The show should be enjoyed for its haunting score by Natasha Khan and Dominik Scherrer which is a quintessential addition to a show that has a central audio thematic element. I find the show to be best enjoyed in surround sound at high volume for best suspenseful, preternatural effect.
We open on an elderly man in a country estate manor in what we later discover to be outside a small city in Wales. Quite dramatically we are drawn in to his palpable fears as something attacks him via a mirror we assume and leads the man to commit suicide by jumping off the manor's roof.
Matilda: Our main character and solo instrumental protagonist
Hal: Our secondary character, foil to Matilda, and Requiem piece accompaniment
Matilda awakes in London via a phone call from her adoptive mum. Their relationship is loving and supportive and seemingly open and full of shared fond memories. Matilda is torn about breaking the news to her mother that she plans on taking a tour across America and will be away for a time whilst her mother has been making inroads to improve their positive relationship.
Matilda is a concert cellist accompanied on piano and throughout the show by her male friend-zoned friend Hal. We are shown that Matilda uses various men sexually as a coping mechanism, but never crosses the platonic boundary with Hal. Feeling guilty about breaking the news of a job opportunity of headlining a tour, Matilda encounters her mother, who is half dressed and out of sorts. Her mother presents Matilda with a bouquet and apologies for an unknown offense.
Furthermore, we learn of a missing child case from 20 years back regarding a child named Carys – a Welsh name which means “beloved”. Relevant as the names in the show are symbolic as to what the characters represent to the overall plot and theme. The two main characters Matilda and Hal both are names which mean “strength in battle” and “mighty in war” respectively implying that our protagonists are about to be tossed into a conflict for which they may or may not be prepared. Hal quips that he feels he’s inside a James Ellroy novel, who is famous for his murder mysteries and for his mother being a victim of the Black Dahlia murders which is apropos to the show’s story-line.
Matilda follows her mother into the darkness of an underground car park to watch as her mother proceeds to violently kill herself as Matilda watches. As the title of the show suggests, the requiem overture begins relating to the pair of seemingly unrelated deaths which will set the tone for the rest of the series. Traditionally, a requiem is written for use in primarily Catholic mass as method by which to repose the souls of the dead at ease. A concept which remains critical to the understanding of the efforts and themes that will pervade the rest of the series.
After the death of her mother and of Ewan, the lord of a Welsh manor, Matilda discovers a tape in her mother’s possessions regarding the disappearance of Carys circa 1994. Matilda decides to go to the town where Carys disappeared, ends up attending Ewan’s funeral, meeting Ewan’s hunky heir apparent Nick, and deciding to stay in the Welsh manor to discover more clues. As Matilda settles in, we discover that the room has a dresser with the mirror missing excepting a sharp shard upon which Matilda is cut keeping with our mirrors are dangerous figuratively and literally theme. Counterintuitively the manse contains a locked attic door whilst the front door does not remain locked. Sounds and disturbances draw the manor inhabitants Matilda, Hal, and Nick to a previously undiscovered secret basement which is found to be filled with auditory recordings and equipment. Matilda declares she is remembering all of this: the town, the manor, and the basement. They decide to play a tape found within the unearthly earthen cellar while Matilda discovers a hand mirror, never a good idea in this show.
Both of our fatalities thus far indicate an auditory attack followed by a visual sensory attack via reflective surfaces. In a dream fugue state after the death of her mother, Matilda encounters a blue-lit cave in which she struggles to navigate in order to reach a reflective surface. Through this surface, she possibly glimpses the disturbed and tumultuous soul of her mother staring back. Later, in this same blue mindscape cave, she discovers a younger version of herself through this transportive surface. The shocking episode ending revelation is that this young version she sees in this possible memory is, in her opinion, evidence that she is the missing child Carys.
Our extended cast of characters:
Ewan: Committed Suicide in the opening sequence setting the tone for Requiem.
Janice: Committed Suicide in the opening act of the episode by slitting her own throat.
Janice meaning “God has been gracious in his gift” in this case the gift, of course, being Matilda.
Nick: The new lord of the manor. Nick being an English name meaning… “Lord” of course.
Rose: Mother to the missing child Carys. You could say she rose Carys.
Aron: Second husband of Rose, Aron second to Moses biblically and here second to most things.
Trudy: A barkeep who seeks… Truthiness of course.
Requiem makes for an interesting introspective look into the mirror that is our experiences with childhood, parental relationships, and reality. What does the haunted house contain for our heroine and is she in fact the missing girl Carys? What extrasensory force is causing characters to commit suicide? Requiem is an excellent choice to binge for mood and tone at the onset of Autumn and to prepare for Halloween.
Requiem: A Supernatural Sonata
Writing - 10/1010/10
Storyline - 9/109/10
Acting - 9/109/10
Music - 10/1010/10
Production - 10/1010/10
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