Something evil has come to London in Netflix and Tom Bidwell‘s crime drama The Irregulars. Based loosely on Sir Arthur Conan Doyle’s works, the series follows a band of misfits as they investigate supernatural crimes. In the previous episode, we saw how the Rip and the powers that come from it warp people into the worst of themselves. The crew uncovered a bit more of the mysterious Doctor John Watson (Royce Pierreson). In episode three, “Chapter Three: Ipsissmus,” Bea (Thaddea Graham) and the crew head out to a country estate to investigate a gruesome murder.
It goes without saying that this recap will contain spoilers for The Irregulars. If you haven’t watched it, I highly suggest checking out the series here!
“Chapter Three: Ipsissmus” starts where the previous episode left off – with Bea meeting Mycroft Holmes (Jonjo O’Neill). He tells her that he has been reaching out to Watson for the past few days in an attempt to meet them, but she makes it clear that Watson doesn’t know she is there. She demands to know everything Mycroft knows about Watson, but he counters with his own offer.
Mycroft reveals that he keeps an eye on 221B Baker Street because his brother Sherlock is Watson’s business partner. He needs Bea and her friends’ help investigating a murder within the Golden Dawn. This secret society is made up of people interested in the paranormal and is run by a magus. Recently, however, their magus Richard Wynn turned up dead in a rather gruesome way and then staged to resemble the magician tarot card.
His theory is that one of the people who would be in line to take over the role was the murderer. He needs Bea and her group to come with him to the meeting, pretend to be his niece and investigate the murder. Mycroft agrees that if she can figure out who it was, he won’t just pay her double the normal fee but will also tell her everything she wants to know about Watson. He makes it pretty clear that he has no love for that man.
Back at the cellar, Leopold (Harrison Osterfield) is heading up to the streets, giving us the impression he spent the night there. He spots Bea, Jessie (Darci Shaw) and Spike (McKell David) and starts making his way to them before Billy (Jojo Macari) stops him. Billy tells him that he doesn’t care if Leopold decides to hang around, but he needs to steer clear of Bea. Spike realizes what’s going on and goes over to break it up, but the situation is already pretty uncomfortable when the group heads out to Mycroft’s estate.
Spike is the voice of reason at the estate, questioning why they are volunteering to sleep in the same house as a murderer. Bea reminds them that this isn’t just about the murder, but the house is where Sherlock grew up and might hold secrets to what is going on. Jessie tries to check in on Bea, but she brushes her off, telling her that she has to be alright Bea and Jessie are taking inside as Mycroft’s nieces while the boys get to pretend to work for the estate.
Inside the house, the girls are shown to their rooms, where they are treated far better than they have ever been. The boys are sent to shovel coal to heat the rooms. Billy and Leopold find themselves alone again. Leopold tells Billy that he is a coward for not telling Bea that he loves her. Billy has finally decided that enough is enough and threatens Leopold that if he ever talks to him like that again, he would hurt him.
A very dressed up Bea and Jessie are taken to the sitting room, where Mycroft introduces them to the people they will need to observe. This includes Alan Crawley (Pip Carter), R.P. Breakwater (Kieran Hodgson), Dion Cross (Shelley Conn), Gustav Felkin (Erich Redman) and Patricia Coleman Jones (Olivia Grant). They are then ushered out of the room and into the dining room, where a peephole is located. This allows them to watch the group unnoticed to try and uncover who did it.
Inside the room, the group discusses the meaning behind the old magus’ death and that it feels like a warning to them all. Jessie keeps jumping to conclusions on who the killer might be, but Bea warns her just to listen. Alan wastes no time pushing to vote on a new magus and while others aren’t too happy about it, Mycroft agrees it should be done but anonymously, of course.
Spike seems to have been regulated to one of the footmen and is chatting up the housekeeper Mrs. Brown (Mia Soteriou). At first, she doesn’t want to open up about the family, but Spike uses some reverse psychology and charm to get her talking. It turns out Sherlock isn’t talked about and quite the sore subject. He left the estate 15 years ago and moved into a place on Baker street with a really shady man. Mycroft has been keeping tabs on him and updates her every once in a while.
