Here it is lovely readers, our final Carmilla recap. We hope you enjoyed the ride.
Episode 33 - A God Walks Into A Giant Pit
We open to the slightly disconcerting view of something that’s not the library. For the first time, Carmilla is taking the camera on the road and we’re all along for the ride. This portable camera is in Kirsch’s hands, showing us the view as Laura, Carmilla, Kirsch, and Mel make their way into the pit.
Apparently they managed to convince Mel to help, even if they couldn’t get all of the Summers.
We only hear dialogue as Carmilla asks if Laura is doing okay and she quickly responds that she’s fine but her Dad’s parting gift packed more of a wallop than she was expecting. Apparently those ultrasonic rays took out the Zetas no problem. Carmilla presses on, not certain this is the right answer. Laura brushes her off.
Really Laura? Are you sure it’s the ultrasonics? Are you sure whatever is bothering you is not some vague deal you made with a death goddess the night before? No? Haha. How silly of me.
When we finally get a shot of the Pit Squad, they’re crouched behind a bunch of crates at the bottom of the pit, waiting for The Dean to give up her immortality so they can stab her with the Sword of Hastur. While Kirsch and Mel have some banter, Carmilla is busy trying to get everybody to be quiet so they don’t give themselves away.
Laura is strangely quiet, only giving a small smile when Kirsch calls Mel a ‘pit correspondant’.
Enter the Dean.
Dressed in a long flowy dress and hat-like ‘crown’, the camera swivels as she approaches the gate. This large glowing door with a glyph carved into the stone let’s out a high pitched whine when the Dean slices her hand open and sets a knife at its base.
Without turning around, the Dean loudly says that there’s “no point hiding in the shadows” but just as we think Pit Squad has been caught, Mattie steps into our shifting frame.
The Dean gets in a few jabs at Ereshkigal and Mattie gets to spout a few vague threats about everything dying. They trade barbs for a while and finish with the Dean telling Mattie to run back to Ereshkigal and tell her that when the land of the underworld is the Dean’s, it’s all because Ereshkigal denied the Dean her love.
When Mattie poofs away the Dean turns back to the door and, raising her hands, she begins to recite a Sumerian incantation. Although nothing visible happens, she turns around when the spell is done and examines her hands as though they’ve become something foreign to her.
Her immortality is gone for the first time in 6000 years.
I give her that one, that probably does feel a little strange.
Before anything more can happen, Carmilla and Laura walk into the screen. Practically pressed together, Laura holds the sword at the ready and wears a backpack. Carmilla is the one to get the Dean’s attention while Laura continues staying oddly silent.
The Dean isn’t surprised to see them.
That can’t be good.
Carmilla takes a moment to be sarcastic but Laura is the one who gets right to business. She explains that they can kill the Dean now that her immortality is gone and makes the case that if the Dean stops trying to open the Gates and leaves Perry, the Pit Squad will let the Dean live.
Of course Laura is still trying to talk this out.
She gets an evil laugh in response.
The Dean calls their bluff, saying that Laura would never kill the Dean because killing the Dean means killing Carmilla. No. The Dean’s not buying it and says that Laura must have a back-up plan; a ‘desperate last minute gamble on a human heart’. There’s a knowing glint in the Dean’s eyes as Laura looks visibly shaken, leaving Carmilla to try and figure out what’s going on.
All Laura says is that she couldn’t just give up on Carmilla and Perry.
To which the Dean replies, “Of course you couldn’t. Because then you wouldn’t be following your heart, now would you?”
The sword point lowers even as Carmilla begins circling around the Dean. Laura just stares, wondering how the Dean’s words could match exactly what Ereshkigal said to her the night before.
Carmilla’s never had an interest in prophecies and deals. She grabs her mother from behind and locks the Dean’s arms behind her which should be the end of it. Her vampire strength is more than enough to hold a fragile human body still for Laura to lay the final strike. Yet the Dean just gloats.
Carmilla looks at Laura who takes a deep breath and lifts the sword again, positioned to pierce through both the Dean and Carmilla at the same time.
“Laura,” Carmilla says, “Now!”
