1899 Episode 5 Recap: The Calling

A boy's head sticks out of a wooden panel
The boy leads Maura some interesting places this episode.

Knock, knock. Guess who? It's time for episode 5 of 1899. To see all of my 1899 recaps, go here.

In the last episode, the story centered on Jérôme and the betrayal he suffered at the hands of Lucien. The mutineers search for the boy, convinced he is the source of their woes. Meanwhile a small group, loyal to the captain, work together to stop the mutineers and protect the boy.


Episode 5: The Calling

The episode opens as Maura wakes up on the ground. She's wearing a hospital gown and looks unkempt. She's in her dream world we in the last episode. She notices her wrists are scarred and crossed with ugly sores. In the distance, she sees a cross. She runs up the hill towards the cross and notices that it says, "Wake Up!" Suddenly, she's transported into a hospital. It's the same place we saw Maura in the very first scene of the show. Two men in hospital scrubs grab her roughly by the arms. She shouts that she's not crazy. She knows what she's seen. A shadowy figure at the end of the hallway looks on. She continues: "What did you do to my brother? Where is my brother? Where is the Prometheus? He found out what you were doing on these ships."

She's dragged inside room 1011. The two men push her into a chair and strap her in. They then inject a liquid substance into her neck. She gasps and then wakes up on the Kerberos. She's back in the first-class dining hall where the boy revealed he was still alive.
The cabinet is locked with a fireplace poker
The boy keeps ending up in this cabinet.

Where's the boy?

Daniel is sitting close by, as if he has been watching over her. She wants to know right away where the boy has gone. He tells her they have locked the boy in the cabinet again. As soon as he says this, loud bangs come from the cabinet. It's eerily similar to the way they first found the boy on the Prometheus. The fireplace poker ties the cabinet handles together, making it impossible for him to escape.

Maura gets to her feet and moves toward the cabinet purposefully. Everyone notices and Eyk steps up to hold her back. Maura is angry that they would do this, but Eyk insists it's perfectly reasonable. After all, everyone saw the boy get thrown off the railing. Yet here he is unharmed. Everyone's obviously freaked out. The banging noise continues. These are not the same quiet knocks the boy did before. Perhaps he's tired of being in this cabinet. Eyk decides this is the right time to bargain. He won't let the boy out until she explains why her name is on the passenger list of the Prometheus.

We then cut to the title credits.

Franz and Iben try to rally the troops

Down in third class, Franz tries to give a motivational speech. He wants to maintain the illusion of control. He tells the group that they are still in charge. Even though the other group now controls the steering, they control the boiler room and the coal. Perhaps he believes that if the group tries to turn the ship around now, they can just stop shoveling coal. The mutineers look very dejected. Anker is the saddest of all. He can't look at anyone.

Einar (the Norwegian man) asks how far from land they are. Franz says 3-4 days. Eugen asks a question no one wants to think about: What happens when we arrive? The penalty for mutiny is death. Franz gives a subtle nod. He realizes this. Maybe it hadn't dawned on him before that they could be in real trouble.

Iben feels like she can give a better speech. She says, "Justice is always on the side of the survivors. The light will always prevail. We're not going to surrender even if it means more sacrifice." Iben goes back to the core that is driving her: she believes she's on the right side – God's side. Tove takes this opportunity to walk out of the room and look for Krester. Iben's words will bite her in the butt by the end of this episode.

A woman eyes a man warily
Eyk tries to keep Maura from opening the cabinet.
Mother isn't hearing God; she's just crazy

Tove finds Krester in the bunk room. Ada's doll sits on a bed nearby. Tove sits down next to Krester and begins to reminisce about things Ada used to do. She once bathed a piglet in the font. Tove remembers how Ada was never afraid of Mother. Krester has tears in his eyes thinking about his sister.

Tove tries to get Krester to see reason. After all, hearing voices is not a sign of God – it's a sign of madness. Tove is disappointed that Krester helped Mother kill the boy. Krester then reminds Tove that she, too, has killed. When Krester says this, something in Tove's eyes go dark. You can tell Krester has violated a pact of some kind. He is not allowed to bring up that event, but he did so to defend himself from her finger pointing. Tove's words have hit him, as well. Tove wants Krester to realize his mistake so that he will be on her side again. But Krester takes her words as an attack. His only recourse was to strike back.

