The Haunting of Bly Manor episode 5 recap – continuously trapped between moments

By Daniel Hart
Published: October 9, 2020 (Last updated: 3 days ago)
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The Haunting of Bly Manor Recap
The Haunting of Bly Manor Promotional Image Courtesy of Netflix


It’s easy to assume that The Haunting of Bly Manor episode 5 is confusing and repetitive, but if you read between the lines, there’s a lot to learn from this chapter that can give you slithers of what the rest of the series is going to entail.

This recap of Netflix’s The Haunting of Bly Manor episode 5, “The Altar of the Dead” contains significant spoilers.

We recapped the whole series — check out the archive.

The opening

As you can tell by now, The Haunting of Bly Manor is extremely character-centric and once it has bedded in, it’s dedicated chapters to subplots — episode 5, “Altar of the Dead”, puts Hannah in the spotlight. It feels like a trippy experience, but once you get a grip on it, viewers can understand what’s happening.

It opens up with the narrator talking about Hannah — she’s drinking and swigging with Owen who is talking about his mother. He talks about how any of them can die at any moment. Hannah tells him that he’s young. Owen says it’s a bit of relief now that his mother is gone and he feels terrible for feeling it. He talks about returning to Paris and says she could as well — “Hannah Grose in Paris”. Jamie then interrupts their conversation.

Interviewing Owen

Episode 5 then shows the first time Owen meets Hannah for an interview at the house; Hannah is incredibly nervous when she sees him. Owen only wants the job because it’s close to home. Hannah insists they need a cook to stay on for a while. Owen talks about his mother who needs care and states that’s why he’s here but he needs to make a living. During the interview, Hannah hears someone call for her — the Wingraves then arrive, including the children. Later, when she heads back inside the house she is spooked. She heads outside and starts wailing. Charlotte offers her a ride back to the town and then offers her a drink.

From the campfire to the hoover to catching Peter stealing

From here, the flipping between moments gets more and more aggressive — viewers have to pay attention.

Miles plays with Jamie’s ladders and she fumes at him. He tells her she is pretty when she blushes. Hannah’s head suddenly hurts and she is back talking to Owen again next to the campfire. Then, in the next scene, she’s holding the hoover. She overhears Rebecca arguing with Peter — she’s angry that Peter got jealous over Owen. Hannah spies on them as they make up. She sees the crack in the wall again. When she touches the crack she’s in a different moment in her life and she catches Peter stealing. The pair clearly do not see eye to eye. Hannah tells Peter he’ll leave this house way before she does. She sees the crack in the wall again.

Miles is smoking

The Haunting of Bly Manor episode 5 also gives an indication that something is not quite right with Miles either…

She heads outside the house and she sees Rebecca next to the lake but then suddenly, she’s back to the interview with Owen. She asks Owen if they’ve done this before — Owen says yes but they need to do it again. They talk about the children and it’s a stranger conversation as Owen starts shouting. Hannah is then with Miles and she catches Miles smoking a cigarette. She tells him not to smoke and that she knows that he misses Peter.

But at this point, you have to question if Miles really does miss Peter or if it is something else.

Church chats for Hannah

We all know Hannah has a serious problem with Peter and his treatment of Rebecca and the following scene in episode 5 highlights Hannah’s concerns with the whole dynamic.

Hannah heads into the church and Charlotte asks if she’d like to live in the house. They talk about Sam and Hannah insists he will be back so she isn’t sure about moving in. Suddenly, Rebecca is sat next to Hannah and she’s talking about her father. Rebecca then talks about how Peter Quint believes in her. Hannah tells her that she doesn’t need to lose herself to find happiness and that Peter scares her. Rebecca claims her relationship is exciting and fun and that she’s never felt so alive. When Hannah disagrees, Rebecca walks off.


When Hannah tries leaving the church, she’s blocked in and Miles is flicking the lighter and smoking. It then flicks to the kitchen and Owen is cooking. Peter asks for Rebecca’s time. Hannah tells Owen that Peter is a “Glue-trap” and that Rebecca will get stuck and be in denial. Hannah is then back to interviewing Owen. He starts talking about glue-traps and the interview turns sinister again.

Rebecca’s favorite moment

Episode 5 does not truly give answers but the way the scenes are moving suggests Hannah is having an experience that could be pivotal to the Netflix series.

When Hannah leaves the room, she sees Rebecca and Peter in bed together. They don’t know she is there. Peter tells Rebecca he’s never had money, family, love, or safety before. He promises to do something big for both of them and he tells her they are not like the Wingrave family and that Henry will not give her the pupilage. Peter tells Rebecca she can be whatever lawyer she wants. He wants her to pack her bags and be ready to go to America the next day. When Peter leaves the room, Rebecca tells Hannah that this is one of the favorite memories and wonders what she is doing here. She tells Hannah not to leave because “this is when it happens”.

This scene confirms that Hannah is experiencing something similar to Rebecca — when she says, “This is when it happens,” it sounds more like an experience they both associate with.

Dragging Peter’s body

The experiences are getting more and more confusing but there is a sense in later episodes, all this will be explained — there is definitely a cause and effect that’s not just caused by Hannah but it involves a few characters — it seems to be some kind of cycle.

Hannah leaves the room and Peter asks Miles what he’s doing up; he tells Miles to go back to bed. Peter then goes to the other side of the house that is abandoned and Hannah watches him steal stuff. He then reminds the children to go back to bed but then he’s grabbed by a female figure by the neck. Peter then walks back and tells the children to go back to bed again. Flora gives him a doll and says it’s the lady from the lake. Peter suddenly drops the doll and he suddenly isn’t himself. Flora says she’s coming back and then they see the female figure drag Peter down the stairs. Peter tells the figure to let him go. Suddenly, Miles is mimicking Peter and they are moving in synch.

I’m having a dreams

The female figure drags Peter’s body into the lake. When Hannah turns around Rebecca is behind her. Hannah then returns to the interview with Owen — Owen is frustrated that they are repeating the interview over and over again. Hannah tells him of dreams of Peter and Rebecca — Owen tells her that’s two years away and reminds her what has happened — he tells her something is wrong with Miles.

Pushed down the well

When we reach this scene, the theme of being trapped is obvious — Peter is definitely trapped.

Hannah follows Miles and sees him with Peter next to the well. Miles talks like Peter and talks about this “God-awful trap” and that he cannot get off this property because he’s dead. Miles then pushes Hannah down the well and she’s killed. On the well wall is a crack. But then Hannah is looking down at herself. And then Dani arrives at the Manor and Hannah has to introduce herself. Peter is watching from a distance.

This scene is abundantly obvious — Hannah has been dead all of this time.

The ending

Hannah is back next to the campfire with Owen. He’s talking about Paris again and having Hannah there. Hannah agrees to go to Paris with him but then Jamie takes him away to take him home. Hannah keeps reminding herself what her name is, that it’s 1987 and that she’s at Bly Manor.

It’s easy to assume that The Haunting of Bly Manor episode 5 is confusing and repetitive, but if you read between the lines, there’s a lot to learn from this chapter that can give you slithers of what the rest of the series is going to entail.

Netflix, TV Recaps
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