Laura starts then stops again. “Do it!” Carmilla begs. She rallies one last time before nearly dropping the sword altogether.
She can’t. Carmilla still begs her to do it; as far as Carmilla knows this is their only shot and there is no other plan.
The Dean lets Carmilla in on the punchline. Laura does have another plan; she made a deal with Ereshkigal. Carmilla looks terrified as she asks Laura what deal she made. Laura reveals that Ereshkigal will spare Carmilla, LaF, Perry, and Danny if Laura “brought the first three talismans into the pit and then followed her heart.”
Which explains the backpack. It did seem an odd time to bring along cookies.
But the Dean is smiling as Laura speaks, almost turning patronizing as she reminds Laura that prophecies are so rarely what anyone thinks. Before she can explain what that means, she breaks free of Carmilla and jumps at Laura, who raises the sword.
Then the screen turns white and an electronic noise whirls through the room.
When it clears, LaF is the only one left standing. They’re wearing a ninja flight jump-suit and an angry look.
It’s time to give ancient myths a twenty first century upgrade.
Episode 34 - They Blinded Me With Science
With LaF’s dramatic entrance and the sword of hastur shattered, the Dean is woozily propped up in the corner while Laura is passed out on the floor. Only Carmilla seems to still be functioning and she quickly moves to Laura’s side, ever the protective girlfriend. LaF, however, is laser-focused on their goal. They take a moment to give a couple of extremely bitter one-liners and then jab the Dean in the back of the neck with a gun-like device.
Their plan? Injectable nanobots. Which is pretty cool.
The Dean writhes for a minute until LaF lets her go. By their logic, even if the Dean is a god then she’s still living in a human body with a human brain. Human brains all respond the same and LaF’s plan seems to be interrupting the flow of neurotransmitters across the synapses to reconfigure electrical responses.
Okay fine. The show doesn’t get that precise. They just vaguely mention doing something with neurons.
I have a science background that I’d love to use at least once for our mad scientist!
While Carmilla helps Laura up, her face downtrodden at the lose of the sword, Laura is much more hopeful. After all, LaF seems to be doing okay. They twist a dial and the Dean lets out a scream. Face twisted in pain, she insists that ‘little machines’ shouldn’t do anything to her. It’s LaF’s turn to drop the punchline.
The nanobots are made of talismans.
They got the liar’s heart by grave robbing Vordie’s tomb.
Although LaF has some initial success, after a few minutes, their nanobots just seem to stop working. The Dean cricks her neck and turns towards LaF who is now desperately trying to get a response from their robots. It’s to no avail. The Dean gets a hold of them and quickly goes on the attack.
She literally pulls out LaF’s eye as LaF scream bloody murder before they go sprawling off to the side.
Ew. Ew. Ew.
Although, I see you Buffy reference. One eye and all.
While LaF is left eyeless off-camera, the Dean spares a moment to tell them that their solution was at least creative. This is basically the least consoling consolation speech ever. However, the Dean’s latest evil villain monologue also reminds us again that prophecies are never what they seem.
“Four to make a cage” was inferred to be about using the four talismans to trap the Dean.
Surprise! That’s wrong.
The talismans are actually pieces of the Dean’s power that were carved away from her and stuck into physical form. The don’t make a cage. They are a cage and only the board could have used them effectively. Sadly, the board’s all still very dead. By returning the talismans to do the Dean, she can just take back their power.
Great. Just great. Someone should have told that to Laura before she brought three talismans into the pit or LaF before they literally injected little pieces of the Dean’s power into her head.
This couldn’t possibly get worse.
Of course it could! The bonus function of the talismans is that they’re instrumental in opening the last gate.
Carmilla is quick to point out that the Dean still can’t open the gate and get what she wants, after all, the dean herself said that LaF dug up the wrong heart. There is no ‘liar’s great presaged’.
The Dean corrects her. LaF dug up the right grave, the problem is that talismans resides within a living heart. Now that Vordenberg is dead, the power transferred to the next ‘worthy vessel’.
Laura gets it first, an “oh god. Carm, I’m so sorry.” slipping from her lips.
Just a tip Laura, maybe don’t call on gods when there’s one standing right in front of you already.
