the rook chapter 3

“It’s hard enough to justify Checquy funds when no one has any idea you people exist.”

As Myfanwy searches for clues to her past, Monica Reed goes undercover in the sordid world of EVA trading, and the political dance in the Checquy ramps up as Conrad and Farrier’s fealty to one another is tested.

Despite being followed, Myfanwy keeps it together long enough for the Gestalt cavalry to arrive.

Though it’s only been a couple of days since she woke up surrounded by dead bodies, Myfanwy is starting to gain a semblance of competence as it relates to figuring out the truth about herself. Through the first two episodes, much of Myfanwy’s time has been spent reacting to everything around her. It’s understandable, considering that amnesia problem. In this week’s “Chapter 3,” she takes a bit more of the initiative, searching for any clue she can find on herself, though much of that is a fruitless effort in a non-existent online footprint and a redacted personnel file.

In between her proactive digging and single clue on the Glengrove Home (more on that later), Myfanwy finds herself still firmly planted in the crosshairs of Lugat Vultures, whose purpose is to capture Myfanwy and sell her through an EVA auction. This latter piece of news is bad enough but when she speaks to Peter Van Syoc, the EVA whose abilities to willfully suspend all life helped him survive her “neuro-pulse” at the bridge, he openly shares with her the fact that the Checquy had no qualms allowing Myfanwy to be taken and sold like chattel. Though he very well could be lying, his accusation does fall in line with the note Myfanwy wrote to herself about not trusting anyone.

On the subject of trust, the Checquy’s ‘King’ and ‘Queen’ are having issues of their own. When Home Secretary Birch castigates Farrier on keeping the truth about Myfanwy from her, Farrier knows Conrad was the one who shared that secret. She responds by outing Conrad’s inter-cabinet affair with Birch—though it’s never clear whether or not the Home Secretary’s name was mentioned; if so, that could cause even bigger problems within an organization where gossip occurs like your typical high school. Even with that, it seems as if Conrad and Farrier patch things up at the end, using Conrad’s interrogation tape of Van Syoc as the cover-up story for the deaths at the bridge. Still, there is such an air of mystery and subterfuge surrounding these two that it’s going to take some time to truly figure out their endgame and where their true loyalties lie.

Taking a backseat to the drama with the Checquy, Monica Reed takes on Marcus Kevler’s place as the middle man for the EVA auction. There she meets Gordon, the man who purchases an EVA which has the abilities to create amnesia in his/her targets. Considering Marcus’s presence at the bridge and Myfanwy’s bout of amnesia, it makes sense that he used this EVA’s abilities to wipe the rook’s mind. Like Farrier and Conrad, Monica’s motivations are on the murky side. Prior to finding out about Kevler trafficking EVA’s, she wanted to find the person that killed him but, now that she realizes the apparent truth of his dealings, that surely has changed, right? There’s the slightest chance his actions were for the greater good; trying to pinpoint the biggest fish in the EVA trade business but, based on Monica’s reaction after discovering the auction information on his drive, it doesn’t seem likely. Still, it’s another example of The Rook creating more questions than answers and, with so few episodes in the bag, there’s plenty of time to see how the story plays out.

Three weeks in and every episode of The Rook was just a smidge better than the one before it. “Chapter 3” gave us a Myfanwy Thomas who’s getting over the trauma of waking up with no memory and taking a proactive approach in finding answers about herself. The two places mentioned by Van Syoc—Glengrove and Bristol—suggest that Myfanwy’s upbringing after the first manifestation of her abilities was a most unpleasant one, an experience she apparently shared with the Gestalt. The final scene of her standing at the nature preserve, one dedicated by the Glengrove House Memorial Trust (and the pieces of fulgurite) suggests, surprise, another cover-up.

The best part of this show thus far has been the layers of the story continually unfolding before us and hinting that the rabbit hole is so much deeper than it first appears. “Chapter 3” is just another piece of the vast puzzle Myfanwy Thomas is desperately trying to put together, all the while dodging those whose motivations towards her are overtly malevolent and the others who may be hiding in the shadows or, worse yet, those that would call her ‘friend’.

Up/Down the Exchange

  • While Myfanwy is having a lot of trouble finding someone to trust, it seems as if she’s starting to allow herself trust in the Gestalt. Part of this may be a subconscious attraction she has to them, which includes the secret rendezvous between her and Robert (?) prior to her memory wipe. But “Chapter 3” may have solidified this when the Gestalt steps into to thwart Van Syoc and his Vultures attempt to capture her. As intriguing as the mystery surrounding Myfanwy is, the best moments in “Chapter 3” included the Gestalt. From watching their synchronicity in preparing for the day or their brutal takedown of the Vultures on Myfanwy’s tail, the choreography of these scenes, even something as small as the way the eat breakfast, was fascinating. The kiss Myfanwy shares with Eliza (and, by default, the others) was the perfect reminder that these four individuals share a single consciousness. It does beg the question of the Gestalt’s autonomy from one another. If one is intimate while the other is fighting for his or her life, with those sensations transfer to the others or is that dependent on the other’s focus? Yet another question from the series which we’ll have to await the answer to.
  • A mistake even good shows tend to make is force-feeding the audience facts about the world we’re watching before us. The Rook does no such thing, balancing the necessary divulging of information while at the same time, doing it in a way that’s not over-the-top but also counting on viewers to figure things out on their own. This type of intelligent writing, though it can sometimes be tricky to follow, helps immerse the viewer (at least it does me) in this shadowy world of espionage and EVAs.
  • One of the small issues I had with “Chapter 3” was Myfanwy’s ability to find old footage of the Gestalt online while searching results on both herself and the Checquy. Considering the purported competence of this organization, would they really allow such a video to remain online? Or is it a case of, if they remove it, they’d legitimize the conspiracy theories surrounding the organization even more?