She also shares that Sherlock has stuff left in the attic upstairs and he came back one night to hide something. Said he wanted to keep something safe but never mentioned what it was. Spike and Leopold decide to do a bit of investigating. The attic is full of science experiments and dust, but Leopold expects that whatever he hid up here is something he didn’t want anyone at Baker Street to find. Billy and Leopold find a box hidden in the ceiling of the attack that has a puzzle as its lock. The words written on it say, “I am more foul than the devil”.
Down in the sitting room, the members of the Golden Dawn have started a ritual to chose the next magus. Bea and Jessie try to understand what exactly is happening, but what they are saying is cryptic. After voting, the new magus of the London chapter is Gustav Felkin. Some seem to be okay with this chose while it is made pretty clear that Alan isn’t happy. Things get a bit awkward for Bea and Jessie as the ritual ties up with each of the members’ undressing.
Later that night, Bea and Jessie discuss if what is happening here is supernatural or just a bunch of weird people in a cult. They decide to investigate Gustav in the morning to see if he might be the killer. Jessie brings up Billy and Leopold fighting over Bea. Bea isn’t interested in stupid things like love, but Jessie argues that romance and shenanigans are the only things that mean anything to her. It is pretty clear the sisters have opposing opinions on the matter. Bea believes that romance only happens to people who grew up in rich posh houses and Jessie wonders if they grew up like this if they would have been happier.
Out of nowhere, the two hear a scream from another room and go to investigate. They find Gustav dead, tied up, wearing a red robe and surrounded by swords. Spike asks Bea what they are going to do now. Thankfully her answer is to leave right away, but it turns out whoever is behind this has other plans. No matter how far they walk towards the exit, they always end up at the house. Leopold realizes that the way Gustav’s body was staged is that tarot card that means captivity.
There is something supernatural happening and they are trying to keep everyone here. Leopold also realizes that maybe a spirit board isn’t the only way to access the power of the Rip. Whoever is killing and staging the murders is doing so to use the power to intact the meaning of the cards. Richard Wynn’s murder was a representation of the magician, which normally means power but upside down means manipulation, trickery and deception.
Back inside, the group continues to investigate, but now everyone knows who they are. They share that everyone needs to be mindful that someone in that room killed two people already and has trapped them there. Jessie and Spike look into Alan, who knows an awful lot about tarot cards. Bea and Billy decide to talk with everyone else while she asks Leopold to continue looking into Sherlock.
Before Patricia arrives for her interview, Billy and Bea have a moment alone. He tells her she looked pretty in her dress and thanks her for saving his life. He knew that the choice she made would haunt her forever. She believes that she would have done what anyone else would have and that they fight for each other. Billy is worried about Bea and the stress all of this is putting on her. He wants her to be happy and wants them to experience more of the good times. Bea sees the things they have been through as a way for them to become more like family and while she wishes she didn’t go through it all, it has brought with it good things.
Right before Patricia shows up, Mrs. Brown drops off tea for them to enjoy and Bea spots a rather fancy bracelet on her wrist. During the interview, they learned that Patricia has trouble sleeping and was awake because she had been drinking with the housekeeper. It was on her way back that she found Gustav’s body. But before that, she saw Breakwater sneaking around in the dark by himself.
After the interview, Bea goes to check in on Leopold and sends Billy to find Breakwater. Upstairs in the attic, Billy spies Bea and Leopold laughing over their difference in opinion of morning people. He leaves them alone before they notice he is there. Leopold then explains the puzzle box and how he has been trying four-letter words from Dante’s Inferno.
Bea thinks he is overthinking the puzzle and tells him to try easier words. He asks her what she thinks might be fouler than the devil and she responds nothing. An idea hits them and they turn the pieces to blank squares and instantly the box opens to reveal a journal stashed away inside. It’s titled The Grimoire of Sherlock Holmes. Inside are notes and supernatural cult imagery.
