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S02.E08: The Romance of Certain Old Clothes

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Bly's dark origins come to light. Once the iron-willed lady of the manor, Viola becomes consumed by a monstrous rage, ensnaring all souls around her.

Airdate 10.09.20

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Happy to see Kate Siegel (Theo from HHH) again. But I think I watch too many period/costume dramas. These way-flashback scenes just look off somehow, or cheap, and I find myself wondering if that’s why they opted for black and white. 

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I always like to see Kate Siegel, but I felt like this one dragged. I don't think they needed to take that long to establish Viola's backstory; it felt like they just wanted to showcase Kate as much as they could.

I did love the arms coming out of the trunk and strangling Perdita!

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I actually really liked this one and thought Viola and Perdita's story was way more interesting as a backstory to explain why Bly Manor is so haunted.  The show should have introduced these characters much earlier in the season and based the overall story arch on this background IMO.  There's a lack of cohesiveness to me that Viola was causing the spirit of anyone who died at Bly Manor to be trapped on the property but most of the rest of the ghostly action only happened centuries later with Quint and Jessel.

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56 minutes ago, kieyra said:

And she slept. And she walked. And she slept. And she walked. And she slept. And she walked.

OMG.  I was telling my TV to shut up. We get it already.

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11 minutes ago, Blue Plastic said:

I kind of liked the repetition and thought it worked in a stylized way. But I could definitely see it being annoying to some.

They used some repetition in HHH, and I was mostly okay with it, although I would clench at “in the night, in the dark” by the end. 

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Small nitpick, but the inconsistency with titles drives me crazy.  At one time Henry Wingrave is referred to as "Sir Henry Wingrave," another time as "Lord Henry Wingrave," another time as "Mr. Wingrave."  A baronet is not an aristocrat, people!  And definitely would never be referred to as "Mr."  They did that in this episode as well -- the cousin was Mr. Lloyd, but Viola was referred to as "Lady Lloyd," which... ugh!

 

Edited by Brn2bwild
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On 10/11/2020 at 4:40 PM, Cranberry said:

I get why they did it; they wanted to drive home just how long she waited. But I really wanted to get back to Dani!

Seriously! I don't like entire episodes of no followup to cliffhangers.

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I enjoyed that episode quite a lot, even if I wanted to get back to Dani and see what was happening with her. The Romance of Certain Old Clothes is one of my favorite Henry James stories, and I thought this was a good version of it, just adding a lot of stuff and changing some names around. The backstory for why Bly Manor is the way it is works quite well. Plus its great to see Kate Siegel again and this was a great showcase for her, even if it seemed like at times they were repeating things over and over just to give her more to do. Sometimes it worked, and gave the episode an appropriately dreamlike or fairytale feel, but other times it just felt like we were all stuck in a memory at Bly Manor, watching Viola walking around, over and over and over...

Viola grabbing Perditta with her old clothes and strangling her was a great jump scare, reminded me of some of the creepiest ones from Hill House. 

Memo to self: Never die in a mansion or manor house, or even just a house that has a name. 

Edited by tennisgurl
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On 10/11/2020 at 2:26 AM, Blue Plastic said:

I actually really liked this one and thought Viola and Perdita's story was way more interesting as a backstory to explain why Bly Manor is so haunted.  The show should have introduced these characters much earlier in the season and based the overall story arch on this background IMO.  There's a lack of cohesiveness to me that Viola was causing the spirit of anyone who died at Bly Manor to be trapped on the property but most of the rest of the ghostly action only happened centuries later with Quint and Jessel.

I completely agree. The whole episode, I was like, "YESSSS, THIS is what I've been waiting for!" The previous seven episodes have not been nearly as smart and tightly woven as the first season, and most have been TEDIOUS. Especially the one featuring Peter fucking Quint.

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On 10/10/2020 at 10:12 PM, Cranberry said:

I always like to see Kate Siegel, but I felt like this one dragged. I don't think they needed to take that long to establish Viola's backstory; it felt like they just wanted to showcase Kate as much as they could.

I did love the arms coming out of the trunk and strangling Perdita!

Agreed. This was the only episode that dragged for me. I feel like their story could have been condensed into 15-20 minutes, tops. 

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This show is really showcasing a certain type of horror - I still find this concept of being stuck in eternal limbo just deeply unsettling. Going around and around the room - trying to open the door, opening the curtains, repeat. UGH.

Viola is a pretty fascinating character, and the dreamlike quality of this episode was beautiful. 

The scenes of her with presumably TB, coughing, the doctor and family wearing masks just hits a little different these days.

The scene of her carrying the little boy into the water, and how he eventually became faceless...that one is staying with me. So unbelievably sad and distressing.

That being said, I don't like that we didn't move the modern day story forward more. I am assuming that Dani may be saved, or I think we might have seen her death already (I am trying so hard to stay unspoiled) but I'll find out tonight when I watch the finale. But it seems like there's a lot to still cover in the last episode. 

