The Terror episode 2 arrived on AMC as the second hour of a back-to-back episodes kicked off and there is one word we can use to describe it: Remarkable. This show is a visual beauty, but beyond just that it’s creepy as hell and it’s building towards some of the scariest, most-chaotic stuff that we’ve seen in a series like this ever.
Let’s start by setting the stage of where this episode began: The Erebus and the Terror were both stuck in the north while they waited out the winter. The quest to reach the northwest passage was ongoing, but there was only so much time they wanted to wait. Beyond just that, these characters are by and large exploreres — with that, they’re intent on doing everything that they can to reach their goal and get their glory sooner rather than later.
It is with that in mind that Sir John Franklin sends out some search parties in order to discover something resembling open water. This was a noble mission being carried out in part at nighttime, and it was around this point that some of the team starting to be threatened by something mysterious that was tracking them down. They took their guns and prepared to make dinner out of the mysterious creature if they could catch it. While we didn’t see a whole lot of the monster at the end of the episode, at the same exact time we saw plenty to be very afraid of it. This is what the show is doing a good job at, and it’s something that all of the best monster movies do: Don’t give you a lot of the monster, largely because if you do, that takes away some of the drama.
Instead though, the creature made dinner out of one of them. The scouts found some locals, and were able to bring them back to the ship — even though some were sick and the knowledge of the language was very much different from what the crew knew.
It takes some time, but James Crozier received quite a warning near the end of the episode: Leave. The longer that some of these people stay, the more than likely some of them are to eventually disappear.
Overall, we would consider The Terror episode 2 to be a story that was all about survival; yet, this episode also raised the stakes and presented a little bit of a clearer sense as to what the crews of these ships are encountering — you may not see it, but you sense it.
It goes without saying, but the performances from the entirety of the cast once more are the series’ selling point. This feels both like a suspense thriller and a period drama at the same time; how many shows can actually say that? Not many, and then you add the sense of visual wonder on top of it. The Terror is a series in some ways about control, whether it be control over the land or control over other people. Unfortunately, in the end it’s starting to be clear that there is no control at all.
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