Oh dear… This did not stick the landing. Let’s just get this over with.
Too Much Going On: So by the time we get to the last set of episodes we have more of an info dump. It turns out Peter and Rebecca have been planning to make their merge to the children permanent so they could get the hell outta dodge.
I repeat- this pair of lovers were manipulating the children siblings so they would willingly merge with the ghosts so they could take total control of their bodies in the real world. Meanwhile, the children would infanantly stay in a memory somewhere in dream land? I don’t know.
Alright, that explains them, what about all the other ghosts in the house? It turns out the lady in the lake was the ghost who started it all. She is the cause of the death of many people still haunting the mansion, but also the reason why none of them can leave Bly…However…
This was All a Coincidence?: I had suspected that the reason the lady in the lake killed Peter on the stairs was because he was intending to steal something of great value from the estate. She, somehow the estate’s protector, was killing his ass for disrespecting the property. Uh, no?
It turns out this lake ghost just happens to have a very specific walking route and if you happen to get caught in the middle of it- it’s lights out, b*****!?
Flora, honey, if this was the case from the beginning, and this was information you had in your back pocket, why didn’t you just tell someone? Literally, just highlight where this death route is so all those living on the premises can avoid the s**** out of it! There would be no issues! Like, look alive- no pun intended.
Also, if Viola’s path was to the master bedroom, why did the children’s parents never experience her in the time they lived there? Was this because Viola had not yet awakened since the birth of the children to do her tour? Again, I don’t know. This is exhausting.
It’s Too Late, Stop: Episode seven ends with the lady in the lake grabbing Dani by the neck like a bicycle grip ready to kill her just because she was in the wrong place at the wrong time; it be like that sometimes.
I couldn’t possibly guess how they were going to take this suspenseful moment and make it last for two more hours! Spoiler- they f***** didn’t.
As if we didn’t already get a giant history lesson about Dani’s life, about Miles at boarding school, about the uncle’s affair guilt, the love story of Peter and Rebecca, and the time/dream jumping madness, but this show made the penultimate episode about a black and white ghost story within a ghost story about who the lady in the lake is…I don’t care! At least I didn’t care by the time we finally got here. The miniseries was so dense in trying to do so much that I just wanted to know who lived and who died so I could go start Lovecraft Country…
A Love Story All Along…So?!: By the final episode the children are saved and the Lady in the Lake is stopped…by having her merge with Dani which turns out is an inevitable doom. The spirit of Viola, that now lives within Dani, will eventually claim control and demand to return to her resting place.
The catch is, they don’t know when that day will be. Dani and Jamie decide to embark on their lives together leaving Bly behind. It turns out that the pair get about nine years together before Jamie one day awakes to find Dani gone; she returns to Bly to find her at the bottom of the lake, her now eternal resting place.
When you take this conclusion you realize that, as the bride states, this has not been so much a horror/ghost story but ultimately a love story.
Yes, it’s a tragic one! However, their tragedy is fused to reality; none of us really know how much time we’re going to get with the ones we love before our time together ends. Sure, Jamie and Dani had one hell of a F**** up clock, but the scary thing is, if you really think about it, we all do.
I appreciate the conclusion to the story and that when you look at the whole of it, it’s really all an ode to love; toxic love through Peter and Rebecca, forbidden love with the uncle and the children’s mother, missed love through Owen and Hannah…
Through this frame of horror we have a miniseries that teaches about love’s many forms and the importance of being brave when it shows up! The truth is opportunities for the real thing are few and far between.
That being said…. What the F****, guys!
Cut This Down: With the amount of scares and suspense in this thing I honestly feel that the show could have (and should have) been condensed to six episodes. I didn’t need the character of the uncle or the affair with his sister-in-law. In my opinion it didn’t really provide anything to narrative except take up time.
Rebecca and Peter ultimately came flat; there was a principal haunting, and then there was Dani’s ‘anime glasses haunting’ that didn’t do much, and then we had these two up to some malarkey that turned out to be the worst plan ever? Nah, there was too much.
Does Bly Manor achieve Halloween spooks? Sure. If you’ve seen Haunting of Hill House I promise many of the beats in this are the same as the last. Both find a way to let the audience know that what we fear isn’t that scary after all…sigh. If there is a season three this better not happen again. I want to be disturbed. End this thing like an Are You Afraid of the Dark episode; hopeless.
In terms of LGBTQ stories? This is up there. I can’t deny it. I had my hunch that our narrator was Jamie all grown up. Seeing her leave the door open to wait for Dani to retun to ultimately see the hand there on her shoulder…Almost like she was there all along just like Dani had told Flora by the grave all those years ago; perfect.
I give the Haunting of Bly Manor a 6 out of 10 potatoes.