Downstairs, Spike and Jessie are talking with Alan about tarot cards. Alan believes that the killer is tapping into each of the tarot cards’ meaning when they kill. Dion doubts that Alan will be able to use the cards to gain insight into what the killer is trying to do. As he begins to try and read the cards, Jessie reaches out and touches the deck. She learns that Alan stole the deck from his dead uncle. Both Alan and Dion realize that Jessie has the vision and that she is an Ipsissimus.
They explain that an Ipsissimus is a true psychic and Dion sends Mr. Bannister (Charles Armstrong) to find Breakwater. They believe that Jessie should join the order and through her, they could do extraordinary things. They became so overwhelmed with what she is that it starts to scare Jessie and she runs away. Spike goes to chase after her, but she hides away. Breakwater is searching for Jessie as well within her room but instead comes face to face will Billy. He says that he is only in there because Dion needs to speak with Jessie urgently. Billy says he can’t trust him, but he might have a bit more faith if he tells him why he was sneaking around the house the previous night. Breakwater agrees to tell Billy as long as he swears he will tell no one else.
Up in the attic, Leopold and Bea are going through Sherlock’s grimoire. It is full of spells that will let people speak to the dead and see the future. As they are looking through the pages, Spike rushes in, looking for Jessie. Spike tells them how they called her an Ipsissimus, a phrase Leopold remembered seeing in the grimoire. It turns out that people can take their powers through ritual sacrifice. Sherlock talks about someone with the initial A warning Sherlock that they must be extremely careful. Billy joins the gang and it becomes increasingly important that they find Jessie right away.
Somewhere else in the house, Jessie has locked herself away in a room only to find that Alan is in there with her. He tries to convince her that they aren’t crazy for what they believe in, that so many people follow the unknown and call it religion. He wants to help guide her down this path, one he tells her that can be extremely lonely. All he asks is that she shares some of her power with him. But Jessie won’t hear it. She knows what he truly is and doesn’t want anything to do with him or any of the others. She tells him to leave her alone and rushes out another door.
Bea, Billy, Spike and Leopold are making their way to Dion’s room, searching for Jessie. Billy swears that Breakwater is telling the truth that neither are behind this, but he isn’t at liberty to say why. When they enter the room, they find both Breakwater and Dion dead, tied standing to the bedpost and their arms wrapped around a sheet pulling them towards each other. Bea realizes that the secret Billy was hiding was the Breakwater and Dion were lovers. Leopold explains that the lovers’ tarot card means infatuation.
Elsewhere in the house, we see Jessie come under a spell as a woman whispers into her head to come to her. Jessie, who now looks to be under a trance, turns back down the stairs and heads in the direction of the voice. While investigating the new murder scene, Spike realizes that Dion was drawing something with her foot. Leopold matches the roman numeral to the devil tarot card. Bea remembers the group referring to Mycroft as the devil during the ritual the previous day.
Still in a trance, Jessie follows the voice outside of the house and onto the estate’s grounds. The others find Mycroft in the study and Billy accuses him of bringing them there to kill Jessie. He swears he had nothing to do with it though all the evidence points towards the idea that he is lying. Watson and Sherlock must have told Mycroft about Jessie, but Mycroft swears he hasn’t talked to either in over a decade. All information he has is by watching from afar and he doesn’t share that information with anyone. However, he has shared it with Mrs. Brown, who, Bea realizes, must have shared it with Patricia.
Patricia must have bribed Mrs. Brown to tell her about Jessie and then killed Richard. Using the manipulation spell on Mycroft, she told them to have Bea, Jessie and the guys come to investigate the murders. Killing Gustav was a means to trap everyone at the estate. They realize that Dion must have died before writing the roman numeral and instead of XV, it should have been XVI, the tarot card of The Tower. Earlier in “Chapter Three: Ipsissimus,” when the group arrives at Mycroft’s estate, they see a large folly. Dion wasn’t trying to show the group who, but where.