The Dean is quick to explain as Carmilla still doesn’t get it. In ancient proto-Akkadian the word for liar and the word for storyteller were the same. So it’s not the liar’s heart presaged. It’s the storyteller’s heart presaged.
Who do we know that plays the role of a story-teller?
Laura is panicking.
I get it.
She takes Carmilla by the hand, insisting that she had meant to find a way to stop the Dean. Instead, in her deal with Ereshkigal, Laura gave away her heart. The last talisman. The despair ripples across Carmilla’s face as the Dean laughs. The Dean claims to have known that Ereshkigal could never resist trying to complete a good prophecy and now she nearly has all four talismans to open the last gate.
She has the book, the sword, and the locket back. All she needs is the heart.
Carmilla moves in front of Laura but it’s too late. The Dean force-chokes Laura and pulls her from Carmilla. Then, she rips out her heart.
Laura goes flying to the ground as the Dean literally holds Laura’s heart in her hand. Carmilla drops to the ground after Laura, the screams of no already flying as Laura starts gasping for air.
Her voice is drenched in tears and Laura is cradled on her knees as Carmilla says, “what did you do?” Laura is too busy trying not to die to respond.
The Dean takes this moment to thank them for being there, after all, winning doesn’t feel like winning unless someone loses. She should write Oscar speeches. Her wit is lost on a tearful Carmilla and a dying Laura. So, the Dean just turns to the gate and raises Laura’s heart as she begins another incantation.
The gate opens. People behind it are screaming.
Carmilla is crying. Laura is gasping.
Sounds like a party.
Episode 35 - Hell Hath No Fury
The screaming, crying, gasping, and pain continue as the Dean stares into the bright white depths of the gate. Behind her, Laura is still gasping on the floor and shakily trying to tell Carmilla that she doesn’t understand why Ereshkigal would want this. Carmilla just holds her close and tries to quiet her, gently holding Laura close as she tries not to lose herself to tears.
Don’t waste your last few breaths, Laura.
I have feels as Laura just chokes and hiccups on the floor, trying to force words through a broken heart.
But there’s no time for feels because we return to the Dean to focus on plot. Falling to her knees, the Dean actually looks overwhelmed at the prospect of ‘actually seeing his face again. After all of these years’. Who is he? We’re betting it’s the Dean’s lost love that alt-Carmilla told Laura about.
We don’t spend long wondering as the Dean gives one last incantation. This one is not the powerful hand waving of the others. This one is born of quiet longing.
“Hastur. Beloved. Live.” The Dean raises her hands and looks into the gate, face full of desperate longing.
But no-one appears.
She calls again. No one comes.
The Dean’s calls turn frantic as Mattie appears to crouch beside her. Just as the Dean’s screams reach their peak, Mattie asks her if she did the spell right. Then she casually asks if the Dean forcefully took an ingredient that had to freely given.
Laura’s heart. That’s a bit of a mistake there.
With no beloved to greet her and no way of getting him, the Dean quickly turns back to anger. She screams that even if she can’t have Hastur back, the gates are still open and she will still burn the world to the ground in her anger. If he doesn’t live, nothing will.
Laura is still trying talk. Her heart is ripped out but she’s still got things to say. She starts with a quip, still shoved forward between broken breath and a heaving chest. Carmilla’s hands don’t know what to do as they hold her, moving from back to body to arms. There’s nothing she can do to save Laura. All she can do is watch her die.
Desperately trying to get Laura to hold still and conserve her strength.
Somewhere in her gasping, Laura makes the realization that it’s almost as though she can still feel the power of the talisman in her chest. She shakily sits up, hand pressed to her empty chest, as Carmilla tries to figure out what she’s doing.
She holds Carmilla’s hand and wheezes, “It’s okay. I think I figured it out.”
Then she turns to the Dean. Gasping as though her chest is trying to escape out the ceiling, Laura tells the Dean that the power of the talismans is all still there because the Dean couldn’t use them to get Hastur back. The Dean, almost despondent even in her apparent victory, just tells her to stop wishing on stars. Even the Dean couldn’t close the gates now.
