Cleverly written, with that unique Addams Family wit, chapter two is a lot of fun. However, the show is clearly catering to the teenage masses and leans too heavily into Harry Potter territory for my liking.
We recap the Netflix series Wednesday season 1, episode 2, “Woe is the Loneliest Number,” which contains spoilers.
Nevermore Academy has more than just a passing resemblance to Hogwarts and the Harry Potter franchise, what with the school’s houses, fantasy creatures, and their magical abilities. In “Woe is the Loneliest Number”, the warring tribes get their chance to have a little fun, bringing to mind the many games in the Harry Potter movies. They prepare for a house competition known as the Poe Cup, named after the gothic horror writer himself. Wednesday (Jenna Ortega) tries to solve the baffling case of Rowan’s murder, and viewers get the opportunity to spend a little more time in the mystical school grounds.
Wednesday season 1, episode 2 recap
The second chapter commences with the police searching the forest for Rowan’s body after the horrific attack, but they can’t see any signs of an altercation at all, and no body. Wednesday feels as if she is going mad, having witnessed a murder that no one can prove actually happened. To make matters worse, Rowan then turns up, unharmed and smirking in the Principal’s office. Wednesday is first questioned by the police and then by her therapist. Nobody believes her crazy story, except for Tyler. He passes Wednesday as she leaves her therapy session, it looks like they share a therapist and a legal requirement to attend court-ordered sessions – how romantic.
Back at school, Enid is practically beaming that Wednesday has decided to stick around for a little longer. The girls are preparing for the Poe Cup, which is part canoe race and part foot chase. Apparently, there are no rules during the race itself and Bianca Barclay’s team wins every year. Enid asks Wednesday to join in and socialize, but the roommate wants answers about Rowan instead. All Enid knows is that he and Xavier were roommates and that he was an oddball in general. Wednesday is shocked to find out that Rowan has been expelled for unknown reasons and she has Thing follow the suspicious student to the station.
Principal Weems speaks with Wednesday about her emerging psychic visions. She was tipped off when Wednesday knew just how the farmer had died, from breaking their neck in a collision. Weems explains how Wednesday’s mother Morticia had similar visions at that age, but hers were unpredictable and dangerous. She pressures Wednesday into talking with her own mother about the issue but senses the instant futility in this suggestion. Instead, they discuss Wednesday joining a mandatory club. Another inventive montage follows.
Wednesday tries out at each respectable club, whilst questioning the students further. At Bianca’s choir practice, she asks what happened after Rowan died. Bianca passed on the information to Weems straightaway. For Wednesday’s audition, she is asked to sing. She opens her mouth and suddenly glass starts to shatter all around her. At archery, she interrogates Xavier about his ex-roommate Rowan. Xavier admits that Rowan was acting erratically the last few weeks. He warns Wednesday to stay away from Tyler and she then calls Xavier an elitist snob. She fires her arrow, hitting the bull’s eye and a falling apple in one. Lastly is beekeeping, a solo pursuit of Eugene’s. She decides to join this solitary group but must leave early into their discussion — Thing has spotted Rowan.
Rowan lies about his whereabouts and then leaves with Marilyn. Thing grabs onto the back of the car and follows them to the station. Rowan walks into a toilet and exits as an older man. Thing loses him, but the audience gets to see exactly what happens next. The older man then miraculously turns into Principal Weems. I knew she was suspicious! Is she a shapeshifter, covering up Rowan’s death?
Nothing gets past me or Wednesday for that matter. She wants to return to the crime scene for further inspection but needs Enid to cover for her in the meantime. The werewolf roommate will only attend the beekeeping club if she apologizes to Thing first. Wednesday enters her room to find Thing flicking through a magazine. Wednesday makes a poor attempt at an apology and is forced to open up to the sentient hand. In their heart-to-heart, Wednesday talks about the drawing, fearing that she is going to do something terrible. She needs to find out the truth before it’s too late. Here, Thing works perfectly as the mute sidekick, a lot like Groot does in the Guardians of the Galaxy movies, providing cutesy comedy and allowing others to speak on their behalf. The scene ends with Thing delicately touching Wednesday’s hand in a loving manner.
Wednesday heads into the woods, where she meets with Tyler once again. They hide from the Sheriff and Wednesday finds Rowan’s glasses on the floor. She picks them up and has an elaborate vision. This time she sees Rowan causing the gargoyle to fall with his mind, arguing with Xavier, and tearing out the drawing from a book. Wednesday needs to find that specific book right away. The mystery continues at the library, where a nosey Marilyn points out that the watermark on the drawing’s page is from The Nightshade Society.
Along with her trusty sidekick Thing, Wednesday heads to Xavier’s room to hunt for the secretive book. They don’t find it of course, but Wednesday uncovers a secret compartment and a mysterious mask instead. Then she overhears Xavier and Bianca chatting. Bianca is jealous of Xavier’s new fascination with Wednesday. He wants to protect her, and even feared that Rowan would attack her. Bianca wants them to get back together though and warns her ex about this new girl.
Wednesday season 1, episode 2 ending
That’s all the excuse Wednesday needs, she chooses to help out Enid in that moment and becomes her co-pilot in the race. She wants to humiliate Bianca and win the competition. It’s an exciting race with the teams dolled up in matching costumes. Enid’s team are all dressed as cats, with Jenna Ortega looking very similar to Michelle Pfeiffer’s Catwoman in Tim Burton’s Batman Returns. Bianca’s team starts to sabotage the other canoes with a hidden merman doing the heavy lifting, but Wednesday traps them in a net.
On dry land, Wednesday heads for the flags and has another vision. In this one, a twin sister in white tells Wednesday that she is the key. Wednesday wakes on the ground as the others run off with their own flags. The race continues and the teams try to sabotage each other’s canoes. Thing lends a helping hand and punches the siren underwater, which causes Enid’s team to end victorious. Wednesday is happy to see Bianca defeated, but can’t bring herself to celebrate.
In the final moments, Wednesday cracks the riddle. She finds the Society’s symbol on an Edgar Allan Poe statue and figures out the puzzle. The clues spell out the words ‘Snap Twice’. Wednesday snaps her fingers in a lovely homage to the original theme tune and the statue reveals a hidden door. She takes the stairs down into this secret room, where there is a photograph of her parents. Wednesday finds the secret society’s book in this mysterious lair, but she is quickly apprehended.
What did you think of Wednesday season 1, episode 2? Comment below.