Outside, Jessie arrives at the folly to find Patricia is inside. She is still under a trance and continues talking about how much she loves Patricia, who uses this to manipulate Jessie into agreeing to die for her. Along with Alan and Mycroft, the gang races out to the folly where Patricia has led Jessie up to the top and bound her to the large metal pole. She tells her not to let go and that her powers would have been a curse to her anyway. She then begins to cast another spell using a tarot card, creating a thunderstorm above them.
Spike and Alan are the first to enter the folly and Patricia shuts and locks the door behind them. Alan tells Spike to go up to Jessie while he deals with Patricia. Spike tries to get Jessie to let go of the pole, but she won’t since she is still under Patricia’s control. Down below, Alan goes to unlock the door, but Patricia tells him about the Rip and how she will become a God and bestow power onto him. Upstairs, Spike finally convinces Jessie to let go of the pole by telling her how much he loves her and that he wants her to live. He is able to pull her away just as a strike of lightning hits the pole.
Alan and Patricia make their way upstairs to find that Jessie has let go of the pole. She demands that Jessie place her hands back on it, but Spike jumps in and holds her back. When Alan isn’t able to shoot Spike, Patricia takes the gun and tries to. However, Alan knocks her over and she slams into the pole just as it is stuck, sending her flying into a wall. With Patricia now dead, all of the spells stop and Jessie doesn’t remember what happened.
Later that day, Bea and Jessie meet with Mycroft to get their payment. He explains that he isn’t apart of the Golden Dawn for fun rather as a professional. He is the head of a government department that deals with the paranormal. His placement was there because no one wanted to work with him, and the subject was a joke. When he started investigating the Golden Dawn, he realized they were onto something but lacked the rigor to piece it all together. He turned to his brother to bridge the gap between science and the supernatural, but it tore him apart. Sherlock became obsessed with it.
He isn’t sure what happened, but he knows that he must have been onto something big. Mycroft mentions that a Rip was opened 15 years ago, but he doesn’t know who opened it or how it was closed. But he does know that before the Rip, he had a brother and afterward, he didn’t. As far as Watson is concerned, he is one of the many reasons why Sherlock changed. Mycroft refers to him as a poison and if another Rip has opened, he won’t be far from it.
Back at the cellar, Billy tells Bea he is going to meet up with a girl he met a few days prior. Bea tells him to enjoy himself before going to seek out Leopold. Using her sister’s advice, she remarks how cold it is and Leopold invites her to sit under the covers with him. They discuss Sherlock’s grimoire and find a flap in the back with two photos. One is of just Watson, while the other is of Watson and a woman. But not just anyone – it’s Bea and Jessie’s mom Alice. And that is where “Chapter Three: Ipsissimus” comes to a close.
This was another great episode of The Irregulars. I absolutely love how Tom Bidwell has stayed true to making this a supernatural-based Sherlock Holmes story. I always loved Sir Arthur Conan Doyle’s stories, but I always felt a twinge of sadness when he uncovered it wasn’t something strange or supernatural. Almost like how Scooby-Doo was never a ghost haunting the mansion but just a guy in a costume. I will admit I was worried for a moment that this episode was going to stray away from the supernatural, but I love how they were able to tie in the tarot cards and make use of their meanings.
We learned quite a bit this episode about Sherlock (who we have yet to see!), Watson, Mycroft and the gang. Not to mention that Bea and Jessie’s mom Alice is tied up in all of this somehow! I’m excited that we are only heading into episode four and there is still so much for us to learn. Also, can we talk about how amazing Spike is? Not to mention how much he loves Jessie. I really hope their story doesn’t get played down by the Bea, Billy and Leopold love triangle that seems to be going on. Honestly, I love that each of these characters is becoming more complex as the season goes on.
I can’t wait to see what kind of supernatural horror will pop up in the next episode!
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