Oh no, I just realized something awful. Right now as I was coming up with a title for this week’s Shadows House post. I’m not sure if I should point it out, I don’t want to distress you… Guys, there is only one episode left in this season of Shadows House. And another season has not yet been announced. Awful, I know!

Oh boy, where do I even start? Oh wait, I know. I’ve been starting a lot of my Shadows House posts this way lately. If you haven’t watched the episode yet, please go right ahead and watch it before your read this post. A lot happens and you’re probably going to want to experience it firsthand for yourself. Ok, that’s a good start. Now what?

In the very first scene, we see Maryrose and Rosemary in their respective prison cells and I thought to myself, well this is a soberingly grim way to start the episode. No weaselling out of the consequences of Kate’s decision. No scrolling text to tell us what happened offscreen or vague rumours. It’s gutsy. It makes it clear that there are no black and whites here. Little did I know what was waiting for me.

It wasn’t hard to guess that the season would eventually tell us what happened between Maryrose and Barbara and give us a bit more about Cristopher. And this episode answered all our questions.. almost.

It does seem that their generation (The Greatest Generation) did have a fairly happy time in Shadows House. And Christopher, aside from being capable and charismatic was open-minded and happy to try new things. For instance, giving living dolls freedom and independence. Something that seemed to work out well for most.

I have to say, it struck me just how often the expression Greatest Generation was used. The Greatest Generation is of course something that exists. It’s the generation that was born at the beginning of the 1900s. The generation that went through both the great depression and WWII. A generation reputed for being resilient but also for having had to put up with a lot. And I have to wonder, why is that specific expression being used. Are they relating the hardships of that generation of Shadows to those of that generation of people, are they hinting at similar personality traits or are they softly situating Shadows House in time? Is the story taking place in a roughly analogous period to the 1940s-1950s? I don’t know, I’m actually asking.

So everything was great until it wasn’t as these things tend to happen. And the loving and supportive friendship between Barbara and Maryrose suddenly crumbled, over a boy. Or that’s what Barbara thinks.

Despite it all, in many ways, I find Barbara to be the most tragic character in this season of Shadows House. She threw away her only support system over a misunderstanding. She scared her own face and is gravely punished for it. She knows about unification but I strongly suspect she doesn’t understand what it entails and has been blindly following along. She has been suppressing her own personality, forcing herself into a role that is ill-fitting and obviously makes her unhappy all for the singular and all-encompassing purpose of seeing the boy she loves again. And she doesn’t know it’s never going to happen. This is some greek tragedy, right here!

I’m not going to lie, it was a shock hearing that a shadow chose death over unification. Not exactly a shock, like it makes perfect sense to me and it seems suited for the character but this is first blood in Shadows House. We know for sure that characters can die. and although we only saw Christopher very briefly, they did manage to show us some fragility among his kindness. The way he was happy but also a little uneasy when Anthony broke his hypnotism. It made me think, yeah, that would be a guy who might take that route. And I’m not blaming him for it. Not at all.

As for Maryrose and Rosemary. I’m not a fan of the noble sacrifice trope. Mind you this was as selfish as it was noble so, for lack of a better word, I can respect it. It feels more real and substantial. I also realized that we actually don’t know Maryrose all that well. That makes her actions this week simultaneously surprising and in character. Which is impressive. I quite liked her final effort with her phantom. Too bad it didn’t work because it looked quite intimidating. In any case, that was certainly an impactful episode ending! A small part of me hopes they fell in the water and are just fine but I think I might be fooling myself.

We only have one episode left and although we got a lot of answers about the past of Shadows House, the future is still completely up in the air. At least they have to tell us that John wakes up. And remember when I said almost all questions were answered. Well, the episode actually brings up two very important new questions. If Christopher killed himself when the secret of unification was revealed, how did Anthony escape? And perhaps even more important, where is Anthony now? I feel like that answer could change everything.

Previous Posts

Season 1

Season 2

10 thoughts

  1. Agreed, Barbara is easily the show’s most tragic character. Unlike Susanna or Benjamin, poor girl never got to hit that growth spurt, and will instead remain a chibi her entire life. She’s desperate to become an adult, but she’s doomed to forever be seen as a child. Heartbreaking stuff :'(

  2. I’ve never heard the term “the Greatest Generation”, and I didn’t notice it mentioned in SH either. Now that’s interesting. From what little we’ve seen of the village, it might actually fit? I’d have to go back and look if the trucks we’ve seen look old enough…

    Maryrose’s end felt like one huge middle finger to Edward as well as a way to go in dignity. She did also protect Kate, if they have ways to extract information, and that’s part of it, but I get the impression that this might have been personal between Edward and her, too. Especially, if Edward was around when Christopher learned about the unification… That leaves the question whether the Edward faction themselves aren’t rebellious elements in a way, but rather than trying to run, they might be trying to bring down the system and sacrifice whoever serves the cause. I wouldn’t be surprised. I could imagine his face saying, go on, erase me, take my body, and then bring down the house. He might also just admire their Daddy Shadow Lordy and be a selfish career type otherwise; I wouldn’t be surprised either. (I’m also wondering about the prior adult responsible for the children’s wing.)

    1. I think Edward can still surprise us. Somehow I don’t think this show can create a flat antagonist. In itself that would clash with the rest of it

  3. Things about Barbara I just realized recently:

    1) The Japanese word for “rose” is “bara.” To a Japanese person, Maryrose and Barbara are “Marii-[thorny flower]” and “Baa-[thorny flower]”.

    2) Now watch the ending animation and read the lyrics after Barbara’s back story. It’s always been her song.

    1. 3) Maryrose and Barbara combined could have produced a literal Sootzilla. Would have been a good friendship to maintain. I’m just sayin’.

Leave me a comment and make my day!