‘Irma Vep’ Episode 2: Recap And Ending, Explained – What Was The Conflict Between Rene And Edmond?


There was no denying that Rene Vidal was a bit of an oddball. The production was short of budget, and Rene’s attitude was not helping the cause. In the second episode of “Irma Vep,” titled “The Ring That Kills,” the ace director was still trying to get insured, and the production was entertaining the possibility of shutting down the series, as they were well aware of Rene’s reputation. Rene was very clear that he was making a film that was divided into eight pieces and not a television series. He tells the same to his doctor, who was examining his case for a different insurance company, which the production house had contacted, as the first one was not ready to risk it with Rene.

An Uncanny Bond And A Peculiar Character

Mira was used to all the privileges and luxuries that came with doing a big-budget film. Fancy hotels, extravagant vanity vans, and all the other amenities were supposed to be in place before the star graced everybody with her presence. Regina, Mira’s assistant, and Carla, who worked for the production, were checking the hotel in which Mira had to stay. Regina knew at first glance that Mira was not going to like it at all. Carla tells her bluntly that the production does not have the money to pay for her stay at a better hotel. Regina calls Zelda, Mira’s agent, to inform her about the situation. Zelda tells her that she had warned Mira and advised her to not do that film. But Mira was adamant. Irma Vep was the kind of role she had always wanted to play. Her last film, Doomsday, was a big commercial hit, but she knew that, though it appealed to the sensibilities of the masses, it was not exactly a magnum opus. Back in L.A., she was getting the lead roles in pseudo-feminist films, but she knew that all they wanted to do was to latch upon a formula that is currently selling in the market, and they had little or no intentions of actually creating an intriguing female character. During the final makeup and costume tests, we see a glimpse of Mira immersing herself in character and pulling off an improvisation with great finesse. It was evident that Mira was extremely excited to play the part, experiment, and dive deep into the murky world of Irma Vep. Once Mira was done with her work, Regina asked her to call Zelda, as she wanted to share something important. Zelda told Mira that the 8-episode series was going to be shut down as the insurance company had refused to insure the captain of the ship, Rene Vidal. She insists Mira be a part of a film called Silver Surfer, as the makers were not only ready to go ahead with a female superhero protagonist, but were also willing to write a blank check. Mira knew that it was a lucrative offer, but she didn’t want to fall into the trap once again. Mira goes to a bar with Zoe, who was handling the costume department. Zoe tells her that the production was able to find a new insurer for Rene Vidal, and that the show was not going to shut down. They have quite a personal conversation, where Zoe asks her about her relationship with Laurie. Mira tells her how her relationship had transformed into something so toxic that she was glad that it was over now. The ladies had a fun evening, and it helped them develop an eccentric bond where they sort of started confiding in each other.

Gottfried Von Schack, was a well-known German actor, who was coming directly from Sodankyla to play a part in Rene Vidal’s film. Gottfried was a peculiar character, and Carla realizes that as soon as she meets him. Actors are known for their starry tantrums and for making unreasonable demands, and Gottfried was quick to make his too. As soon as he steps out of the station, he tells Carla that he had an addiction problem, but for the last 24 hours, he had been sober. Carla thought that the actor was telling her how he was trying to get rid of his bad habit, but actually, he was doing the opposite. He was asking Carla to quickly arrange for it, as the acclaimed actor couldn’t perform unless and until he was on drugs. Carla was not left with much choice. She had to make arrangements and score drugs for the actor; otherwise, there was a possibility that Gottfried might not even come on the set.

‘Irma Vep’ Episode 2: Ending Explained – What Was The Conflict Between Edmond And Rene Vidal?

In the second episode of “Irma Vep,” Rene Vidal finally got insured, but he still had to deal with all his actors and steer them in a particular direction to realize his vision. Since he was not very good at dealing with people, it was going to be a mammoth task for him. He didn’t want to tamper with the narrative created by Louis Feuillade in his 1916 classic, Les Vampires, but Edmond was time and again trying to convince him to let his character have an intimate scene with the character of Marfa Koutiloff. And now, in addition to that, he was insisting on having a scene to establish Philippe’s grief. Edmond was of the opinion that there needed to be some motive behind his actions, and just going to hunt the vampires after the death of Marfa seemed like an abrupt leap. Whether Edmond was doing it because his creative instincts were actually telling him so, or did the insecure actor inside him just wanted some more screen space, is still obscure, but it had made Rene frustrated. He just wanted him to stop questioning him at each and every level and submit to the vision of the director. The argument became so heated that they entered into a scuffle, and the crew had to intervene to make the madness stop. According to the screenplay written by Louis Feuillade, Edmond’s character was living with his mother, and the actor wanted to change it. Rene had promised him to remove the character of his mother, but in fact, he had said that to just make Edmond stop nagging him.

The extras were not happy and had a lot of complaints regarding their pay and the reporting time. They were called at 6 in the morning, and were not happy with the kind of food that was being served. Zoe was done dealing with their tantrums, and she had informed Gregory that he needed to come and resolve the issue with the extras. They were demanding higher pay as they were being asked to dance, but Gregory clearly told them that it was just a scene at the nightclub, and because no choreography was involved in it, they wouldn’t be paid extra.

Rene Vidal was quite unwavering in his approach. The takes and retakes went on till either the director or the actors lost their temper. Rene just wanted his actors to put on blinkers, trust him, and adhere to his commands. But the actors, out of habit, couldn’t help but question his creative decisions time and again. With a chaotic working environment, escalating annoyance, and a lack of consensus, it would be interesting to see whether René Vidal is able to finish his eight-part series which he refers to as a film divided in eight pieces, or if he will capitulate to the conflicting sensibilities.

See More: ‘Irma Vep’ Episode 3 & 4: Recap & Ending, Explained: Why Did Rene Want To Meet Mira? What Happened To Eamonn?

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Sushrut Gopesh
Sushrut Gopesh
I came to Mumbai to bring characters to life. I like to dwell in the cinematic world and ponder over philosophical thoughts. I believe in the kind of cinema that not necessarily makes you laugh or cry but moves something inside you.

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