Xuenou > Editor's Picks > 1899 Recap: Not the Foggiest Idea
1899 Recap: Not the Foggiest Idea
1899 Recap: Not the Foggiest Idea,The Kerberos and Prometheus get trapped in a thick, mysterious fog as we learn about Ling Yi’s tragic backstory. A recap and review of season one, episode three of ‘1899,’ the new show from the creators of Netflix’s ‘Dark.’

1899 Recap: Not the Foggiest Idea

Season 1 Episode 3 Editor’s Rating4 stars ****

Photo: Netflix As the old saying goes, you can’t have a terrifying sea-based experience without fog. I know it, you know, and 1899 definitely knows it. As if the people aboard the Kerberos don’t have enough to deal with — the captain’s decision to tow a haunted ship back to the place they’re all running away from, trippy shafts that send people to some sort of alternate reality situation, an increasing body count, and scurvy, probably — now a thick, ominous fog appears seemingly out of nowhere. This latest obstacle brings several new wrinkles, including a cute li’l call for mutiny. I hope these people get a refund when this is all over.

The most immediate consequence of this thick fog showing up is that the Kerberos is stopped in its tracks. The compasses and onboard navigation system are, as we’ve seen, out of whack, and now they can’t even use their eyes to see what’s in front of them. Several astute characters note that it almost feels like someone put this fog in their path to keep them from returning to England. It sounds impossible and paranoid, but with everything we’ve already witnessed, nothing is actually impossible or too paranoid!

While some of the other passengers might be thrilled about this fog buying them some time before they return home to whatever drama they have waiting for them, Eyk is obviously not thrilled. He uses this down time to once more make his case about the ship company covering something nefarious up to Maura. He wants to go back to the Prometheus and look for the captain’s logbook to see if there’s any explanation as to what went down over there. Maura may have her own reasons for wanting to solve this mystery and seeing that shaft to nowhere under Eyk’s bed certainly piques her interest, so she’s in for this mini-mission.

Listen, I know this is low on the priority list of these characters and also this show at large, but I am deeply invested in the chemistry between these two. Deeply invested. They get to have a little chat on their little row boat as they head over into whatever new terror awaits them and aside from the fact that people are dying and they aren’t exactly sure what’s reality anymore, it’s kind of swoony — or, at the very least, meaningful. Eyk really respects Maura as a doctor, which literally no one else around her does, and when she talks about not being able to have children after a miscarriage and not wanting to go back to England because “she lost everything,” he’s very empathetic. These are two people who understand deep loss. It’s like, make out already!

But, they can’t! They have an abandoned ship to explore. Abandoned ships are apparently the biggest cock blocks in history. Who knew? At least this trip to the Prometheus proves fruitful. They wind up finding an identical shaft in the captain’s quarters to the one in Eyk’s room — another tiled shaft that leads nowhere. Since Eyk knows that the triangle symbol that’s on both of the shaft doors is the ship company’s logo, it only adds more credence to his theory. He explains to Maura that a few months ago, an English investor named Henry Singleton bought this fleet of ships and dry docked them for refurbishments. They clearly put these shafts in all of the ships. But that’s not all: Eyk takes Maura down closer to the engine room and shows her something else that was put in all of the ships during refurbishment. It looks like a cabinet of very complicated wiring that is apparently to “measure steam pressure” but Eyk says it never actually worked over on the Kerberos.

While all of this one hundred percent beefs up Eyk’s theory about the ship company doing them all dirty, the most interesting find from this trip is the one Eyk decides not to share with Maura: He does locate the captain’s logbook inside a furnace (not a great sign!) and finds the Prometheus’s passenger list. His face when he looks it over turns to shock and he pockets the paper without telling Maura. Later, we learn why: Maura Franklin’s name is on that list. Looks like Maura might have some explaining to do!

The fog doesn’t just provide some extra time to do some digging into conspiracy theories — it has a much more tangible, scarier power, too and we see it used on Ling Yi, the next character in 1899’s “wake up” hot seat. Ling Yi’s trip to … wherever these people are going (or are???) is tragic (I mean, whose hasn’t been at this point?). She’s reliving the worst thing she’s done — and the reason she’s on this ship at all.

We learn that in an effort to get her and her mother, a prostitute, a fresh start in America, she puts some type of sedative in her friend Mei Mei’s tea. Mei Mei works in a brothel and has scored this new gig with Mrs. Wilson to learn how to be a geisha and travel to America — Ling Yi wants to knock out her friend and steal her identity. She’ll be off with her mother and Mrs. Wilson before Mei Mei even wakes up. Does Ling Yi know that part of the gig is to also sleep with men for money before she enacts her plan or was she just hoping that she and her mother would escape Mrs. Wilson before it came to that? Unclear. Regardless, Ling Yi overdoes it with the sedative and winds up killing her friend. She and her mother get rid of the evidence, which includes putting Mei Mei’s body in a chest and tossing it into the ocean.

