It is undeniable that The Doll Factory has given us a lot to criticize in its runtime so far. But with this episode, it has restored our faith that it is all leading to something and that the enormous amount of time taken by the narrative will get to a thrilling point at the end. The expectations are rightfully high, and here is the recap of the third episode.
Did Silas not know about Bluebell’s death?
After Bluebell’s death, the Madame is heartbroken, and she swears to avenge her at any cost. Madame considers the place of Bluebell’s death to be where everyone must pay her respects and not at the plaque installed for her, since the former place is where Bluebell was last alive. Some time passes since the whole thing, but Silas is not aware of it. One day, he gets a customer, Millais, who is a part of Louis’ group, and he wants to commission a dog for himself. It is Millais who tells Silas about Bluebell’s death and asks him to forget about their bar fight, considering the tragedy that has happened. It is indeed odd that Silas knew nothing of it. Maybe he spent all his time holed up in his workspace, but he also did not read the papers and was completely unaware of something that had shaken up the entire city. It could be proof of his innocence or the hint of an alternate personality that he has no memory of when he was his normal self. This conjecture is based on nothing but the fact that he is called ‘Silent, Stary Silas’ by literally everyone, and the world seems to think that there is something wrong with him.
Are Louis and Iris in love?
Love would be an overstatement for these two, but there has been an attraction between them from the beginning, which has been acknowledged by mild flirtations. Louis is struggling with his paintings, as they either end up being too derivative or don’t catch the essence of what he is trying to achieve. As usual, he doesn’t take kindly to Iris’ suggestions and her input. Ananya rightly points out that men’s pride is their own to carry and not for women to suffer under, though it may take a second before Iris accepts that. Since Louis is getting nowhere with his work, the two decide to take a walk in the park. Louis is not great company, and Iris may not have minded keeping things more professional if she had not felt the attraction. Both of them spend a lovely time together, and they even end up kissing, though Iris is hesitant to take things forward. Louis can’t help but pass a jibe at the rejection, and it is in one of those ways that he manipulates Iris into feeling like she is overthinking the aftermath. No doubt it would be one of the many such things he would say to her in the future.
Iris meets Silas later, and he warns her once again of the dangers of associating with these men. He calls them ‘colorful,’ and the meaning is evident: they are rich and consumed by the arts, untouched by the troubles of the real world, which can feel very refreshing for someone like Iris. She is aware of Louis’ reputation and the fate of the girls before her, but she has no choice except to be his muse. It was either that or an unwanted marriage that would have been haunted by her sister’s misery. Iris may think she is being careful, but it isn’t long before she gives in to being with Louis. Silas has done his part by warning her and being a gentleman about their own association, and the rest is up to Iris.
Is Louis taking credit for Iris’ work?
The first instinct for anyone, when they see Iris’ work, is to point out the flaws in it and follow that up with how her work is still very good for the little practice she has had. Whenever Iris and Louis talk about art, they draw from their own experiences, which affect their interpretations of the paintings. Iris believes love is something very messy, but Louis and his friends have more of a romanticized idea of it. When she gives her opinions, they all seem to listen, but it is difficult to say whether it is out of respect, because of what they know is going to happen to her, or simply because of her association with Louis. On the one hand, Louis gives her credit for her ideas, but he has also been accused of being unoriginal, and he is inching towards taking credit for Iris’ thoughts.
Why is Silas a suspect in Bluebell’s murder?
The thing with Silas is that everyone seems to think he is a creep. He has shown that he is capable of giving in to a burst of emotion when he fought in the bar, but later, when he spoke to Iris about how she could have warned him about Louis, he sounded very well-adjusted. Silas pays his respects to Bluebell at the place of her death, and Madame misunderstands that. After all, Silas wasn’t there at her funeral, and he is doing this after such a long time, when everyone else has likely forgotten about it. This delayed attention comes across the wrong way, and Madame thinks that Silas is her killer. She gets drunk, confronts him, and lets him know that she will avenge Bluebell’s death at any cost.
Elsewhere, even Albie is suspicious of Silas when he sees that Silas is looking at Iris through her window. At the end of The Doll Factory episode 3, Albie makes it a point to tell Louis that, and he even informs Madame of it, saying that he would help them gather evidence against Silas if that is what it took. Albie says that he notices things that nobody else does since he is usually considered harmless. Technically, this should lead one to the real villain, and Silas, being that person, feels very wrong. Silas may even have lost Gideon’s favor since the latter found out what his friend did for a living. He has agreed to be friends, but that does not ring true for him. As for Iris and Louis, she has started painting him as much as he paints her, and their relationship is deepening by the day, which means that whatever violent tendencies Louis has kept hidden so far will come out soon.
There is a sense of unease that The Doll Factory series has started giving us. Halfway through the show, we know just as little as we did in the beginning, but the focus on atmosphere building has paid off, and we are hooked.