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The Haunting of Bly Manor: What is Hannah Grose Hiding?

Published on October 27th, 2020 | Updated on October 27th, 2020 | By FanFest

Image: Netflix

Review: Episode Five, The Alter of the Dead

The Haunting of Bly Manor is told over the course of nine episodes, which means The Alter of the Dead is the season’s halfway point. All that is revealed over the episode’s 54 minutes manages to successfully catapult the stakes for each character into an entirely new level of danger.

There is very little that can be said in the way of non-spoiler summary. In a nutshell, Bly Manor’s housekeeper, Hannah Grose (T’nia Miller), experiences a string of strange occurrences and discovers a disturbing truth. Meanwhile, we finally find out where Peter Quint has been hiding all this time.

That’s it. Not much more can be said without revealing too much of the plot. If you haven’t already watched the episode in it’s entirety, and would like to avoid spoilers, be forewarned, the remainder of this review contains a spoiler of major proportions.

Image: Netflix

Deja Vu

If you guessed that, like the preceding episodes, the majority of The Alter of the Dead would be told through flashbacks, you wouldn’t be incorrect.

Well, sort of.

We follow Hannah Grose through a series of confusing events which occur all over the manor and throughout the manor grounds. Over the course of several time jumps, we begin to get a clearer narrative regarding the mysterious housekeeper, however chronologically disconnected that narrative may be. Sometimes it’s a little unclear if the events that play out are actually happening, if they are a dream, or perhaps a memory. Whatever the case may be, it’s clear that Hannah is aware of the jumps in time, and is constantly confused as a result. Through these intersecting scenes, we are able to glean a few key details.

First, it becomes clear that Hannah has strong romantic feelings toward chef Owen (Rahul Kholi), as detailed in the moments she seems to keep reliving. This is most prominently revealed the night of Owen’s mother’s funeral and again during Owen’s job interview, the day he and Hannah first met.

Also in the way of romance, we are provided Hannah’s perspective on the budding relationship between Peter Quint (Oliver Jackson-Cohen) and the au pair, Rebecca Jessel (Tahirah Sharif). Hannah is wary of Peter and his intentions, and rightfully so, as she discovers him stealing expensive valuables belonging to the manor.

After another time jump, we learn of Peter’s plan to move to America. He convinces Rebecca that she should go with him.

Image: Netflix

I See Dead People

Unfortunately, that plan is short lived as Peter finds himself in the pathway of a faceless lady, clad entirely in white. The episode bills her as the Lady of the Lake. It is the same wandering ghost that young Miles and Flora Wingrave kept Dani from colliding with during the previous episode. The Lady of the Lake takes hold of Peter, dragging him into the closed wing of the manor, ultimately killing him.

Luckily for Peter, things don’t seem to stay dead at Bly Manor, a fact that’s confirmed as he instantly returns as a ghost. Peter quickly learns that he has the ability to possess Miles. This sheds some light onto what fueled Miles’ many questions surrounding the topic of demonic possession during his short stint at boarding school.

We return once again to Owen’s interview in the kitchen with Hannah. This time, Owen urgently informs Hannah that something is wrong with Miles. Again, are these merely memories? Or does Hannah time travel? Is Owen also time traveling? Nevertheless, no time to ponder, as Hannah quickly searches the grounds for Miles, finally locating him in the garden near a well.

Miles, possessed by Peter, pushes Hannah into the well, where she falls to her death. The last thing the housekeeper sees is a crack in the stone wall, the very same crack that has been appearing to her all throughout the manor.

Back up top, Hannah has reappeared as a ghost and is looking over the edge of the well. At this moment, Flora approaches with Dani, the newly hired au pair. If this all feels familiar, it’s because this is the very scene in which Dani first arrives at the manor, meaning… Hannah has been dead this entire time!

With this revelation, we enter the second half of the series arc with new questions: who is the lady in the lake? Is Rebecca truly dead? Is Owen also dead? Why does Hannah experience time out of order? And lastly, how many outfits does one housekeeper own? Seriously, it was a new ensemble every two minutes.

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