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The Terror - A Mercy/Horrible from Supper/Terror Camp Clear/The C, the C, the Open C - Quadruple Review

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Last time, I made a joke about taking time off, and it accidentally turned out to not be a joke. What I've gathered from this is that I need to be very careful about the jokes I make here, because apparently they come true. Let me just do a quick test on that to be sure, though: looks like I'll be happening upon a large sum of money and will get an amazing opportunity! Granted, the time off inadvertently was due, in part, to a very unfortunate incident involving a very sad laptop subjected to a very rainy New York day, but I'm willing to take the chance again for this money. I'll update you on that one in a couple weeks. Ok, now that we got that out of the way, let's hop into our last four episodes leading to tonight's finale and take a look at how quickly Hickey turned into the person I hate the most!

A Mercy

We hop in two weeks after Crozier decides he needs to take some time off and deal with his drinking problem (good for him!) and have the pleasure of attending an important meeting regarding the remaining food stores. "Remaining", by the way, is code here for "dwindling", meaning declining in quantity. Fitzjames (I learned another name) decides to only slightly cut rations for the time being to not start a panic, and to put an emphasis on serving as much of their salted meat as possible so they can save as many tins as possible; he is now planning for their abandonment of the ships is the very near future. After we see Crozier continuing to recover, Goodsir continuing to definitely poison the poor monkey, and Hickey continuing to be manipulative and, at times, creepy (he touched a dead guy's brain!), we receive an announcement that Fitzjames is preparing a carnival, obviously to keep the men's spirits up. Going into the celebration, however, there is already cause for concern as Goodsir's fears are confirmed when he discovers our poor monkey friend has died from consuming the canned food. Poor thing. The festivities are really all downhill from there as Lady Silence arrives (now tongue-less after a ritual she performed involving Tuunbaq), Hickey discovers a man setting some tents on fire, and then said man proceeds to trap everyone but Hickey inside the carnival where he lights himself on fire, sparking a blaze throughout the carnival. Fortunately, Hickey was able to tear a hole in the side of the tent to allow the men to escape. The knife also happened to go right into the last experienced doctor's head, though, so that could have gone a little better. It's all up to Goodsir now. As the sun rises for the first time in months, the men sift through the rubble and prepare for their expedition to search for help before the sun quickly sets again.

Horrible from Supper
You guys, I still don't know if I'm ready to talk about this episode. Wow. We start off with a very young Hickey checking for his first ship voyage before having to return in a month. He looks pretty different from the Hickey we know, so clearly a fun back story about his various voyages will be explored, right? Oh no. No no no no no. Big ol' nope! We'll come back to that, I'm not ready. Let's talk about the expedition. That's actually not so great either. Some of them start whisperings of splitting off from the group, Hickey notices Goodsir acting funny about the food, the group that was sent out months ago is found super dead, one of the men purposely gets himself killed, Hickey kills a dog (rude), Jopson gets promoted (hey, a good thing!), Hickey uses the dead dog meat to convince others to join his mutiny group, Irving tires to bargain with some Inuit men, Hickey totally murders a man while Irving is gone, Irving discovers the scene while the murder is still fresh, and Hickey stabs Irving to death. Half of the negative things on this expedition are very clearly Hickey's fault. Especially all that murder. But getting back to that flashback, Hickey returns, ready to sail, only Hickey now looks like the Hickey we've come to know so far. What?! Yeah, fake Hickey definitely murdered O.G. Hickey (probably, given what we've seen here) and took his spot and has been an imposter this entire time! What a terrible person!

