Cabinet Of Curiosities – Season 1 Episode 8 “The Murmuring” Recap & Review
Episode 8 of Cabinet of Curiosities brings the anthology to an end with ornithologist Nancy making a presentation on patterns in birds and their significance in the present. Scientists are still confused about the nature of this phenomenon however they’re focused on discovering clues about the origins of this phenomenon. It can’t be mind-reading and bird telepathy would it?
In the show is Edgar who is Nancy’s partner in crime. He gives all the praise to Nancy even though he is in the company of businessmen who are buzzing over with joy. Edgar and Nancy are a couple with a tragic story if the meeting with one of them can be believed to be true, however, it is kept secret until now.
Edgar and Nancy go to an isolated home on Big Harbour Island, intent on studying birds and advancing their studies. They’re greeted by an old man at the docks. He tells the pair that he’ll return within a week.
This old home is scary and, despite the brand-new bedding, Nancy struggles to get back to sleep. She even hears crying babies across the room, and footsteps, and then the recorder starts to come in from downstairs. It’s definitely ominous and is an indication of what’s to be coming.
Nancy decides to go back to her house that afternoon to start with her recording, but again she hears footsteps chirping in the hallway. Edgar goes back to the house and decides to set the fire started, and Nancy smiles and informs her she has a dish that’s in the oven. It’s evident that there’s an issue in the room and it could be connected to that child that we’re constantly hearing about. The passion has gone into their relationship and is evident by Edgar trying to dance with her in the evening.
These footsteps become thunder as the shutter doors crash. At the top of the attic is a more bizarre incident. The dunlins all sit on the wooden slats that are in the attic. Edgar is recording from outside, while Nancy is trying to remain awake. In reality, she is hearing a whistling sound and a voice that tells the girl “I’m so cold.”
As it happens, Edgar doesn’t hear it and there’s no evidence of Dunlins in the houses they roost, Nancy starts to get cold feet. Nancy is worried about her home and is wondering what the previous owners could have been up to.
Nancy’s hallucinations grow more disturbing when she sees a baby near her, as well as an unsettling figure wandering around the home. In the middle of the night, she follows the crying to her study, and there she discovers many letters scattered on the floor, all inscribed using the popular “To My Sweetheart”, similar to the handwriting from the portraits on the wall.
Edgar isn’t as interested in the story and is more focused on the birds. Well, not so for Nancy. As she returns to her house following an argument spot that child who has never been seen before crying and dripping with sweat. It’s only a short moment, but it’s further aggravated when she bangs on the bathroom door and screams bloodily. The mother also observes a child in the bathtub and a woman who is rushing toward her.
Edgar arrives to assist her and help her accept her feelings and confront the pain she’s repressed for many years. She eventually talks to the caregiver about what she’s witnessed and experienced and he advises her not to dwell on the suffering of others and puts it down to morbid fascination. Nancy, at the end of the day, informs Edgar that she’s noticed things.
It’s clear that Edgar and Nancy made this trip in order to repair their relationship. And now we can understand the reason. Nancy had to lose her baby daughter Ava one year ago. Since that time, Nancy hasn’t had one tear, and she doesn’t know why she doesn’t want Edgar to assist. Nancy, however, remains quiet and listens to Edgar as Edgar accepts the offer and decides to lie on the sofa and allow her to have some privacy. As promised, he departs at the crack of the dawn and leaves Nancy on her own.
Nancy is eventually able to embrace her anxieties and fears, urging the boy to walk into the light and become free by recognizing that it’s not her fault and that he’s already dead. Following this, Nancy heads up to the attic to speak with the ghostly mother who is watching as she gazes at her hands and asks “what did you do? !” before jumping to her death. The story naturally mirrors the fear and anxieties Nancy feels. She goes outside to watch as the crowd of Dunlins are flying over her… and then they fly off.
Nancy is on the radio and talks about Edgar, “I’m sorry. I’m truly I’m sorry.” She declares that she’s lost and how confused she’s been. As the sun rises Nancy decides it’s appropriate to discuss Ava.
The Episode Review
Talk about finishing with a bang! Cabinet of Curiosities leaves the most memorable for last and is a screamer for an hour. The entire episode manages to mix powerful themes and an allegorical style of visuals to create powerful horror that is truly frightening. There are some excellent scary moments in the chapter and this is made even more impressive by the camerawork, which is superb throughout.
The acting is good and the best part is the way that the leads don’t reveal what occurred to Ava but they do say that the gap between them has been growing into the background, created by a massive divide between the two. It’s an amazing piece of storytelling and the end with the sun rising across Nancy’s eyes serves to strengthen the notion of returning to the sunlight after being in the dark for many years.
Fantastic chapter to conclude an otherwise good horror anthology. This is definitely worth watching and certainly a highlight.
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