At the beginning of the episode, Nathan Appleby (Colin Morgan) pays a visit to his son’s gravestone. While there, he observes young Charlie Thatcher (Isaac Andrews) playing with himself alone. Nathan gently scolds the boy and insists he should return to work. He has a change of heart though and invites the boy to witness the impending explosion. Meanwhile, Charlotte Spencer (Charlotte Appleby) and Gideon (Malcolm Storry) survey the fields and pick up rocks. Gideon admits there is a lot of work that still needs to be done. He admits John was responsible for such, as an explosion is heard in the background. Charlotte explains that the explosions are being carried out to make room for the viaduct. Charlie is given the honors of pushing the lever and igniting the explosion.
Later, Gideon speaks about the plan. He insists nothing good will come of it and what lies beneath should be left beneath. Meanwhile, Charlotte talks to Nathan about her inability to conceive. Nathan attempts to convince her that they’ll eventually get it right and that they just need to remain patient, until they do. That night, Charlie is forced to bed by his mother, yet he seems startled by something in the distance. Nathan is stirred in the middle of the night, but insists it is just the children playing. As Charlie rests in bed, he heads an unseen figure call out several names, including David, Harrington, Abraham, Henry, Benjamin, and Ebenezer. Charlie follows the voice, as they continue to call out the same names over and over again.
Charlie makes it to the window and prepares to peer outside. He is stopped by his sister, Bathsheba Thatcher (Amber Fernee). We see several figures standing outside holding hands. In the morning, Gwen Pearce (Kerrie Hayes) scrubs Harriet’s blood from the wall, while Charlotte attempts to recruit a new worker. She fails, as the man has not intention of working with a woman and demands to speak with the master. Charlotte joins Nathan outside and complains about the man’s behavior. They share a laugh, as Nathan notices that Charlie is visibly distracted, by something in the distance. Nathan speaks with the boy, but is unable to learn anything of substance. Someone tells him it must’ve been the Red Boys. Charlie runs off, after telling them to shut up. Nathan follows the boy and speaks with him alone.
Charlie admits the boys have come for him in the night. He insists the boys wanted to take him away and that he simply didn’t belong there. Nathan attempts to convince him that it was nothing more than a bad dream. That night, Gwen prepares a special concoction, which she believes will help Charlotte get pregnant. Charlotte agrees to take it, but remains skeptical. Before Nathan joins her in bed, he looks at his son’s drawing once more. Once again, Charlie is awoken in the middle of the night. This time, he opens the window and sees the Red Men standing outside and beckoning him outside. Nathan leaves Charlotte to take the dog outside. He walks along an abandoned road and imagines himself getting run over by a vehicle. Agnes Thatcher (Pooky Quesnel) appears behind him and confesses that the boy has done missing. Nathan agrees to hunt for him.
Nathan manages to find Charlie scouring through the woods. As soon as he approaches, Charlie collapses to the ground. Nathan carries him out of the woods, while the red boys watch and beckon to Charlie in the background. Charlie is reunited with his mother moments later. Nathan attempts to pry information from Charlie, but is unable to do so. In the morning, we see a strange man approaching the farm. He continues chanting the names Charlie has been hearing. Nathan grabs some toy soldiers and uses them to gain insight into Charlie’s problem. Charlie shows Nathan how the boys surround him, by using the toys. He also tells Nathan the names of the boys. Outside, Charlotte tells the workers that she is taking over as farm manager. She admits she isn’t very experience, but is willing to work hard.
Meanwhile, Nathan speaks with Agnes and attempts to learn more about Charlie’s history. Eventually, Agnes caves in and admits Charlie is actually her sister’s son. She shows him a letter from her sister and confirms the boy was handed over, before her sister died. When they return to the farm, Charlie is covered in mud and emulates the actions of the Red Boys. One of the farm workers discovers an entrance to a cave nearby. Nathan takes Charlie hunting and tries to teach him out of shoot. However, the situation gets awkward when Charlie points the gun at Nathan, after he turns around. When asked why, Charlie insists he doesn’t belong here. After he puts the gun down, Charlie insists he was Gabriel near the lake. The strange man finally approaches the farm house.
Later, Nathan shares a drink with Matthew Denning (Nicholas Woodeson). Nathan asks Denning about the drawing that both his son and Harriet did. During this time, Charlotte is approached by the strange man in the barn and nearly attacked. She isn’t hurt, so Nathan consults with the stranger. Meanwhile, Agnes comforts Charlie, who asks whether or not she is his real mother. He continues to insist the boys are telling him he doesn’t belong at the farm. Nathan speaks with the stranger, Ebenezer Alsop (Michael Byrne), who chats about the Red Boys. He insists they’ve started against and begins telling Nathan about his time working within the Appleby’s cave. During this time, Charlie begins hearing voices and is urged to come outside and play with the boys. He hides under the bed and attempts to ignore their calls. Nonetheless, he leaves his doll behind and finds the letter from Agnes’ sister.
While Charlie heads outside, Ebenezer tells Nathan how the boys wound up getting trapped inside of the mine. He also confirms that Nathan’s greater-grandfather refused to help, due to the cost. In the morning, Nathan and Denning agree to head into the mine to find Charlie. They head in and search around briefly, before finally finding the corpses of the dead boys. During this time, Ebenezer heads outside, falls to the ground, and mourns the boys. While examining the corpses, Nathan sees someone running in the corner of his eye. He follows and finds Charlie’s lifeless body. The mine begins to collapse, but Nathan is left dumbfounded, as he hears Gabriel’s voice. Denning urges him to leave or they may die. The two emerge from the mine moments later. Ebenezer seems to die on the ground, before the mine is covered up.
That night, Nathan speaks with Charlotte and blames himself for not believing Charlie and his stories of ghosts. He also insists he let Gabriel down as well. As the episode comes to an end, the two have intercourse and it is highly likely that Charlotte finally conceives.
The Living And The Dead Review
The second episode of The Living and The Dead was undoubtedly much better than the first. Charlie and his struggle with the Red Boys was creepy and astoundingly intriguing. The show is also a little depressing in some aspects. In all likelihood, Charlotte is now pregnant. That is unlikely to end well. This episode deserves an 8 out of 10. Catch up with previous recaps of The Living and The Dead right now.