The Myth of the Incubus
Where is Shiraz? It’s a question that’s plagued Refaat since Reda’s death and one that sees him constantly scribbling in his notebook. Holding back coughs, episode 5 of Paranormal begins with Refaat popping some pills and looking over the ripped High Priestess card. This signifies dreams and the subconscious mind… could this be how to find Shiraz?
Refaat seems to think so and visits doctor Kamal, asking if there’s a way to dream of specific people. He tells Refaat to think about that person a lot just before going to sleep and when he awakens, write down what happened inside his dream. Eventually this should then allow him to lucid dream.
As he listens to Kamal talking, a groggy Refaat stumbles and eventually collapses on the floor. After being checked on a doctor (while smoking no less), he tells Refaat he’s committing suicide and needs to take it easy.
Refaat does no such thing though, ignoring his nagging parents over the failed engagement to Huwaida. He takes Kamal’s advice instead – repeatedly saying Shiraz’s name before he goes to sleep.
It seems to work too. Refaat awakens inside the mansion with the ghostly cries of a young girl echoing down the hallways. That young girl soon turns into a beast, which chases Refaat down and almost captures him… until our Professor awakens with a start.
Maggie arrives at the front door, just as Refaat quickly writes down his dreams. She pleads with him to get his life in check, which Refaat bites back and tells her “It was until you showed up.”
As Maggie leaves, she notices the two engagement rings by the side and lingers slightly before walking out.
When she does, Refaat continues to dive deeper into this dream theory, with the idea of sleep paralysis and sleepwalking going hand in hand. Kamal suggests he place flour down around his bed to see if anything approaches, which he does so before dreaming again.
The visions pick up right where we left off, as the beast pierces open a door. Refaat sees the young boy from his past lying down, tied to a hospital bed. There’s no time to dwell on that though, as he runs away from this creature through another door and straight into a fiery inferno.
Reda’s there and after a few brief words with his brother, runs and charges through to the other side. He watches in shock as his cat looks like it’s about to meet a grizzly end… and then he wakes up.
On the floor alongside the cat prints are strange marks that look like they’ve been created by some kind of beast. Even worse, he finds the corpse of his cat too.
This brings Refaat back to Kamal again where he mentions what he’s seen Kamal gently tells him that all of this could just be depression but Refaat is a man possessed – a far cry from his cool and icy demeanor early on in the season.
Maggie heads in to see Huwaida, determined to talk about Refaat. It turns out the engagement ring doesn’t fit her and is actually Huwaida’s size. She hands it over to the girl and heads back on her way.
When she does, Huwaida leaves a note for Refaat, pushed under the door with him sitting on the other side. With darkness all around, he silently writes in his diary. Frustrated, he tries in vain to decipher the messages in his subconscious mind.
And then we return to the dreams again. Refaat navigates past the fire and finds himself in a strange watery grave, full of corpses. Walking slowly forward, he starts climbing an impossible high ladder until he finds the beast staring back at him, sending the man plummeting back to the ground.
This time though, Refaat sports a nasty red rash across his chest when he wakes up.
Refaat continues to try and control his dreams, bemoaning his misunderstanding of his own subconscious mind and trying in vain to solve the maze.
Determined not to fall asleep, Refaat heads back to Shiraz’s mansion which he believes may hold the clues he needs. Getting nowhere, he speaks to his Mother instead pleading with her for help; any word to help him escape the maze he’s stuck in.
A sleep deprived and deflated Refaat returns home, looking over the diary and realizing his brain is actually a maze. After receiving a bunch of sleeping pills and some tools, Refaat once again dreams. Only, this time he manages to control himself, lucid dreaming and coming prepared with an axe and a knife.
Returning through all the previous rooms we’ve seen before, Refaat faces his own fears. As he does, in the real world Huwaida arrives to try and steer him to safety. Talaat is also there too and pleads with Refaat, until he’s hit by the beast. In the real world this translates to him having a heart attack and dying.
Unable to deal with all this death surrounding him, Refaat finally knows what he needs to do. He drives up to Shiraz’s mansion where he learns Dr. Ibrahim hung himself. He left the mansion in Refaat’s possession so now he can do whatever he wants with it.
The Episode Review
With a nice episode chock full of surrealist imagery, Paranormal doubles down to showcase a manifestation of Refaat’s fears. Water and fire are both symbolic for strong emotions, with the young boy obviously presenting fear. The ladder is seemingly symbolic of ascending to safety.
Although less action-packed than what we’ve seen before, Paranormal instead decides to build up its foundations ready for its finale.
It seems like the ghost of Shiraz is going to come head-on with Refaat, which should prove very interesting indeed. Roll on the finale!