Irma Vep Episode 7: Recap & Ending Explained
Irma Vep Episode 7 Recap & Ending Explained: The latest episode of Irma Vep reaffirms my speculation that there is a change in the tone of the show that we are watching. If it wasn’t quite evident in last week’s episode, the new one unravels at breakneck speed; complying against Aassays’ own subtle and slow-burn approach. The episode also feels like a genuine love letter to cinema, oozing the gentle, magical essence it leaves behind.
IRMA VEP EPISODE 7 “THE SPECTRE” RECAP:
Against expectation, the episode kicks off with Mira still in her trance state. She is in her Irma Vep costume, gliding through alleyways and doors like a chameleon. That is, until she walks through walls once again, bringing us right back to where the previous episode left us.
She is now, just behind the wall that separates her from Zoe and Cynthia having a conversation about the costume she is going to wear the next day on set. Overhearing them, we get to know that Herman is taking a sexier approach to the show. They send him photographs of the costume and he replies by saying that they will have to ‘sex up the bondage scene.’
The viewer who has been confused about the supernatural state of the show being just a psychological thing, will be surprised when they see that Mira walk through the wall when Zoe leaves and Cynthia is able to see her.
While this can’t be a direct implication to what we see is really true, one can understand that invisible forces and/or ghosts are an integral part of the show and that there isn’t anything uncommon about them.
Anyway, the two of them sit down and talk about the different approache that Herman has on the project, and how they both prefer Rene’s work. Mira distinctly tells her that movies are some kind of connection to the spiritual world and that Rene’s approach was making them forge that path.
The next morning Laurie realizes that the necklace she had placed on the mantel is gone. She straightaway goes into a state of panic and calls Gregory, who reaffirms to her that he will ask the hotel staff to investigate the matter.
On the shoot the next day, Herman isn’t happy with how the bondage scene is going on; he wants it to be swift, so Zoe suggests that they take notes from the ‘bondage consultant’ that she has brought on the set.
When they finally set to shoot the scene, you can clearly see a change in the tone of the show that Herman is directing and the one we are watching.
There are more split screens, more funky numbers to accompany thrilling sequences, and a lighter approach in comparison to the ghost-like vision Rene had in mind. The shot of Irma Vep and Moreno getting trapped and captured also has a sense of slapstick nature instead of the steadfast way in which Rene has envisioned the pair.
Anyway, the shot ends and Carla declares that it is Gottfried’s last day on set as his role is now limited to the show. The crew has organized a farewell party for him but Herman has to leave because of Laurie’s situation back at the hotel.
The party commences with Gottfried’s usual vague self. He decides to give a rousing speech about the state of cinema and the chaos that is missing from it. While doing so, he also triggers the state of indie films that have also become increasingly preachy due to the presence of data churners and OTT platforms. He raises havoc on the party and destroys most of what he can find in plain sight, allowing himself to be one of Rene’s ghosts and leaving with a memorable goodbye.
Next, we see a snippet from the memories of Musidora. This one’s in relation to the terrifying train sequence that Irma Vep needs to be in after she escapes from the police post-Moreno’s death. The sequence is specially put in to show more of director Feuillade’s difficult nature. In spite of Musiodra’s busy schedule, he forces her to shoot the terrifying rail sequence before she goes for another rehearsal she is supposed to be a part of.
Note that these flashback meta sequences still have Rene playing Feuillade; signifying that Herman’s presence is able to affect the tone of the show, but its soul and essence still belong to Rene.
The shot ends there and Mira returns back to the hotel to be welcomed by Regina at dinner. Regina tells her that she will be leaving her soon because she is going to get to do her first feature-length film as a director. We see Mira’s genuine happiness towards Regina’s new endeavor; showing us a side of Mira that most of us haven’t seen for a while – mostly due to her dangerous tryst with Irma Vep.
The two have a nightcap and just before they are about to retire to their respective room, we see Mira kissing Regina. Being aware of Regina’s attraction toward Mira, we can clearly see that there is no sexual implication in that kiss from Mira’s end, but Regina soaks in the weight of the kiss before she goes into her room.
On, the other hand, Mira goes back into her room and becomes Irma Vep again. Using her powers (yes, we now call them powers) she walks through the wall and listens to Regina confess her crush on her and how she is too intimidated to sleep with her, in spite of believing her to be some kind of goddess.
Mira then leaves midway, to crawl up to the rooftop of her hotel. She moves from one roof to another and finally lands in Herman and Laurie’s hotel room balcony; overhearing that they are planning to move rooms. She also hears that Laurie is concerned that her misfortune of losing the necklace would make Mira happy.
Meanwhile, Mira, who is there to probably return the necklace starts having second thoughts as we again see the juxtaposition with Jade’s character on screen. She thinks for a while and instead throws the necklace out from the balcony.
She then goes to the roof and again takes a detour; this time to Rene’s house. When she lands at his house she finds him really busy editing the show that he has run out of. While there, Mira checks out his house and goes downstairs only to find Jade Lee in the living room. In a beautiful sequence, Mira (who is supposed to be an alter ego to Alicia Vikandar) tells Jade Lee (an alter ego to the AWOL Maggie Cheung) that she has this strange guilt about playing Irma Vep.
Questions about cultural appropriation are raised, vis-à-vis, Vikandar being a Swedish actor (supposed as an American actor by some) is to play Irma Vep who was previously deemed as a Chinese character. Jade Lee then affirms that she doesn’t need to feel that way because Jade herself has layers to her identity which makes her rendition of Irma Vep to be miles away from being identified as part of a singular culture.
However, Jade confronts Mira about her obsession with Laurie. She tells it to her face that she stole her necklace for some kind of twisted idea of revenge. And even though Mira disagrees, we can clearly see that Jade is right. Jade also tells her to fight for Rene along with him overcoming his demons to come back and finish the show. Mira knows that Rene has a ‘spiritual connection’ with Irma Vep and only he can do justice to it.
Jade then tells Mira that Rene has gone ballistics and is trying random, vague, experimental things with the new edits of the show. He is on a quest to ruin the show in a way. We then see a montage of the entire show edited in a pretty hostile, Hollywood-like gaze. When the edit ends, Mira and Rene discuss his absence. In which, Rene approves that he has lost confidence in filmmaking, but he is also scared that Irma Vep’s soul is looming around the production disabling him to complete it.
In what could be a direct metaphor to pop culture, Rene says that Irma Vep’s soul has haunted cinema for centuries. It can be seen as the reason why some characters, movies, and franchises are brought back to the limelight again and again. Before the sequence ends, both Jade and Mira try to coerce Rene to come back and finish the final episode of the show.
IRMA VEP EPISODE 7 “THE SPECTRE” ENDING EXPLAINED:
For the first time in the show, an episode ends with a sequence from the shoot. The sequence in question here is Irma Vep’s return after people have considered her dead due to falling on the railway track.
Firstly, we see Musidora’s Irma Vep coming back to the vampire’s lair and surprising everyone and then we shift three weeks in time to the production of the same sequence to be shot with Mira’s Irma Vep returning to the lair.
The ending of the show punctuates a return, which may also signify or foreshadow the return to form for the show’s tone itself. We see Irma Vep going up to the stage at the lair, revealing herself. We then hear the distortion of the medium where Vep sings and dances to ‘shadows speaking,’ cutting to Rene visibly moved by her performance.
As usual, the episode fades to black announcing the coming soon tag for the next episode tired “The Terrible Wedding.”