Ding-dong: the wicked brother-in-law is dead
After surviving a duel with Delaney, Jefferson Hall's Thorne Geary finally shuffled off this mortal coil, a victim of his own preening obnoxiousness, sniveling contempt, and odious moral behavior. Who snuffed him out? His wife -- and Delaney's half-sister -- Zilpha, who stabbed him with what looked like a really pointy hat pin. Leaning over his body like a cat, she crawled into his bed and pierced him right through the heart. It should've been a big, cathartic moment for the show. The bad guy is gone.
The only problem: the big cliffhanger ending of last week's episode implied Zilpha was going to do exactly that. In case you forgot, we last saw Zilpha standing over her dresser and pulling out the eventual murder weapon before putting it right back. When a death is telegraphed so clearly, it's up the the writers -- in this case, Steven Knight and Hardy's father, Chips -- to provide a narrative twist to create suspense. They didn't do that. Instead, we got a few scenes of her apparently working up the courage to do it, which might be realistic, but it makes for dramatically frustrating TV.
At the very least, this means that Zilpha is now free to have non-psychic sex with her half-brother. But, again, even that ends up getting disrupted. After she arrives soaking wet at Delaney's house, where he is already rocking his signature no-pants look, he behaves in a chilly manner, suddenly playing hard-to-get after weeks of casting suggestive glances her way. Later, when the two actually do hook up, Delaney has a vision of his mother drowning him, freaks out, and chokes Zilpha mid-coitus. It's all pretty disturbing. One thing is clear: these two need to see a couple's counselor.