The Myth of the Guardian of The Cave
Episode 3 of Paranormal begins with Refaat sitting by Huwaida’s bedside while she’s unconscious – but still alive. Following the Egyptian curse, he’s somewhat of a celebrity now given his part in moving the mummified bodies.
Outside, Reda arrives to watch over her for a while, prompting Refaal to ask whether he’s heard anything more about Shiraz’s mansion. He hasn’t, of course, but does tell Refaat to drop this for now. Of course Refaat doesn’t, subsequently scribbling in his notebook about Shiraz.
Back home, Refaat receives a letter from his friend Louis, apologizing for not being able to send another maze. Refaat’s got no time for mazes though, given he’s en-route to Libya to see him in person. He’s giving a lecture on resurrection but Refaat is distracted. Not just by Maggie’s presence but also because of the rumours surrounding a flower there that could help cure Huwaida.
After the big speech, Louis catches up with his old friend backstage. Louis tellingly mentions his engagement ring and how Refaat’s taken the initiative. He’s also sure to tell him it’s “in the wrong direction” – a subtle dig toward Maggie there. Still, Refaat brushes that aside and asks for a sample of silphium, believing that will cure Huwaida.
Eventually this sees Refaat, Louis and Maggie head out to the desert in a bid to find this flower. It’s extremely rare and as the endless yellow sea stretches on, it seems like they’re looking for a needle in a haystack.
They settle in for the night and make a campfire where Maggie and Louis start to flirt a little while reading tarot cards. After a brief intermission featuring hordes of men telling them to leave, a man named Ezz El-Din shows and claims to know where the flower is located.
Apparently it’s in a cave but it appears there’s something strange lurking inside. They need to get the custodian’s permission to enter before they do, prompting Refaat to scoff at the very notion and follow his own initiative.
As they arrive at the cave, Refaat blows the place up with TNT. After splitting up (because that’s always a good idea in the horror genre), the group start searching through the claustrophobic passageways for the flower. Except Ezz El-Din though, who flees from the cave mouth until something catches up to him.
When the others head back outside again, fruitless in their search, they find an ominous footprint belonging to a beast and the mangled corpse of their guide. Refaat feels guilty for opening the cave, believing it’s his fault but refusing to acknowledge there’s a mythical creature after them.
As Refaat’s icy cool façade starts to melt away, we learn that significant moments in his past caused him to start building up walls and stop caring as much. A lot of this is linked to a young boy in the past but before he can continue, this monstrous beast shows itself.
It’s an ape, believe it or not, and as they run Refaat walks straight into quicksand. Stopped in his tracks, Refaat manages to duck just in time as this ape lunges at him… and ends up stuck in the quicksand too.
Despite Refaat believing the threat has passed, Louis’s tarot cards seem to suggest otherwise. The compass is completely skewed too, spinning in circles, while the whole caravan of travelers lie dead on the floor nearby. One survivor there claims that the custodian has been released before losing consciousness.
Refaat meanwhile, finds the ghostly vision of Shiraz again and follows her into the cave. He also finds Ezz El-Din’s bag of goodies, which he takes with him into the cave after finding the flowers.
Determined to blow it up, Maggie’s voice calls out and distracts the Professor from following through with this. Eventually he stumbles upon another ape which turns out was actually protecting its offspring, not the flower.
As Maggie arrives, not long after Refaat makes peace with this creature by gently placing its child on the floor, the duo scramble outside just as the dynamite blows and closes the cave once more.
With everything resolved for now, Refaat heads back to the hotel where he has his tarot cards read again. The first seems to hint that a loved one will die. Is this Huwaida? The second however, hints toward Refaat’s dreams while the third…isn’t read as Maggie calls Refaat away.
The duo make it back to Egypt with the vial of Silphium. Time passes and the serum seems to do the trick, awakening Huwaida who finally regains consciousness. By her bedside however, is a letter from Refaat. The engagement ring is inside and the letter reads “I’m sorry Huwaida.”
It seems like Refaat has made his decision.
The Episode Review
With the changed setting of Libya, the gorgeous visuals really bleed through showing off the beauty of the desert. There’s some nice rotating shots late on featuring the sunset which really typify this too.
Meanwhile, the themes surrounding death are nicely presented here and seeing Louis embrace spirituality – something Refaat is fighting against -serves up a nice juxtaposition of character.
With Huwaida on the mend and Refaat more determined than other, the ending leaves the door wide open for the future.