Things get serious in “Grima”, with a rising bodycount and all kinds of imposters roaming.cxxxxx
This recap of Katla season 1, episode 6, “Grima”, contains spoilers. You can check out our spoiler-free season review by clicking these words.
As if Katla already made the point that Mikael is a wrong-‘un, “Grima” opens with him tormenting a sheep tangled up in barbed wire. It’s a weird place to start given the ending of the previous episode and the fact that the very next scene picks up that thread, with Grima driving ashy Grima back to Vik in the hopes she can “help her understand what’s going on.” That’s an understandable goal, but it’s hard to imagine how rocking up to a place already steeped in superstition with a doppelganger you found in a volcano is going to answer more questions than it raises.
Anyway, we quickly returns to Mikael and Rakel — the latter has thought better about her decision to abandon the young man, and quickly finds his trail when she happens upon the sheep, now with its throat cut. A mercy kill? Possibly, but the idea that he drank its blood and made a scarf out of it isn’t exactly farfetched either. He ends up being found and picked up by a random couple who immediately call Darri, just as Rakel arrives and confesses to abandoning him. It’s understandable, really, so Darri takes it quite well. They’re to pick him up by the riverbank. Call me crazy, but I think I sense something ominous on the horizon here.
Compounding the weirdness in Katla episode 6, Gisli arrives home and finds a very healthy version of his wife Magnea swanning around in the kitchen. The ill version is in bed, borderline hiding, understandably confused. I’m prompted to consider how this whole changeling business works at this point. Asa died on the glacier, presumably, so the idea of the volcano giving her a rebirth is understandable. The same can be said for Mikael, who was killed in a car accident. But Gunhild evidently survived into adulthood, and now with Grima and Magnea, there are doppelgangers turning up without even the pretense of death as an excuse for their arrival. Gisli is so happy with this situation that he can’t see the forest for the trees; he doesn’t even really interrogate the essential weirdness of the idea. It’s not like the changeling has replaced the other — they’re both in the house!
As it turns out, though, Gisli isn’t ignoring the obvious — the obvious has sent him a bit crackers. When the younger model finds a note from the older one calling her a devil, younger Magnea confronts Gisli about this, confused. He tries to explain that they’re both the same person, that the sickly woman in bed is her in the few years, but she doesn’t understand. He tries to explain that she’s a divine gift from the lord, and that doesn’t take either. Eventually, when she tries to leave, he puts her in a sleeper hold and locks her in the basement, which is quite an escalation.
Things take a turn with Mikael in Katla season 1, episode 6 as well. He tells the kindly couple who picked him up that Darri was abusing him, so they refuse to give him back and instead decide to take him to the Child Protection Services in Reykjavik. All the while, the kid is playing with that box cutter. Remember, he vowed to Rakel that he’d kill anyone who tried to take him away or lock him up, and that’s what he interprets this act as, despite bringing it on himself. He tries to escape from the moving car and opens the woman’s throat with the box cutter, causing a crash that seemingly kills the husband as well. I told you this kid was bad news! Einar, Gisli, and Grima are all called to the scene of the accident, evidently leaving various changelings behind, not to mention Kjartan, who returns home to find a note explaining that the Grima waiting for him isn’t the real one. He gives her a hug all the same.