“The Myth of the House: The Return” explains a lot, and does so well, while also leaving plenty of scope for a follow-up to this successful series.
This recap of Paranormal season 1, episode 6, “The Myth of the House: The Return”, contains spoilers. You can check out our thoughts on the previous episode by clicking these words.
The Paranormal finale, “The Myth of the House: The Return”, opens with a flashback to the first time that Ibrahim ever saw the Al Khadrawy house. His mother had secured a cleaning job there in 1910. Mr. Al Khadrawy shows them around himself, including warning them explicitly never to use the chimney. The house manager is Hamdeya, and she knows all of the rules. No noise or unnecessary chattering is permitted, which lends an eerie quiet to the scenes of strained domesticity.
Paranormal has cycled through a lot of classical horror setups across the first season, and here it largely becomes a haunted house story, though admittedly prior to the actual haunting. Ibrahim discovers Shiraz imprisoned underneath the house, and we learn that she was the b*****d grandchild of Al Khadrawy. He and Shiraz form a relationship; he sneaks her food and toys and keeps her company. Eventually, he sets the house on fire in the mistaken belief that someone will have to come and let Shiraz out, but she isn’t able to be rescued in time. Ibrahim is dragged away, forced to leave his friend as the house burns down around them. Shiraz is left behind. She screams and cries — this scene rather got to me, in all honesty — and eventually, she burns and dies.
Ibrahim eventually saved up as much money as he could to buy the house in the hopes of Shiraz forgiving him, but she never showed herself to him. Refaat is reading this confession — I suppose it’s a suicide note. With this new context, he now has a new objective; to save Shiraz, not save himself from her. His first act is to take an ax to the chimney, but he gets nowhere.
Raeefa, meanwhile, is grieving Talaat, being comforted by Huwaida. Perhaps it’s Taha who’s most in need of comforting, though, since Shiraz continues to menace him. The rest of the family are perplexed by his behavior, but obviously concerned. Speaking of which, Louis is also concerned, but for Refaat. He mails him a note and the third Tarot card, which Maggie receives. Huwaida also calls her to enlist her help in finding Refaat, who is still trying to get to grips with the Al Khadrawy house.
At Raeefa’s house, Taha gives the game away by manically drawing the Al Khadrawy house. When Huwaida confirms that she, too, has seen Shiraz, Raeefa determines that Shiraz is after all the children who used to play with her. She figures out that Refaat must have gone there, and demands that they all set out to save him.
At the house in Paranormal season 1, episode 6, Refaat realizes that the only thing still in the same position is the fountain; he beheads it, and blood sprays from the stump. He keeps going, exposing a route underground, to the grate through which Ibrahim used to pass Shiraz berries and such. He ventures down, deeper, into Shiraz’s old cell, where he finds her charred skeleton. As the foundations begin to tremble he carries Shiraz’s remains upstairs,
The rest of the family arrives at the house, which only makes matters worse. Medhat is suspended above a bed of spikes and eventually falls to his death; Elham is cornered by snakes and fatally bitten; Raeefa falls from an upstairs balcony. Witnessing all this death, Refaat climbs a chair and places his head in a convenient noose, but as he’s about to step off he’s stopped by Maggie. None of his relatives have died — he was just hallucinating. He explains he has found Shiraz’s body, but her soul hasn’t yet been laid to rest. Maggie asks why this is still happening, and Refaat realizes that Shiraz has been trying to help him this whole time. Her spirit possesses Maggie, and she explains through her how she has been helping him all throughout the season. She tells him that the maze is his mind, and within it is something precious — he mustn’t forget it. He asks if not her then who is behind all this horror, and she responds with just one word: “Lucifer”.
The price she has to pay for telling him that is to leave forever. Her spirit leaves Maggie and, one assumes, the world entirely; Shiraz sacrificed her spirit to warn Refaat of what was really going on. As Refaat and Maggie leave the Al Khadrawy house, the family arrives for real, and they all stand outside and gawp at the decrepit, charred building in which so much horror has taken place. Refaat lays Shiraz to rest on the grounds.
Maggie leaves for Scotland, and Refaat wishes her a comfortable flight — once again not saying what he really feels. She says she’s done trying to read his mind; if he doesn’t say it, it doesn’t count. In his voiceover, he reiterates his love for Maggie. He also speaks with Huwaida, who is very understanding of her fiance not having been in love with her. The ring never fit her, either. She gives it back to him, evidently changed by the experience, but not for the worse. Refaat is left alone, left to ponder what Lucifer might have wanted with his mind. Perhaps he is just the unluckiest man in the world after all. As Raeefa and the family arrive to see him, we see his drink get knocked over by some kind of ghostly influence.
Taha doesn’t see Shiraz anymore. Refaat continues to smoke, despite his worsening cough. In the mail, he receives the final note and the Tarot card from Louis, a picture of the devil, and an explanation that perhaps they’re done with mazes and should play a different game. Louis is Lucifer. “The Myth of the House: The Return”, and thus the first season of Paranormal, ends with Refaat declaring that there is such a thing as the paranormal after all. It’s about time.
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