Woman of the Dead – Season 1 Episode 4 Recap & Review

Be Afraid of the Living

Blum’s adoptive father teaches a young Blum the craft of making dead bodies beautiful again. He tries to teach her to use a ligature needle to sew the mouth shut. When she can’t get herself to push the needle in, he makes her lie down inside a coffin with the lid on top, while her mother watches. He and his wife then head to the house to have dinner.

At present, Blum brushes her teeth, listening to a radio show. The host talks about different personality types, from extroverted protagonists to cold-blooded murderers, at which point she shuts it off. At breakfast, Nela takes out an extra plate on the table. When Blum points out, she drops it onto the floor and storms out of the room.

Blum drives the kids to school and sees a car following her but it soon turns away. She seems paranoid. She learns from Nela that she has stopped going to hockey.

Mrs. Schönborn is hounding Inspector Danzberger to start a search for Edwin but he can’t without rousing suspicion. He says he already covered up for when Edwin beat up a prostitute but he can’t do so for the fire that killed Father Jaunig. Mrs. Schönborn insists that wasn’t Edwin. With the federal police and Schönborn’s investor’s lawyers looking into the matter, the inspector says that he could lose his job.

Reza gets security cameras for the house but Blum seems unhappy about it. She makes a comment about him wanting to spy on her. Reza asks Blum if everything is okay. He offers to listen to anything she wants to talk about but she shuts him down. After he leaves, Blum sees messages on the group chat on Edwin’s phone. They say that the ‘rabbit’ has been incinerated. She talks to the corpse of the man she is working on, saying she was right about the priest and that the chef could be part of it too.

In his restaurant, Bertl Puch welcomes Mrs. Schönborn and her potential investors. They want to meet Edwin and she is forced to make excuses for him. They ask about discrepancies in Edwin’s company’s payroll and want to rule out suspicion about illegal workers.

Meanwhile, Tim comes out from school and is approached by a balding man. He pretends Blum told him to pick Tim up and go for ice cream.

In the meantime, Karl is doing his own research into stolen black SUVs to find Mark’s killer. He checks the time and hurriedly finishes the phone call.

Blum watches as Schönborn’s potential investors leave and she and Puch share a romantic kiss. As Schönborn gets in a car and leaves, Blum gets a call from Karl who forgot to pick up Tim. She goes to the school in his stead only to learn that he was picked up by a man in a grey car. In a rage, Blum drives to Schönborn’s office and demands that she return her son. Schönborn demands to know about her own son. She pulls up Blum’s photos on a laptop, the ones clicked by Edwin that unbeknownst to Blum had gotten saved on the cloud. Blum says she only went to see him for his art but he ended up sexually assaulting her. When she threatens to go to the police and charge them with sexual assault and kidnapping, Schönborn reveals her son’s location.

The balding man talks to Tim about space and astronauts. When he sees Blum coming, he leaves. Blum is relieved to find Tim.

At school, Alex Schönborn approaches Nela and apologises for his behaviour. He then invites her to a party and asks if she can get formaldehyde from her mother’s workroom, since they want to get high. Nela does not decline the request.

When Blum and Tim come home, Blum lies to Karl and says another parent picked him up by mistake. She then warns Tim to never go with a stranger again.

In a flashback, young Blum opens the coffin’s lid to see the corpse nearby. The woman’s body turns to look at her and they start talking. The body tells her she needn’t be afraid of the dead, instead, she should be afraid of the living.

Blum and Reza are called to pick up a body found near the river. They reach to find that it is none other than Dunja. Massimo thinks it is a tourist. He asks Blum if he can see her again. She isn’t sure. In the car, Reza tells Blum it wasn’t her fault while Blum argues that Reza should have never let Dunja leave the house.

Nela sneaks into her mother’s workroom and steals the formaldehyde. She goes into another room and sneaks a look at one of the bodies. Reza catches her on her way out but she asks him not to tell her mother.

Massimo comes home to find his wife dancing to music. She pulls him in to dance with her. He says he had a long day and isn’t in the mood. She says maybe he should have taken over her father’s business instead. When he doesn’t want to sleep with her, she says she’ll never get pregnant this way. She asks how they drifted so far apart and asks him to go away with her somewhere. He agrees to do so once his investigations are over.

Schönborn calls someone and tells them to go through Edwin’s studio to look for clues.

Blum puts Tim to sleep and then looks at the drawings Dunja made. She draws a liquid from a bottle into a syringe, puts on some makeup and leaves the house.

A flashback takes us back to the boat with a 19-year-old Blum and her parents on it. She brings her father the wrong beer and he berates her for it. The parents go for a swim in the water while she puts on headphones. She removes the ladder from the boat and watches them swim away. Later, they shout for help as they try to hold on to the boat but can’t. Blum increases the volume on her headphones.

Nela and Jakob go to Alex’s party. They cheer when she hands them the bottle of formaldehyde.

Blum heads to Puch’s restaurant and asks him to give her a drink even though the restaurant is closed.

The balding man goes to Edwin’s studio and snoops around. He finds a box full of small flash drives.

At the party, Alex smokes a joint and offers it to Nela. Jakob watches her dance from afar.

Blum praises the photographs in Puch’s restaurant which brings them to talk about Edwin. They make small talk about the crafts they each work on and suddenly, Blum stabs him with the syringe. She grabs a knife and points it at him, telling him that he has ten minutes to live. She asks him if he killed Mark but he lunges at her instead. Puch overpowers her easily. In the midst of beating her up, he begins to shake and collapse but then manages to run away.

Nela sees Alex dancing with another girl. She then gets a little nauseous and throws up.

Blum hunts for Puch in the kitchen and finds him crawling on the floor. Just as she gets the stun gun close to him, he turns and stabs her leg with a knife. He then physically drags her to the cold storage room and locks her in. Blum calls someone for help.

The Episode Review

A fascinating episode whose top highlight has to be Blum’s backstory! It’s a little satisfying to see the young girl who was controlled and pushed around by abusive parents, get her revenge. And a nasty one at that.

That said, her escapades in the present continue to be a little too easy. This town seems completely devoid of security cameras and fingerprint technology as Blum is never worried enough to wear gloves or think twice about parking her car/bike right by the murder scene.

While this trip to the past definitely explains Blum’s tendency for murder, the series hasn’t delved into it as much as they could. We don’t get much insight into her mind and how this affected her over the years. There’s also a stronger message on immigration that is present in this story but remains untapped by the narrative. The focus still remains on plot over character and with two episodes to go, I’m not too hopeful.

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