Chapelwaite season 1, episode 3 recap – “Legacy of Madness”

September 6, 2021
Jonathon Wilson 0
Epix, Weekly TV
3.5

Summary

“Legacy of Madness” lays out some of the Boone family history, and suggests that Charles might have inherited his fair share of their dangerous instability.

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3.5

Summary

“Legacy of Madness” lays out some of the Boone family history, and suggests that Charles might have inherited his fair share of their dangerous instability.

This recap of Chapelwaite season 1, episode 3, “Legacy of Madness”, contains spoilers.


When Charles Boone dug up the grave of his cousin, Stephen, he found it empty, but there’s enough bad history buried with the family to fill up the ancestral home’s entire cemetery and then some; the presence of an actual body at this point scarcely matters. Nevertheless, though, this discovery – which made for the cliff-hanger ending of the previous episode – is only the beginning of several extremely miserable developments in “Legacy of Madness”, a fitting title that unites worms, rats, a property dispute, a missing body, questionable mental health practices, and several murders under the catch-all umbrella of a Boone family malady. The question driving the series quickly becomes whether Charles himself will succumb to it.

Chapelwaite season 1, episode 3 recap

Charles, it seems, knows less about his own family than anyone. It takes him finally and forcefully confronting the former housekeeper Mrs. Cloris to even find out what happened to Stephen, his father Philip, and his daughter Marcella. The girl was found at the foot of the cellar steps with a pair of scissors in her throat; Stephen dangled by his neck close by. Philip, whom Mrs. Clovis assumed had buried his son and granddaughter in the family plot after a brief visitation period so the people of Preacher’s Corners could make doubly sure they were dead, eventually “gave himself to the sea”, walking out to the lapping waves, presumably to his death. His body was never recovered, and with Stephen’s missing too, the Boones obviously have a facility for not remaining dead long.

Did Marcella fall on a pair of scissors, or did someone lodge them in her neck? Did Stephen hang himself or was he hanged by another? Were both dead for a while and then reanimated, or never dead in the first place? Compelling questions, all, and the answers to them might be found at Frigate Island Hospital, an asylum on a gloomy island where a doctor by the name of Frost had prescribed Stephen with a bottle of toxic mercury. When Charles visits in Chapelwaite episode 3, he’s provided with a brief history of the family madness as well as a possible glimpse of his immediate future.

In simple terms, Stephen, Philip, and his mother Silence were apparently afflicted with the same mania and phobia, that of worms, which is an eerie discovery for Charles since he has been having visions of worms since his father tried to bury him alive in childhood. What seemed like a personal response to trauma turns out to have been a perhaps hereditary curse, something that drove his whole family mad. Is he next? The cure for the ailment is, supposedly, hidden in The Mysteries of the Worm, a tome that may or may not even exist. But it seems like the only option given everything that has happened thus far, especially once Charles returns home and his son, Tane, tells him of how a strange woman a) told him to tell his father to find the book and b) threw an apple at Tane that he promptly saw worms crawling out of.

But it surely isn’t the Vermiphobia that is running amok through Preacher’s Corners, having already killed Susan and now threatening the life of Mary, wife of the town’s constable, George. That doesn’t seem like quite the same thing, though the Boones are getting the blame for it all the same. The children are expelled from school. Chapelwaite is vandalized by men in hoods and Charles himself is attacked on the doorstep. Samuel Gallup implores his son-in-law, Martin Burroughs, to announce to the entire town that Susan died from the Boones’ disease. Things are not looking good for Charles, or indeed anyone else, and he’s painfully lacking in friends. Rebecca is on-side, and beyond her Martin’s response to Samuel seems to suggest he might be a potential ally going forwards. That’s it, though, if you don’t include whoever keeps killing and bleeding the Boones’ enemies in the woods outside the manor. Judging by his mood in “Legacy of Madness”, it might be Charles himself catching bodies before long.

Of course, that’s assuming he doesn’t lose his mind or admit himself to Frigate Island Hospital first, which is Doctor Frost’s recommendation, since his visions will only get worse, and his sanity more tenuous. We see that here. After being told that there are definitely no rats in Chapelwaite, the fact he can still hear them sends Charles into a frenzy, during which he takes an axe to the walls and almost Loa’s head.

There’s nothing for it but to try and medicate himself, which is what Charles reasons, plunging into an ice bath, which is one of the forms of borderline torture that he saw being carried out on Frigate Island. As he shivers, he looks up at the cellar’s ceiling and sees in blood-red writing the words “Blood Calls Blood” – the very words his own father said to him right before trying to murder and bury him. Are his own children due a similar fate?

You can stream Chapelwaite season 1, episode 3 on Epix.

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