Woman of the Dead – Season 1 Episode 2 Recap & Review

Dunja’s Story

Episode 2 begins with Dunja’s story. She and two other girls are seated in a car driven by a man. They hide when a police car drives by. Soon, the man meets with another in a jacket. The girls are told to move from one car to another.

The jacketed man welcomes them to Austria and hands them bottles of water, saying that it will take an hour to the hotel and they should relax. Dunja wakes up in a dingy room, bloodied, in torn clothes and with her hands tied behind her. Men in animal masks are dealing with the other two girls, moving them around and taking photographs. They too are bloodied and in torn clothes. Dunja manages to free her hands and escape. She reaches a toll station and gets to the booth where a man is sitting inside.

Back in the present, Dunja draws the animal masks for Blum. She says that Mark knows all of this. He said not to go to the police station because those people would find her there. Blum tries to get more information from Dunja but she becomes too upset.

In the morning, Nela sees that there is a woman in Blum’s bed wearing Nela’s t-shirt. Blum explains it away as an old friend who has run away from her husband and needs a safe space to stay.

Working in the funeral home, Blum talks to the dead body of a woman about Mark and whether he trusted Dunja’s story. She wonders if she should go to the police or not. The body talks about how one of the men who kidnapped Dunja could be responsible for Mark’s murder. She points out that one of them was taking polaroid photographs. The body asks her what she’s waiting for anyway. When Reza comes in, Blum leaves the rest of the work to him and takes off.

She goes to a shop and asks for a polaroid camera. She tries to find out if anyone has bought one recently. The shopkeeper says no. When she admits she’s looking for a person who takes such photos, the shopkeeper tells her some of the artists who do are featured in a gallery in Innsbruck.

Meanwhile, Mrs. Schönborn talks to a man on the phone. She mentions that he is the leader of Team Ltd and must prepare for their meeting. She assures him that Behringer has a plan.

At school, Nela gets into a fight with the Schönborn’s nephew when he makes a comment about her father’s death and rails against the police. Jakob tries to help her. When Father Jaunig gets involved, Nela rips his shirt by mistake.

Blum is called to the school, where the principal and Father Jaunig tell her that they will turn a blind eye for now but Nela needs to do well in her studies to clear her grade. As Jaunig gets dressed in a new shirt, Blum notices a mark on the inside of his arm.

Outside, Blum asks Nela what she needs so that Blum can help her. Nela asks why her mother is so calm and if her father’s death doesn’t affect her. Blum tells her to never say that again and emphasizes that she needs to do well in class if she wants to pass the grade.

Dunja watches the family leave the house from a window. Reza notices Blum glancing towards Dunja.

The family goes for dinner at Massimo and his Ute’s house. Ute makes a tactless comment about Blum having depression. Nela asks Massimo if they’ve found anything about the driver but he hasn’t been able to pin it on anyone.

Later, Blum asks Massimo about what will happen to the perpetrator while doing the dishes. Massimo says he’ll go to prison but Blum believes he’ll be out in two years. She asks what would happen if the perpetrator did it on purpose. Massimo says that wasn’t the case but if so, he would need to confess in person or on tape. He then playfully pranks Blum with the sink tap, splashing water on her. Ute comes in at that moment.

Blum’s father-in-law finds a shirt from the nearby mental hospital in Dunja’s room and confronts Blum about it. She pacifies him with a story about Dunja working at the hospital for some time. Blum takes a photo of Dunja’s face and then asks her about the shirt. The girl says Mark told her to stay there for a night. Blum doesn’t know what to believe.

She goes to the hospital but finds they have no record of Dunja being admitted. She then sees the woman from the funeral working there. She meets her later and finds out that Mark helped the woman when she was being stalked by a man. Mark had brought Dunja in and asked the woman to help. Dunja was in shock and didn’t speak the entire time.

Blum looks at the ticket she found in Mark’s jacket and goes to the toll booth. She asks the man about Dunja. He says she came from the woods, half naked, and he tried to help her. But he shuts the door in Blum’s face when she asks about Mark. After she leaves, the man deletes the security footage of Dunja arriving.

Meanwhile, Dunja keeps getting flashbacks from the room she was kept in. She sneaks around Blum’s house, collects valuable things and tries to steal the car. Before she can get away, Reza and Blum’s father-in-law catch her and take her back in.

Blum goes to the art gallery the shopkeeper told her about. She learns that Edwin Schönborn is the only one around here who photographs with polaroids. She looks him up — he’s the man who took Dunja and the girls in the second car.

Back home, she shows the photograph to Dunja, who recognises him. She recognises his car too but tells Blum to stop searching for these men as it won’t change anything.

Blum pretends to be a model named Eva and calls Edwin Schönborn under the guise of wanting to be photographed. They make an appointment for the next morning. Blum then practices using a taser and a stun gun on a dead body.

Blum goes to meet Edwin the next day. He is on a call with his mother who wants him to be somewhere tomorrow or things will go wrong. She refers to a deal over a piece of land and how they will not be able to find a second investor. They agree to meet at a café for breakfast. Edwin puts the phone down. He and Blum talk about his art and its themes of lust and desire. Edwin suggests they talk about lingerie.

When Blum goes to change her clothes, he starts photographing her before she’s finished. Blum talks about having a fantasy of being raped by men in masks. When he gets uncomfortable and backs away, Blum confronts him about Dunja. He threatens to call the police and when she challenges him to do so, he attacks her. Blum is able to hit him back with a nearby showpiece. She shouts at him demanding to know who killed her husband.

The Episode Review

Definitely a quicker and more exciting episode than the previous one; it’s good to see Blum take charge and investigate. Adding a potential suspect is the high point of the episode. We now know the primary mystery revolves around human trafficking and some of the town’s most powerful people. Although, I have to say it’s not a particularly novel idea. The men in animal masks too would have been a fascinating feature if we hadn’t already seen it in Squid Game.

There are a few intriguing veins of thought — like Nela’s anger against God, Reza and Dunja both being immigrants — that I hope will be fleshed out through the season. Blum’s determination to catch the killer contrasts well with Dunja’s belief that it won’t change anything. This too has the potential for some fascinating character insight. Overall, a slightly more satisfying episode.

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