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S02.E09: The Beast in the Jungle

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The dream is done, yet danger prevails. Hannah summons the courage to act. A fate worse than death threatens everyone at Bly. Who will pay the price?

Airdate 10.09.20

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Ok I came here expecting people to really enjoy this but apparently I am in the minority.  Didn’t watch the Hill House one but I might give it a try now.  I thought this was really well done if not strictly a horror story or even a ghost story.   I thought the gothic nature and love story was quite beautiful and tragic.  
 

if anything this is less a story about a haunted house and more a story about haunted people which I appreciate.

Edited by Chaos Theory
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I really liked this.  It wasn't quite as good at Hill House but I still really enjoyed it.  I thought the cast was really good, evn the children were great.  I can pretty much watch any haunted house story.  

The only thing I hated was the music/song at the end.  Thought it was really out of place, didn't match the tone of the rest of the show.

 

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Goodness, this was sooooooooo slow. The Craines had a lot of kids, but at least they helped move things along.

Also, the actress who plays Adult Flora not even bothering to try to adopt a British accent, unlike all the others and their wide array of accents, made me laugh.

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2 hours ago, Clare said:

The only thing I hated was the music/song at the end.  Thought it was really out of place, didn't match the tone of the rest of the show.

 

Classic move by  "The Haunting of..."

I am incredibly disappointed with what this show turned out to be. There were moments where it could have swung so amazing and eerie and spooky but then it just faceplanted into nothing. I feel like they overcomplicated things. Which is like they did too much but also nothing at all. Also a classic move of showing the 4 scary bits in the trailer and then there was nothing else. 

I also wasn't captivated at all by the characters. Hannah the most, followed by Peter and Jessel. 

What I find strange is that this whole haunting surrounds the lady in the lake and other then her episode, she showed up what... twice? 

Ultimate.. meh from me. The whole 'not really a scary story' isn't for me when it's what's promised. 

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2 hours ago, jmonique said:

Goodness, this was sooooooooo slow. The Craines had a lot of kids, but at least they helped move things along.

Also, the actress who plays Adult Flora not even bothering to try to adopt a British accent, unlike all the others and their wide array of accents, made me laugh.

I think that is hand-waved away by the fact that in the final 1987 scenes, Henry and the kids say they’re going to America. I guess they stayed and she lost her accent.

Yeah, this just didn’t hang together with anything approaching the precision of Hill House, and it lacked the jaw-dropping family dynamics and directorial tricks that pulled me (a non horror viewer) in for many rewatchings. 

Weird pacing, too, with everything screeching to a halt in the penultimate/exposition episode, then the whole back half of the finale being its own mostly separate story. 

Unfortunately I had figured out who Carla Gugino had to be quite early on. Although 20 years later seemed awfully soon for her to be full gray. 

I’ll probably rewatch some of the earlier episodes to see if I get more from Owen and Hannah.

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Pure MSTK 3000 material. I loved the first season, but this was where I needed Mike and the Bots to make it more fun than this slow-paced mess. Every director has a flaw and I believe this shows. Like what he did with Dr. Sleep and the 1st Season of Haunting of Hill House, but he hit a bump in the road and never recovered from it. Let's hope that never happens again. Here is a great review of Bly Manor.

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The title of this episode is actually "The Beast in the Jungle." I'm not being a pedant...well, I'm not only being a pedant, or in the way you think. It's worst. All the episode titles are titles of Henry James short stories, and here the story is "The Beast in the Jungle."

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They tried to have it both ways with Dani - she sacrifices herself and doesn't get a happy ending, but she did get a few happy years before she succumbed to possession.  It was unclear to me how Dani died.  Did she travel to Bly Manor and drown herself?

I really ha-aaa-ated the possession story.  It was weaksauce IMO and also not visually portrayed well.  They seemed to have a hard time showing what was supposed to be happening without lots of exposition.  I'm glad Miss Jessel came through at the end but she still irked me as to why she was so enthralled with Quint, even after death.

Also not sure why the possessed would have to "dream hop" while being controlled, and even less why the spirits themselves would jump from memory to memory in a disjointed manner.  I could even buy that their consciousness would be disjointed but not that they enter various memories in a dreamlike state.  I guess it was supposed to be a version of hell, especially for Quint, but apparently Viola's "spell" over the property was causing that and other spirits who died elsewherre around the world would not be affected by that phenomenon.

Also-also not sure why the kids would be so compliant with Peter Quint.  Sure they were innocent and not able to anticipate that Peter Quint was manipulating them for his own selfish ulterior motives, but I would have thought they'd be more hesitant about helping him tie up Dani.

I kept expecting something ghostly to happen with Dominic and Charlotte's suite but nothing ever did.  Boring!

My favorite episode was really the Viola and Perdita one.  I wish there could have been more like that.  It was almost like a fairy tale and ghost story all in one.

ETA: Hannah Grose was an awesome character.  Loved her and wished she could have at least gotten to kick Peter Quint in his ghostly nuts before being released from Viola's spell.

