Gilbert Speaks on “The Terror” S01 E03

4 Apr


Inspired by a true story,  and based on the book by Dan Simmons, “The Terror” is a look at the British Royal Navy’s perilous voyage into unchartered territory in an attempt to find the Northwest Passage. The conditions are treacherous. The two ships are stuck in the ice and their supplies are dwindling. It doesn’t help much that the captain of the Erebus, Sir John Franklin (Ciaran Hinds), doesn’t care much for the captain, Francis Crozier (Jared Harris) of the Terror…but there’s no time for squabbles. Something huge is hunting the men from both ships…and there is nowhere for them to go.

The Ladder

Days after the bear attacks Lt. Gore’s team, two people are placed on security duty: Sgt. Bryant and George Chambers. John Weekes and John Morfin prepare a dead Inuit shaman for burial. This man was accidently killed by the sailors while he and his daughter were making their way across the frozen land and minutes before the first bear attack. While Weekes and Morfin prepare the Inuit, they find all kinds of totems that are carved out of ivory.

One is in the shape of a bear, and the other, shaped as a man. These items are sewn into the Inuit’s clothing, but the daughter was expecting these items to be returned to her. The dead Inuit is then dragged to the ship’s fire hole and dropped in…like some worthless bag of trash. Goodsir is upset about the treatment of the body because he knows that the Esquimaux have strict traditions. But…Morfin tells Goodsir that Captain Sir John Franklin gave his approval.


Captain Crozier is afraid that the long awaited thaw that will release both ships from the frozen clasp of the sea will never come. He wants to send a few of the ship’s marines South to the Hudson Bay Company outpost. Crozier is worried that no one knows of their location, and he is also planning of the rescue team to bring back much needed supplies.


Captain Franklin, who is writing a eulogy for one of his men killed by the bear, refuses to allow this. He accuses Crozier of being a bit of a drama queen and overly frightened. Crozier, who is the better of the two captains, plans on secretly sending out the rescue team, which is really a great plan because the canned provisions are becoming spoiled.

The Bear

Captain Franklin and Doctor Goodsir (Paul Ready) visit the hunting blind where the crew of the Erebus is using rats from the ships as bait to catch this bear. While the Captain has a photo taken of the hunters, two shipmates are arguing about being caught in a sexual encounter by an officer. As revenge Hickey (Adam Nagaitis) defecates in Gibson’s bed, then finds Crozier’s resignation letter.

I’m guessing that the bear that is hunting the two ships is most likely a polar bear, but it must be the biggest damn bear in the Artic. We never see the bear, but this sucker is able to sneak up on the sailors, and rip heads from their bodies like they are nothing more than grapes on a vine. Even though the hunters are armed, bullets do not slow down the bear’s massacre of the men. Crozier sends the Marines from his ship to help save Captain Franklin.


Before Captain Franklin can make it to safety, the bear, who we have not seen so far, grabs hold of the captain and throws him down the ship’s fire hole…but not before ripping off his leg. Hmmm? Is it payback for how the Inuit man was treated?


Crozier becomes the captain for both ships, which pisses of Fitzjames (Tobias Menzies), Franklin’s second in command for the Erebus. As the crew of both ships pray over the coffin that holds Franklin’s leg, the rescue party led by Lt. Fairholme sets out to the Hudson Bay Company outpost. I sure the heck hope this rescue team doesn’t meet up with that bear.

Maybe those ivory totems did serve a purpose? Maybe the Inuit people have a spiritual connection to that bear? All I know is that Lady Silence (Nive Nielsen), the nickname given to the Inuit girl, has built herself an igloo. It looks cozy enough if you like cold weather, but she has nothing to hunt with. How will she find food? No problem. The bear, who may be more supernatural than earthbound, leaves a dead seal for her to eat. This is one smart bear.


The show airs on Mondays at 9 p.m. on AMC, and it is a first class historical story with enough intrigue and horror to keep you glued to your seat. Watch it.

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