Chapelwaite Season 1 Episode 2 Review: Memento Mori


Perhaps the rumors flowing through Preacher’s Corners about the Boone family aren’t so far off the mark, after all.

Another foray into town, an unexpected visitor to the house (or two), and an empty grave suggest there is a lot more to Chapelwaite than Charles ever imagined.

If the premiere was our introduction to the house itself, Chapelwaite Season 1 Episode 2 lent credence to some of the negativity surrounding the Boone family.

It seems unlikely that Charles, Honor, Loa, and Tane will find the fresh start they were seeking. Their story is only beginning, but it’s impossible to imagine that with what’s been uncovered so far, things will get any better the longer they remain.

Charles’ plans for the mill included investing in Preacher’s Corners with 50 lucrative jobs for those who wanted them, but an increasingly unhinged Samuel and Daniel’s wife, Rose, crushed those dreams, leaving Charles standing alone in the dust with a look of defeat on his face.

Things in town are, to say the least, weird. Children dying, odd-looking people reeking of death lurk around, and people go missing without a trace.

That doesn’t even count Faith, eager to give birth, discovering her child to be born with more challenges than a little one should have to suffer, either.

Charles has made one acquaintance in town. The preacher, Martin, holds no malice toward Charles or the Boones, even as his two children perished after befriending Marcella Boone.

His wife, Alice, is more heavily influenced by her father and intense grief for her dead children.

Even if Charles moved mountains to bring prosperity to Preacher’s Corners, these people need a bad guy because to believe they are at fault for what’s happening around them would be too much to bear.

It would be nice if they would be a little more compassionate in the wake of so much misery. If Rose is concerned about her children, how does she think ruining the lives of the Boone children will do anyone any good?

Alice and Samuel consider themselves God-fearing people, but they don’t follow the word of God to treat others.

As if Faith wasn’t suffering enough, Alice visited her to berate her and her child, swiftly bringing in the baby’s father as a ne’er do well who abandoned Faith when she needed him most.

As she painted an ugly picture of the man who fathered Faith’s child, Alice had no idea she was talking about her husband. And she’s such an unhappy person. So who could blame Martin for stepping out on her?

Martin really wants to get away from his wife, and he feels quite deeply for Faith, enough that he wants to love and support her and the child, and promises to whisk them away to California at the first opportunity.

Darkness is chasing Faith, though, and the longer they wait, the more difficult leaving will become. He’s smitten and unable to understand the dangers she’s professing, so it’s not hard to see disaster written all over this situation.

Of course, disaster seems to be Preacher’s Corners only asset, such that it is.

Closer to home, a man is lurking in the house. At first, it almost seemed spectral. But after his troubling dream and thoughts of worms and the white as a ghost woman blocking his carriage in the street, Charles dug up the family plot. It was empty.

Whether his family is risen from the dead or trying to pull a con on Charles for reasons he doesn’t understand is suddenly on the table. Charles, being an intelligent man, believes it’s the latter.

Recent bloody deaths and the persistent nagging of something evil in his brain that is consistent with what he hears from others, like the apple-bearing girl in the street, should be forcing Charles to dig deeper.

And part of him does, but the other part is trying desperately to provide a stable, loving home for his children. That’s not an easy task with their reception or Rebecca’s continuing suggestions that they try to fit in.

Her plan for the children to go to school failed, with Loa tripped, and her beloved necklace from her mother destroyed. Even the trip to town in costume to get candy for Hallow’s Eve found them candy-less and attacked once again just for being Boones.

Little Susan somehow tramped all the way out to Chapelwaite in her nightgown in the rain to scare the hell out of them looking for Stephen, a calling she carried with her to her death bed. If she was waiting for him, maybe he’s who grabbed Mary in her bedroom.

Charles did have one success with the help of a craftsman in town who created a brace that would help Loa walk steadier with more control. Unfortunately, it still didn’t seem like enough to soothe her spirits.

At least he’s aware and trying. If I was having visions of worm infestation and ripping my own face apart to free them, I’m not sure I’d be able to keep up the pretense.

And, surely, there is something to what Rebecca discovered about her father’s work for the Boones. It was more recent than she expected and mentioned Jakub and a book. So let’s be on the lookout for those.

Essentially, Chapelwaite is about people in various stages of misery and grief whose lives are impacted by men lurking in the dark and a mysterious illness claiming even their young children.

Sounds peaceful, right?

I bet Charles wishes he’s never taken his wife’s deathbed wish to heart.

Their life on the water is starting to look downright homey in comparison to all of this.

Carissa Pavlica is the managing editor and a staff writer and critic for TV Fanatic. She’s a member of the Critic’s Choice Association, enjoys mentoring writers, conversing with cats, and passionately discussing the nuances of television and film with anyone who will listen. Follow her on Twitter and email her here at TV Fanatic.

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