Edited by Blue Plastic
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7 hours ago, Corgi-ears said:

The title of this episode is actually "The Beast in the Jungle." I'm not being a pedant...well, I'm not only being a pedant, or in the way you think. It's worst. All the episode titles are titles of Henry James short stories, and here the story is "The Beast in the Jungle."

Is this in reference to the thread title here? It looks right to me but I might not be awake yet. 

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1 hour ago, kieyra said:

Is this in reference to the thread title here? It looks right to me but I might not be awake yet. 

Unless I was also half-awake, the thread title was "The Beast of the Jungle" when I wrote my comment. Thanks to whoever changed it!

Edited by Corgi-ears

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Now sitting with it overnight... what is the thought behind Dani accepting possession being the thing that broke the curse? It's not like the Lady (I dont remember the character/ghost name) was... wanting to explore, wanting to leave, wanting to see more. They told us themselves, all she did was wake and walk so why suddenly did she break her 100 year cycle? Why was she allowed to leave the property? Why did she care? 

I also don't get why, in a show full of doubles and ghosts wandering around, they introduced Uncle Henry's... who? I expected him to be dead as well since they introduced him talking to himself in the middle of that revelation. Why was he memory walking? He hadn't been at the house for years. 

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1 hour ago, weightyghost said:

Now sitting with it overnight... what is the thought behind Dani accepting possession being the thing that broke the curse? It's not like the Lady (I dont remember the character/ghost name) was... wanting to explore, wanting to leave, wanting to see more. They told us themselves, all she did was wake and walk so why suddenly did she break her 100 year cycle? Why was she allowed to leave the property? Why did she care? 

I also don't get why, in a show full of doubles and ghosts wandering around, they introduced Uncle Henry's... who? I expected him to be dead as well since they introduced him talking to himself in the middle of that revelation. Why was he memory walking? He hadn't been at the house for years. 

I think Henry was just being haunted by himself because he felt guilty.  It wasn’t from the house. Dani also had a haunting from guilt that wasn’t from the house. 

Good point about Viola. She didn’t want to leave the property like Peter did; she was totally obsessed with finding her daughter. Hmm. Maybe she forgot herself enough that it just worked anyway.

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Good point on “why did Henry have a self-haunting”.

Maybe I missed it: why did Dani’s ex-fiancé stop haunting her in mirrors? Was there a resolution to that, or did it stop when she told Jamie about it?

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1 minute ago, kieyra said:

Good point on “why did Henry have a self-haunting”.

Maybe I missed it: why did Dani’s ex-fiancée stop haunting her in mirrors? Was there a resolution to that, or did it stop when she told Jamie about it?

I think at some point - forgot which episode - she threw his glasses into the campfire and then the haunting stopped.

Maybe her throwing his glasses away was symbolic of her being able to let go of her guilt and so then she didn’t see him anymore. IMO both she and Henry weren’t actually haunted by a real spirit, just by feeling guilty.  Henry’s haunting seemed to go away after he really accepted guardianship of the children and actually taking care of them rather than distancing himself.

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25 minutes ago, kieyra said:

Good point on “why did Henry have a self-haunting”.

I took Henry's double as a manifestation of guilt in the form of what his brother accused him of really being: An evil little shit. 

I know abusers can be quite charming with everyone, but Peter didn't work for me. He didn't seem charming enough for a woman to let him possess her forever after a few months or a year or whatever of dating. Really? That was her long-term plan? And I know Miles was likely starving for male attention, but, really? This guy?

Also, Dani following up seeing her dead fiance (and who else laughed at him going SPLAT all over the roadway immediately after getting pissed when she came out to him) everywhere with seeing Viola everywhere a decade later makes me think they should have at least tried to get her some psychological help before she just immediately jumped to drowning herself in that lake. 

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On 10/10/2020 at 1:52 PM, Chaos Theory said:

Didn’t watch the Hill House one but I might give it a try now. 

I highly recommend you do!  It's an experience that will stay with you for days or in my case, even weeks.  I can't even put into words how impactful it is without sounding like I am going crazy overboard.  But my husband and I, who both have radically different tastes in tv shows, had discussions about it for days afterwards.

You are actually lucky to have watched Bly Manor first without having seen Hill House because you didn't have the comparison of the two to hinder your viewing.  I only made it through to the end of episode 3 of Bly Manor before I sadly pulled the plug with disappointment.

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On 10/10/2020 at 1:52 PM, Chaos Theory said:

Ok I came here expecting people to really enjoy this but apparently I am in the minority.  Didn’t watch the Hill House one but I might give it a try now.  I thought this was really well done if not strictly a horror story or even a ghost story.   I thought the gothic nature and love story was quite beautiful and tragic.  
 

if anything this is less a story about a haunted house and more a story about haunted people which I appreciate.

I’d be super interested in your take on HHH. It’s also extremely character-driven (“haunted people” is an apt way to put it). Please report back if you do watch it. 🙂

Think I’m going to do a rewatch myself. 

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Well, I was disappointed.  I loved it through episode 5 then it all fell apart for me.

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I loved both Haunting of Hill House and Haunting of Bly Manor, I just loved Hill House a little more and there were definitely things I appreciated about both more than the other. 