Edited by CrazyDog
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On 10/11/2020 at 8:48 AM, ch1 said:

OMG.  I was telling my TV to shut up. We get it already.

For sure!!!!

Boring, boring, predictable, badly acted.  I didn't care about anyone.  Did I mention boring?

What a terrible episode of television.

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I liked it, but it went on too long. 

Oh, the masks and the plague doctor - yeah, I couldn't believe it when the plague doctor walked in. 

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Definitely too much repetition. She slept, she woke, she walked; we got it already! 

But also when I think about Perdita sleeping with her sister's husband who is also their cousin...

2ccef68de62584686fc62d491b958dd9.gif

Edited by Peanut6711
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On 10/11/2020 at 7:48 AM, ch1 said:

OMG.  I was telling my TV to shut up. We get it already.

Hubby and I both did the same thing

On 10/16/2020 at 12:38 PM, Duke2801 said:

Agreed. This was the only episode that dragged for me. I feel like their story could have been condensed into 15-20 minutes, tops. 

Yeah it was too long for me

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On 10/20/2020 at 10:01 PM, Peanut6711 said:

Definitely too much repetition. She slept, she woke, she walked; we got it already! 

But also when I think about Perdita sleeping with her sister's husband who is also their cousin...

2ccef68de62584686fc62d491b958dd9.gif

I legit thought they were going to go for some lesbian incest.

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I really hope I don't wind up as a ghost  if it's endless repetition for all eternity - which is what this episode kind of felt like.

I liked aspects of this episode, but agree with most everyone else and felt it went on too long. The story could have been told in 1/2hr tops.

Now we know who the poor little no-face boy is - that part got to me and made me sad. Also the jump scare with the trunk was fun.

I'm still trying to figure out who in the 1980's time period is living/dead. Also curious to know the connection to the framing story - how does Carla Gugino's character know the haunted history of Bly?

Guess I'll have to wait for the finale. Too tired to watch it tonight.

 

 

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12 hours ago, Cheezwiz said:

Also curious to know the connection to the framing story - how does Carla Gugino's character know the haunted history of Bly?

 

I've been thinking Carla Gugino's character is an older Dani the governess, but others in my household also watching aren't convinced.  I thought one of the clues was how she got out of the cab and walked up to the estate in the opening framing the same way Dani got out of the car and walked up to the manor. 

 

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On 10/22/2020 at 10:56 PM, Cheezwiz said:

endless repetition for all eternity

I'm curious about this aspect of the story. Do the ghosts know that they are reliving certain moments, or does it feel new each time? I feel like the latter is at least less agonizing. 

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1 hour ago, Hava said:

Do the ghosts know that they are reliving certain moments, or does it feel new each time? I feel like the latter is at least less agonizing. 

It seems like they become cognizant that they're replaying a script mid-way through, or that fragments of what they're experiencing are very familiar. Maybe sort of like ghostly deja vu. It would be awful to be trapped in an unending loop like that. In the same way, the notion of reincarnation does not appeal to to me at all. I'm exhausted this time around - do I really have to come back and do this again?

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I enjoyed this episode far more then the Peter/Rebecca torture hour one episode previously.

It didn't necessarily have to be in black and white but okay. 

Why was the plague doctor taking off his mask walking into a room with an infected patient?

Also, would big manor houses really have served as plague houses? I figure places like that would never have gone unoccupied for long in the 17th and 18th centuries. It irked me like crazy. 

Poor little Nameless Boy. It's a shame they never said who he was or why he was there other then just a hapless victim.

 

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I wish this story had been interwoven with the current story throughout the entire season. It felt kind of jarring and clunky to just plug it in here as it’s own episode. It would have made it feel a little bit more like the first season. 

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If this is really what happens when you die, I hope to pass in a vast meadow where I can at least run around and experience the sunshine.

It seems you gain super strength as a ghost. Bonus!

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4 hours ago, mmecorday said:

If this is really what happens when you die, I hope to pass in a vast meadow where I can at least run around and experience the sunshine.

I would like to die at Disney World so I can go on the rides all I want, and scare people in the Haunted Mansion. Or maybe, if I can't roam that much, Epcot, because then it would be like I have the whole world to explore while being confined to one place. lol Though, Hannah makes me think I wouldn't be able to eat. Being within reach of a Dole Whip and not being able to eat it...I think I just found my Bad Place. 

I actually am intrigued by the idea of the ghosts sort of fading into mindless, faceless drones stuck repeating the same pattern over and over as the years pass, I just wasn't that invested in how the show went about it. Maybe because they basically had an entire series in which to play this idea out and pushed it all into one ep. I feel like they maybe tried to do it with Hannah over the course of the show? If they did, I missed it. She didn't seem much more than slightly forgetful and it didn't seem to progress at all, at least in that I can remember. But this season wasn't terribly memorable so maybe I have forgotten. Maybe I am a ghost fading away already. Hmmmm

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Unpopular opinion but I loved this episode! It perfectly set up the "lady of the lake" thing, and how she isn't always around (she's "sleeping").

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