The Mystery Deepens
It’s always difficult to follow-up a successful pilot episode and continue in the same vein as before. The opening episode of The Rook was met with pretty mixed reactions across the board from both critics and fans but personally, I thought The Rook did well to weave a cohesive mystery and set the scene nicely for the episodes to follow. While it wasn’t wholly original with its ideas, the execution more than made up for this.
The second episode begins with a flashback of Myfanwy in the past, enjoying her time with friends. Unfortunately, she falls off a roof prompting her father to rush over and try to help her up. Unfortunately, he gets a blast of electricity for his troubles instead.
We then return to present day, and the viper’s pit, as Myfanwy eyes everyone suspiciously in the ensuing meeting. The group are briefed and assigned tasks to try and find out exactly what happened at the bridge that night. Lady Farrier decides its likely that another super-powered individual is to blame. As the meeting adjourns, Myfanwy talks to Linda about her purpose at the agency. She learns that she’s a rook and that her power goes all the way back to childhood. She’s then taken to Doctors who decide to do some experiments on her to try and jog her childhood memories, unfortunately to no avail.
It turns out Myfawny’s trauma is short-lived but for how long, remains to be seen. Determined to try and spark her memory manually, MyFanwy heads back to the scene of the crime. Once there, she finds a ticket that leads her into a car park nearby and a car, complete with some money tucked away. Heeding Linda’s warnings, she presses on with following the clues to her past.
Meanwhile, Conrad investigates one of the Lugat members whom he meets under a bridge and winds up threatening when the subject of trafficking comes up. As day turns to night, Conrad continues his pursuit, using his powers of persuasion to choke out Zef’s guards before reaching Zef himself. As Conrad uses his infective powers to ravage the man’s lungs, Zef caves and tells him what he knows, immediately sowing seeds of doubt in his mind over Linda’s true intentions.
Back at the agency, Monica dives deeper into the investigation too, consulting with Ingrid to check the computers. Despite seeing through her facade, she agrees to help nonetheless.
Later that night, Myfanwy drowns her sorrows in alcohol before Linda arrives. She tells Myfanwy that her parents died as a child before trying to convince her to ease up on the investigation and leave. She refuses but is picked up by Robert and taken home thanks to the request of Linda.
The final parts of the episode then see Monica stumble upon an EVA auction on her computer where people with powers are being auctioned off. Within the pictures is Myfanwy, tied up with a blindfold on and dried blood on her lip. Determined to follow up this shocking moment with a knockout blow, we cut to the morgue where one of the men from the bridge wakes up and walks out.
For the most part, The Rook does well to build on its solid foundation set the first time out. Conrad is one of the most interesting characters here and he really comes in to his own as he investigates this case further. In future episodes it’ll be nice to see some background over his past and how he’s dealt with his dangerous powers but for now, the seeds of doubt forming over Linda’s true intentions really helps anchor the drama. Joely Richardson does a great job here too, and her suitably shifty role as Lady Farrier really helps light the series up.
Ultimately though, the drama itself revolves around Myfanwy and her trying to figure out who she can and can’t trust. Some of the camera work is okay too, although as a personal gripe the scene under the bridge doesn’t quite line up symmetrically which is a little jarring, especially given the title credits involve mirrors. It’s a really minor point but something that does stand out, especially given its isolated presence in the episode.
Despite that, The Rook delivers another well written episode and as the mystery deepens, so too does the allure surrounding the overarching narrative. Whether it can keep up this good level of quality going forward though remains to be seen.
Expect a full season review when this season has concluded!