I've been a huge Oliver Jackson-Cohen fan since I saw him in Lark Rise to Candleford and have seen him in everything he's done since. I think what impresses me the most about him is how versatile he is. I think Luke and Peter are great examples, Peter even seemed taller than Luke to me which fits in with his character of a dapper conman vs a downtrodden junkie. 

 

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I actually liked this. The cast was very good. But I haven't yet seen Haunting on Hill House so I wasn't comparing them and I don't mind slow pacing with these types of stories. 

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I'm shocked by how much I hated this. It was bloated and tedious and felt interminable. Most of the acting was terrible (Pedretti has only two facial expressions and needs to work on that). It desperately needed an editor and was a chore to finish. The only highlights were the Hannah/Owen scenes but I suspect that was due more to the actors' chemistry and acting abilities than anything else.

Total disappointment. I'm actually proud of myself for even finishing it because I came very close to quitting on it.

"My middle name is Flora." My eyes rolled so hard they landed somewhere on the other side of the coffee table.

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I liked this series.  I'm actually glad it wasn't truly horror because it allowed me to watch it (whereas I had to quit Hill House after a couple of installments).  What came through was the sadness and the poignancy.  However, I feel as though the series never answered the questions about the dolls.  I thought that Flora kept the Lady of the Lake (LotL) doll under the drawer as some way of keeping her under control, but it seems as though regardless, the LotL does what she wants.  And why did it matter so much whether Dani took one of the dollhouse dolls?  There never seemed to be any payoff there.

Also, one thing I wondered: the times we assumed we were hearing "Peter" through Miles, were we sometimes hearing Viola?  Did Viola sometimes infect Peter and make him sound more sadistic than even he would have otherwise (such as when he flipped out over the batter)?

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12 hours ago, LilaFowler said:

"My middle name is Flora." My eyes rolled so hard they landed somewhere on the other side of the coffee table.

At some point last night, I realized that they had to throw in that thing with Owen telling Dani and Jamie (later on) that the kids had somehow mysteriously forgotten everything, because otherwise the setup with Gray-Haired Jamie telling them their own goddamned story back to them at Flora's wedding would make no sense. 

I had the same feeling in HHH when it turned out that 

Spoiler

Abigail was conveniently home-schooled and no one knew she existed so it would be fine if she just disappeared after Olivia murdered her.

 

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21 hours ago, jmonique said:

I took Henry's double as a manifestation of guilt in the form of what his brother accused him of really being: An evil little shit. 

I know abusers can be quite charming with everyone, but Peter didn't work for me. He didn't seem charming enough for a woman to let him possess her forever after a few months or a year or whatever of dating. Really? That was her long-term plan? And I know Miles was likely starving for male attention, but, really? This guy?

Also, Dani following up seeing her dead fiance (and who else laughed at him going SPLAT all over the roadway immediately after getting pissed when she came out to him) everywhere with seeing Viola everywhere a decade later makes me think they should have at least tried to get her some psychological help before she just immediately jumped to drowning herself in that lake. 

That or an exorcism. I feel like if you've lived through enough to know there's definitely supernatural shit, maybe try bathing in holy water or something, just to see if that fixes your pesky possession issues. 

I binged the entire season yesterday, and I liked it a lot. Admittedly, I'm a bit of chicken when it comes to horror shows, but I liked the atmosphere and the overall story, even if it did get a little draggy at times. And I cried my eyes out for Jamie and Dani at the end, because dammit my girlfriend and I thought we were escaping with some nice entertaining horror, and then boom, sucker punched with sad ending for the nice lesbians. Maybe I was just in a sensitive mood yesterday but I was absolutely heartbroken for Jamie. 

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I thought the series was really good. I’m a bit surprised so many people here felt differently. 🤷‍♀️ I never once thought it was boring or too slow.
 

I really liked the creepy atmosphere, and I saw a ton of “hidden ghosts” in the background, same as in HHH, and was so glad it wasn’t just about a haunting with scary faces popping out at you.

I did expect some plot lines to go places they never did, like when Henry was taking with his evil self and his vision said “They’ll find out how their parents really died,” I thought Henry was involved with their deaths and that it wasn’t just some accident. 

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I would say I hated this except hate would require a level of emotional investment that I simply did not have. I found this season to be terribly long and unfocused, and I didn’t care about any of the characters except Hannah. Little Luke and Nell I wanted to rescue from Hill House; I just wanted Miles and Flora to stay the eff away from me. Those are some creepy-ass kids, so kudos to the young actors. 

Basically I thought this was a less scary, faux-British version of American Horror Story: Murder House. 

On a separate note, a friend of a friend on Facebook posted that Bly Manor was her wedding venue. Surely a promising sign of a long and lasting marriage. 

 

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Turn of the screw was always more psychological so having it be the basis of season 2 was risky.

Dark Shadows back in 1968 did the best reinterpretation of the story..imho.

One of the issues I had wasn't the story or acting...but employing the 'Lost' model of each characters backstory being explored in each episode.  I'm kind of tired of that trope..and wish it would be retired.

One of the Hallmarks of the Henry Jamea story was the building of tension as the battle of the boys soul is between the ghosts and governess.  Had Henry James broken away to tell the back stories in flashback..it would have ruined the momentum and slow building of tension.

