Well folks, we’ve made it to the Picnic at Hanging Rock finale and we are still missing some of the girls. Will they ever be found? We don’t feel good about that, but even if they aren’t watching how this affected Appleyard has been quite entertaining. She hasn’t been someone that we’ve been rooting for (even having a rough start in life hasn’t made us warm up to her), so watching her college fall to pieces has been entertaining (a nice warm serving of karma anyone?). If the end isn’t going to have the ladies found, then what kind of ending are we looking at here?
Where is Sara?
We are pretty well convinced that Appleyard had something to do with Sara’s death since we saw that she din’t quite make it to Albert and was instead brought back to the tower at the college. Add to that Appleyard trying to convince everyone that Sara had been picked up by her guardian when she wasn’t and it feels like this is a cover up for murder. When the gardener finds Sara’s body in the college garden Appleyard looks legitimately stunned to see it. Is that because she didn’t realize she had been murdered or because the body somehow ended up back at the college?
After finding Sara’s luggage under Appleyard’s bed de Poitiers takes the evidence to the detective as proof that something terrible has happened to Sara. When Sara’s guardian shows up looking for her as well the detective heads off to the college, but before they can get there Appleyard has packed up her valuables and has left. At least they are able to recover Sara’s body.
Mrs Appleyard’s past
Some of her past has finally come together and we know more about her. She was an orphan that was adopted by Arthur to use in his criminal activities. Once she was older and saw an opportunity to escape, she took it leaving with all the loot and him wounded swearing revenge against her. She went to the boatyard to hitch a ride to Australia to start again and before boarding, she got the idea to change her name to Mrs. Appleyard from a tin of soap with the same name.
Speaking of Appleyard’s past while we haven’t seen Arthur pop up like he threatened, we did see his partner in crime skulking about and after packing her bag and taking off to town she stopped by to see this man asking where Arthur is and if he is behind the missing girls as well as all the tragedy happening at the college. He tells her that Arthur is dead after catching an infection.
The mystery behind the disappearance
As expected we didn’t find out what exactly happened to the girls and why they disappeared, but we did have a chance to see a bit more about what they may have been plotting beforehand. Miranda, Marion and Irma were all unhappy at the school and even though Irma later denied it, they seemed to be planning an escape through the rocks together.
We understand why the girls wanted to escape; Miranda wanted freedom, Irma seemed to have a stepfather that touched her inappropriately and when Marion gave Miss McCraw a Valentine she made it clear to Marion that their relationship is of student and teacher. If Marion wasn’t so heart broken she might see that once she was a teacher at the school and they were on equal ground that something might develop between them, but it’s hard to see clearly through a broken heart. Besides, Miss McCraw was in denial about her sexuality and was content living in this sort of in between space.
As we dove deeper into the flashbacks at hanging rock it seemed that the ladies were on a mission to reach the top of the rock and make their vow to themselves (and to each other) deeper. As we watch the girls climb the rock, we once again go back to the theory of time and moving at a different pace for these girls almost as if they are stuck in time. As they climbed, each time they looked down they saw different things: The picnickers scrambling to find the girls, then later the search party looking for them.
So how did Miss McCraw end up with the ladies? Before the group headed up to the rock, Miranda told her that she would rather be dead than live a lie and after it sat with her a while she chased the girls up the rock finding Ethel along the way (who they had abandoned) and telling her to wait where she was (and as we know she didn’t wait, she went back to the group).
While it hasn’t exactly been the journey we thought we were going to go on when we first saw the girls go missing, there has been a lot that we really liked about the series. While some believe it was the rocks that held power, others believe that the college was cursed and many who were part of it met with a terrible end. For us, we feel that there is some sort of mystical force at the rock that left the girls stuck in time, but we also believe that Appleyard just brings misery and chaos wherever she goes and no matter how much she wants to start again, she just can’t – Karma is funny like that.
Seeing Appleyard climb up hanging rock and commit suicide was really the only ending that made any sense to us, so even though we never really knew what happened to the girls and Miss McCraw, the show did tie up Appleyard in a way that made sense for the character.
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