“The C, the C, the Open C” is the ninth episode of the TV show “The Terror”, an adapatation of a novel by Dan Simmons with the same title, and follows “Terror Camp Clear“.
Note. This article contains spoilers about “The C, the C, the Open C”.
While Lady Jane Franklin (Greta Scacchi) asks again for help to begin an expedition to rescue the crews of the HMS Erebus and HMS Terror ships, Captain Francis Crozier (Jared Harris) tries to keep his men alive without losing their humanity. Cornelius Hickey (Adam Nagaitis) does’t hesitate to resort to cannibalism to feed the mutineers who followed him.
The survivors of Franklin’s expedition are in a desperate situation. The consequences of the choices and the events of “Terror Camp Clear” can only add more chances of death but the way to face it is different depending on those choices.
The C in the title is also the initial of the word “cannibalism”. Cornelius Hickey went around the question when he offered the other mutineers a solution to their food problem. His personal survival plan goes on while he keeps an eye on Captain Francis Crozier and the other survivors but reached to a point where he can talk openly about cannibalism.
“The C, the C, the Open C” is built largely on the contrast between Crozier and Hickey’s attitudes in the face of hunger and death. Crozier accepted the responsibility of trying to get as many survivors as possible to salvation while keeping their humanity while Hickey is ruthless when it comes to getting food first of all for himself.
The emotional factor was already growing with the approach to the end of the expedition and now reaches new peaks with more deaths and moments of great intensity in the relationships between various characters. Even poor Thomas Jopson (Liam Garrigan) is weakened by lead poisoning and is being looked after by Captain Crozier in a switch of the roles seen some episodes ago.
For Crozier the will to save his men is an ever greater burden because in one way or another they keep on dieing. Thomas Blanky (Ian Hart), one of the few that the Captain can have absolute trust, hasn’t much time left to live and wants to help his mates one last time.
Another reference to a previous episode arrives at the end of the episode in the other scene involving Sophia Cracroft (Sian Brooke), in this case while she goes barefoot in the snow remembering what Lady Jane Franklin said during her first request for help.
These are just some of the emotions generated by the stories of many of the characters. In “The Terror” there are many stories that intertwine and reached a peak in what is perhaps the episode in which the horror also reaches its peak waiting for an inevitably dramatic ending.