She then reminds Krester that he promised her they would leave together. Krester, Ada, and Tove were going to run away from their parents when they got to America. Krester says nothing. He just looks down at his hands.

Tove scoffs at what she perceives as cowardice and picks up the rifle. She says she is going to do "what she should have done a long time ago" and strides out of the room.

Krester seems genuinely sorry that he has bended so easily to his mother's wishes, but he also knows he isn't strong enough to rebel against her.

Two men and a woman stand close together
You can always find Maura with Eyk and Daniel with Maura
A marriage of inconvenience

We stop briefly at the boiler room panel. The machine comes to life, and the levers move up and down. Something is happening.

Lucien and Clémence talk in their cabin. In this frustrating conversation, neither addresses the felt needs of the other. Instead, they talk at each other, trying to outdo one another with how they have been wronged. Both sit on the floor in their room. Clémence's red boots are on full display. She wants to know if he ever loved her. Lucien says that she has no idea how hard others have to struggle. That she takes things for granted. She then says it was all a lie. That he was not a lieutenant, his father didn't own land, and he didn't have a wealthy uncle.

Lucien says, "You want to know if I loved you? Every day I wake up and wish I didn't. You are a constant reminder of what I can't have." This all seems like a lot of whining to me. The truth is, Lucien never felt that he deserved the life he wanted so he kept himself hidden. But if he had treated Clémence right, I feel like she wouldn't care how poor he is. Case in point – her feeling towards Jérôme. He surely doesn't have a lot of money, but her attraction for him is palpable and real.

This marriage is just horrible for everyone. We still haven't seen any more sly looks from Clémence since episode 1. She just seems like a typical wife who feels unseen by her husband.

I'm here to help

Back in first-class dining, Olek approaches the captain, who is off whispering in a corner with Maura and Daniel. Olek is joined by Ramiro and Jérôme. They are equally worried and ask the captain what they should do next. Eyk remains silent. Into this atmosphere of confusion walks Tove with her rifle.

The crowd's attention immediately turns to Tove. Everyone with a rifle points it at her, thinking she's here as an enemy. Tove puts up her hands and says she's here to help. No one can understand her, but her meaning is clear.

Suddenly the banging starts up under the cabinet again. Tove panics and demands to know what's happening. With all the rifles pointed at the cabinet, Maura gets scared for the boy and moves closer. Daniel goes on high alert. Maura ignores the warning and move closer anyway, causing a person in the group to open fire on her. Daniel jumps towards Maura, fully intending to take the bullet for her. You have to hand it to Daniel – he protects Maura at all costs.

A hand plucks a bullet from the air
The bullet frozen in time

A glitch in the matrix

When this happens, time slows down and then comes to a freeze. The bullet stops and hangs in the air, along with Daniel's suspended body. Others freeze in various positions. Maura falls back in surprise. After a moment, she walks towards the still bullet and touches it with her hand. She then plucks it out of mid-air and drops it to the ground.

Dear reader, that part bothered me since the likelihood that Maura could touch an in-motion bullet without burning her fingers is next to nil. It would still hold energy, even if frozen. If you've ever seen Tenet, go back and watch the inverted bullet scene at the beginning to see what I mean.

Back to the recap, Maura then runs to the cabinet and lets the boy out. She realizes it was he who froze time. Perhaps he used the pyramid to do it. She demands to know what's going on. He takes her hand and leads her out of the room.
Two men look up in horror
Olek and Jerome know that sound means nothing good

This isn't our only problem

After the boy and Maura leave, the rest of the group unfreezes. Daniel's body lands on the ground and slides to a halt. The crowd notices the cabinet is now empty. Everyone looks around for where Maura and the boy have gone. Daniel gets to his feet. Just then, the air sirens start up. The group looks around in horror.

The boy leads Maura down the hall. They pass Ángel. He calls to them, hoping to stop them, but they pass him without a glance. I wonder if Ángel hoped Maura would know how to find Ramiro. Ángel looks undone and not at all his usual composed self. The air sirens go off in the hallway, too. As Maura and the boy continue, other passengers begin to come out from their rooms into the hallways, looking dazed.

