The Fall of the House of Usher – Episode 1 “A Midnight Dreary” Recap & Review

A Midnight Dreary

In The Fall of the House of Usher Episode 1, Fredrick Usher, the last living heir to the Fortunato Pharmaceuticals fortune, dies under sad circumstances. The tragic event has caused shock waves throughout the business community.

Roderick invites assistant U.S. attorney Charles Auguste Dupin to his childhood home during a particularly terrible week for the Fortune 500 Usher family. He even assures him he will learn the truth from him.

Charles and Roderick have an intense conversation in the living room of Roderick’s childhood home. Following this, Roderick tells Charles that in order to clarify the truth to him, he has to tell him the story from the very beginning.

After this, we are transported to the year 1953. We are introduced to Roderick’s mother Eliza, who is the personal secretary to the CEO of Fortunato Pharmaceuticals. Back then, William Longfellow ran Fortunato Pharmaceuticals as its CEO. Eliza even told her kids Roderick and Madeline not to go near the CEO’s property.

Madeline and Roderick sneak into the CEO’s backyard one day to watch him. William spots them and immediately appears enraged. Eliza, however, appears and takes her children.

Eliza falls sick a few years later. She declines medical help from Roderick and Madeline when they offer to call a doctor. She soon passes away. Eliza is a devout Catholic, and she has serious objections towards the healthcare facility and its procedures. Roderick and Madeline decide to bury her in the backyard in accordance with her wishes.

At some point during that night, Eliza rises from the grave. She initially confronts Madeline and Roderick as they buried her alive. However, they admit that they didn’t know and apologize to her. Eliza then proceeds towards William’s home. She then kills him and dies herself.

Roderick reveals to Charles in the present day that he has six children from five different women. However, unlike his father (who we understand is William), he always kept his home open for all of them.

The conversation between Roderick and Charles then shifts to the lawsuit that Roderick and Madeline are pursuing in favour of Fortunato Pharmaceuticals. Roderick reveals to Charles that this was the last gathering of his children.

Following that, we go back in time to the courtroom where the trial is taking place. An informant within the Usher family, according to attorney Charles, is eager to reveal the family’s crimes. The very foundations of the family are being shaken by this. This is followed by Roderick inviting his children and their significant others around for dinner at his house.

Juno, Roderick’s wife, is introduced to us during the Usher family dinner. All of his children appear briefly: Fredrick Usher, Victorine Lafourcade, Tamerlane Usher, Prospero Usher, Napoleon Usher, and Camille L’espanaye.

We find out that Leo is an influencer in the game industry. He is in a committed relationship, yet he is also spotted with another woman. We know Fredrick works for Roderick. Tamerlane Usher seems to be a lifestyle influencer, and Victorine Lafourcade is a scientist. Prospero Usher, on the other hand, has aspirations of opening a string of thriving nightclubs, an endeavour that doesn’t have Rodrick’s stamp of approval.

As the Usher family gathers for dinner, Roderick insists that his children sign a few legally binding documents. We understand that whoever leaks the information will face repercussions in terms of the will. In addition, Roderick offers $5 million to anyone who finds the mole.

We find ourselves thrust back in time to New Year’s Eve, December 31, 1979. Young Roderick and Madeline go out to a club, where they strike up a conversation with Verna, one of the bartenders. We observe that Verna forbids the siblings from discussing politics at the bar.

The episode concludes by transporting us to Frederick Usher’s funeral. During the ceremony, Roderick spots strange figures on the top stands of the church. “She’s here,” he cries out afterward. His granddaughter Lenore then proceeds to inquire about his health.

Furthermore, we are aware that Roderick is experiencing some really peculiar hallucinations. In addition, he has a nosebleed and faints after the funeral. Following this, Madeline asks for a specific doctor, Donaldson, to treat him, bringing the episode to a close.

The Episode Review

During episode 1, the primary characters of the show are introduced, and we are provided with a quick overview of the show’s premise. We also learn about Roderick’s upbringing, including who his parents were and who the mysterious woman in his past was.

The stunning visual imagery used is one of the episode’s most striking features. Even though Rodrick’s hallucinations only last for a short period of time, they are very unsettling.

After the funeral ceremony, we also spot a crow. Crows are believed to symbolise never-ending sadness in Edgar Allan Poe’s writings. All of Roderick’s children are dead, so the symbolism was meaningful and eerily chilling.

The episode’s clever use of sound both frightened me and made me appreciate it. A clock can be heard ticking in the background as Roderick and Madeline reach out to their mother as she emerges from the grave. If you really listen, the sound of the clock ticking can be extremely unsettling. Edgar Allan Poe frequently employed the use of sound and other forms of noise to heighten the reader’s experience of the works’ underlying emotions. In light of this, the episode’s use of sound is both brilliant and unsettling.


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1 thought on “The Fall of the House of Usher – Episode 1 “A Midnight Dreary” Recap & Review”

  1. Can’t stand it so far. Pretentious, superficial, ostentatious, and over the top acting in my opinion. Did I mention boring? Will watch it a while longer The way everyone gushes I feel I must be missing something but what?

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