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On 10/11/2020 at 3:31 PM, kieyra said:

I’d be super interested in your take on HHH. It’s also extremely character-driven (“haunted people” is an apt way to put it). Please report back if you do watch it. 🙂

Think I’m going to do a rewatch myself. 

I am about halfway with HH.  And I think it does come down to which one you watched first because I do like Blythe better.  But lat me quantify a couple of things.  I love the romance in Blythe and I do uptick a good FF romance up a grade  because there are still so few of them and one that is such a main storyline automatically gets points with me.   That being said I understand why people like HH.  The children are more likeable.  And so far (even though I am only half way through) it is more straight forward for story that is no way straight forward at all.   I also really enjoy that a bunch of actors are in both.  But yeah if there is a third I will definitely watch.  

Edited by Chaos Theory
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Well, it seemed like the storyteller would turn out to be Jamie or Dani, so that's not surprising. Am I crazy for thinking there was too much happy ending epilogue to this?

Owen lived and Miles got dispossessed! Those were the things I was deeply concerned about. And to a lesser degree, I needed Henry to live, but this has more to do with the Elliot dying in E.T. scenes breaking my heart than anything else. I'm glad all the ghosts found peace, that Peter sincerely apologized to Miles, that Jamie and Dani had time, etc.

Between this series and The Turning, I'm gonna have to finally read The Turn of the Screw and figure out what's really going on there. So that's really Flora and everybody else not recognizing or pretending to not recognize Jamie? Why is her accent fancy? What year is this taking place? Is Flora 40? What's her first name? What was the name of Owen's restaurant? Who invited Jamie?

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I agree with those who found it a bit tedious. There were some amazing concepts here. I love the idea of ghosts slowly fading away, losing their memories and who they are and becoming just these faceless, mindless ghost drones. I love the original story, so the creepy children and the whole "are they possessed, are they haunted or are they just little psychopaths" was okay for me. I LOVED Hannah and Owen and liked Jaime and Dani's love story. 

I found a lot of it predictable, like Carla G. being aged up Jaime. Hannah being dead. Peter being dead. Henry being Flora's father (as soon as they even hinted at an affair I saw that coming). I found some of the accents down right cringy. But the fashion was spot on. The house was breathtaking. I hated, hated, hated the Viola and Perdita backstory. I kind of wish the show hadn't tried to mash a bunch of Henry James' stories together and rather just tried to do one of them justice. 

I won't rewatch this as I have Hill House simply because once the mystery here was solved there isn't much else to the story. With Hill House I feel like there was so much to unpack with that family. I didn't care about Hill House's ghosts but I did care about that family. This one, I really didn't care about the characters and just wanted to know what the ghost story was. Now I know, I don't have to revisit these characters. 

I am going to go reread Turn of the Screw again though, so that's good. 

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So this is not as good and not nearly as scary as hill house, but, I found bly to be creepy, eerie, and hands down the saddest horror/haunted house story I’ve ever seen

i mean, that ending with Dani and Jamie....I was 😭

I didn’t care for the relationship between Peter and Rebecca, or that back story with the sisters but what happened to the lady in the lake was really, really good 

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7 hours ago, bettername2come said:

Well, it seemed like the storyteller would turn out to be Jamie or Dani, so that's not surprising. Am I crazy for thinking there was too much happy ending epilogue to this?

Between this series and The Turning, I'm gonna have to finally read The Turn of the Screw and figure out what's really going on there. So that's really Flora and everybody else not recognizing or pretending to not recognize Jamie? Why is her accent fancy? What year is this taking place? Is Flora 40? What's her first name? What was the name of Owen's restaurant? Who invited Jamie?

Agreed that it went way too long with the happy ending exposition. I absolutely hated the Turn if the Screw play I saw as well as The Turning, but thought this was enjoyable. Go figure everyone here seemed to hate it.

Edited by methodwriter85

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17 hours ago, idiotwaltz said:

Basically I thought this was a less scary, faux-British version of American Horror Story: Murder House. 

This is exactly what I thought. American-except-British Horror Story: Bly Manor - it felt much more like an AH season than anything else to me. And it didn't create the emotional investment I had in the Hill House characters, because these people didn't feel fully realised. I full on bawled during the last ten minutes of episode 5 of Hill House because they were so successful in making me care, while here it was just... Eh. And too many things that didn't go anywhere, like Henry's evil alter ego.

I liked Hannah, and Owen. That was pretty much it.

Then, I really don't like The Turn of the Screw, which probably had the series at a disadvantage from the beginning for me.