Terror Camp Clear
After opening with Crozier and Ftizjames bonding for the first time ever, this episode takes us on a journey that sees the men trying to piece together how Irving and the other man killed. "Killed by Hickey" doesn't seem to be on anybody's radar since he's told everyone that the nice Inuit people who only wanted to help are really the ones who killed the men. This blatant lie resulted in the deaths of the nice Inuit group in retaliation. Crozier, being a sane man, is a bit skeptical of this and launches an investigation of sorts, sure that Hickey is behind the whole thing. While the group is away, the men at camp get a little out of hand and guns start being passed out willy nilly out of fear of the unknown. Crozier returns with his investigation group to discover guns have been passed out and makes the wise call to send Lady Silence back to her people, knowing she'd be dead the moment she stepped into camp if she stayed, and Goodsir has a heartbreaking goodbye with her before she is on her way. As one last investigative measure, they examine the contents of Irving's stomach and discover seal meat, proving that the Inuit group fed him and were therefore unlikely to kill him, making Hickey a liar. Crozier sentences Hickey to be hanged and nobly (yet foolishly) allows Hickey to give his last words, which really is just Hickey exposing secrets in order to turn the men against Crozier. He is interrupted, however, when our good ol' Tuunbaq barges in and starts a murder fest. He kills so many people, including a man who I momentarily believed was Goodsir which almost caused me to scream. Crisis averted, though. He's still alive for the moment. At the end, we are left with two large groups: Crozier's loyal group, and Hickey's traitor group.

The C, the C, the Open C
This episode opens with our old friend Lady Jane asking a group of wealthy people at a Charles Dickens speech to fund a search and rescue expedition for her husband (super dead) and the rest of his men (mostly dead, or wish they were). Meanwhile, the men still on team Crozier sift through the remains of their camp to deal with the dead bodies and take stock of what they have left. Before leaving the camp, Crozier decides that a neat pile of supplies should be left at the site in case Hickey and his men come back so they know Crozier will still forgive them and offer them a place in his group should they see the error of their ways. Spoiler alert: they do not. The rest of this episode gives us a number deaths, some of which are pretty difficult to swallow. Losing Ftizjames hurts a little bit, only because he and Crozier were finally seeing eye to eye and could really have done some solid things together. Gibson was a bit of a shock, only in the way it went down: Hickey literally stabbing him in the back because he was weak so that the men could use Gibson’s body for food. Rude! Jopson may not be long for this world either as he seems to have given up after this most recent round of losses. Perhaps the most difficult of the episode was Blanky. He’s always been a hoot, and even survived a one-on-one fight with Tuunbaq, but in the end disease got to him. Luckily, we got to see him discover and chart the men’s sought-after Northwest Passage. He then wraps himself in rope and forks and waits for Tuunbaq to come for him, determined not to go down without causing the spirit some struggle. RIP. While Hickey slowly convinces his people to turn to cannibalism (Goodsir is still holding out!), Crozier’s men carry on their journey, and Lady Silence meets with a man who says Tuunbaq is still part of her, but that a new shaman is on the way. Whaaaattttt?! At the end of our hour, Crozier is tricked and captured by Hickey’s men and is taken away after leaving Little in charge the group he is now being taken from. Back home, meanwhile, Sophia does what Lady Jane spoke of not too long ago and stands barefoot in the snow to get a small taste of what the men might be going through.

I can’t believe we’re already at the season finale! Time flies when you fall behind four episodes and have to write all four reviews at once! I think my favorite part about this bath of episodes has to be Hickey’s transformation. Or, perhaps actualization? He’s always been a bit manipulative, and we learn that he was pretty brutal from the beginning, so technically he hasn’t really transformed, but realizing just how cunning and manipulative he can be has been a fascinating adventure for me. I think what might be scariest part, though, is that in the scheme of things his ideas aren’t all that crazy. He’s doing a lot of stuff necessary for survival, they just happen to be really awful things. Even killing Gibson wasn’t all that terrible given the circumstances. Killing Irving and the other man, however, wasn’t necessarily survival, it was a manufactured scare tactic designed to rile up the men in camp so he could hopefully recruit more men for his group. It was also fun to watch Crozier and Fitzjames’s relationship evolve through the episodes as well, making us truly care when Fitzjames bit the dust. Heading into this finale, I’m most excited to see how the Lady Silence/Tuunbaq relationship will pan out, and I can’t wait to see what kind of treachery Hickey is planning by bringing Crozier to his camp. It’s shaping up to be a pretty packed finale, and I’m ready to gasp, scream and possibly cry. Bring it on, AMC!

What did you think of these episodes? How many of Hickey’s actions do you think can be justified as “survival of the fittest”? And how much are you going to miss our beloved Blanky the Fork-upine? Sound off in the comments below!

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