Back in first-class dining, the crowd continues to gape at the air sirens. Slowly Eyk turns to glower at Daniel. He then goes on the attack and grabs Daniel by the lapels. Eyk starts interrogating Daniel about what he knows about Maura. Daniel pushes back.

It's Tove who steps between them and calls the group to order. She calls out Eyk, saying that he's the captain. "What do you want to do?" Eyk misunderstands and thinks she's asking him what's going on. He ends up saying that, "I don't know what's going on either. But all this isn't our only problem. They’ve been firing the furnaces at full speed. We will run out of fuel within two days." He ends by stating that they need to take control of the ship back or they will end up stranded.

Surprisingly, Daniel agrees with the captain. You can tell it killed him to do, but Daniel is a reasonable fellow. He knows Eyk is right about this, at least.

The air sirens then come to a stop. The momentary relief doesn’t last long, however. Immediately, another sound begins -- a slow, constant ticking noise.
A crowd of people walks towards the water
Krester is one the first to go overboard

A dreadful ticking noise

As it begins, many of the people with Eyk get a glazed look in their eye and begin to march in time with the tempo of the clock. It's as if they are in a trance. Olek, Jérôme, Tove, and Eyk try to talk to their mates and figure out what's going on. No one answers.

We then see Yuk inside the room she shares with Ling. She begins to march in time to the ticking noise and into the hallway with the rest of the group. Krester begins to tap his finger against his cross. He, too, stands up and begins to walk towards the door. Anker notices Krester's movements and follows him. He follows Krester up the steps. Landon, down in the boiler room, removes his garlic necklace and walks away from his co-worker. Franz tries to stop his friend Eugen from marching. All of this climaxes as we see the passengers march out to the deck

Yuk walks to the railing, climbs over it, and jumps into the water like an inanimate object. She has no facial expression or emotion. One by one, the other hypnotized passengers also jump into the sea. Anker yells in anguish as he sees his son fall to his death.

Inside the ship's bridge, Wilhelm looks at the scene in horror. In her drawing room, Clémence sees the bodies dropping from the deck through her window. She grabs Lucien's hand in a moment of panic.

The ship trucks on; we see a constant stream of bodies falling from multiple decks of the ship. We reconnect with the boy, pulling Maura by the hand. Maura tries stop him with questions, but he remains silent. They finally reach her room.
A boy whispers in a woman's ear
The boy whispers in Maura's ear

You must ask the Creator

Maura asks the boy to tell her something. He grabs a notepad and writes, "They are listening." It's an exciting moment for sure, having the boy finally communicate. Then he grabs her head and whispers in her ear, "I can't tell you. You'll have to ask the Creator." Maura is dumbstruck.

Sebastian comes out to push the buttons in the panel on the lowering deck. Once again, he pushes the buttons with triangles but doesn't touch the red button. Sebastian notices all the bodies falling but then moves on to his next task.

A German standoff

There's a traffic jam in the hallway as Franz and all the mutineers intersect with Eyk and his crew. They are both trying to stop the people from marching and also to figure out what's happening. Everyone is pointing rifles at each other, creating a standoff situation. They get distracted though by the constant stream of people walking by.
A woman in geisha attire walks against the crowd
Ling Yi walks against the crowd

They are jumping overboard

Anker then finds the group and he tells Iben and Tove about Krester and the dreadful truth about the ticking noise. That the people are jumping overboard. The two groups become one in their mission to stop this from happening. They hold the people back with their bodies, step in front of them, hold onto their arms. Jérôme and Franz both try to hold back the same group of people. Nothing works, though.

Daniel takes the opportunity to dip out. Whether he knows it's useless or just doesn't care, he leaves the group to their own devices. His mission is to find Maura and the boy.