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I really, really liked it.  But then again, Turn of the Screw [actually, I think it was The Innocents] was one of the first plays I ever saw... my mom took me to a little theater production of it when I was a kid. It scared me but I also liked it.  I can't really say if I liked Hill House better or not.  I loved it at the time, read all sorts of recaps and analysis, but I swear, I've already forgotten most of it. The only I thing I really remember is the Bent Neck girl [won't say anything else about that so as not so spoil for others].  Anyhoo, I liked this one, predicted Jamie as the storyteller around episode 4 or so.  But the whole telling of the story to the Flora.... okay, so the kids supposedly forgot... but did she change the names? Because it seems if you're telling a story about someone named Flora and a brother named Miles and uncle named Henry [even if those were all middle names]...and they are sitting right there... they at least as questions right? And what about the other names? Or did old Jamie always say "the chef"  "the Housekeeper" "the au pair" [I do remember her saying that last one a lot, but did she never refer to them by name? ] 

Edited by AzraeltheCat
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On 10/11/2020 at 11:22 PM, Brn2bwild said:

However, I feel as though the series never answered the questions about the dolls.  I thought that Flora kept the Lady of the Lake (LotL) doll under the drawer as some way of keeping her under control, but it seems as though regardless, the LotL does what she wants.  And why did it matter so much whether Dani took one of the dollhouse dolls?  There never seemed to be any payoff there.

I read a review somewhere that surmised that the faceless boy who was always playing with the dollhouse was helping Flora keep track of who was in the house and where. I think that’s a pretty good interpretation. 
 

That would explain how Flora knew when Dani didn’t stay in her room at night (and was thus in danger from Viola).  Maybe having the Viola doll under the dresser signified that she was in the lake and Flora hoped it would prevent her from wandering, even though the doll’s placement only indicated where she was but didn’t control her.

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I thought that this season was overall...just ok. It wasn't downright horrible, and I enjoyed the closure to this story better than Hill House's, but it didn't feel very horror-esque, which was what made Hill House so special. There was a lot that was predictable in this story; I predicted Hannah's death immediately. I figured Peter was dead. I was going back and forth on the narrator before I realized that it couldn't be Dani so it had to be Jamie. The affair was called out when they had Henry's backstory episode. So I wasn't left shocked by much. 

3 hours ago, AzraeltheCat said:

  But the whole telling of the story to the Flora.... okay, so the kids supposedly forgot... but did she change the names?

I believe she did change the names, hence why Older Flora said that her middle name was Flora (so we don't know her actual name still). So it seems like Jamie just used middle names as well as the name change on Bly Manor. 

I didn't feel emotionally invested in many of the characters besides Hannah and Dani (I liked Owen but he was underused in the second half). I didn't care much for the kids, though I felt sorry for them being possessed without consent so often. I felt more icky about how the season played out than anything, so I guess there WAS some emotional investment, but not the same way that it was for Hill House and caring for most of those characters. 

I liked that they tried to add complexities to the ghosts and their dream-hopping and I think it sort of worked. It was confusing, but intriguing to watch. The backstory with Viola and Perdita was interesting for most of the episode (even though I think they could have cut it down by 10 minutes at least). And the story of the Lady in the Lake played out well, overall. They could have cut down on the sibling rivalry and I would have been perfectly content, since the most interesting part was the Lady in the Lake. 

7 minutes ago, Blue Plastic said:

 Maybe having the Viola doll under the dresser signified that she was in the lake and Flora hoped it would prevent her from wandering, even though the doll’s placement only indicated where she was but didn’t control her.

I think you are correct. The doll was under the dresser, which would signal her being under water, so if Flora woke up and saw the doll not under the dresser, that would be indication that she was not under water and, thus, in the house. I figured the doll house was being used to show where everyone was, but it's impressive that Ghost Kid could keep track and get to Flora's room to move the dolls as quickly as he did. 

On 10/12/2020 at 12:22 AM, Brn2bwild said:

Also, one thing I wondered: the times we assumed we were hearing "Peter" through Miles, were we sometimes hearing Viola?  Did Viola sometimes infect Peter and make him sound more sadistic than even he would have otherwise (such as when he flipped out over the batter)?

I don't think so. I think that was just Peter's rage creeping up at times. We saw it when he first died and accidentally possessed Miles. He was angry for a lot that happened to him in his life, and we saw his bouts of rage with Rebecca. 

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I feel like the ending where grown up Flora tells older Jamie that "this isn't a ghost story, its a love story" and then Jamie saying that Flora can lead with that next time is the show basically admitting that it was never trying to be really scary, and that if we were looking for a ghost story we were coming to the wrong place. 

There was a lot that I liked here. I thought it built a really good creepy atmosphere, it was very well shot and, the acting was all great, most of the characters were interesting (Hannah and Owen were my favorites) and it had a lot of really interesting ideas, especially continuing the theme from Hill House about both literal and metaphorical ghosts haunting people, with a special emphasis on memory in this one. I thought the backstory of Viola and Perdita was a really good haunted house origin story, and when they were actually trying to be scary, they did a good job at it. I really felt the bittersweet romance between Jamie and Dani as well, which I thought was well done. 

