The Fall of the House of Usher – Episode 3 “Murder in the Rue Morgue” Recap & Review

Murder in the Rue Morgue

The Fall of the House of Usher Episode 3 opens with creepy chipanzee noises as Arthur Pym enters the deserted building. Authorities can’t stop Arthur from entering because he has a valid permit.

Arthur sees Prospero in the skull mask as he walks through the building, looking at the bodies. As a result, he decides to take his phone along. A burned person grabs his leg as he leaves and begs for help. We quickly learn that the person is Morella. Then, she is immediately taken to the nearby hospital.

In the present day, Roderick tells attorney Auguste that he lost his child, owing to the lethal chemicals he stored. He proceeds by saying that they had to wait until the structure was demolished to dispose of the highly hazardous chemicals.

After the truth is revealed, Auguste shares the news with Roderick that they discovered several doses of Molly in Prospero’s body. He then moves on to say that Molly is the result of Roderick’s medication. However, Roderick refuses to take responsibility for that.

The Ushers and their attorney are brainstorming strategies to avoid public scrutiny in the wake of Prospero’s death. Pym advises they inform the media that Prospero was just a guest at the party where the tragedy occurred.

Camille also adds her two cents, suggesting they spin the story in order to avoid responsibility by appealing to the media’s sense of compassion. Madeline agrees with her, so Camille gets to work on her idea.

Camille’s employees investigate her sworn enemy, Victorine, later that day. When they dig more, they find that Victorine is actually discarding and replacing chimps because her medicinal experiments are unsuccessful.

Napoleon uses drugs with his friends and partner that night. The next morning, he discovers that he is stained with blood. He soon finds out that their cat was killed by stabbing it. However, he has no recollection of the previous night.

To avoid waking up his partner, Julius, Napoleon hastily wipes up the blood and disposes of the dead cat. Following this, when Julius looks for the cat, he suggests that the cat must’ve gotten out, keeping Julius in the dark.

Lenore goes to see her mum, Morella, in the hospital. She panics when she discovers her mother taking off the bandages. Following that, she immediately notifies the medical staff.

Camille attempts to have sex with her assistants. However, they won’t, and it’s because her two assistants are now a couple. Following this, she fires them.

Tamerlane invites her usual woman friend to play house and have sex with her husband. The woman is apparently extremely occupied, so she has sent Verna in her place. Verna appears to get really wife-like with Billy, almost making Tamerlane jealous. However, Tamerlane gets off to them nevertheless.

Soon after, Camille makes up her mind to take out her sworn enemy, Victorine. To out her, she visits her laboratory. However, she runs into Verna, who is working as a security personnel there.

At first, Verna refuses to let Camille into the house. Camille, though, insists that she let her in, so the woman heeds a warning and opens the door.

When Camille is in the lab, she photographs the chimpanzees to use as evidence against Victorine. After this, Verna starts talking to her in a peculiar way that initially frightens her. This is followed by Verna’s chimpanzee-like behaviour, which culminates in Verna attacking and killing Camille.

The following morning, the research facility’s staff members start looking for the security staff. The episode ends on a disturbing note as they enter the facility and find Camille dead and a chimpanzee smirking over her body. 

The Episode Review

This episode loosely takes inspiration from Edgar Allan Poe’s “Murder in the Rue Morgue” and quite a bit from his work “The Fall of the House of Usher.” It’s remarkable that the former work of Edgar Allan Poe is considered the origin of detective crime fiction.

This episode uses one of Edgar Allan Poe’s most interesting themes from “The Fall of the House of Usher”: the protagonist’s dramatic shift in temperament. His demeanour goes from calm to neurotic in an instant. Throughout his conversation with attorney Auguste, he keeps going back and forth, to the point where Auguste is startled.

The graphic nature of the episode’s visuals reaches a new high. The sight of a burned Morella clutching Arthur’s feet, for instance, is enough to give you the creeps. It’s also disturbing to watch as her daughter tries to stop her from removing her bandages in the hospital.

Additionally, when the burned figure places a hand on Roderick’s shoulder, it is both impressive and alarming in its visual imagery. You naturally flinch at this point. Even if it only lasts a few seconds, the feeling of unease it creates is profound.

I feel compelled to bring up the moment Verna attacked Camille like a chimpanzee. Even this brilliantly frightening scene is startling in its own way. The scenario is made all the more chilling by the excellent performance of the actress playing Verna.

The use of sound in this episode is just as brilliant as it has been in the previous ones. The opening of the episode, including the chimps’ squeaking, is both disturbing and well-executed.

The eerie music and sound effects are especially effective during the most disturbing situations, such as when Arthur wanders around the abandoned building or Camille is entering the laboratory.

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3 thoughts on “The Fall of the House of Usher – Episode 3 “Murder in the Rue Morgue” Recap & Review”

  1. I think it’s worth mentioning that at the end, right before Verma kills Camille, we see Verma in Camille’s camera, and she is a chimp. A bit unsettling! And hard to explain.

    By the way, this episode has virtually nothing to do with Poe’s original story in any regard, except for the killer chimp. The original was a conventional murder mystery, except that it was the original murder mystery. Spoiler: the killer is a trained ape who climbs buildings to kill its victims

    Also, the drug is the fictitious monty, not the very real molly.

  2. Hi, Robert. Thank you for letting me know. I wrote detective by accident. I just used his first name, though. His name is Charles Auguste Dupin in the show. In episode one, his first name is mentioned. I really appreciate your help 🙂

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