1899 Episode 6 Recap: The Pyramid

May your coffee kick in before reality does. It's time for episode 6 of 1899. To see all of my 1899 recaps, go here.

In the last action-packed episode, a strange ticking noise caused passengers to abandon ship, and the boy finally speaks to Maura!


Episode 6: The Pyramid

We open looking up on a towering grove of trees. The trees sway in the wind, creating an ominous feeling. Tove runs through the trees in a panic. She's calling desperately for Ada. She's running without any sense of direction or care. A child laughs in the distance. Tove looks around, trying to find the source of the laughter. A child's voice says, "Come and find me." Tove replies that it's not funny anymore. She keeps looking.

She walks towards a tree trunk, and a man comes forward from the shadows, holding a rifle. He says, "Gotcha." Tove gasps with fright. She then is commanded to, "Wake up!"

She opens her eyes and is on board the Prometheus once again. The telegraph is going. Sebastian is trying to send a distress signal. She's surrounded by all the remaining survivors after most of the passengers walked to their death. Distressed from her memory, she goes after Maura, demanding to know where the boy is.

Daniel moves in front of Maura, clearly ready to defend her if necessary. Franz comes forward, probably surprised at Tove's switch from insisting they protect the boy to being ready to attack him after all. Anker steps up and tries to calm his daughter. Tove states that her mother was right, and that the boy is the cause.

We need to split up  

Daniel replies by trying to divert her attention to a more pressing matter. "We're in the middle of the ocean and the engine is down. If we don't get it up and running again, we will all die."

Eyk agrees and begins to give everyone orders. He thinks they need to try and find land. To accomplish this, they must all split up. Olek, Franz, Ángel, Jérôme, and Lucien are to go to the coal room and get things working again. Sebastian is to show Ramiro and Anker how to send distress signals and to keep calling for help with their coordinates. Mrs. Wilson is to take Iben, Tove, and Clémence to search for survivors. Eyk and Maura will look for the boy. Daniel looks pissed. Eyk doesn't give him any tasks. Perhaps by default he assumed Daniel would go shovel coal, but I can tell you right now that Daniel has no such plans.

This conceit, however oddly constructed, ensures that we have new characters interacting who have been strangers up until this point.

Everyone goes to fulfill their tasks, and Tove looks straight into the camera. Cue the theme song.

In the coal room, the hidden panel lights up. An infestation of black crystals begins to take shape and quickly spreads.

Thank you for not thinking I'm crazy    

Eyk and Maura walk down the darkened hallway of the first-class bedrooms. She asks Eyk why he didn't tell the group her secret – that her father is the owner of both ships. In response, Eyk asks her why she didn't blast his secret – that he was really the captain of the Prometheus. They bond over their shared secrets. She grabs his arm and tells him thank you. They look into each other's eyes. She thanks him for not thinking she's crazy. He tells her they should keep looking. The sexual tension is thick between these two.

"Come and find me."   

Elsewhere, Mrs. Wilson and the women begin to look for survivors. They use their lanterns and investigate the rooms. It's a spooky scene in the dark. The ship makes plenty of noises, like creaks and groans. Tove hears a child laughing. It's her sister Ada's voice, teasing Tove: "Come and find me." Tove gets ruffled. She whispers for her mother to come. Iben comes to check on her. Tove mentions that she thought she heard something. Iben takes this as a sign that Tove is now hearing God's voice, as well. Maybe Tove will believe her now. This causes Tove to take a step back. She wants nothing to do with her mother's delusions.

Virginia decides the group will move faster if they split up. For some reason, she tells Clémence and Tove to stick together and tells Iben to stay with her. It's not clear what her reasons were for separating the mother and daughter. Maybe she felt they were getting too distracted together. We see that Clémence's hair is being held by a triangle-shaped clip.

Don't touch the black crystals  

Meanwhile, the men make their way towards the engine room. Ling is with them, of course, keeping step with Olek. Ling looks back at Lucien, probably remembering their awkward evening together. Olek notices but doesn't let on that he has seen anything. They halt when they notice black crystals growing from the ceiling. Everyone speculates on what they might be. Lucien reaches up, as if to touch the crystals. Daniel tells him not touch it since they don't know what it might do. Franz seems like he wants to argue, but ultimately, they keep going and leave the crystals alone. Clearly, Daniel knows something that he isn't sharing. After watching the group walk on, Daniel runs off in the opposite direction. He has his own mission.