Not as she is. Not trapped in a human shell.
So Laura speaks to the parallel that we all should have seen coming. They were so busy being afraid of the Dean that they never bother to see her or the world from her standpoint. Her being trapped. Her pain. Her broken heart. Because of the Dean’s love and her attempt to reclaim it, she was trapped into a human body and twisted into becoming something that she was never supposed to be.
Laura sees that the Dean lost her hope in her anger and darkness.
So, rising higher on her knees as Carmilla tries to help her up, Laura says, “of course it’s too late to control you. But maybe it’s not too late to give you back what they took. To set you free.” She takes one last moment to gasp down a few more breaths before Laura throws herself forward and into the Dean’s arms.
The fourth talisman. Freely given.
There’s a loud chime and the screen goes white.
When we fade back in, Laura and the Dean fall apart; Perry’s body collapses on the floor as Carmilla catches Laura. Cradled in Carmilla’s lap, all Laura can say is, “it worked? Cool beans.”
There’s our Laura. All nerdy even as she’s dying.
The gate is closed.
Finally relaxing back into Carmilla’s arms even as she’s still gasping for air, Laura explains that she just followed her heart. She took a chance that the Dean was hurting just as much as they were so she set Inanna free.” She seizes again, throat gasping for air like she’s drowning.
All Carmilla can do is softly caress her face, voice shaking.
Laura Hollis managed to save the world with fortune cookie sentiments and a hug.
There’s a brief moment where Laura smiles and Carmilla smiles back but then it disappears when Laura falls into the biggest gasping fit yet, chin shooting to the sky. Carmilla shifts her so that she’s leaning against Carmilla’s body, trapped in her arms as Carmilla’s tearfully says, “You were supposed to stay safe. You were supposed to go back to your nice little life Laura.”
Laura chokes out the words, “but then i wouldn’t have been me.”
The tiny intact part of my feels shatters.
Carmilla’s face breaks, “please don’t leave me.” she begs, a sob living in her throat, “not after all of this.”
“I don’t want to,” Laura says. Her eyes flicker open for the briefest second to see Carmilla’s face one last time, “There’s still so much I wanna do like like like-”
Then she’s gone.
Laura Hollis dies in the middle of sentence.
She leaves Carmilla to whisper a broken “no” and clutch her even closer, hands grasping around Laura’s head as she rocks back and forth. Now Carmilla is the one gasping between tears as she gently lies Laura flat across her knees. Just to look at her a moment longer.
One last soft kiss.
Then she rests her head on Laura’s heart-less chest and just cries.
Episode 36 - Post Apocalypse
It’s just Carmilla now. Hollstein is no more.
Our vampire sits alone in the bottom of a pit with the girl she loves draped dead across her knees and asks the stars if ‘she could please be dead now’.
She asks simply and quietly, with tears that are silent. Somehow worse than the sobs that came before.
While the stars rarely reply, Carmilla gets a response. The voice of the Dean descending from the Great Above as the goddess she was always supposed to be. She tells Carmilla that Laura wouldn’t have wanted her to die before explaining how Laura did the impossible.
Carmilla agrees, “So she’s a miracle. And you’re a god again. So you can bring her back.”
For a moment there is hope in her torn up voice before Inanna says that she cannot undo Laura’s sacrifice without undoing all the good that Laura did. Even as Carmilla says that she doesn’t care and all she wants is Laura, Inanna urges her to not become what the Dean was. To not let herself be twisted into evil by the loss of her love.
With nothing left to offer, Carmilla harshly tells Inanna to just leave her alone.
So Inanna does but she leaves a parting gift. Inanna’s curse was immortality, she doesn’t want to leave Carmilla with forever to be stuck mourning.
So she makes Carmilla human.
Hand flying to her heart as she takes her first real death in centuries, Carmilla’s first reaction is anger. “How dare you!” she shouts at the sky, “You think I want to be mortal now. After all of this?”
After Laura is gone.
“Take it back,” Carmilla’s anger breaks and turns back to grief as she says quietly, “Take it back.”
We’re left with the image of Carmilla sobbing as the camera turns away to where the body of Perry still lies unmoving on the ground. Then she twitches.
