“We didn’t step into Rook Thomas’s world, I assure you. She stepped into ours.”
It’d be an understatement to say that opening a door only to find the reason for your amnesia standing in front of you would be quite the surprise. Memory or not, Myfanwy has been admirable these past few weeks navigating the Checquy world and keeping said memory issues under wraps. Welcoming Nazim (Michael Karim, Jekyll & Hyde, Ride Upon the Storm) into her home and reassuring him of her willingness to help despite the EVA wiping her mind reinforces my thoughts on her as a character, though it does create more questions on just who she was before being tabula rasa’d.
Though Myfanwy’s a big part of “Chapter 5”, it’s more as a support role than actively diving into her past. The fact that she trusts Monica with the Nazim thing, instead of Farrier, Conrad, or even Gestalt, says everything about Myfanwy’s current opinions on her co-workers. Unfortunately for her, she’s not quite as slick as she’d like to think and the clandestine meeting she sets up between herself, Nazim, Monica, and the mystery woman that was Nazim’s contact is blown up when Gestalt arrives with Linda Farrier as their extremely powerful and graceful backup.
Whereas Myfanwy’s journey was more about Nazim than her past, a heavy portion of “Chapter 5” centered on Conrad and Farrier. For so long, I’ve been wondering what abilities Farrier brought to the table. Her commanding entrance during the park meet with Nazim was a gorgeously shot scene as her paralyzing shockwave of sound neutralized anyone that happened to be in its radius. This comes after a distinct “L” for the Checquy ‘King’ when Home Secretary Birch—understandably upset with the team losing track of Nazim but also emotionally compromised after her and Conrad’s heated exchange/her ending their affair—indefinitely sidelines Farrier.
One thing this episode changes regarding Farrier is Bronwyn (Tamsin Topolski, Into the Badlands, Penny Dreadful), the woman she’d kept under lock and key until the need to locate Nazim became so vital, identifies herself as Myfanwy’s sister. Whether that’s the truth or part of some long con remains to be seen but, assuming it is true, maybe Farrier isn’t the conniving backstabber last week made her out to be. If she was willing to trade Myfanwy out to her sister—presumably to escape this current life—it’s possible she has Myfanwy’s best interests at heart after all. Then again, like everything else on this show, it could be something completely different.
Despite being put out by Birch’s dismissal of their long-standing relationship, Conrad is not letting a bit of heartbreak deter him from his job. After hacking into the phone he stole from Myfanwy, Conrad dials the only number saved on it, reaching Lorik Pernaska (Michael McElhatton_Game of Thrones, Titanic: Blood and Steel), head of the Lugat. Later, he speaks with Lorik face-to-face during a cocktail hour where the Lugat chief supplies extremely valuable information on Myfanwy. She was the one who contacted him, wanting passage out of the country. Conrad is visibly confounded by that information though we don’t get to see his deeper dive into discovering the truth. That will no doubt be explored when he interrogates Myfanwy come next week.
From day one, The Rook’s strength has been behind the well-written and captivating narrative that creates two questions for every one question it answers. Nazim’s purpose for wiping Myfanwy’s mind—Bronwyn told him she’d be happier for it—is replaced by what Bronwyn wanted to erase and is she really Myfanwy’s sister. That’s not to mention why Myfanwy wanted to get away: does she know some deep, dark secret the Checquy is hiding or could she have possibly done something she needs to run from. The question of how she knew her mind would be wiped is even more curious, though if Bronwyn is her sister and they worked it all out, that’d be understandable. And yet, some of those warnings in the letters to herself doesn’t quite sound like someone planning to have every last bit of memory erased. While it’s fun throwing around these postulations, the real fun will begin when we actually get answers and not more questions. Then again, what would be the fun in knowing absolutely everything?
Up/Down the Exchange
- For the time being, it seems that Monica was right in her convictions that Marcus was not a Vulture. Maybe he was there to facilitate the exchange of Nazim for Myfanwy…but how did Nazim get nabbed? Based on Bronwyn’s frosty attitude towards her, either Marcus didn’t tell her Monica was one of the good guys or Monica’s work with the Checquy has the woman doubting Monica’s sincerity. Either way you shake it, my best guess is that no one person has the full story.
- Though Bronwyn may not trust Monica, it sure seems that Myfanwy does. Though their partnership is initially one of happenstance, the coming obstacles and questions posed by the Checquy may have them, by luck of the draw being one another’s confidants. It’s plainly obvious, now that Gestalt has sussed out Myfanwy was using her womanly wiles on them as a distraction, they will most likely be pushing any former connection with Myfanwy to the side.
- This isn’t a furthering of the show’s discussion, rather the imagined real-world application but could a power like Nazim’s be a boon for society? In the flashback to Paris three weeks prior to the events of “Chapter 5”, he uses it on a teenage girl to erase the traumatic memories of her rape. Like most things, such an ability could be abused, even by those whose hearts were in the right place, but some instances (like that of the teenage girl) may be best left in the past. If Myfanwy helped orchestrate her own memory wipe, could she be looking to push the memories and guilt that still follow her from the Glengrove incident from her mind? Or is it something even deeper than that? Regardless of Myfanwy’s circumstance, the question remains; if possible, which traumas would be acceptable to exorcise from our minds and which ones would we be the better for enduring?