Chapelwaite Season 1, Episode 2, “Memento Mori,” focuses on a child that falls ill to a mystery illness. On her deathbed, she blames Stephen Boone for her illness. As if the hatred toward the Boones wasn’t already at a fever pitch, her accusation makes things even worse. The hysterical townsfolk of Preacher’s Corners demand Charles dig up his cousin’s grave, and what he finds inside shocks him.
Spoiler warning: The following article contains spoilers for Chapelwaite Season 1, Episode 2.
Chapelwaite‘s second episode opens with a devastating scene where Faith Pringle (Briony Merritt) gives birth to a malformed infant boy. The boy sounds very much like the episode’s “memento mori,” for which it’s named. For those unfamiliar with the term, a memento mori is basically a bad omen, a reminder of the inevitability of death. We all know terrible things are happening in neighboring Jerusalem’s Lot that will eventually affect the townsfolk. Faith’s baby feels like a sign of the times.
Post-open credits (which I remain obsessed with), Rebecca rifles through some of the books in Charles’s office and stumbles upon old letters between her father Jakub and the Boones. Jakub was their attorney, which Rebecca knew but never mentioned to Charles. She apologizes for not saying so before.
Charles obliges her to keep the letters if she wishes, but Rebecca says she doesn’t care. Her father abandoned her as a child and started a second family. He supposedly abandoned them, too. Despite what Rebecca says, she does keep the letters.
In town, Rose Mallory (Joanne Boland) asks Daniel if he’s seen Edward since he left town the night before. Daniel acts cagey since we know they colluded together to set fire to the Boone’s home. At this point, none of them know that Edward is dead. “What did that damn fool get himself into?” Oh, Daniel, I’m sure you’ll find out soon!
A new location means new possibilities for help with Loa’s leg. Sadly, the doctor can’t prescribe anything more for rickets than what Charles and Loa have already heard from countless other physicians despite Charles’s hopes for more. He does claim that Loa’s leg is stronger than it looks.
Chapelwaite Season 1, Episode 2 recap: The children’s first day at school
After the appointment, Loa joins Rebecca and her siblings to start their first day at school. They’re immediately harassed by a man named Henry, who asks them countless questions about their heritage and health. Rebecca tells him off and wishes the children luck.
While the kids are at school, Charles visits Minister Martin Burroughs (Gord Rand), who lost his twin children a few years earlier to the illness. They used to play with Marcella Boone, as shown in a family portrait in his office. Charles requests the chance to address the town during church. Martin notes that people would flip out if he just handed the pulpit to Charles, but he offers to give Charles the floor during an informal social event that afternoon. Before departing, Charles asks if the minister blames the Boones for his twins’ illness. “I do not.” Well, that’s a good sign, right?
Charles notices a woman standing in the middle of a dirt road eating an apple on his way back home. And yes, she’s credited on IMDb as “Apple Girl” (Genevieve DeGraves), so that’s what I’m going to call her. She warns Charles that “the worm is coming.”
Back at the schoolhouse, the students in the class are terrible to the Boone children, tripping Loa and breaking her shell necklace. When she gets home, Loa tells Tane she hates it here and won’t stay. Rebecca tries her best to comfort them and offers to speak with their teacher.
Word of Faith’s baby has spread, and Alice tells her husband, the minister, what she’s heard. People in town believe the child is a bad omen. Ever the nasty piece of work, Alice admonishes Faith for being a “w***e,” and claims that whoever followed the child is a coward.
As promised, Minister Burroughs heeds the floor to Charles at the social event. Charles tells the flock that he wants to expand the sawmill and produce cargo ships powered by sail and steam. What this means for Preacher’s Corners is prosperity. Crusty old Samuel Gallows claims that it’s just a ploy for Charles to take their money, but Charles remains adamant that it isn’t true. He promises that no wrongdoings will come from his family and tells them that he’ll pay 50 men top wage to begin his venture with him. “Don’t let old prejudices stop progress.”
Chapelwaite Season 1, Episode 2 recap: Who is the father of Faith’s baby?
That night, Martin goes to visit Faith at home. Twist: the minister is having an affair and is the father of Faith’s baby! Faith believes their child is a punishment for things she’s done in her past, but Martin doesn’t believe that. Maybe he isn’t the child they envisioned, but he believes it is God’s will. “We have enough love for this child, between us, don’t we?” While Martin’s presence placates Faith, she’d feel better if he would agree to leave town with her. “Nothing good can come from Preacher’s Corners.”
At Chapelwaite, something dark and sinister lurks in Loa’s bedroom, creeping toward her bed and running its fingers down her face.
Charles tells Rebecca he feels hopeful after making his case in town. He invites her to join him for a drink. He hopes this new venture will create enough profit for all, as whaling is typically lucrative for those on top but not for those on the bottom. “Especially the whale,” Rebecca notes.