Olek notices that Ling Yi is walking towards him. He goes to her, obviously afraid that she might be a zombie person. But she speaks to him. She tells him that her mother jumped. She falls into his arms, seeking comfort from him.
A woman crawls through a black-tiled tunnel
The gorgeous cinematography of 1899

A mysterious portal

The boy and Maura move the bed away from the wall. The boy lifts the panel and climbs inside. He takes the pyramid with him and tells Maura, "Don't be afraid." He then takes the scarab beetle from out of his pocket and looks up at Maura. We hear the high-pitched tones. He then puts the beetle onto the ground, and it crawls across the black-tiled floor towards the wall. The beetle then opens a portal through the wall. The boy crawls through. Maura immediately climbs down and follows suit.

The beetle has made a square-shaped opening. There's a vibrating noise, and the reflections inside make a fractal design. Maura crawls through the tunnel. A mysterious song plays as her reflection bounces off the walls, creating a spooky visual effect. She comes to the end and jumps down from the portal onto the ground.

She turns around to look at the tunnel, and it's a black square hanging suspended in the air. She then looks around, and we can see she's in the dream world from the beginning of the episode. In the distance, we see the cross and the large building, which is a hospital. She walks until she arrives in front of the cross and clutches her medallion necklace.

Daniel tries to find boy and Maura

We cut to Daniel, running down the hall. He comes to Maura's room and enters. He sees the panel and the open hatch and swears. He climbs down into the black-tiled tunnel.

He uses his slide button machine to open the door. Apparently, he doesn't need a beetle. He lands and runs to the grave. He finds the boy there, alone. He begins to lecture the boy, saying that he "shouldn't have done that. It knows we are here now."

The boy replies, sadly, "We've never made it this far. Maybe it will work this time." Whatever they are doing, they have done this before. They are in some sort of Groundhog Day loop. The boy is sad that Maura doesn't remember something.

Daniel gives the boy some instructions. He needs to stay in Maura's dream for now. "We don't have much time. I need to stop this before they sink the ship. I need you to stay here for a while. He won't find you."

The boy looks so sad, and Daniel appears to be more of a parent to him than we knew. We then hear a loud horn and shift back to the ship. More bodies are falling from the decks.
A man holds another man like a baby
Ramiro holds Angel, who is affected by the ticking noise

Ramiro runs to Ángel

Ramiro runs down the hallway. He comes to the room he shares with Ángel and tries to enter. There's something blocking the door. Ramiro forces the door open anyway and finds Ángel sitting on the floor, singing a children's song in Spanish. The lyrics translate to: "The tarara has a wounded little finger that no surgeon can cure." Ramiro tries to snap him out of it by shaking him.

About "La Tarara": The song is about a crazed woman who dances wildly in colorful clothes. She defies society by wearing the wrong colors on traditional days. She has a "wound that no surgeon can cure" because she will never get enough of dancing and her mental state cannot be solved. Like many things in 1899, it's a statement on being out of step with the rest of the world and the isolation of that.

I love little cultural clues like this that the show writers include purely for our enjoyment. It's also believed that this song came out of the Sephardic Jewish tradition. During the time of Diaspora, songs of the Sephardic Jews reached many places of the world, also, which ties in nicely with one of the main points of conflict in 1899. People from different languages try to work together, resulting in frustration and confusion. A person from the diaspora lives far from home and anything familiar. Ángel has no home. He isn't accepted at home, so he travels with Ramiro after they have committed murder. Ángel is a crazed person, out of step with the world, and a refugee from home. To cover his pain, he puts on a "devil my care" personae and seeks to entertain.

Tie yourselves up

We then jump to Jérôme, who bursts into Lucien and Clémence's room. He's holding his arm, which still hurts from where he was shot. Lucien grabs at the pistol, but Jérôme manages to wrestle it away from him. This is also partially due to Clémence, who helps Jérôme disarm her own husband.

Lucien thinks he's there for revenge. Jérôme ignores Lucien and tells Clémence to tie her husband up, and then herself. Jérôme explains he's trying to save them. He then ties himself up at a different part of the room. He explains that the urge to throw yourself overboard is contagious. He wants to stop them from having that urge.

In another place, Ling and Olek tie themselves up. Ling bemoans that she let her mother come. Olek just assures her the best he can. Franz, Tove, Anker, and Iben all enter the bunk room. The three of them tie up Iben and then themselves. She is considered a flight risk. They all seem to know they are at risk of jumping.

