Well, well, well… It turns out that Shadows House was a fairy tale all this time. Fairy tales can be frightening things. It does fit the mood quite well. And I am surprised. I spent a lot of time theorizing about the show and it’s been a long time since I was completely wrong about everything.
I was prepared for the season to end without revealing any of the secrets of Shadows House. The pacing seemed to be going that way. I certainly didn’t think we’d get everything just plainly spelled out in a clumsy exposition dump two episodes from the end.
And yeah, I thought the mechanism of the reveal was super clumsy. Having a person just explain all the details of the situation to a group of people who should already know them is one of the laziest exposition clichés out there. It is efficient though. Like I know exactly what’s going on now, no doubt or confusion at all. And well, I’m conflicted a bit.
First, let me say that I liked the episode. I liked it a lot. The pacing was good and Shadows House did all the hard work of creating enough emotional build-up that I was both very happy, almost a little proud seeing all the pairs that passed and very sad for Rum and Shirley. Even the slightly contrived scene of a dark angel Kate caching Emilico in a mirror of last week, had me cheering in my living room. I’m sold on this show and nothing about that has changed. Well, some things have.
I still like the characters a lot. Seeing John pass a note to Kate during the ceremony was such a humanizing little moment and I’m dying to find out what was in it. Even though I really thought the explanation would be something much more metaphysical, going for a straightforward fantasy solution is actually not bad. It’s certainly made for a cleaner narrative and I do like it. You can still get the allegories out of it but there’s at least a surface-level plot that simple and linear.
But this changes the rules, doesn’t it? Shadows House is no longer an old fashion gothic mystery, it’s an action series or maybe a political thriller now. And I don’t know how to feel about that. I really liked Shadows House as a mystery. I found it absolutely fascinating. Two episodes doesn’t seem like enough time to properly establish a secondary genre. I could be wrong. Make no mistake, I’m looking forward to the next episode.
Here are some random tings from the episode. I’m not sure why they say John doesn’t suit his face. Is it just that their personalities are different because Lou and Louise are very different too. Maryrose was super fun, I hope we see more of her. That has got to be some of the least subtle mind control I have ever seen. Every new shadow must notice it as soon as they have their coming of age.
Finally though, beneath all the revelations and emotions of Shadows House episode 10, there was a bit of a theme that spoke to me directly. Beware the danger of lacking in passion. I’m the type of person that rarely feels very strongly about anything really and it really hit me. Seeing little Shirley just blow away to nothing because she failed to become someone. She had no personality, she had no passion. Terrifying.