Who is the dreamer?  

Maura and Eyk end up in her room 1011. She tells Eyk that the boy took her down one of the shafts. Eyk says, "Maybe you were right. Maybe this is a dream." Maura then says, "Who is dreaming it then?"

This reminds me of the line that Monica Bellucci said to Gordon Cole in Twin Peaks: "We are like the dreamer who dreams, and then lives inside the dream. But who is the dreamer?"

Maura climbs down the shaft ladder in her room. She climbs through the portal and jumps down into her dreamscape. Eyk follows. This is his first time in her world. Eyk asks where they are. Maura tells him that it's like the place where she grew up but here it feels different. That the building (the hospital) belongs to her father. They set off towards the hospital, ready to search for the boy.

Children are annoying  

We then find Tove and Clémence searching for survivors. They think maybe it's a waste of time. Tove bends over and grunts in pain. Clémence tries to make conversation, asking when the baby is due. Tove seems to understand and tells her the baby will arrive in two months.

Clémence shares that she always wanted children until her sister had a few. She mentions that, in fact, children are quite annoying. "It's all the things you want when you are little. Fall in love, get married, have children. But it ends up being the total opposite of what you imagine." This speech sounds an awful lot like something Lucien would say, which is odd. When Clémence makes this speech, it's not at all what we expected her to say. But then again, there was that scene in episode 1 when she makes sly looks after a failed lovemaking session with Lucien. Besides that moment, she's played the dutiful wife to Lucien, but perhaps she resents that role more than we know.

She tells Tove that she admires her so much. To Clémence, Tove seems so strong and free. Clémence looks around and notices some men's clothes on hangers. She then does an odd thing. She says, "Do you know what they say? That men invented dresses and heels so that women can't run away." She then pulls her skirt down and steps into a pair of men's trousers. They fit exactly. All along, Maura has been the only woman wearing pants. Now, Clémence joins her in this act of rebellion.

Here's a shovel. Get to work.   

The men arrive in the coal room. Olek looks around, figuring out what to do next. Ángel looks so out of place. We know he hasn't done a day of work in his life. Olek takes charge and hands out the shovels. He tells the group that they need to make a fire on both sides. Olek, the one who was always the low man on the totem pole, is the only one who knows what to do.

The coal is stuck, so true to form, Olek climbs up to clear the jam. Ling decides to follow him up. She doesn't want to spend one moment without him. Perhaps she fears that Lucien will try to talk to her again. Together, they pull on the lever until the coal flows down. Ling notices the photo of Lady Liberty on the ground. She asks Olek if the picture belongs to him and wants to know if it's from a girl. Olek takes the picture from her, looking embarrassed.

He tells her the picture is from his brother who lives in America. It's a long story. Ling says, "You're so different from other men." She then kisses him gently but pulls away. She starts to walk off, not sure how he feels. As she turns, he grabs her hand and pulls her to him. They kiss more passionately this time.

Back in room 1011, Daniel barges in and realizes that Maura and Eyk are in the shaft together. He gets upset and climbs down after them. As he comes into Maura's dreamscape, it's snowy. He looks determined and strides toward the cross-marked grave with purpose.

My father built this for my mother  

Meanwhile, Eyk and Maura have reached the mental hospital. They enter. On the door is a symbol of a snake on a pole. Maura tells Eyk that this place is a mental hospital. She tells Eyk a story, "My father built this for my mother. She was the only one he could show affection to. She had two children: me and my brother. With each birth, she became less and less who she used to be. At first, she just started to forget things. Then she started to forget our names, and, eventually, us. My father resented it. He wanted her to get better. So, he built this hospital. He wanted to learn how the human brain worked and how to repair it if damaged."

She walks down the hallway towards the room marked 1011. She sees a quick vision of men dragging her towards that room and towards the dreaded chair. Eyk asks if something happened there. She tells Eyk she doesn't remember, which is a lie.