My theory is that the ticking disarms people who have no hope. The people that succumbed first were Krester and Yuk – two people that saw only walls in front of them. Without a purpose or sense of hope, jumping might seem a more pleasant pathway than to endure any more.

Wilhelm gets a message

On the bridge, Wilhelm desperately sends a message to the company. He receives a reply. Unfortunately, the only message he receives is once again "Sink ship."

Landon was right

Over in the boiler room, Daniel strides quickly towards the electrical panel. He leaps down from a platform to the ground and then walks up some steps. He's not wasting any time. When he opens the panel, we hear the ticking noise

He takes out his slide buttons machine and attaches it the panel with some wires. Suddenly, thing #2 comes out of the shadows. He wants to know what Daniel is doing and why. Daniel tries to fob him off by saying that he was called by the captain to help. Thing #2 isn't buying this at all.

He keeps demanding that Daniel tell him what's up. Daniel needs to concentrate so he asks him to buzz off and says that he doesn't want to hurt him. That seems to be the last straw for Thing #2. He takes a shovel and hits Daniel with it hard. He decides that his friend Landon was right after all. There are enemies on the prowl. He decides Daniel is a wolf.

Daniel tries to defend himself and explain he's trying to help. But the guy just grabs the shovel and starts choking him with it. Daniel finally uses the button machine to put the guy out of commission. The worker just goes limp.

A woman looks up with fear in her eyes
Maura's face after a syringe shot
Maura's vision again

Back in Maura's vision, she comes to the hospital and walks towards the door. The door reads "Mental Health." Maura enters and begins to walk the halls. She walks up the stairs and comes to a door that reads 1011, just like her cabin.

Inside the room is a chair. We hear ominous music. An angry voice behind her demands to know, "Where is it?"

Maura turns to face him. She calls him father and wants to know how she got there. How is this possible? She looks down to see father holding a syringe. She then asks, "Where's Ciaran? Where is my bother?" Father says she's not asking the right questions. She accuses father of doing something to Ciaran. She believes Ciaran found out what he was doing on the ships.

Then a glitch happens. Two men appear and pull her back into the chair. She screams and protests. They put her hands in straps and stick the syringe in her neck. She gasps. We then hear her voice saying, "Wake up."

Maura and Eyk confide in each other

She wakes up in bed and looks at her wrists. They look red and raw. She leaves her room and begins running through the sea of people. Then she sees Eyk. She runs towards him happily. He responds by pushing her against a wall forcefully. He demands answers. He wants to know how she disappeared. She explains that it was the boy. He used the pyramid to stop time.

He drags her towards his captain's quarters. Now that they are in private, she's ready to confess to him. She admits that her last name is actually Singleton. She's the daughter of Henry Singleton, who owns the ships. She thinks that the ship is one of his experiments. That he's trying to understand human brains somehow. He had no interest in owning ships, so this must just be a ploy.

Maura goes further. She reveals that she has an envelope just like Eyk. She thinks the envelope is from her brother. She shows him the envelope, which reads Henry. We've seen this envelope before. She explains that her brother used to tease her by calling her Henriette, Henry for short, because she is so much like her father. Her father made it rather obvious that he preferred Maura to her brother.

She tells Eyk a story. "About four months ago he contacted me. He wanted to meet at the docks in Southampton. He was secretive. He said he found out something about our father. I went and waited, but he never showed up. Then I learned that one day earlier, the Prometheus, one of ships my father had bought, had left the same dock. He's been missing four months -- the same amount of time Prometheus has been missing." Her story gets interrupted when she notices that one of the beetles is crawling past.
A bug caught under a glass
Maura catches a beetle under a glass

How can an entire landscape fit inside a ship?

A creepy song plays that sounds like a woman gasping for air. Maura catches the beetle under a glass and places it into a metal box for safekeeping. She asks Eyk to help her move the bed. She uncovers the panel, opens it, and climbs down. As Eyk watches, she uses the beetle to open the panel. Just like before, she climbs through. Eyk takes a gas lantern and follows her.

This time when she crawls through the panel, they arrive in Eyk's dreamworld. We hear Nina singing the German song. Maura can hear the song this time, too. She sees this house where his family burned alive.

