At the beginning of the episode, Nathan Appleby (Colin Morgan) takes a stroll through the hayfield, while we flash backs of the Red Boys and more evil beings. Charlotte (Charlotte Spencer) joins him moments later and the pair chat about Charlotte’s responsibility of managing the upcoming harvest. Peter Hare (Robert Emms, Happy Valley) hears voices, while relaxing in his bed. He is told that he needs to make a sacrifice, before heading into his mother’s room. He puts his hand near Maud’s (Elizabeth Berrington) face, before she awakes and stops him. Peter heads back to bed and fidgets with his hands anxiously. After the introduction, Charlotte takes over her duties and tells the farm workers they’ll wait one more day for the harvest.
Nathan catches up with Agnes Thatcher (Pooky Quesnel), before she is able to flee the city. He prompts her to stay, but he refuses and insists the farm is cursed. Peter heads to the lake and dives inside. When he gets down to the bottom, he sees a woman tied down and immediately alerts Nathan. Nathan joins him at the lake and dives in. He is unable to find anyone or anything suspicious. Peter begins hearing voices, which tell him Nathan won’t be able to help. He immediately makes a comment and catches Nathan off guard. Nathan attempts to offer assistance, but Peter hastily departs. Back at home, Gwen Pearce (Kerrie Hayes) unearths a picture of Nathan’s parents and hangs it on the wall.
Nathan enters and admits to Charlotte that he likes the picture. Nathan takes Charlotte on a trip to the mill to distract her from her responsibilities. On the way there, they spot dead fishes on the surface of the lake. Charlotte spots something inside the mill, but remains mum. Inside, Nathan tells Charlotte about the millstone, which he believed was utilized for sacrifices as a youngster. The pair hears awkward noises inside, but notice nothing else out of the ordinary. Pictures are taken and they depart. Meanwhile at the bar, Jack Langtree (Joel Gillman) discusses Charlotte and his belief that she is incompetent. Nonetheless, Gideon (Malcolm Storry) and Matthew Denning (Nicholas Woodeson) take up for Charlotte, before the group shares a drink.
Next, Nathan pays a visit to Nathan’s house and speaks with his mother. He is invited inside to wait for Peter. Maud speaks about Peter and his success in school, but admits he didn’t go to school so he could learn a trade. Peter enters and overhears the conversation. This angers him and he storms outside. Nathan goes after him and manages to stop him, before he can get away. Nathan asks him about the fish and he insists he had nothing to do with it. He also suggests Nathan could be the one, who is having hallucinations. Meanwhile, Charlotte develops her pictures. She notices an awkward figure in one. Nathan enters and she tells him that the figure looks like a woman standing there. The figure is blamed on the silver bromide.
They chat about the dead fish and Nathan admits Peter denied poisoning the water. That night, Peter is lured into the fields by the strange voice. He follows the voice and encounter a strange woman. A bug crawls out of her mouth, while Nathan is instructed to kill his mother. Back at home, Nathan takes notes about Peter. He looks up from his paperwork. When he looks down, the same bugs are crawling on his desk. Gideon runs into Peter Hare on his way to the farm. Gideon notes Peter’s odd behavior, before continuing on his way. Charlotte interrupts Nathan and tells him it is beginning to get light outside. Everyone meets at the farm only to discover the crop has been cursed with bugs just as it was in ’62.
Gideon refers to the bugs as black devils and he insists there is no way to get rid of them. He immediately approaches and blames Peter for cursing the crops. Charlotte attempts to calm the workers and insists there is no such curse. The workers are instructed to pick off the bugs, before harvesting the wheat. Charlotte retreats inside to try and find a solution within her books. Peter speaks with Nathan about the voice, which continues to tell him to sacrifice his mother. He confesses that his failure to do so has brought about the curse. Peter rushes off, grabs a reaper, and continues on his way. Charlotte scours through her books, but is unable to find anything of substance.