Eyk walks past the chair and comes to a window with curtains. He pulls the curtains aside, and we see a piece of the ship's hull. Maura then walks towards another wall and begins to punch the wall. As she does so, a panel comes loose. It's a false wall. Underneath is more of the ship's hull. They marvel at how a ship is inside Maura's dream world.

I never wanted to be a priest  

Back on the bridge of the Prometheus, Ramiro diligently tries to use the telegraph to call for help. Anker sits near dejectedly. Sebastian looks annoyed that he has been asked to babysit these two men of the cloth. Sebastian decides to make a quick exit. He states, "We're not going to reach anyone anyway," and just takes off. He doesn't ask permission or check if they are all right.

Now Anker and Ramiro are alone. Anker holds Krester's cross. Ramiro tells him that he's sorry for the loss. Anker tells a story: "I never wanted to be a priest. I was a farmer. Like my father and grandfather. We didn't have a lot of money, but we were happy. But then something happened. After that, Iben, my wife, started to hear God's voice. He told her that he had other plans for us. Bigger plans. It gave her hope when all seemed hopeless. And I wanted so badly to feel hope. But most of all, I just wanted her to be happy. But I'm a liar. I've never heard His voice. And if I'm honest, I don't believe He exists."

This is quite a revelation. Ramiro can't understand a word he says, of course, but he understands that Anker is pouring his heart out and could use some comfort. Doing his best priest impersonation, he tells Anker that "All your sins will be forgiven." Anker sobs with relief and release. Ramiro puts his hand on Anker's cheek affectionately. Anker seems to feel better at Ramiro's presence and words. It's nice that Anker has a moment of peace in all of this mess. He has been grieving alone up until this point.

God writes our story  

We cut to Mrs. Wilson and Iben. Virgina also tells Iben that she is sorry for her loss. Unlike Anker, Iben doesn't look sad. She looks proud. She stares disdainfully at Virginia and makes a speech: "They say we each write our own story. But that's not true. It has already been written. God writes our story. There's nothing you can do but accept his choices. Everything that happens is part of his plan."

Virginia looks shaken. She is a woman of the world, who has always felt so in control. She has worked to make her own future in a man's world. Iben walks off. Virginia then notices something on the sill of the port window. She moves forward and notices black crystals forming on the windowsill. She reaches out her hand to touch it. There is no Daniel to warn her of the danger. She touches the black crystals and feels a stinging sensation. At once, a black coating begins to cover her fingers. Virginia looks frightened. Elsewhere on the ship, more black crystals grow.

I've been waiting for you  

We now follow Clémence and Tove. They haven't found any survivors yet. Suddenly Tove sees a vision of Krester walking by – kind of like Eyk kept seeing Nina. Tove follows the vision to see if it's real. She sees Krester again. This time, he turns around, as if to make sure she is following him. He then disappears from sight. Tove follows.

She opens a door and walks out into another place. She's in a harvest field of some kind. She's wearing a peasant dress, and her hair is nicely done in a neat braid. The door shuts behind her. She looks down and notices that she's not pregnant. She then notices a large mountain of hay.

She walks towards and around the hay pile. As she comes around the bend, she sees Krester, frozen in place with his hands up. There's a man with a rifle aimed at Krester. It's the same man as in the beginning of the episode. The man unfreezes and says, I've been waiting for you." He shoots at Krester. Tove tries to intervene, but Krester gets shot anyway. Tove falls and wakes up on the ship again.

Tove grabs her belly – either from pain or just the stress of being thrust back and forth between two worlds. Clémence comes around the corner, worried about her. Tove grabs her rifle in a defense posture. She feels threatened. Clémence uses soft words to talk her down. Virginia and Iben then show up. Iben makes sure to take the rifle away from Tove. The search resumes.

Sebastian walks through the smoking room on the ship that holds the cabinet where they boy was found. He opens the cabinet and gets inside, closing the door behind him. Through the closed cabinet door, we see lights and hear pulses of energy.

Is the creator God?  

Back in Maura's dreamworld, they go downstairs and find another wall. Maura is sure that there used to be a door to her father's office there. She bangs on the wall to see if she can hear anything. She grabs Eyk's arm and draws him near. They stare into each other's eyes again. She says, "When the boy brought me here before, he spoke. He said something strange. He said they were listening, and if we wanted answers, we would need to ask the Creator." Eyk wonders aloud if the Creator means God.

