without any undue outside influence. She wasn’t forced into anything and could easily have returned to London with Hal at any time. In fact, she was repeatedly warned to leave Penllynith, but she didn’t. It’s a great story and clever story building that would benefit from a second viewing.
Though the end is mostly satisfying, it leaves us with many questions. We still know very little of Janice’s involvement. How did she come to know what was going on in Penllynith? How did she end up with Carys / Matilda? Also, messing with powers, one does not understand never leads to a positive outcome. However, we’re never told exactly what Sylvia and her cult were trying to accomplish. What was the end game? And what happens now? And what about Hal? What has he become? Will it affect his relationship with Trudy? It’s almost too obvious that a second season is being counted on as the questions raised would most certainly be the basis of its plot. It feels like a gamble, which I hope the producers win as it would be a shame to end on that note.
Of course, you have to watch this final episode. A few questions are answered while providing a few twists that’ll make you wish a second season was already available. Almost everyone makes an appearance, even the outstanding Claire Rushbrook (Rose). I encourage you to watch Requiem again to try and map Matilda’s decisions and determine whether she was guided or ultimately travelled on her own free will. And to make the experience feel like true horror, do watch at night, with the lights off. Though if you do hear strange whispering voices, just remind yourself that it’s just a television show. A really good one.