Back on the farm, Nathan asks Maud about ’62, but she admits she was just a child and barely remembers anything. They chat about Peter, before Maud gets anxious and leaves for home. Before she can depart, Nathan tells her to lock her bedroom door. Back inside, Charlotte finally comes up with a solution and enlists Gwen’s help. They return outside moments later and smoke out the bugs. The technique works and the bugs begin to drop dead. Meanwhile, Jack approaches Peter and bullies him around. Gideon is forced to step him. He tells Peter that there will be no more spells. Nonetheless, Jack goes after him one more and dumps water on his head. Again, Gideon steps in and puts a halt to Jack’s behavior. The workers end for the day after bundling approximately a quarter of the wheat.
Peters returns to Nathan and apologizes for his behavior. Peter suggests the woman may be gone now. Nathan takes Peter back to his place and shows him the picture of his family. Peter notices a woman in the picture. She turns out to be Clarity Winlove (Katy Carmichael). The healer, who was able to help women conceive, is the one Peter has been seeing and hearing. Peter freaks out and rushes home, while Nathan admits to Charlotte that he is a little worried about the boy. That night, Nathan is awoken by a baby crying. He finds nothing and immediately questions what could be wrong with him. When he returns to his room, he finds Clarity sitting beside Charlotte with a hand on her belly. Clarity threatens Nathan and insists he’ll get what is coming to him. Nathan awakes and snaps out of it, as the rain begins to pour down outside.
The pair is forced to rush outside and begin collecting the wheat. Nathan questions what awoken Charlotte and she admits it was the storm. The others arrive and everyone works together to get the crop out of the rain. Nathan imagines he sees John helping them out. Meanwhile, Peter is again confronted by Clarity. She insists the others will blame him for the rain, so he tries to get into his mother’s room. Thankfully, she has it locked. Peter attempts to convince her to let him in, so they can chat about Clarity. Peter is turned away. Gideon and Jack discuss Peter and both agree he has to be responsible for the storm. Jack tells Gideon to stay out of it and that he will take care of him. Back at home, Charlotte questions if she could potentially be the curse. Nonetheless, Nathan comforts her and insists she is not.
Nathan pays a visit to Maud and attempts to gain insight into Clarity. At first, Maud insists she doesn’t know anything. Nathan quickly learns that the others are looking for a scapegoat just as they did during the previous curse. He rushes out and begins looking for Peter, who is corned by Jack in the mill. Jack accuses Peter of being a witch and cursing the farm. Peter attempts to make a run for it, but is caught and dragged out to the water. Maud rushes to Peter’s house and quickly tells Gwen and Charlotte that it is her fault. Jack throws Peter on the pier and ties his arms and legs, as the mill’s wheel begins to turn. During this time, Clarity speaks with Peter and tells him this was what was done to her. Jack pushes Peter inside and gets angry when he floats. Nathan arrives, Jack makes a run for it and Peter is pulled out of the water.
Peter is saved, but Clarity watches from a distance. Maud grabs a knife and prepares to slice her wrist to make up for her past sins against Clarity. She is stopped and admits she was responsible for Clarity being classified as a witch and drowned in the lake. As Peter and Maud embrace, Nathan tells Clarity it is time for her leave and her apparition disappears. Nathan returns to the mill and asks Clarity what she did when touching Charlotte’s stomach. He asks whether it was a curse or a blessing. He heads to the bar and banishes Jack from the lands. Jack admits he was leaving anyway, since the farm is cursed.
Gwen and Charlotte discover that Charlotte is most likely pregnant. They agree to keep it a secret for the time being. Afterwards, the celebrations for a successful harvest begin. Gideon apologizes to Peter, before Nathan and Charlotte dance. Nathan tells his wife she seems so alive. A boy with a wet boat watches from a distance.
The Living and the Dead Review
The 3rd episode of The Living and the Dead wasn’t quite as good as the previous, but it was definitely better than the first. Robert Emms was absolutely perfect as Peter Hare just as he was as Daryl in Happy Valley. The witch tale and Jack’s treatment of Peter made for the perfect combination of depression and creepiness. Thankfully and surprisingly, Peter and Maud made it out alive.
A 7.5 out of 10 is deserved. Catch up with previous recaps of The Living and the Dead right now!