Hello friends, welcome to TV Tuesday! Today I’m going to be talking all about the Netflix show The Haunting of Bly Manor.
This show took me a few episodes to get into, but once I was in, I was hooked.
The show starts in the present day, at a wedding where someone (who we’ll later on find out who he is), is making a speech. It then transitions into a woman arriving late and she starts her tale of Bly Manor.
Then we’re transported back to the 1980s where we meet Dani, a young girl who has moved to London. We’re not sure why, but she’s looking for work. She soon finds work in child care, from Henry Wingrave, looking after his niece and nephew at Bly Manor.
But there’s some history to the children, they have lost their parents and the last person who looked after and taught them died as well. Flora and Miles are interesting kids, they are really resilient, but they’ve had to be after everything they’ve been through. Flora has this wonderful speech about being sad that just blows you away that it came from a little girl. Miles, he’s got a lot of demons; he wants to be treated like an adult, but he’s still very much a kid and he’s stuck in this in-between zone.
Given everything, they are truly great children. They live at the manor with Owen (the one in the beginning making the speech, and I adore him) their chief; Jamie, the gardener (who I love) and Mrs. Grose (who I find so intriguing, she’s such a mystery).
I think Dani fits right in at the home and she takes to looking after the kids really well. I love when the other characters say how much they like having her around. She doesn’t coddle the kids but is firm with them, especially with Miles, but I truly think Miles needs that. He can be such a strange boy, like when he picks flowers for her and tries to push her hair back, I’m like there is an old man living inside this young body.
Anyhow, as we learn about the children and the house and it’s past, we simultaneously learn about Dani’s past because she’s definitely got demons of her own.
I love the storytelling, for the most part it’s all in the ‘80s but we get flashbacks throughout to learn all of the history, it’s really well done, and it isn’t confusing.
Dani sees things, but she’s afraid to tell anyone that she sees this man with bright eyes in mirrors, she’s afraid to look crazy. It takes some time, but she opens up to Jamie – I’m telling you I was feeling the vibes between those two, so when they kissed I was so happy, plus it explained a lot for me into who Dani is.
We find out that she had a fiancé back in America, but he died… tragically. We learn that the two of them have known each other their whole lives so when he asked her to marry him, she went with it because she thought it was the right thing to do. She actually didn’t want to marry him and the night that she broke it off with him he gets hit by a car.
I hated the way her fiancé kept asking, ‘why are you doing this to me?’ as if she wanted to hurt him. It was better for her to say it before they got married, but of course he seemed very old fashioned in his ways of marriage. I think she was still trying to figure herself out, as we see when she kisses Jamie.
So now her fiancé haunts her… how pathetic.
But not only is Dani haunted by him, the house is haunting her too.
Rebecca Jessel was the caretaker before her and she died unexpectedly, which is strange. When she was hired an associate of Henry’s, Peter, (who practically did the interview) starts to spend a lot of time at the manor. He was super sketchy to me from the start, so when he starts to fall for Rebecca and then she dies and he doesn’t leave the house alone, it kinda adds up.
But they aren’t for certain it’s Peter they keep seeing, as it’s Dani who keeps seeing him and she’s never met him. Everyone else thinks that Peter doesn’t realize Rebecca has died and is trying to get in contact with her.
But it’s not Peter, like we’re led to believe… it’s Henry calling, hoping to hear Flora’s voice because as the series continues we continue to learn the histories of all the characters and it’s so fascinating!
I’m telling you, this show is so repetitive it’s enough to drive you mad, but it’s so good.
So we learn that when Flora is born, that’s she’s early… but is she really? Henry’s brother, Dominic puts it together, years later, that his wife had an affair with Henry and Henry is truly Flora’s father, welp.
This causes Dominic and his wife to travel to India to recreate their honeymoon to rekindle their love, and that is when they have their accident and die. Henry feels guilty about this, the guilt is literally eating him away and that’s why he calls the house hoping for Flora’s voice.
So this leaves us wondering about Peter, well that is one hell of a tale. Putting it frankly, Peter is dead, the Lady of the Lake came and grabbed him one day dragging him into the lake to die… the story of the Lady of the Lake was super fascinating, but we’ll get there.
Peter is now still at the manor as a ghost and he possesses Miles sometimes, which explains his weird behaviours and why it seems like an old man is in his body… there really is one there.
We do also get some backstory into Peter, some that tries to make us feel bad for him, like he had a rough childhood and his father was shitty, but it’s not enough for me to completely feel bad for this guy.
He’s always shown as sly and he steals from the manor and he takes millions from Henry, so when he gets taken by the lady I wasn’t too saddened by that. People think he’s run away because he owes so much money and Rebecca is furious because he just vanished… she thought he loved her.