Speaking of building a career, Rebecca reveals more about her own desires. She hopes to create success through her writing. They reach first name basis during this scene, establishing what could grow into something romantic, depending on which direction the show takes their relationship.
Chapelwaite Season 1, Episode 2 recap: Visions and Susan’s nighttime visit
It’s a restless night for Charles Boone after that. The “rats” return, and then someone knocks on the door in the middle of the night, rousing the children and Rebecca. The sick girl, Susan Mallory, enters the house. She looks half-dead already, as if in a trance, and asks them to help find her father. Rebecca gets Susan to wake from her trance and rushes her home to Rose, who immediately chastises Rebecca and asks what the Boones have done with her husband. Not even a thank you for making sure your kid got home safe?
The next morning, Rebecca explains the illness to the children. It begins with fatigue and then becoming bedridden before ultimately dying. Honor notes that it sounds similar to consumption, which is how their mother died. While Rebecca talks to the kids, Charles shaves in the mirror and starts pulling WORMS out of his nose, even going so far as to CUT his nose off with the straight razor. Thankfully, it turns out to be a weird delusion.
In the kitchen, Loa notices that the shells from her broken necklace have vanished. She blames Tane, but maybe it was that creature lurking in her bedroom?
It’s not just Charles who has seen Apple Girl skulking around. Faith also sees her standing outside of her window just before Alice arrives for a visit and is shocked by the sight of the baby. “What kind of man abandons a woman with such a burden?” Alice continues to chastise the father of Faith’s baby, trying to get Faith to confess his name. Does Alice have an idea that her husband has been unfaithful? Or is she just being nosy?
Charles creates a plan for something and requests that Joseph Palmer (David Rossetti) make it for him. Joseph is kinder than other townsfolk. He knows that Charles’s plan to make the town profit is something they all need but warns Charles that he’ll find it difficult to change people’s minds.
His time in town gets even worse as Rose confronts him in the street while trying to collect names for his business. She blames him for Susan’s illness and Edward’s disappearance, even accusing him of luring Susan to Chapelwaite in the middle of the night. Samuel tells him that the “future of this town has nothing to do with you.”
Chapelwaite Season 1, Episode 2 recap: All Hallow’s Eve
Though Charles has had a tough day, the children are excited about All Hallow’s Eve and even created costumes with Rebecca. Despite not necessarily wanting to return to town, Charles agrees to take the kids if that’s what they wish. Loa is the only one not enthused by the idea. So Charles takes it as the opportune moment to show her what he requisitioned from Joseph, a new leg brace specially designed for her. It’s a lighter version, easier to maneuver and has leather at the knee.
As the activities of All Hallow’s Eve get underway, Constable George Dennison (Hugh Thompson) checks in on his wife, Mary (Trina Corkum). She’s feeling under the weather and not up to enjoy the night and festivities. Is she getting sick with the illness?
Rebecca and Charles take the kids into town and allow them to run off together for the 1800s version of trick-or-treating. With the children out of earshot, Rebecca comments on the new leg brace. She’s moving much better. Rebecca also gives Charles some advice on Loa’s complicated emotions. She needs to know her dad loves her and that her feelings are normal.
Things get a little dark, though, when Rebecca mentions that the rumor of Chapelwaite is that anyone who lives there is a lunatic or at risk of becoming one. Considering the weird dreams Charles has been having, the whisperings of “blood calls blood,” and the worms, it’s understandable why her comment rattles him.
As expected, Honor, Loa, and Tane continue to meet nothing but hatred of prejudice as the townsfolk refuse to give them any treats. Some of the bratty kids throw flour on them, but Able comes to their rescue, giving Honor a chance to step up and punch the bully.
Chapelwaite Season 1, Episode 2 recap: Is Stephen Boone really dead?
While on her deathbed, Susan tells her mother that Stephen Boone is waiting for her. “He’s at the window. Let them in mama. Papa’s here with my friend Stephen.” Then little Susan dies, sending Rose on a hysterical rampage into town as she cries out for Edward and blames the Boones, alleging Stephen Boone killed her baby.
At least the constable has enough sense to say that Stephen is dead and Susan was delirious. But Alice’s cries are enough to get everyone angry as Samuel demands Charles dig up Stephen’s grave and prove he’s truly dead. As the night devolves into chaos, George shoots his gun to put an end to All Hallow’s Eve.
Poor Mary, though, is the latest victim of whatever creatures lurk in the area as she’s woken in the night and snatched away.
Rattled by the townsfolk, Charles does what they requested in private, digging up Stephen’s grave with the intent to drag his body down Main Street if he must. But when he opens it up, he’s shocked to find that the coffin is empty.
What did you think of Chapelwaite Season 1, Episode 2? Let us know your thoughts in the comments below.
New episodes of Chapelwaite air Sunday nights on EPIX.