[Editor’s note: The following contains spoilers through Episode 5 of The Haunting of Bly Manor, “The Altar of the Dead.”]
If you read our lengthier piece on The Haunting of Bly Manor Episode 5, “The Altar of the Dead,” you know that there are a number of standout moments for T’Nia Miller’s Hannah Gross. That’s the episode that reveals more about Hannah’s condition and also puts the focus on one’s ability to “skip” or “memory jump.”
“The Altar of the Dead” features a number of unforgettable “jumps” including Hannah’s frequent visits to the first time she met Owen (Rahul Kohli) and seeing Peter Quint’s (Oliver Jackson-Cohen) demise, but another beat that stands out is an especially crushing memory for Hannah. Early on in the episode, we watch Hannah skip back to a night at Bly when she loses her composure. She walks outside and lets out a devastatingly painful scream, something that Charlotte Wingrave (Alex Essoe) hears.
Where is that guttural scream coming from? Is it true to the original memory and strictly tied to Sam or has it morphed throughout the skipping? Here’s what Miller had to say:
“That’s the original memory. She goes back into it and then she’s back into that memory, and that was her husband leaving her and her no longer being able to hold it together. But when you say morphed, yes, I think it’s also the pain of the current situation with the frustration of not being able to live her authentic self and not being able to share that love with Owen, and not being frustrated with herself. But, you know, wanting to experience love and to be held and to go away to Paris but just stuffing herself in that rebellious almost, yes, guttural scream where there’s nothing left, where she has to let it out somehow.”
As though Sam leaving Hannah and being “just fine” about it isn’t troubling enough, this particular moment compounds that grief with the frustration of what Hannah is struggling through in the present. And on top of that, to think, this scene comes fairly early on in the episode. At that point, Hannah still had loads more troubling news coming her way.
If you’d like to hear more about Miller’s experience working on The Haunting of Bly Manor and learn a bit about her early influences, experience in drama school, working on Years and Years and loads more, check out her full Collider Ladies Night interview.