Then he shows up as a ghost and tells her, briefly what happened and he convinces her to drag herself into the lake so they can be together. I was so mad when she actually does it, like WHY would you do that? She is then mad at herself because her ghost-self starts screaming at her dead body.
Now they’re looking at using the children to free themselves of the manor. You can tell that Rebecca doesn’t want to, but she’s not going to go against Peter. Peter wants to possess Miles, and Rebecca to possess Flora. This is when Dani tries to stop it, but they tie her up.
Peter is successful, but Ms. Grosse comes knocking… I’m going to sidebar here and say that one episode where we see her with all the ghosts was a mindbender. I was like, is she even alive? Does she have Alzheimer’s? Is she a ghost of the house? But it was very good episode.
Peter/Miles goes out with Mrs. Grose and she can tell something is up with him, but she doesn’t know what. I just know that he’s gone out there to kill her.
Meanwhile Rebecca possesses Flora, but then she stops because she knows that Dani and Flora need to get out of there and she sets them free, but Flora doesn’t want to leave without Miles. Dani is about to tell her there isn’t time when the Lady of the Lake comes to get her.
That’s when we learn about the Lady of the Lake. Back in the 18th century, two sisters lived there. It didn’t seem that either were going to get married, when one of them does and she’s stubborn to her core. She doesn’t want a man to own her so when she gets married she has a hard time saying her vows; I was like damn girl, you go. They have a daughter, but then she gets sick.
The doctor doesn’t think she has long to live, but she ends up living six more years. But what we learn is that she becomes abusive to her sister who just wants to take care of her. One night, her sister has had enough she strangles her. Her sister goes on to marry her husband and be a mother to her daughter. But when she opens the chest that was meant for her daughter, the ghost then strangles her sister.
We then learn that she spent every day, sleeping, waking and walking, not able to leave the room she died in. Once she admits and comes to terms with being dead can she leave and that’s how she is able to kill her sister… five years later.
Once her sister has died her ex-husband and daughter leave the manor and they place her body in the lake. This is how she becomes the Lady of the Lake because every night she sleeps, wakes and walks taking anyone in her path back to the lake. Soon they forget who they once were. Creepy, but it all makes so much sense.
Wow, that finale, I was not prepared for how heartbreaking it was going to be. Let me wipe my tears, ugh!
The Lady of the Lake has Dani, and Mrs. Grose tells her to let go of Dani and for Flora to go inside. Flora goes to the Lady’s old bedroom and that’s where the Lady drags Dani. When she sees Flora on the bed, she sees her own daughter. She let’s go of Dani and takes Flora to the lake.
This is when we find out that Mrs. Grose is dead, Peter/Miles has managed to have her fall in the well, and I was so gutted because we see her in this alter-universe telling Owen she loves him and he saying he loves her. When he finds out she’s dead. UGH my heart can’t take it.
Henry comes back to the manor, but he can’t stop the Lady either. Just when we think Flora is going to die, it’s Dani who’s able to break the curse… or well curse herself. She’s able to save Flora, Henry and Miles causing Rebecca, Peter and the Lady of the Lake to move on.
After that dreadful night, Dani is leaving the manor with Jamie. Can I just for a second talk about how cute they are, like damn, these two are just goals. They leave the manor and open a flower/plant shop and they live above it and they are in love, it’s beautiful. But Dani knows her time is limited, the Lady of the Lake will be back to take her life. Jamie says they’ll take it one day at a time, the patience this woman has is incredible, I think I love her.
As the years go on, she begins to see the Lady more and more. They go to visit Owen at his fancy restaurant and we learn that the children are grown up and they don’t remember much of what happened, just that they used to summer at the manor, none of the bad stuff, which is good.
One night, Dani wakes up from a dream where she’s strangling Jamie and she knows her time is up and so she gives herself to the Lady. When Jamie wakes up and figures out what she’s done, she tries to give herself up to the Lady, but now that Dani is the Lady of the Lake, she’s not going to take the woman she loves. This upsets Jamie and UGH again so freakin’ heartbreaking.
That’s when we’re taken back to the present, and we learn that the woman telling the story and who narrated the whole season was Jamie. I knew from the moment I saw her play with the ring on her finger… the ring that Dani gave her.
We learn that it’s Flora’s wedding, which is what I thought for a while, but I wanted to be sure, even though she claims her middle name is Flora… I think that has to do with the children not remembering the bad things that happened at the manor.
I do like what older Flora says though, she says that she doesn’t think Jamie’s story is a ghost story, but a love story… which I think is totally true, but then Jamie says that they’re one in the same. UGH my heart can’t handle all of it.
This story was so well told; it was spooky; it was haunting; most of all it was absolutely, perfectly splendid.