The Mystic Archives of Dantalian Episode Two “Book of Fetus”–Recap

We open with Huey, who appears to be child and is in the mysterious library talking to the girl in white. The girl hands him a book and a tablet and tells him they are things he is going to need. She tells him that the library is about to close and that he should be going. (She is a librarian in a puffy white dress.) Before he goes he tells the girl in white that he’ll be back, and then we go to the opening credits.

In this episode, Huey ends up taking on a job involving the assessment of a book collection. The person asking for this service is a young woman named Estella who is planning on selling the book collection of her now deceased grandfather. This had originally been a request to Huey’s grandfather, but Huey decides to take it on. (Dalian makes snarky comments about having been beguiled by the check that Estella had sent with her initial contact letter.)

It turns out that there is something mysterious going on at the mansion where Estella lives. Estella lives completely alone at the mansion and the area where she lives is extremely isolated. Huey is a bit curious and concerned about this, while Dalian pretends not to care while also acting in a very jealous manner. As he’s attempting to assess the book collection, he meets with a man named Martin Geese, who introduces himself as Estella’s cousin and legal guardian.

Huey apparently feels considerable worry for Estella’s sake and behaves suspiciously toward the cousin. He demands to know why Estella has been kept isolated out in the middle of nowhere. The cousin defends himself, saying that Estella has been kept confined for her own safety. He states that Estella is under some kind of curse, and this curse has resulted in the deaths of her fiancées, her parents and also a few of her servants. (Though considering the fact that they were murders, I’m not sure how you’d leap to it being a curse.) The cousin believes that the deaths are connected to a book in the collection of Estella’s grandfather.

Huey is aided in his research into the murders (and the Phantom Book) by a scrapbook collected by Estella’s grandfather. The scrap book is a collection of articles about the various murders that have taken place at the mansion. The first murder had apparently happened fifty years ago, continued for a time then stopped, only to begin again a few decades after that, this time centered on Estella. (Huey does not state whom the previous set of murders were centered on.)

Dalian asks Huey if he thinks it’s the Phantom Book that is causing the murders. Huey responds that the cousin seems to believe that’s the case. Dalian however states that a Phantom Book is only a repository of knowledge; it can kill someone on its own. Any deaths that occur around it is because of a misuse or misapplication of the book’s contents.

Dalian and Huey get into a snarky, teasing argument that is abruptly interrupted by a scream. Someone has apparently murdered Martin Geese. Huey rushes outside where he sees a strange mechanical figure standing in frong of a blood covered Estella and her cousin. Huey immediately shoots at the automaton, but doesn’t manage to do much damage. The automaton leaps away, carrying the body of Estella’s cousin.

Huey goes over the Estella to see if she’s alright. Estella is possibly in shock because she doesn’t seem to be aware of where she is, or what happened to her cousin. When Huey tells her, she seems more concerned for her dress than for Martin’s death. This might still be shock, or at least resigned horror (since she has been around several other deaths in past) but we get a sudden close up of a sinister smile and surprises Huey. (The implication being that Estella is not as innocent as she appears.) Even more oddly, Estella immediately offers a frightened apology to her grandmother, for getting the dress dirty.

The next morning, Huey is still operating under the assumption that Estella is under a curse. Dalian however argues that there is no such thing as a curse. When questioned on what the creature could possibly, Dalian tells him that the automaton is a golem. She also tells him of the “Book of Fetus” a Phantom Book about the creation of golems. Since golems are basically machines that can only perform a certain set of functions, there has to be a master (this means they have to find whoever is controlling the golem).

After this conversation, Dalian rushes off to find the Phantom Book, and Huey follows after her.

The next scene is Huey looking extremely nonplussed because Dalian is reading another book instead of looking for the Phantom Book. It turns out that she’s reading a memoir of the family history. It seems that Estella’s grandmother had been an immigrant and her family had come to England after a series of murders that had taken place near their home. (This is of course very mysterious and sinister.)

As they are talking, Estella turns up with a lunch cart. She is dressed in very nice clothes and is even flirting with Huey. (This is also very mysterious and sinister.) We also discover that the servants that had arrived with Martin have apparently vanished. It appears that Estella has developed a crush on Huey, and wants him to stay with her. She behaves very strangely, and is slightly creepy in general.

Then, she stabs Huey. Huey does not seem to be otherwise harmed, and the knife looks somehow silly the way it’s sticking out of him. (Estella is very puzzled by this.) The golem turns up and Huey is convinced that the golem is trying to protect the book, but this is not the case. The golem had been created to dispose of the bodies, because the women in Estella’s family have a very bad habit of killing people. Huey is now evidence to be disposed of, and the golem attacks. (And I am wondering why the golem hadn’t been created to prevent the murders in the first place.)

Huey and Dalian defend themselves from the golem with two of the books from the Mystic Archive. The golem is hit by lightning, and staggers off. Huey is surprised, but Dalian informs him that it takes a lot to decommission a golem. Huey attempt a second invocation, and we see some flashbacks to Estella’s extremely traumatic childhood, which involved a great deal of abuse at the hands of her grandmother. There’s another lightning strike, this time hitting the mansion’s clock tower. Apparently, this Phantom Book was actually a series of sounds, which the bells in the clock tower repeated, powering the golem. The golem crumbles at the same time as the clock tower does. As this occurs, Estella wanders off, apparently in a daze.

As Dalian and Huey get ready to escape from the building, which is about the crushed by the clock tower they see that Estella is just standing there. Huey calls out to her, telling her to come with him, but she refuses, stating that she’d promised her grandfather that she’d never leave the property. The next scene is the clock tower falling onto the mansion.

The scene pulls back, and we end with Huey and Dalian once more at home. Huey muses about the “curse.” He does not believe in the “Bad Seed” theory, and doesn’t think that Estella’s behavior was hereditary. Dalian apparently agrees because she puts forth the theory that Estella’s strange behavior and homicidal tendencies were the result of a strict and extremely abusive upbringing. (When Huey’s manner becomes hopeful, she states that her theory was only speculation and that now there could be no way to find out the truth.)

Our moral for this episode is “humans can only be cursed by other humans.”

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