That’s enough to have LaF scrambling forward with a bandage wrapped around their head and a hand on their eye. They slam into Perry for a hug and from Perry’s first word of “LaFontaine” in her higher pitch, we know the Dean is truly gone. They hug for a moment and it’s joyful until Perry pulls back just enough to catch sight of LaF’s missing eye and panic at the bloody bandage.
LaF as choosing to see this as a chance to build a laser eye.
Never change you glorious weirdo.
The memories slowly start to come back to Perry and she puts her hand on her neck while asking if LaF really injected her with a bunch of nanobots. LaF’s comforting reply is that only some of the test rat’s heads exploded.
Okay. Maybe change a little. Safer science please.
Then Perry finally notices Laura body and Carmilla’s grieving. She pulls LaF tighter to her side and, in a way that reminds us of how much Perry doesn’t like to deal with things, she suggests getting them help. Like a first aid kit.
The two scurry off.
Carmilla gets to her feet and walks over to the one person in the room who still means anything to her, Mattie. Speaker for the death goddess. Wiping away her tears, Carmilla is more angry than anything else as she accuses Mattie of always knowing what would happen to Laura.
Mattie doesn’t deny it.
So close to shattering again, Carmilla’s smile is wicked as she sways on her feet and tells Mattie that this will just be another regret that Mattie can take with her. Mattie doesn’t rise to the bait, telling her to enjoy her new life.
The penny drops and one has to wonder if Mattie didn’t do it intentionally as Carmilla suddenly realizes that she has something Ereshkigal wants. She has her life back. She has something to wager. Despite Mattie’s warning that Ereshkigal won’t take it easy on her, Carmilla is dead set on gambling her life for the chance at getting Laura’s back.
“No,” she says at Mattie’s words, “No. This is not how her story ends.Screw that. Screw giving up. Screw just letting go. Pick any game you want. Tonight I’ll kill a god if I have to.”
Another prophecy fulfilled. The growly little sunbeam says no. She wants to save the holly girl.
So Mattie gives her a riddle, “you cannot see me, hear me, or touch me.I lie behind the stars and alter what is real. Close your eyes and i come near. I am what you really fear. What am I?”
Carmilla is smiling before Mattie even finishes. The answer clear.
We get our first real smile from Carmilla since Laura died as Mattie says that she deserved something for stopping the end of the world, kisses her on the cheek, and says goodbye.
We hear a gasp.
Carmilla falls back against the gate door as hope floods her face and she just stares at something we can’t see.
The gasp comes again.
Laura is talking again, picking up directly in the same sentence she died saying. Carmilla rushes to her side as Laura babbles about wanting to go to Paris or London or seeing the world. As Laura keeps talking, Carmilla starts laughing. Laura’s head cradled in her hands as she helps her sit up.
Unable to stop herself, Carmilla kisses Laura mid-sentence. The words stop as Laura kisses her back, hands in Carmilla’s hair.
When they break free, she’s left just staring at Carmilla in confusion as Carmilla continues to hold her. “Don’t take this the wrong way,” Laura says, “But why am I not dead?”
Carmilla just stares at her.
“And,” Laura adds, her hand going to Carmilla’s chest, “do you have a heartbeat?”
Carmilla swallows and nods like it’s all she can do. A smile brimming on her lips that looks like it’s about to bring her to tears from the feelings in her freshly beating heart. Her “yes,” is more of a breath than a word.
She kisses Laura again. Slower and softer. One that breaks apart so that they can just hover in each other’s space with the noses still pressed against each other’s face. Mouths open. As they both just breathe. Carmilla is breathing for the first time in 300 years. Laura’s first breaths as she comes back from death.
They just hold each other and breathe. And that’s everything.
Everything for Carmilla and Laura and everything for us as we fade into the credits. Our hearts are full of feels and our faces are split with smiles. Something cathartic in just seeing our two girls holding each other, both alive. Wounded but hopeful and full of nothing but possibility.
Rather like we are.
Of course, we all know that Carmilla will be coming back in 2017 with a movie but there’s something magical about seeing the web series tie itself off so nicely.