Of course, an issue I had with the show in general was that, as they themselves said, this wasn't really a ghost story, and thats all well and good, but I did kind of coming here wanting a ghost story after all. Some of the building of atmosphere and tension was really good, and other times it felt like we were just spinning our wheels, and while they had a ton of cool ideas, and some of them played well, some I think could have used more of an explanation, or at least more attention. I dont need everything explained, and some of it I thought, while never actually explained, made sense when you gave it though, like how Dani was haunted by her dead fiancé out of guilt and grief, while Henry was haunted by his evil self out of self loathing, which I assume were not actual ghosts but more personifications of regret that went away when they dealt with their feelings and stopped hiding from them, but others were a bit more vague for the reason of vagueness at times, like how the memory pockets happened and why and the dream hoping. I also thought that the ending, while decently satisfying from a character perspective, was a real anti climax. So the Lady in the Lake is defeated by Dani speaking her catch phrase to take her place in a few years, and...thats it pretty much it. The ghosts move on, as do all the living people, and we spend the last forty minutes on basically a coda until Dani becomes a nicer Lady of the Lake and we return to the framing device. I know that this has never been a "eek monsters and blood and scary faces jumping out at you!" kind of show, but I was hoping for a bit more for our climax. I also felt like, while most of the characters were well drawn, we could have used more to flesh out Peter and Rebecca, which both had interesting backstories that let us kind of fill in the blanks with them and their motivations, but it ended up being hard to get a read on them. I can guess that Peter is angry and bitter and abusive and controlling because of his history of child abuse, and that Rebecca fell in with him, despite the many red flags he was throwing out, due to her issues with her disapproving father and struggling to crack the glass ceiling, so she fell for the first man to give her affirmation, but I feel like those were interesting ideas that were never explored as much as they should have, especially considering they got so much of the plot going. I also felt like in the back half of the season, Owen and Miles got rather lost in the shuffle as characters, which was disappointing, even if they both got pretty good endings, though I would have liked to hear a bit more about what Miles was up to. I also wanted a bit more of the other ghosts, especially ghost Perdita stuck in the attic. 

I am so sad that Hannah and Owen never had a chance to really be, I loved their budding romance and I am so sad that it never happened. 

It can be a bit hard to judge this season, as I loved Haunting of Hill House, so this had a lot to live up to right away, and while I did like this season, it was no Hill House, which was so memorable and did such a great job of balancing horror with human drama and had so many layers and the characters were all so complex, that this season just failed to live up to last season. What was so great about HH was that it balanced the character growth and the emotional family drama so well with the supernatural horror, that it all felt seamless, with both the horror and the drama balancing and complimenting each other. This season I think leaned so hard on the personal drama of the characters that the balance ended up being off, and we got too much of the emotional drama and not enough of the supernatural horror, which sadly left a lot of ideas unexplored and feeling a bit anticlimactic. I thought it was a good solid season, but just not as good as the first one, which may just be a matter of taste. 

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I really liked this, it wasn’t ‘perfectly Splendid’ like Hill House, it dragged in parts but it drew me in. It wasn’t really a horror story as much as a love story as adult Flora told Jamie. 
I thought they explained everything really well and gave all the characters good explanations of their stories. I was relieved I wasn’t scratching my head at the end because I didn’t ‘get’ something. 

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17 hours ago, tennisgurl said:

I feel like the ending where grown up Flora tells older Jamie that "this isn't a ghost story, its a love story" and then Jamie saying that Flora can lead with that next time is the show basically admitting that it was never trying to be really scary, and that if we were looking for a ghost story we were coming to the wrong place. 

I pretty much agree with everything you said and I think it's why I didn't really enjoy this season as much as HH. I feel like Bly was a bit of a bait and switch. It was advertised as a ghost story, it has Haunting in the title, it's released in October but ultimately, it didn't feel like a ghost story at all. 

I did find the differences between the endings of Peter/Rebecca and Dani/Jamie interesting. Peter possesses Rebecca and makes her basically kill herself so they can be together forever. Dani sacrifices herself but doesn't pull Jamie with her even though Jamie wants to go with her. 

I also thought Peter and Rebecca's plan to possess the kids was a little weird. So they were take over Flora and Miles who are siblings? Awkward. 

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The episode fell a little flat for me.  I didn't feel they did a great job of building up the Jaime/Dani romance, so I wasn't particularly invested one way or the other in what happened to them.  I also didn't really follow how the Lady of the Lake operated.  If she was making her regular nightly rounds, how was it she never came into contact with Flora and Miles' parents or Hannah when they were alive?       

I did like Hannah a lot.  The character seemed so elegant to me, and her earring game was always on point.  It was sad she never got her happy ending relationship with Owen, but I did appreciate that he kept her portrait up in his restaurant.  

One other thing that did kind of bother me.  If the kids largely forgot what happened at Bly to the point where they barely recalled Hannah, why would Jamie have been invited to Flora's wedding?  I mean, by that point, it had been 20 years and I didn't get the impression that Jamie had much contact with them during the interim period.         

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2 hours ago, txhorns79 said:

The episode fell a little flat for me.  I didn't feel they did a great job of building up the Jaime/Dani romance, so I wasn't particularly invested one way or the other in what happened to them.  I also didn't really follow how the Lady of the Lake operated.  If she was making her regular nightly rounds, how was it she never came into contact with Flora and Miles' parents or Hannah when they were alive?       

I did like Hannah a lot.  The character seemed so elegant to me, and her earring game was always on point.  It was sad she never got her happy ending relationship with Owen, but I did appreciate that he kept her portrait up in his restaurant.  