In one harrowing sequence, Ling Yi watches herself and her mother doing this from inside that chest and can’t stop them from dumping her into the water. One of her trips back to this scene of the crime moment is after she and her mother have had a fight about how much of a mistake this whole plan was, especially now that Mrs. Wilson knows they’re lying (in a stomach-churning scene, Mrs. Wilson “checks” to make sure Ling Yi is “clean” and realizes that she’s a virgin, which means she is not the same woman she hired to come on this trip) and has made it clear Ling Yi will still be providing all the services Mei Mei was hired to do. After an emotional mother-daughter argument, Ling Yi runs off and hides from her mother in, well wouldn’t ya know it, a chest sitting on the top deck. She’s transported back to the murder until Olek snaps her out of it. Olek! He’s a very sweet boy and instantly takes a liking to Ling Yi. But not in a creepy way (I’m looking at you, Ángel), in a kind, “now I’m rooting for these two,” type of way.

Olek takes Ling Yi somewhere they can be alone and where her mother will have no chance of finding her. He wants to protect her! And feed her! While Ling Yi’s alone, however, that fog makes it’s way in — almost as if it’s drawn to her — and when she walks into it, fully enveloped, she’s transported back to Mei Mei’s murder one more time. It’s awful. Once she’s out of it Ling Yi seems resigned to the fact that this is her penance for killing her friend, so she fixes herself up and goes to the meeting with Lucien that Mrs. Wilson has set up. I guess the one positive thing to happen to Ling Yi is that Lucien isn’t interested in having sex with her. He’s too busy worrying about his impending death. His hand tremor returns and it turns into a full blown seizure. Ling Yi sits at his side as he writhes on the floor. Traumatic for both of them, I’d imagine! Everyone is traumatized on this ship! It is the bleakest environment imaginable.

Hey, speaking of, the last thing the fog does is cause every single person on this boat to lose their goddamn minds (if they haven’t already!! What is this show really about?!). Everyone was pretty upset when Eyk announced they’d be turning around, so the mood was already ripe for chaos. Ada’s death is simply the match that lights the extremely short fuse. Eyk wants to keep Ada’s death a secret until they can figure out what happened — plus the man has shafts to crawl down, you know? He’s busy! — and that doesn’t sit well with Franz. Franz has already been questioning every decision and order Eyk has made thus far, so it feels right that he would completely disregard an order like this and find Ada’s sister Tove to tell her what happened. Watching Ada’s family grieve, Franz is, say it with me, traumatized, so by the time he finds more dead bodies piling it, the man is over it. He grabs some other crew members and a whole bunch of guns and whips everyone in steerage up in a frenzy — they’re going to overthrow the captain and get this boat to New York. It’s a mutiny, baby!

These poor suckers have no idea that their travels being delayed and their captain making poor decisions is the least of their problems. Enter Daniel Solace: Just as Franz and co. are encircling Eyk (they have the first mate and Ramiro, who had been trying to warn Eyk, too), we see Daniel in his room. He whips out a little contraption with, not surprisingly, triangles all over it. He moves some of the buttons around and it seems to sync up with that cabinet of wires Eyk had shown Maura on the Prometheus. And then suddenly, we see that the Kerberos and all of the fog are sucked…down into the ocean somehow and have disappeared. Truly, and I say this with all of my heart: what in the actual fuck is going on?

The Manifest

• The boy still isn’t talking and at one point, alone in Maura’s room, he grabs the stone pyramid and goes under her bed — we don’t see what he’s doing but the noises coming from there lead me to believe he’s gone down the shaft in her room. Even more curious: Later, Daniel comes to see him and asks, “did you find it?” The boy shakes his head no. I don’t have any clue what any of this means, I’m just reporting the news, people!

• Ángel continues to obsess over Krester. This time, as Krester is sitting by the gate that separates first class and steerage, at a loss over how Ada could be missing and fearing the worst, Ángel pops by and hits on him again. The two end up…jerking each other off through the gate, which is a choice, certainly. Krester is beside himself when he realizes he was busy with Ángel while Tove was carrying their dead sister’s body down to the family. Meanwhile, Ramiro figures out what Ángel is up to and finally seems to have had enough of Ángel’s games and the way he uses people.

• Oh, no big deal but Ramiro killed the priest and took his identity. How is this a trend on this ship?

• Dr. Murray can fuck all the way off. When he examines Ada, he sees no foul play and decides it must be some sort of stroke or heart attack. Maura’s questions his logic since she just saw Ada the other day and she seemed completely healthy. Dr. Murray tells Maura that this is exactly why women shouldn’t be allowed to study medicine, they’re too emotional. Could someone throw this man overboard??

• The mystery of the letters continues: Both Lucien and Mrs. Wilson received the same letters as Eyk and Maura. What does it mean?!


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