Irma Vep Episode 6 Recap & Ending Explained: Irma Vep has finally entered the point where the production debacle takes its complete foothold. The show within the show is collapsing, but it also feels like the current episode of Oliver Assays’ HBO miniseries is also doing the same.
In what has to be the show’s most unsatisfying episode till now, the idea of collapse going triple meta is not something I had anticipated. Anyhow, we will see if this lapse in judgment was merely a smart move or a downward spiral for a show that has been an absolute stunner till now.
The show also takes its turn to tune in to the supernatural in some way, but if it’s going to be capitalized in some way, or is merely depicted as Mira’s mental instability is up for further introspection.
IRMA VEP EPISODE 6 “THE THUNDER MASTER” RECAP:
The opening sequence of the new episode finds Mira on the set preparing for her day. She is casually inhibiting the space (most probably her way to get into the character of Irma Vep) when someone knocks on the door. It is Rene, who is also early to the set because he needs to feel that the set is ‘haunted.’
The two of them sit down to discuss their creative process where words like ‘ghosts,’ ‘the invisible’ and others are thrown down on the table. “Sets are eerie because they are real, and they are not real,” says Mira. And as discussed earlier Rene hands her the gun to execute the Grand Vampire in the new episode.
Next, the sequence with the Grand Vampire takes place and Irma Vep shoots him down. Robert, the actor who plays the Grand Vampire is unhappy. He threatens to sue Rene for going off script and leave the set fuming. After Robert leaves, Rene has a terrible meltdown where he screams on set in front of everyone.
Gregory sits down with his wife to talk about how Rene has disappeared and no one has any idea where he is. Later in the night, he receives a call from Carla who tells him that they have a problem with Gottfried. Apparently, he hung himself in his hotel closet as a part of some sort of sex game. The paramedics on the scene are not aware if he will be okay because his condition is fatal.
Subsequently, Gregory receives a call from Gautier, who is then made aware of Gottfried’s situation due to his swing with ‘autoerotic asphyxiation.’ Gautier tells Gregory that they need to now get into ‘damage control’ mode because the production is about to go haywire since they can’t shoot the next day.
One of Gautier’s men gets to the set the next day and is made aware that Rene has gone AWOL. The production and Gregory had kept it a secret from everyone because they anticipated Rene’s return, but it has been quite some time now and no one is aware of Rene’s whereabouts.
The man tells them that they need to replace him soon if they don’t want to withstand production losses. He also tells that since Rene is missing, he has already contacted Herman’s (yes the same Herman who made ‘Doomsday’ with Mira) agent and he is already on his way to accept this offer, in spite of his not-so-European sensibilities.
Meanwhile, Gottfried, who has been unconscious, wakes up in the hospital. He then stands up, takes out all the tubes and machines attached to him, and sneaks out from the hospital window to walk his way back to his hotel; where he eventually collapses.
Back in America, Herman discusses being offered to complete Irma Vep with Laurie, who tells him that doing TV after the huge success of his blockbuster film would affect his image. However, they are both up to coming to Paris for a short while. I mean, who doesn’t want to be in PARIS, amirite?
Back in Paris, Mira is disappointed that Rene isn’t returning anyone’s call and has randomly abandoned the show. She tells Regina that, she is aware that Herman will take over and since Laurie would be back in town, she is scared and has already texted her about her coming to Paris.
Rene, who has been missing in action all this while, arrives at his therapist’s office visibly sleepless and distressed. He talks about losing his faith in the series (notice he calls it a series and not a movie anymore), and that he was visited by Jade’s ghost. He tells her that he thought making this 8-hour-long-movie would bring him some kind of redemption, but it has only become an extreme weight on him; opening old wounds that he had almost forgotten. Some nice piece of foreshadowing tells us that “Ghosts are not really about the dead, but what’s dead inside us.”
Following the sequence, we get to Gautier’s house where they discuss Herman and how to proceed with the show. They come to a point where they can’t cancel a key sequence that needs to be directed before Herman arrives. So, on Mira’s suggestion, they decide to let Regina direct the leftover sequences of the show.
Before shooting the sequence Regina talks about the scene with Mira and how she is going for a more surreal, experimental approach. She tells her that her reference is someone who believes that actors are spirits and movies are like magic rituals. They then discuss more vague things about how “movies are about accessing the light.”
The shot that Regina is to capture gets a slightly experimental approach; as opposed to the subtleness that Oliver Assays has applied till now. Mostly to represent the change in tone, texture, and approach that different people bring to the same material, and how the production debacle is directly and indirectly also affecting the show that we are watching.
The sequence of paralyzing Moreno is followed by a meta entry from Musidora’s memoirs; which is about how Director Feuillade filmed the cabaret sequence. It is known knowledge that the director offered extras on set more money because he was sure that some of them will get injured. This sequence is put into illicit how creation is as opposed to basic human decency of treating crew members with empathy.
IRMA VEP EPISODE 6 “THE THUNDER MASTER” ENDING EXPLAINED:
The ending of this episode is where things get trickier. Mira is in her hotel room, waiting for Laurie to return her texts. With no response in sight, she dresses up as Irma Vep (or as we would like to call it now, ‘She becomes Irma Vep’) and goes out dressed like her. She then takes a cab and goes back to the hotel where Herman and Laurie are supposed to be staying.
When she arrives, the episode does an experimental juxtaposition of Mira’s movement in the hotel lobby with that of Jade Lee (actual expert from Assays’ film ‘Irma Vep’ starring Maggie Cheung) and somehow Mira is able to walk through walls.
It comes off as a surprise to see this sudden shift in tone with the intermixing of the supernatural, but all the talks about movies being magic, the force of the invisible, and ghosts haunting film sets sort of make sense.
While we are unable to feel and understand whether what is happening is real or just a figment of Mira’s imagination, we proceed to see that she walks right into Herman and Laurie’s hotel room. The two are engaged in a casual conversation about minimalism in cinema and how Herman wants to shoot the big bombing scene in a big nightclub.
After that, Herman goes to the next room (with Mira walking through walls to follow the action) and gets a surprise for Laurie. He unveils the big box to gift Laurie and a beautiful and expensive necklace which she then takes off and places on the mantel; before they proceed to make love in the other room. Mira follows them and hears things that make her feel agitated. Thus, she walks out and on a whim steals Laurie’s necklace.
If this is some sort of revenge or an act of denial is not made clear. Nor is the fact that Mira is walking through walls. However, after stealing she walks out to the roof with the Paris skyline in sight (an obvious reference to the iconic scene in the Irma Vep film), leaving us with a few unanswered questions.
The screen fades out to Mira standing and looking at the skyline announcing Coming Soon, with the title of the next episode “The Spectre.”