They hold hands and stand close. They wonder if they both are mad. They pull away and decide to keep looking.

Tove pays the price  

Tove and Clémence search in the third-class bunkroom. In the darkness, Tove sees Ada's doll sitting on a bed. She picks it up. Clémence notices and asks if she's okay. Noticing Tove's emotional distress, she decides to let her have a minute alone to grieve.

After a moment, Tove hears a noise and holds up her lantern to see if anyone is there. She walks through the bunkroom and notices a man standing with his back to her. She touches his shoulder, thinking it's Krester, but as the man turns, it's the man with the rifle from her vision. She gasps and finds herself in the dream world again.

She runs back towards the hay mound. She comes around the pile of hay and sees Anker and Iben comforting Krester. Krester's face is bleeding badly where he was shot.

The man says that one of the family is missing. He asks where Ada is hiding. They tell him that she's in school. The man is clearly in a position of authority over them. He begins to taunt Krester, "I'm curious to hear your opinion. Do you think telling the truth is a virtue?" Of course Krester nods his head, clearly in pain from the bullet and frightened.

The man says that one must be punished for their sins and that Krester has stolen something from him. He has stolen something and is now lying. The man does not want people working for him who don't have values. Apparently, Krester touched his son and took his innocence. So now he must take something from the family in return. From this we can gather that Krester had a sexual relationship with the man's son and is unhappy about this reveal.

Tove begs him to have mercy, but he knocks her out. When she wakes up, she is on her back and can see birds flying in the sky. Gradually, we realize that she's being sexually assaulted by the family's employer. The family all turn their faces away, ashamed for Tove. They are either tied up and can't help or are too scared to help.

She takes a rock and knocks the man on the head. She tries to crawl away, but he grabs her ankle. He hits her hard. He then starts to choke her. She hits him with the rock again. Somehow, this enables her to grab his rifle and shoot him in the face. She screams with all her might.

She wakes up. Clémence finds her and holds her close, trying to help her realize the bad dream is over. Whether it was a dream or not, Tove's face is covered in blood. This is an emotionally devastating scene. But it really explains so much about the dynamic of the Danish family. Up until this point, we have wondered why Tove is so bossy and grouchy. Krester seemed like the kind, gentle brother, leaving Tove to take the strong position. But in this moment, when Tove was being attacked, no one in her family tried to stop it from happening. She had to save herself. Her father and brother are very weak. And they keep telling her the child is blessed when Tove is carrying the child of rape. It gives you a new insight into how she feels. Tove had to pay the price for Krester's actions, and he doesn't seem empathetic of what she went through. In his shame, he turns to a posture of defense.

Fate will take care of it now  

Down in the coal room, Lucien decides to make a sheepish apology to Jérôme. Jérôme had an opportunity to exact revenge and didn't. This probably leaves Lucien feeling called out. But instead of making a sincere apology, he decides to play the victim. He tells Jérôme that he really is sorry for everything. Jérôme says, "Really? You're sorry for being a liar or turning me in? Well, you got what you wanted."

Lucien replies, "That's where you're wrong. I didn't get what I wanted. I got what I deserved. There's something in my head. I have only a few days left. I need to go to America. There's a doctor there. He will try to operate to get it out. He's never done it on someone who's alive. Hey, you never know. Your wish came true. The only thing you wanted to see was for me to be dead. Fate will take care of it for you now."

This all seems unnecessarily dramatic. And it's a downright lousy apology. Lucien clearly wants Jérôme to feel sorry for him. And when did Jérôme ever want Lucien to be dead? He just wanted to not be culpable in living a lie and taking credit for something he didn't do.

We don't get much time to linger on that, though. Because the ship comes to life! All the shoveling of coal has worked. The ship's engine makes a couple of happy whistles for good measure. The lights come on in the ship.

Who is steering the ship?   

Over on the bridge, Ramiro is elated. In his happiness, he grabs Anker and kisses him on the cheek. Anker looks completely taken aback. They both realize that there is no one to steer the ship now. The captain and Sebastian are nowhere to be found. Both Ramiro and Anker start trying to figure out what to do. Ramiro grabs some of the ship's tools and tries to figure out what direction they should go. Anker grabs a book and thinks he can study up perhaps.

