THE TERROR Episode Six: “A Mercy”
It would have been tough for them to top last week’s episode, “First Shot a Winner, Lads,” which featured the on-ship attack sequence with the monster climbing the rigging, but damn if this week’s episode didn’t do it. For those who’ve read the book, this is the carnival sequence. Yes, they’ve shuffled things around. In the novel, it is the spectacle at the carnival that got Hickey and his cohorts whipped, for making fun of the death of Sir John. And in this episode Lady Silence slices out her tongue, when in the book her tongue is missing from the get-go, and she didn’t cut it out herself; rather the monster had torn it out at the root.
The rich visuals promised by the story of the carnival, though, are all present. This is easily the most visually impressive episode we’ve seen thus far, and one of the most gripping, even with the Tuunbaq only getting a cameo. It isn’t JUST the monster that the men must contend with, but starvation, the extreme cold, and, as we learn in this episode, insanity brought about by lead poisoning. In short, they’re screwed. Next week, they abandon ship, starting on a dead man’s walk across the ice, trying to reach help. (SPOILER ALERT: No, they won’t make it.)