Archive 81 – Season 1 Episode 5 “Through the Looking Glass” Recap & Review

Through the Looking Glass

Episode 5 of Archive 81 begins with Melody at the hospital, waiting patiently for an update on Beatriz. As she heads off to get a hot drink from the vending machine, she turns around and finds Dan standing in front of her. This, again, is another dream as the show continues to blend these two timelines together.

In the morning, Melody asks Beatriz about the man she saw. She refuses to look again and instead grabs Melody’s wrist and tells her “not to let it out.”

Frantic and in need of help, Melody rushes back to see Steven Turner but he’s on weekend leave. So naturally, she heads over to his place instead. Once there, Melody admits she thinks she’s being haunted. Specifically, haunted by Dan.

The thing is, Steven actually had an anonymous complaint against him and he believes it was Melody. She didn’t, as it turns out, but it explains his initial frostiness toward her.

Steven actually wrote about Melody on a message board, but not by name. Six months back, a researcher was looking for subjects with specific genetic dispositions to psychic occurrences. This man referred to them as “Baldung.”

Now, Steven was convinced that Melody was one of these people; feeling paralyzing terror, making drawings with scribbles all over and feeling like she was being pulled somewhere. All of these are signs. After going over Melody’s case though, this researcher claims Melody wasn’t a match.

Back at Visser Apartment, Melody learns from Jess that Annabelle has moved into another apartment, that on the sixth floor. Remember when Melody was told never to visit that floor? Well, she’s there now and Cassandra shows where her friend is staying.

Inside the apartment, Cassandra is entranced and claims the building is special and that it’s speaking to her. She also hurries Melody out the room, claiming she’s getting ready for a big art exhibit she’s been invited to that night.

Cassandra is definitely not acting like herself, but in the hallway Melody notices a strange locked door – with locks on her side – and decides to open it up.

That strange ethereal humming and moaning emanates again, as Melody begins creeping through this dilapidated area to find the origin of the noise. As she continues on, she finds a circle of people moaning and huffing just like in the community room. Suddenly, they all stop.

There’s talk here about Father Russo bringing her to them but John Smith manages to save Melody before this situation turns ugly.

John reveals that these men and women are being locked inside this room “for their own protection”. According to John, they’re all addicts and Samuel is the one who’s been keeping them there, bringing them food and water to help keep them secure.

Back in her apartment, Melody meets one of these “junkies”, a guy called Chris Lee. He’s been brought to the apartment

on account of the Stardust. This is his colloquial name for the mold growing all around, which he claims shimmers. Now, given Dan was also told about mold growing in the bathroom by the housekeeper, could this be a foreshadowed clue?

Chris goes on to claim that something is calling to him and they call back, hence the humming. He also knows about Julia but refuses to divulge what until he gets a ticket from Father Russo.

When Melody heads to the church later on that day, she learns that Father Russo actually jumped in front of a train and killed himself earlier on.

This links back to the early parts of this episode where we saw that news broadcast about his death. Now, the “ticket” that Chris was referring to is actually a substance abuse recovery center.

Finding a form, Melody continues to snoop and finds a key in Russo’s office, which leads to schematics featuring writing scribbled over it. Not only that, she finds a strange old book with “Visser?” written on the front and strange images of demons inside.

One of those appears to be the thing inside the armoire. According to this book, it’s called Keelego and is both God and demon. There’s also evidence here that Samuel is not who he says he is either, with several different identities scribbled inside.

Samuel (or whoever this guy is) suddenly shows up in Russo’s office. Melody hides and stays quiet as Samuel rips a page out of Russo’s diary and leaves before he’s spotted.

That night, a rattled Melody heads to the gallery to se Annabelle. She implores Annabelle to leave the Visser that night, knowing that something is wrong.

However, that spookiness she’s feeling is raised to another level when Annabelle shows off her artwork. She claims the woman in these paintings is from “the other side” and excitedly chirps that she’s a Spirit Receiver now, just like Eleanor was.

I mean, the paintings are amazing but it seems to be the same person whom Eleanor used to paint, especially if Tamara’s little quip is anything to go by. As Melody contemplates whether this could be linked to the mold, everything take a turn for the worst.

The curator, Gabby, reveals to Annabelle that her paintings have been sold to an anonymous buyer. Annabelle is furious, and rips them off thee wall, claiming they’re not for sale and just for sharing with the world. Melody believes Samuel is the culprit and the one responsible for buying the paintings.

As she questions Samuel about his history and weird names, Chris suddenly drops from high above Visser Apartments and commits suicide. Only… Virgil  appears next to him in the video, as the scene cuts and we return to Dan sitting, watching all of this on his monitor.

Dan is spooked and immediately calls out for Virgil to show up and reveal what’s going on. When he appears in the house, Virgil reveals that Samuel is actually his brother.

Dan’s task here is to try and find out what happened to him, and whether Melody is responsible for his death. Virgil believes Melody was the one who started the fire when she didn’t receive the answers she wanted regarding Julia.

Continuing, Virgil even questions whether Melody is responsible for the fire that consumed Dan’s family too. The only way to find out is to dig deeper into these tapes and finish the job.

The Episode Review

Archive 81 is just starting to get good now and as some answers are revealed, more are starting to crop up. Just who is Samuel and what is his connection to Virgil? What’s going on with the chapel next to the house? And who are these Spirit Receivers? There’s a lot we don’t know but tantalizing clues have been spread right the way through this series.

Whether we’ll find out what happened to Julia Bennett or not is still left up for debate but one thing’s for sure -this show is just starting to get very interesting.

After a relatively tepid start, Archive 81 is just starting to find another level. Let’s hope this continues across the episodes to come!

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You can read our full season review for Archive 81 here!


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