Ramiro thinks Anker is crazy for thinking he can learn to steer a ship with a book. Anker just stares at the book in confusion. He shares it with Ramiro. This is when we realize the book is a fake. Inside are only a series of repeating words: "May your coffee kick in, before reality does." The tense music plays. What does this strange phrase mean?

Daniel's revelation  

Back in the hospital, Maura and Eyk feel frustrated. They feel they have searched everywhere for clues. But then they see the black crystals growing. They move towards them to take a closer look, but Daniel then shows up. He commands them to stop at once. They should not touch the crystals.

Maura and Eyk both want an explanation as to why he is following them and why he doesn't want them to touch the crystals. Eyk has a gun and points it at Daniel as a warning not to come closer. Maura immediately believes Daniel is working for her father and eyes him with suspicion.

Daniel seems very hurt that Maura doesn't remember who he is. He also warns them that they don't have much time because the crystals are spreading. He begs Maura to remember. He tells Maura he won't leave her again and won't let "it" happen again. Maura looks at the door to the chair room in confusion. Eyk and Maura want Daniel to go into that room until they can figure out what to do.

Instead, Daniel hits Eyk, and the two of them get into a tussle. Eyk is about to tackle Daniel, but Daniel uses his device to transport Eyk somewhere else. Eyk disappears from view and wakes up in his dream world.

Back in the hospital, Maura demands to know where Eyk has gone. Daniel tries to convince her that he's on her side. He wants a chance to explain. But Maura is not ready to listen. Daniel then reveals that he and Maura were married 12 years ago. Maura believes this is just another of her father's games. She commands Daniel to get into room 1011 and takes away his device. He tells her he loves her and says, "Please wake up." She closes and locks the door and runs outside.

She begins to chant, "I'm not crazy. My name is Maura Franklin. Born in Morefield." She then yells to her father that she knows he's watching her. In her frustration, she throws the gun as hard as she can. It smashes into an invisible wall and creates a crack, like broken glass.

She walks towards this new discovery and reaches out her hand to touch the wall. Like when the bullet froze in the air, she reaches out her fingers to make sure she's not imagining this discovery. She finds a corner and pulls at a piece of wall which comes off in her hands like fabric. She finds more of the ship's hull inside.

Her father stares intently into Maura's face. He watches her through the television screen, captivated by what he sees. On other screens, we can see Olek shoveling coal, Ramiro and Anker, and other remaining survivors.

A storm comes     

The four women come out from their searching onto the deck of the ship. Virginia looks at her hand. It's now completely covered in black and may be spreading through her body. We can't see because of her dress. The finale song is "All Along the Watchtower" by Jimi Hendrix. A storm is about to begin.

As the show comes to an end, we see Eyk climb up from his dreamworld. But as he comes out, we see the ship looks deserted and in ruins. He has come up out of the Prometheus, rather than the Kerberos. All around him, we can see at least seven ships in a giant ship's graveyard.

That's quite and ending. Now we know why Daniel followed Maura so intently. And the storm beginning was a great spooky cliffhanger to lead us into the next episode.

Burning questions:

  • Why does the boy always hold the pyramid?
  • Is Maura the mastermind or part of her father's army?
  • 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?

Before we close, I wanted to talk about the snake on a pole symbol we saw on the hospital doors. This is the universal symbol of health and healing and is the official logo for the World Health Organization (WHO). The symbol has roots in Greek mythology.

The symbol is based on two Greek myths. The first is called the caduceus. This version has wings and two snakes. The caduceus is carried by Hermes, who was a messenger between the gods and the humans and a guide to the underworld.

The 2nd version has no wings and only one snake. This is the version used in 1899. This represents the staff of Asclepius, a demigod According to myth, he was able to bring the dead back to life. He was killed by Zeus for disrupting the natural order and tampering with matters of the gods.

Someone in this story may be trying to control matter of life or death by performing resurrections without "permission" from the gods. We also know that Maura is the child of a father who wanted to understand the brain so he could control his wife's deterioration. Also, the boy was "dead" – thrown overboard – and then came back to life and health. Just interesting things to contemplate as we near the end.