The Woman in the Wall Season 1, Episode 4 Recap – How Was Colman Adopted?

By Jonathon Wilson
Published: September 18, 2023 (Last updated: last month)
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The Woman in the Wall Season 1, Episode 4 - "The Cruelty Man"
The Woman in the Wall Season 1, Episode 4 - "The Cruelty Man" (Credit - Paramount Plus)




Stellar performances and many twists and turns keep The Woman in the Wall an absolutely riveting drama.

In The Woman in the Wall Episode 3, Lorna finally confessed to murdering Aoife Cassidy and hiding her body behind her living room wall. But did she really do the deed? This remains a point of some contention since Aoife’s body isn’t where she left it, Lorna’s addled, sleepwalking brain can’t be trusted, and, as Episode 4 quite clearly reveals, there is very much a conspiracy at play here that Lorna is closer to the bottom of than she realizes.

Lorna’s confession causes all kinds of problems for the Garda and Colman since the former can’t investigate Lorna’s claims any further since she has no recollection of the event or idea of where the body might have been moved to, and the latter was in her property questioning her without a warrant.

Massey, well-intentioned but stuck between a religious rock and a personal responsibility hard place, orders Colman to return to Dublin and leave the matter alone.

Lorna’s claims don’t do her public standing any good either, since everyone promptly hears about her murder confessions, bringing the veracity of all her other outlandish claims – even the ones that are on the money – into question.

Massey, for instance, is reluctant to investigate “the woman claiming to be Aoife Cassidy’s daughter” on Lorna’s say-so, even though it’s a solid lead. Attempting to conduct her own investigation into her daughter’s burial records, she can’t find any mention at the graveyard, and her obvious lack of stability forces the clerk at the county office to have her forcibly removed from the building.

How was Colman adopted?

Colman is similarly unwilling to let sleeping dogs lie. He’s also plagued by a recurring nightmare in which he’s pursued through dank tunnels as a child. When his adoptive mother claims he had the same nightmares when she first brought him home from Lazarus House, he asks if Father Percy had anything to do with the place.

The Woman in the Wall Season 1, Episode 4 – “The Cruelty Man” (Credit – Paramount Plus)

Colman’s mother says that it was Father Percy who gave them the number for the House of the Sacred Shepherd, who handled the adoption procedure. This was at least a decade after the organization formally ceased its operation, which Colman calls Massey to reveal.

This means that The House of the Sacred Shepherd was illegally moving children around for years, with no oversight. And that’s just the tip of the iceberg.

What does Lorna discover?

After being thrown out of the country archives, Lorna returns to break in and steal a bunch of records. Once again, she finds no information about her daughter. With Michael, she cross-references these records with the stash she found in a previous episode and discovers that only 3 of the 298 children have burial records.

With this obvious conspiracy really starting to develop scale and shape, it becomes increasingly obvious that both Lorna and Colman are being silenced.

In the case of the former, a run-in with Sister Eileen, who blames her for Agnes’s death, leads to the Garda being called, and Massey, who used to drive escaped women, including Clemence, right back to the convent, warning her that he can’t keep letting her behavior slide.

In the case of the latter, he pays a visit to a Lazarus House priest he discovers in a picture with Father Percy, who subsequently files an official complaint against him, leading to him being taken off the case.

After visiting Lazarus House in person and falling through the floor, realizing that the tunnels from his nightmares are very much real, Colman confronts his adoptive mother for more details surrounding his adoption.

After learning the name of his biological mother and that he was taken from the “reject room”, where he and other unwanted children were stored for the sins of being non-white or some other such “undesirable” quality, he visits the national archives for more information.

He finds his own death certificate, which he takes to Lorna. If he has a death certificate and is nonetheless very much alive, Agnes might be, too.

What did you think of The Woman in the Wall Season 1, Episode 4? Comment below.


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