At the beginning of the 5th episode, Nathan Appleby (Colin Morgan) awakes his wife with a surprise. Charlotte (Charlotte Spencer) is happy to find that Nathan has purchase a crib for their child. While they chat inside, Gwen Pearce (Kerrie Hayes) gets busy with her boyfriend outdoors. Once they’ve finished, her boyfriend has a fright and screams uncontrollably. Nathan is forced to head outside and investigate the screams. He finds nothing of interest. In the morning, the townsfolk prepare for the upcoming Allhallows, which happens to have a terrible history of death. Maud Hare (Elizabeth Berrington) speaks with Gideon (Malcolm Storry) about her desire to flee from the area, but he admits they have nowhere to go.
Meanwhile, Nathan consults with Smith (Harry Peacock) about his frightening experience the previous night. He insists there is something wrong and high tails it. Charlotte and Nathan chat about their situation. Both admit they cannot suspend work and it would be unlikely to find new workers in the meantime. They insist they need to keep on track, so they can get the railroad installed nearby. Charlotte tells Nathan she believes something sinister is fighting them every step of the way. Back inside, Gwen scours through Nathan’s belongings. She discovers the weird drawing as well as the Ouija board. She is forced to rush out, when Nathan and Charlotte return. Nathan heads to the location of Smith’s sighting and looks around.
He discovers a tree with a carving in it. The craving closely resembles the weird drawing. He sees the woman with the iPad nearby and chases after her. The woman seemingly disappears, after Nathan is stopped by Charlotte and invited to be a part of her picture. He joins the group and a few pictures are snapped, before he heads back inside. Inside, he hears and sees the woman once more. He follows her into an upstairs bedroom and finds nothing but the crib. Desperate to learn more about the woman, Nathan enlists the assistance of Harriet (Tallulah Rose Haddon), without her family’s knowledge. He takes her home and recreates the weird drawing on the wall, before putting Harriet under hypnosis.
While under hypnosis, Harriet warns Nathan that they’re coming for him. Other than that, he is unable to acquire anything substantial. Meanwhile, Maud heads to the bar and overhears Gideon complaining about the railroad and its negative impact on the village. Again, Maud attempts to encourage the others to leave and insists if they do not they’ll end up like Jack. Back at home, Charlotte discovers the drawing on the wall and Gwen informs her that it was Nathan’s doing. Harriet returns home and is immediately scolded by her parents. Matthew Denning (Nicholas Woodeson) seethes in anger and heads over to the Appleby home. Before he can arrive, Nathan and Charlotte argue about Nathan’s actions and his decision to drag Harriet into his problems.
Their argument is stopped, when Denning arrives at the door. He ridicules Nathan and tells him to leave his daughter out of it. The trio is stunned to see a tree burning on the hilltop. Nathan expresses his desire to investigate it, but agrees to hold off until the morning at Charlotte’s request. Denning and Nathan investigate the tree in the morning, but are unable to find any sign of a fire. Nonetheless, Denning refuses to accept the notion of ghosts and is adamant that he’ll get to the bottom of the matter. Back at home, Charlotte finishes developing her pictures. She discovers a weird object in one and grabs a magnifying glass to get a better look. She sees a young boy standing behind Nathan with a boat in his hands.
She is stopped by Gwen, who tells her it is time to take the food to the farm workers. During this time, Nathan attempts to convince Denning to perform an exorcism on the land. He refuses and admits the Church forbids it except for certain circumstances. As Charlotte and Gwen approach the workers, they emerge running and screaming from the woods. Everyone happens to see soldiers on horseback rushing towards them. Maud loses it and flees. She insists they won’t stop until blood is shed and encourages everyone to leave the area. Nathan prepares to clean up the blood he used to draw the picture on the wall. Before he can empty it down the sink, he hears someone telling him to stop. He turns around to find the iPad lady, Lara (Chloe Pirrie) standing behind him.
The blood hits the flood and Lara disappears. Meanwhile, Denning, Harriet and his wife meet at the church. He admits he couldn’t find anything related to the fire and begins to come around to Nathan’s way of thinking. During their conversation, someone interrupts by screaming for help outside. Denning heads out and finds nobody. Back inside, Harriet is strung up by an unseen figure. Denning returns just in time to save the woman with holy water and a prayer. Denning quickly visits Nathan and agrees to perform the exorcism. Charlotte enters and tells Nathan about the soldiers in the woods. He reassures her and the others that Denning will take care of it and that things should be fine in the morning.
Denning prepares for the ceremony, while the workers hide themselves in the bar’s cellar. The exorcism seems to be working, until the phonograph machine switches on and Gabriel begins calling for his daddy. Charlotte finally shows Nathan the picture of Gabriel and he immediately halts the execution. Denning attempts to convince Nathan otherwise, but is unable to do so. Denning is threatened and sent home. While he heads home, Maud stumbles through the woods. Both are confronted by frightening sights and sounds. Denning finds puddles of blood on the street, while Maud sees apparitions. She is chased, falls and winds up hanging herself from a tree. During this time, Denning observes several hanged people throughout the street. After Maud succumbs, the streets are cleared and Denning is allowed to make it home.
Gideon and the others leave the cellar. In the morning, Gideon and the others find Maud’s body. They quickly confront the Appleby couple and learn about Nathan’s decision to stop the ceremony. The others are not happy with his decision. During their conversation, Nathan hears lullaby and rushes inside. He rushes in and screams for Gabriel. Charlotte enters and belittles Nathan, while insisting the workers will never work for them again. They fight and Nathan accidentally hits Charlotte in the face. Gwen tells Charlotte she should leave, but both agree to stay for their own reasons. At the end of the episode, Nathan plays with Gabriel’s boat in the lake.
The Living and the Dead Review
The Living and the Dead is truly a hit or a miss. Some episodes are good, while others are great. The 5th was excellent. It pushed everyone to their limits and revealed many new details, without giving away too much. The series continues to be driven by the creepy scenery and the very fitting soundtrack. With the connection between the past and present all, but confirmed, we can only wait for the finale to see how things play out.
A good episode, which deserves an 8.5 out of 10. Catch up with previous The Living and the Dead recaps right now!