We then cut to Eyk and Maura, now inside the house. He wonders how his dream landscape can fit inside a ship. Maura tells him that she has one, as well.

Before we move onto Sebastian, this made me believe a new theory. If Maura is like her father, is it possible that Maura is doing the experiments? Her father used to like to watch. Does Maura like to watch? The evidence is high since Maura's voice says wake up. She may have more control than we realize. Whether consciously or unconsciously, Maura is now a prime suspect, as far as I'm concerned.

Sebastian and Wilhelm

Sebastian walks towards the bridge. Wilhelm is sitting on the floor in the fetal position. He shows Sebastian the message. He begins to panic and says the captain was right. Sebastian calmly uses his button machine to put Wilhelm out of commission. He drags Wilhelm's body away.

We go back to Eyk and Maura. You can tell that Eyk feels better about her now that she has shared her secrets. She tells him that she doesn't think the people are dying. That it might be a dream or an experiment. That she was a doctor at the hospital, but her father tried to make her believe she was a patient.

She's scared that she doesn't remember who she is. She acknowledges her name was on the Prometheus list, but she doesn't remember being on the ship. Now Eyk shares with Maura. He admits that he found his own name on the Prometheus list. He's named as the captain. He shows her his signature.

Daniel stops the ticking

Back in the boiler room, Daniel continues to try and stop the machine. He looks tired and exhausted. With great effort, he completes the correct actions, and the ticking noise stop. He stumbles, barely able to stand.

Maura and Eyk notice the sound has stopped. Ángel becomes aware and realizes he's in Ramiro's arms. He overjoyed that Ramiro came back for him. Franz and Tove untie themselves. She goes to her mom, and the family mourns together for the loss of Krester.

Everyone wakes up

Jérôme unties Lucien and Clémence. He doesn’t answer any of their questions. He smiles sweetly at Clémence and departs.

On the deck, Virginia stands on the ledge. Was she ready to jump? Did she wake up and just want to see what's going on? Since this is the first time we have seen her for a while, we don't know how she fared. We do know Virginia is a survivor, though. She greets Maura and says she had the strangest dream.

The cliffhanger

The people left all come onto deck: Maura, Eyk, Virginia, Franz, Tove, Iben, Anker, Ramiro, Ángel, Olek, Ling, Clémence, Lucien, and Jérôme. A total of 14 people. Sebastian then enters stage left. Everyone points their guns at him. They were on different sides, but one person none of them trust is Sebastian.

He holds his hands up and calls Eyk "Captain," signaling that he is now under Eyk's leadership again. He shows the captain the note and order to sink the ship. Everyone wonders in amazement what this could mean. It's Daniel who comes out and says he thinks the order refers to them. They are to sink their own ship.
An older man stares straight ahead
Henry Singleton, we presume 

The ending song plays: "The Wizard" by Black Sabbath

We then cut to a new location, although we suspect this is the same room that had the television screens. A gray-haired man sits at a large desk. It's a very 1970s looking room, very Bond Villain-esque, with multiple telephones and a large bookcase.

A man comes in and places a perforated piece of paper on the desk. It's an alert from "Project Kerberos." The paper reads: Initialized Protocol 867-2230. The message is just triangles.

We then pull back and see that the man at the desk is Maura's father. He's dressed an awful lot like a soldier in the Imperial Army from Star Wars. Behind him, there's a panel of electrical lights flashing. It's a combination of Star Wars and Star Trek aesthetic.

He tells his messenger that he should "tell him he doesn't have much more time. He needs to bring me the boy." Well who is HE in this case? Is it Sebastian? Daniel? Jérôme?

The messenger walks out. Maura's father walks to the window and opens the drapes. Outside is a large black pyramid. And cut.

Burning questions:

  • Why does the boy always hold the pyramid?
  • Is Maura the mastermind or part of her father's army?
  • What happens when the ticking starts?
  • If they have done this before, how many times, and how does that happen?
  • Why do they have to keep repeating the same experiment? What is supposed to happen?
  • Will the group keep working together or suspect each other?
  • Sebastian seems like the main enemy right now. Will the group keep thinking he's innocent?