One other thing that did kind of bother me.  If the kids largely forgot what happened at Bly to the point where they barely recalled Hannah, why would Jamie have been invited to Flora's wedding?  I mean, by that point, it had been 20 years and I didn't get the impression that Jamie had much contact with them during the interim period.         

I finished the series last night and have been mulling it over.  The last soul the Lady of the Lake took prior to Peter Quint was the little boy.  Seems like a long unexplained break.  The nerve of Jaime really to launch into a ten hour story on this terrible chapter in the kids' lives at Flora's rehearsal dinner!  If I was in Uncle Henry's shoes I would have put an end to that immediately.  She's lucky she didn't trigger PTSD in both of them.

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15 minutes ago, CeceliaBedelia said:

The nerve of Jaime really to launch into a ten hour story on this terrible chapter in the kids' lives at Flora's rehearsal dinner!  If I was in Uncle Henry's shoes I would have put an end to that immediately.  She's lucky she didn't trigger PTSD in both of them.

Seriously, WTF would she come and tell Flora this story at her rehearsal dinner? And why would the adults who remember let her? Was she hoping to trigger Flora's memory? Is she just some bitter old lady who wants to ruin Flora's wedding because Flora doesn't remember her true love who was Flora's nanny for a few months a couple decades ago? Or is it because the people writing the show didn't know how else to end it, or how to tie in the fact that Turn of the Screw was a story within a story (though done much better) and felt they just had to tie it all together somehow? 

I was not a fan of Hill House's ending (though I loved everything else about it) but this one might actually be worse in how little sense it makes. 

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On 10/11/2020 at 2:46 AM, Blue Plastic said:

They tried to have it both ways with Dani - she sacrifices herself and doesn't get a happy ending, but she did get a few happy years before she succumbed to possession.  It was unclear to me how Dani died.  Did she travel to Bly Manor and drown herself?

I think she went to Bly and drowned herself, yes.

I thought the show sacrificed Dani because the whole thing was a metaphor for like, dementia or Alzheimer's. Owen's mom was the character who gave us the key for the theme, imo. When you think about it, the whole thing was about losing yourself and your memories. Hannah spends the show coming and going, disoriented and between being in the past and the present, like Alzheimer's patients are. Viola loses herself completely, forgets all that she is until there are just little glimpses. And then the whole Dani thing in the end was like when someone is diagnosed with Alzheimer's and even though they're well now they know that it's only a matter of time before they lose themselves. They might have some good years still, but in the end they still decline. Dani was destined to lose herself completely.

Did anyone else see it this way?

Anyway, I have mixed feelings about the season. I get why people would find it boring, frankly I think the entire show is basically one huge exposition dump. Dani arrives in this place and then the whole show is about explaining shit that happened years before... while not a whole lot is happening in the present story. There isn't even a spooky sense of danger in general because you don't even know if that ghosts want to do harm, not for a long time. I think the show does pick up towards the end, you know, when there are actual villains with terrible plans and we don't want them to succeed at them.

Another huge problem was that the show was all over the place. It felt like every episode they gave us all this info about a character, info that you feel will matter, and then they go in another direction and what you just saw is almost forgotten. Dani's and Henry's episodes gave us nothing of importance. Her dead bf did nothing and meant nothing. Who gives a fuck that Henry was boning his sister in law and feels bad about it? Even Peter and Rebecca, after what felt like endless focus on them, just disappear in the last two episodes and then literally disappear when Viola possesses Dani. All that focus on them and then whoosh. Gone forever in an instant. Grrrr

But on the other hand, I thought that the way they played with information was quite good, and they did keep watching because I wanted to see the explanations they gave, and to see if I was right in my predictions. Like, I knew right away that the narrator was Jamie and that Hanah was dead, and I kept watching because I wanted to see if I was right. I also thought that it was a very sad show, like full of melancholy. And I admit that I cried a little here and there in the last couple of episodes. I mean, when Viola takes Flora and in her mind she's singing to her daughter, and then what we actually hear when we see her is like this guttural ghostly sound, that's just... 😭 There were lots of other problems, but I think on an emotional level the season hit the mark a lot.

So, I'm a bit torn about this one. Although I do think that I liked it better than the first season, which just pissed me off for some reason. I don't even remember why exactly, but I remember being very annoyed and having an augh feeling about it. This one is more like bittersweet.

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On 10/11/2020 at 11:54 AM, Blue Plastic said:

I think Henry was just being haunted by himself because he felt guilty.  It wasn’t from the house. Dani also had a haunting from guilt that wasn’t from the house. 

Good point about Viola. She didn’t want to leave the property like Peter did; she was totally obsessed with finding her daughter. Hmm. Maybe she forgot herself enough that it just worked anyway.

Henry's brother tells him, when he banishes him, something like in the end he's going to be all alone, only with his true self and his true self is a monster. So that's what Henry experienced. It was supposed to be all in his head, I thought, his own self torturing him for what he did. He thought it was his fault that this brother and sister in law died, because they took the trip to try to fix their marriage after her infidelity with him.

On 10/11/2020 at 12:01 PM, Blue Plastic said:

I think at some point - forgot which episode - she threw his glasses into the campfire and then the haunting stopped.

