It’s not clear if this is a coincidence, but Rosemary’s treatment for her soot illness is very similar to the way that suffragists were forced-fed in prison. But I have my doubts. Shadows HouseAlthough it is difficult to see the direct connection, it doesn’t mean it’s not there. Both practices were meant to ensure that the person being practiced on didn’t suffer a death in custody. The suffragists had to ensure that women weren’t killed by hunger strikes while they were in prison. For Rosemary, it’s so that a living doll doesn’t “break,” depriving a Shadow of her face. Both acts are self-serving and we can interpret them as analogous. Image similarities aside,
The question of soot and soot sickness is a theme of this episode, with Kate losing her cool several times and emitting vast quantities – and if we think about it, one of those times may have been more deliberate than the others. She realizes quickly that she has not been summoned from any of the Star Bearers when she is called in front of them and accused of being involved with the scorches and phantom. RealEdward fears the other people in the room, and believes in her guilt. As soon as she figures this out, she begins releasing huge amounts of soot to the point where stalactites form on the ceiling – something that may very well make her untouchable. We know that Barbara (and Barbie!) get special treatment due to Barbara’s high soot volume. Kate may be trying to scare the Star Bearers into letting her do what she can. It’s unlikely that Edward will stop her, but it might give her time to investigate. Fortunately, Star Bearers seem willing (or at least willing) to allow her to try.
Kate has one of her first tasks: visiting the dolls with soot sickness. Although we don’t know what Belle did to break the coffee bottles, it is known that they all missed their weekly dose. So, seeing how Mia, and the other dolls, is a great opportunity to find out what that means. It turns out that the terrible truth is not so bad. Kate suggests that too much soot has built up in Mia’s system, and that it won’t make any difference for one week. This means Ricky is still easily savable, but Louise is less so because she has been giving her her own soot. However, it has frightening implications for Rosemary who is so susceptible to soot illness. She is not. ThatAlthough she is much older than Mia she clearly ingested more soot. This raises questions about Maryrose’s relationship and how often she has been punished for cleaning up the soot rooms. Is there a point where the living dolls have no recourse? Rosemary is being pushed towards it by someone. I doubt we can ignore the possibility that this has been intentional.
Detective Kate is a great choice because of this. They function better as a team than any of the Shadows or living dolls. However, they are still two people and their interactions are making John, Shaun and Emilico more like that. Each of them brings something to the table. With Shaun’s caution, Emilico’s observational skills, John’s willingness just to charge into almost any situation and Kate’s brains they are a force to reckon with. Oliver and Olly were impressed by Emilico’s mad vacuum-riding skills earlier, so it is likely that this will work in their favor. It gives Kate something she can bargain with, as well as an in with science squad whose lair she just crashed.
Something has gone terribly wrong in Shadows HouseIt has been for a very long period of time. Maybe Barbara or Christopher tried to change it. Kate won’t let anything stop her picking up from where they left off, I think.
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