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I Was Walking With A Ghost: Ravenswood “Death and the Maiden” Review

By on October 30, 2013
Pictured: Tyler Blackburn, Britne Oldford -- Photo by: ABC FAMILY/Skip Bolen

Pictured: Tyler Blackburn, Britne Oldford -- Photo by: ABC FAMILY/Skip Bolen

In “Death and the Maiden,” follow up to the exciting Ravenswood premiere, tensions are high after our fated five are rescued from the sinking car and brought to the hospital. Things take an even darker emotional turn for viewers and our characters when we learn that Miranda has died.

As everyone’s parents or guardians (for all intents and purposes) arrive, more than a few heated words pass between them. Despite their childrens’ romance, the Beaumonts and Rochelle Matheson are not on good terms. The general tone at the hospital follows Remy home, where her father berates her about the accident, including what Luke was doing in the car. Her mother comes to her aid creating some much needed breathing room within the family. The silence that follows as mom and daughter make their way to Remy’s room leaves us wondering what exactly has Mr. Beaumont so on edge. His need for Remy to stay clear of Luke comes off as way more than just being an overprotective dad.

Things are only slightly better at the Matheson household. Luke and Olivia come home to Rochelle laying down the ground rules. For both twins it means no talking to the police. For Luke it means no Remy. On the uncomfortable plus side? Olivia won homecoming queen after someone pulled a semi-Carrie on her. Meanwhile, Caleb is invited back to Raymond’s funeral home, but his first moments there without Miranda consist of a weird dream. In it, she is alive… sort of.

Caleb is clearly confused and she seems aware that something isn’t right. Miranda also mentions her bag, but before we learn more, Caleb gets his first glimpse at the wet cat ghost. When he wakes up, Carla has some words to share about the legitimacy of souls. It’s hard to tell – which is very purposeful – where Carla’s motivations lie. She seems eerily sweet, but her cryptic conversation makes her suspect. On the other hand, she exudes a protective aura, which we saw come out more during her interactions with Caleb. It will be interesting to see what side (good or bad) she lands on.

Once we’ve had time to digest their creepy conversation, we realize that Miranda really was the only one who saw the ghost girl. Perhaps not so coincidentally, it was right before she died. Speaking of dead girls, Miranda’s death was a bit of a shocker and even more so an odd move. Killing off a main character at the beginning of your story wouldn’t seem like the smartest writing play. However, after Miranda reveals the reality, it seems… more adventurous. This creative decision effectively ups the stakes for our characters that are breathing, while ensuring that the story can exist even if our characters aren’t alive. It also leaves more room for seriously scary moments like the few this episode gave us.

While “Death and the Maiden” raised the stakes for the group at large, Olivia’s don’t currently feel as life threatening as everyone else’s. Her biggest problems consist of backstabbing best friends, brothers who believe their mom is a murderer, and the very same mom acting very sketch. Everyone else, on the other hand, is experiencing brushes with death. Luke’s throat is almost crushed by a barbell. Remy nearly gets run over after sleepwalking into the middle of the road, but not before she is two seconds from being cut in two by the driver side window of her car. This entire scene is intense, but ultimately the two get the back. We’ll have to wait until next week to find out what’s in it though.

Caleb had more than his share of ghostly occurrences. Nickles stood up on their side while books slid from desks and landed on the floor. Oh, and we can’t forget the whole Miranda shows up to tell Caleb about her “condition” thing. She is dead, but not free. Every time she tries to leave the house or funeral home, she ends up right back in it. She also thinks that whatever she saw on the bridge has been waiting for her. What makes it more interesting? During a conversation between Raymond and Carla, the older woman comments about Raymond expecting more than one body after the accident. Could Miranda’s uncle be in on this? He owns the house, knows about the curse, and deals with the dead – not just in the physical sense.

There is a bright side in Ravenswood and that comes in the form of Remy and Luke. In spite of their parents, they don’t have plans to let go of their love affair any time soon, which is excellent news. Brett Dier and Britne Oldford’s scenes soften the show’s dark edge, helping us make sure – along with Olivia’s storyline – that Ravenswood doesn’t lose its small town teen drama vibe. It’s a nice addition, particularly as things can get quite heavy on the gloom.

Overall, “Death and the Maiden” felt like a more cohesive episode, with the the dialogue greatly improving from last week. We were given a stronger sense of who our main characters are personality wise, and got a real taste of the scare this show has ordered up. It’s now clear that the supernatural won’t just be a part of the show. Its at its very heart.

Watch Ravenswood Tuesdays at 8:00 – 9:00 PM ET/PT on ABC Family