Maybe her throwing his glasses away was symbolic of her being able to let go of her guilt and so then she didn’t see him anymore. IMO both she and Henry weren’t actually haunted by a real spirit, just by feeling guilty.  Henry’s haunting seemed to go away after he really accepted guardianship of the children and actually taking care of them rather than distancing himself.

She threw his glasses in the "bone fire" that Jamie talked about.

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On 10/11/2020 at 12:32 PM, jmonique said:

I know abusers can be quite charming with everyone, but Peter didn't work for me. He didn't seem charming enough for a woman to let him possess her forever after a few months or a year or whatever of dating. Really? That was her long-term plan?

I thought it was even worse than that, because he worked with Henry in London and only came occasionally to the manor. So it's not like she saw him every day, even if it was a year (which I don't think it was AT ALL).

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On 10/12/2020 at 12:22 AM, Brn2bwild said:

I liked this series.  I'm actually glad it wasn't truly horror because it allowed me to watch it (whereas I had to quit Hill House after a couple of installments).  What came through was the sadness and the poignancy.  However, I feel as though the series never answered the questions about the dolls.  I thought that Flora kept the Lady of the Lake (LotL) doll under the drawer as some way of keeping her under control, but it seems as though regardless, the LotL does what she wants.  And why did it matter so much whether Dani took one of the dollhouse dolls?  There never seemed to be any payoff there.

Also, one thing I wondered: the times we assumed we were hearing "Peter" through Miles, were we sometimes hearing Viola?  Did Viola sometimes infect Peter and make him sound more sadistic than even he would have otherwise (such as when he flipped out over the batter)?

1. I think the faceless kid put the dolls in their place, which told Flora where the ghosts were at any time. If Dani moved them around she wouldn' t know where they were.

2. No, I think Peter was supposed to be fucked up and abusive.

On 10/12/2020 at 10:11 AM, kieyra said:

At some point last night, I realized that they had to throw in that thing with Owen telling Dani and Jamie (later on) that the kids had somehow mysteriously forgotten everything, because otherwise the setup with Gray-Haired Jamie telling them their own goddamned story back to them at Flora's wedding would make no sense. 

I had the same feeling in HHH when it turned out that 

  Reveal spoiler

Abigail was conveniently home-schooled and no one knew she existed so it would be fine if she just disappeared after Olivia murdered her.

 

I was really bothered by the kids forgetting everything for no reason. They were old enough to remember stuff, specially stuff that traumatizing. It really irked me how Dani sacrificed herself for this annoying kid that she literally knew for like three days or something, and then on top of that said annoying kid just forgot about her. Wtf. 🤬

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On 10/12/2020 at 8:56 PM, bettername2come said:

Well, it seemed like the storyteller would turn out to be Jamie or Dani, so that's not surprising. Am I crazy for thinking there was too much happy ending epilogue to this?

I knew it had to be Jamie because she had a British accent and Dani was American.

On 10/14/2020 at 2:16 PM, txhorns79 said:

One other thing that did kind of bother me.  If the kids largely forgot what happened at Bly to the point where they barely recalled Hannah, why would Jamie have been invited to Flora's wedding?  I mean, by that point, it had been 20 years and I didn't get the impression that Jamie had much contact with them during the interim period.   

I didn't get why Jamie was at the wedding either.

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3 hours ago, natyxg said:

I thought the show sacrificed Dani because the whole thing was a metaphor for like, dementia or Alzheimer's. Owen's mom was the character who gave us the key for the theme, imo. When you think about it, the whole thing was about losing yourself and your memories. Hannah spends the show coming and going, disoriented and between being in the past and the present, like Alzheimer's patients are. Viola loses herself completely, forgets all that she is until there are just little glimpses. And then the whole Dani thing in the end was like when someone is diagnosed with Alzheimer's and even know they're well now they know that it's only a matter of time before they lose themselves. They might have some good years, but in the end they decline. Dani was destined to lose herself completely.

Did anyone else see it this way?

I must admit, I did not, but I now wish I had. It explains a lot. I'm just not sure, at least from my POV, that they did a good job with it. But I LOVE the concept. 

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I thought this was very good.  But it wasn't really a ghost story, though it was a haunting story.  It's about deep guilt and deep resentment and what happens when you are unable or unwilling to let them go. 

Viola didn't even remember WHY she was so angry, she was just angry.  She was wronged, true, but she held on to that and it ate her up.

Both Dani and Henry were filled with guilt and that guilt was destroying them both.

I think in the end, Dani was able to take Viola's resentment and anger upon her.  But because Dani had experienced love, when her spirit went into the lake, it wasn't angry or vengeful, so she didn't need to kill anybody.

I could see how the children were taken in by Peter.  Their parents had died abruptly (we  never learned what exactly happened) and they kids were shell shocked.  Henry was too into his guilt to come to Bly, so Peter took over as a surrogate father figure.  Peter also got to Rebecca by understanding what she was going through, "we'll always be the help" he kept saying to her.  And that's true.  Class is a real thing, especially in England. 

To me the real tragedy was that Hannah and Owen never got to Paris.

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