The Myth of the Curse of the Pharaoh
Episode 2 of Paranormal stays true to its name – beginning with strange phenomena plaguing Egypt as dark clouds gather overhead, choking out the sun.
Refaat ignores his constantly ringing phone and heads back to school, where he finds Maggie there studying under a microscope. She’s pretty cold toward him, but he’s got no time to dwell on that. Officials take him down to the morgue (is there where they take mummified corpses?) where he’s tasked with conducting an autopsy of a mummy they’ve recently uncovered from the dig site.
Meanwhile, Howaida speaks to her piano student who questions whether the sun will appear again or not. She remains optimistic but out the corner of her eye, she sees a strange girl standing in the doorway. Is this Shiraz? Before we find out, the apparition vanishes as quickly whence it came. This is clearly a bad omen though.
While Refaat gets scrubbed up and ready to perform, he overhears worried officials there mentioning how everyone who’s got near to the mummy before has met a nasty fate.
Refaat turns up complete with a big hazmat suit and it’s just as well – slicing open the stomach of this mummy unleashes a whole horde of scarabs that ooze out like a swarming mass, consuming everyone and everything in their path.
Refaat survives though, whose quick thinking prevents him from ending up as messy dinner for these critters. As the camera pans down however, we see one of them crawling inside the cigarette pack on the ground.
At home that evening, Refaat asks Taha whether he’s seen anything else spooky but for now it appears he hasn’t. The real issue here though comes from Refaat’s confliction over the women in his life – specifically his feelings toward Maggie and Huwaida.
Trying to qualm these doubts, Refaat invites Huwaida out to the movies. As they talk, she admits that she too has seen the spirit of Shiraz but Refaat is doubtful.
That evening, Huwaida begins to hear strange whispering and growls in her house, right on cue with the lights flickering out. This weirdness is seemingly explained through an incredulous and alarmed Ramzi, who shows up at Refaa’s apartment and reveals what’s going on.
The strange spirit known as Mut, linked to the black pharaoh, is out for vengeance. Seemingly it’s set its sights on Refaat and those closest to him. Strange writing on his wall reading “Death” seems to hint as much too.
Ramzi delivers more exposition next, as we learn that most Egyptians refer to this mummy as Ka-She-Ra, which loosely translates as “the sad one”. In layman terms, the mummy is cursed and disturbing this corpse has unleashed an evil plague that’s spreading across Egypt.
It appears its first target is Huwaida, who continues to be hunted. As she shows up at Refaat’s house, a piercing shriek is enough for the two men to scramble down and find her passed out on the stairs.
With the curse beginning to spread, Huwaida is hospitalized with a strange illness that no one seems able to cure.
Back at Refaat’s office, Maggie shows up too and the trio gather together to try and work out their next step. Refaat has the scarab trapped under a glass in his office and together, they concoct a plan of action. They’re going to break into the morgue and take the Black Pharaoh’s body.
Ramzi is understandably nervous, believing they need to hurry to avoid being cursed themselves. After breaking in, he and Ramzi scramble out the building with the corpse, evading spirits and humans alike.
Huwaida starts to lose a pulse in hospital while the group bundle back in the car and drive off. Only, Refaat suddenly realizes that the body they hold is not actually Ka-She-Ra, it’s her brother.
Refaat’s on-the-spot plan involves reuniting brother and sister at the site of the temple. Maybe then the curse will be lifted.
It’s an ingenious idea, one that sees this brother and sister side by side once again. Unbeknownst to Refaat, the strange skeletal spirit behind him dissolves into thin air.
The clouds part, the sun shines and Huwaida comes back to life. In the wake of this, Refaat speaks to Maggie about his feelings, telling her he originally had 2 engagement rings in the past. As he gets up, he heads back to Huwaida’s side and promises to be there for her.
The Episode Review
With the mummified curse lifted, the second episode of Paranormal does well to further the beliefs of skeptic Refaat slowly coming to terms with what’s happening around him. His character is fascinating, especially with he confliction he’s currently feeling in his personal life too.
The pharaoh curse is a nice play on the usual Egyptian mummy ideas, this time without a stumbling mummified corpse wandering around (unless you count the spirit materializing behind the professor of course.)
On top of that though, the episode does well to strengthen the various character ties while the ghostly apparition of Shiraz looks like it’s going to be a common thread weaving everything together around these episodic cases.
So far Paranormal has done a good job with its story and it’ll be intriguing to see what direction this one takes next.