“Operation School Bell” proves to be another solid episode with a couple of gruesome deaths, but some of the tonal inconsistencies undermine it.
This recap of Typewriter Season 1, Episode 2, “Operation School Bell”, contains spoilers. You can check out our thoughts on the previous episode by clicking these words.
There’s a bit of a language barrier in Typewriter Season 1, Episode 2, as Jenny struggles to communicate with her new maid, Maria. But it’s a temporary problem. After realizing that there are two Jennys knocking around in Bardez Villa, the pious maid attempts to flee. But the Jenny she runs into outside turns out to be the evil doppelganger, and she’s quite willing to telepathically squeeze Maria’s heart until she collapses to the ground, blood pouring from her eyes and mouth, and dies in full view of the church she holds so dear. There are openings, and then there’s the opening to “Operation School Bell”, the second effectively creepy intro in a row for Netflix’s Typewriter.
The Ghost Club is excited by a couple of things in Typewriter Episode 2. The first is that Doctor Spirit, a famous paranormal personality, is due to visit Bardez; the second is that Maria’s untimely demise might provide them with the opportunity they need to see a ghost. Thanks to some helpful and I’m sure not at all foreshadowing exposition, we learn a bit more about how ghosts work, how they can become all-powerful, and the nature of souls. The lore is here is a bit thin, but at least it’s easy to keep track of, which is probably for the best in this kind of show.
Ravi goes to visit Maria’s corpse at the morgue in “Operation School Bell”, where we learn thanks to a comically hard-of-hearing doctor that Maria’s heart was squeezed dry as if by hand. Ravi also learns from her widow that she was working at the villa; he, like everyone else in town, believes the villa is evil. Even skeptical Ravi seems to be quickly coming around to the idea.
Peter is ambushed at work by a good-looking old associate in Typewriter Episode 2, and we get a little backstory about why the family moved to Bardez in the first place. In brief: Peter, as an architect, was involved in a questionable business deal bankrolled by this woman’s husband; in the process he lost the initial investment and slept with the man’s wife, subsequently fleeing Mumbai and starting afresh in Bardez. Now it’s going to be in his best interests to recoup those losses before evidence of his transgressions and his infidelity are brought to light.
Ravi goes to see Jenny to ask her some questions about Maria (he recalls that the man who died in the bar was employed by the company that helped Jenny and her family move in.) He shares with her — although the implication is that he’s talking to the doppelganger — the information he learned about her nanny, Sara, from James, the elderly proprietor of the local bar. He mentions Moses, Sara’s estranged husband, and when we visit him in “Operation School Bell”, it’s revealed that he’s working with Amit Roy, in service of “the Fakeer”. He’s tired of losing everything in that service, but the only way he can leave it is his own death. He also mentions James; the old man’s death is looking very likely. His task now is to wait for the “blood moon night”, which I’m sure will be just as fun as it sounds.
As Ravi directs the focus of the police department on Bardez Villa, the Ghost Club — now including Nick — enact the titular Operation School Bell, which is to push the clock forward so that school gets out early and they can attend Maria’s funeral. It’s a fun, extended sequence, but serves to highlight some of the show’s tonal inconsistency. I enjoyed it, but I’m not sure how well it fits alongside the more overt horror elements.
After another slapstick interlude at Maria’s funeral, James catches up with Jenny there. He has been intimidated into silence by Amit Roy, but he disobeys the instruction to warn her that the Fakeer’s soul is trapped inside an object in her house and that it has to be destroyed with fire before the blood moon night. However, he’s talking to the doppelganger — Typewriter Episode 2 is very good at making you forget there are two Jennys — and gets his heart crushed for his honesty. To complicate matters, Sameera witnesses the murder. She flees into the memorial service, where she runs into the real Jenny, much to her horror.