Synopsis: A series of grisly murders are believed to be the work of a demonic dog – but Robert and Max find a connection between the case and Tennebrae.
Review: This episode sees Robert learning of a possible connection to his family, which turns out to be a loose connection to Tennebrae.
In order to investigate further Robert and his family solicitor Max travel to the countryside to learn of a possible connection between the Jekylls and a family, which could be distantly related called the Jezequiel.
There first port of call is the local drinking establishment, which is called ‘The Black Dog’ and you can tell that the writers had fun with this as well as the actors because they played the horror film cliche of strangers visiting a country pub to the hilt. Robert and Max are treated with suspicion at the pub and are given the mandatory ‘Beware there be devils here’ speech. It was a bit of hoot, but not quite as funny as the pub scene featured in ‘American Werewolf In London’.
Completely disregarding the warning as most people do. Robert and Max head to the Jezequiel house and meet Renata Jezequiel who is played rather brilliantly by Amelia Bullmore.
To begin with Renata tries to warn Robert and Max, but when Robert grabs her by the wrist she has a sudden change of mind feeling a kind of primitive spiritual connection to him. She invites Robert to stay and at first things seem fine, but Robert begins to feel uneasy when he notices that Renata walks everywhere bare foot and wonders off into the night. He is also dogged with nightmarish images.
During the course of this story Max is living pretty close to the edge for him and its taking its toll. He has a heart condition, which is hereditary, but hasn’t told Robert until this point. I felt that this sudden revelation from Max was kind of shoehorned into the story.
It isn’t until the bar keeper of ‘The Black Dog’ that more of the mystery begins to reveal itself.
Max who is along for the ride has fallen a bit for Renata, but it is a relationship that is doomed to fail given what her true nature is, but it doesn’t take a genius at this point to figure out that she isn’t the murderer.
While Robert is investigating the chapel area of the Jezequiel estate the black dog attacks. Renata tries to stop it because as she had revealed in a scene previously that the black dog is her son who like her can change into a dog. But whereas she follows a code of rules her son doesn’t and just kills for sport. The dog attacks Max, but he rather heroically fends the hound off and kills it with a special sword, which is what Robert was looking for.
Robert arrives as Max has struck the killer blow, but he is to late. The sudden rush of adrenaline proves to much for Max’s heart to take and he dies.
During a conversation with Renata Robert asks how she is able to control when she transforms because he is still struggling to find a balance between himself and Hyde. Renata says that he needs to accept and embrace the monster part of himself in order to get control because it is in his blood and is not down to the potion, which his grandfather created.
This was a fun episode, which kind of side stepped the bigger picture of the war between London’s monster hunters and the Tenebrae, but it was also quite sad to see Max go given that he was part of the shows comic relief and we’d only really just started to get to know him.
Amelia Bullmore was fantastic value as Renata and was a good foil for Max and Robert to play off of.
If anything we know a little more about the Tenebrae and have found that not all of them are necessarily evil.
In terms of the overall story. Bits and pieces are starting to come together, but have a feeling that the pacing of the series is something that is very much against the tide of whether it will get picked up for a second season. I personally think to much attention was paid to the Jekyll and Hyde mythology in the first couple of episodes.
- The scene in the pub and Amelia Bullmore as Renata
- Max heart condition, which leads to his death felt a little shoehorned into the story
- Incidental Music9.5