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The Terror - First Shot a Winner, Lads - Review



I'd just like to start by saying that my classification of the monster as a bear/not bear was pretty spot on. It's absolutely got a bear-like appearance, so there's the "bear" part, but it's also 1,000% not a bear at all, which cover the "not bear" part. Ergo bear/not bear is the perfect description for Tuunbaq. I'll take my prize money now! What? There is none? Oh, I'm "really reaching" to make that description work? You know who else really reaches? Tuunbaq when he's going for someone's leg! I'm sorry, I didn't mean to yell, it's all the drinking. I'll resign from my post for a week and return when I'm better, then we can put this whole mess behind us. But, in the meantime, let's go ahead and talk about what happened last week.

Recap

Just as Goodsir is making progress communicating with Lady Silence, orders are received to have her moved over to Terror as the crew of Erebus is no longer comfortable with her presence there. She is not all that is transferred to Terror, however, as Crozier has apparently ordered 16 bottles of alcohol to be brought over as well. Unfortunately for Crozier, none of these 16 bottles are Whiskey. Even worse, there's only gin, which Crozier claims to prefer suicide over. The news of Crozier's alcohol thievery doesn't exactly sit well, but we'll hear more on that later. On the journey between the two ships, one of the men drops dead, showing just how dire circumstances are getting for our men. Not yet dire enough to allow for grooming habits to slip, though, as several men on Erebus are seen being reprimanded for not being groomed to code.


As the men return with the booze, the body, and Lady Silence, Hickey takes note of the new arrival and begins a quest for information. After Goodsir finishes up with Hickey's butt--tending to the wounds, of course!--Hickey attempts to compliment some information out of him about Lady Silence. Goodsir sees right through him, though, and quickly dismisses him. Hickey then turns to a new tactic, returning to his old flame, Gibson. Hickey starts by asking him if he's heard anything going on with the officers on the ship, and when Gibson claims to have heard nothing, Hickey insists that he listen closer. He then presents Gibson with a ring he stole from a dead guy and, before departing, says again that Gibson should start listening more. Part of me wants to hate Hickey for using Gibson, but also Gibson totally threw him under the bus in regards to their mutual actions, so I just don't know how to feel here.

Elsewhere, Crozier begins a questioning session with Lady Silence to learn more about the monster--Tuunbaq, she calls it. According to Blanky (I learned a new name!), this is close to another word he knows which refers to a spirit disguised as an animal. Interesting. Crozier asks if she is the reason Tuunbaq knew to throw Sir John down the same hole as her father, to which she replies that she did not, and that the creature is now bound to no one. When she says she's never tried to communicate with it before, Crozier begins to get more intense in his questioning, much to the disapproval of Goodsir. After realizing she is afraid of Tuunbaq as well, Crozier orders that neither ship offer her protection and demands to know how to kill it. Lady Silence then observes that he doesn't really want to know the answer and asks him why he wants to die. The session is then interrupted as the captain from Erebus pops in and inadvertently starts a fight. Crozier orders everyone to leave, and commands Blanky to observe the ice and report back. Then things get interesting.

As Blanky ascends the stairs and walks on deck. Tuunbaq makes some bold moves and begins attacking the men on the ship. The men fire towards every sound they hear as Tuunbaq continues to throw and kill the men. Blanky ends up as a target for Tuunbaq and a thrilling chase ensues. In efforts to escape, Blanky climbs up the mast as Tuubaq follows, slicing Blanky's leg open at one point. When they reach the top, we get our first real look at Tuunbaq, which looks like a really big polar bear, but with a head that definitely isn't a polar bear. Blanky throws a sort of fire bomb at Tuubaq, lighting some of its fur on fire and giving the men below a target to fire at. After the attack, Lady Silence flees the ship, making full eye contact with Crozier before hopping over the edge. With Blanky below deck, it's clear that they are going to have to remove his leg, after which Crozier admits to his drinking problem and momentarily resigns from his post until he has gotten over his addiction. Our episode ends with Goodsir, who has been trying to get to the bottom of an illness/disease/something that is causing several of the men's gums to turn black. He opens a can of food, and decides the best course of action is to use Sir John's monkey as a guinea pig and begins feeding the monkey the probably tainted food.

Verdict
I want to be able to say something bad about this show because praising it is getting tiresome, but I just really don't know if I can. If I'm nitpicking, I suppose I could lodge a slight complaint about Tuunbaq. I was really enjoying the Jaws approach the show had where we would see either bits and pieces or nothing at all of Tuunbaq. Now that we've actually seen it, a bit of the mystery is gone, and the Tuunbaq is also slightly less scary now that we have a clear image of it. Of course, it's still a brutal killing machine that will rip you in half with the swipe of a claw so it's still plenty terrifying, but now we can't imagine a 6-legged furry, giant bear with a couple heads and maybe some wings or something. But, again, that's a very minor gripe and doesn't even slightly diminish my interest in this show. Hopefully tonight's episode will grant us some more insight into just what exactly Tuunbaq is and how it works. But, honestly, they could all just talk for an hour and I'd probably still be interested.

What did you think of Tuunbaq? Do you think Hickey's gift to Gibson had any sentimentality to it, or is it solely to manipulate and get information? Are they really about to kill off a monkey? Sound off in the comments below!

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