Season 1, Episode 3

The Ladder

With something now stalking the ships, the captains debate their options, testing their loyalty to one another against their duty to their crews.

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Days after the bear attack on Lt. Gore’s lead team, Sgt. David Bryant stands watch outside Erebus along with a ship’s boy, George Chambers.

In the sick bay, carpenter John Weekes and John Morfin, prepare the dead Inuit man for burial. Thomas Hartnell retrieves the man's possessions for his daughter, then leaves. Weekes and Morfin find an ivory charm in the shape of a bear and one in the shape of a man hidden in the man's clothing. Dr. Henry Goodsir instructs them to bury the man with them.

On Terror, Hartnell hands the Inuit man's possessions to his daughter. The woman holds out her hands, expecting more. Lt. George Hodgson says she stopped talking when her father died, prompting Hartnell to nickname her Lady Silence.

Morfin and Goodsir drag the Inuit man's body out to the ship's fire hole, where mate Charles Des Voeux waits. Goodsir realizes the corpse will be dropped down into the hole and burned, and worries about Esquimaux tradition. The men assure him that Captain Sir John Franklin approves.

Lady Silence travels away from the ships, out onto the ice, and draws a big circle in the snow.

On Terror, Lt. Edward Little asks Captain Francis Crozier about his prior engagements with the Esquimaux people, worried that Lady Silence may seek revenge. Ice Master Thomas Blanky suggests her people are more concerned with surviving.

On Erebus, Franklin and his officers eat in silence, still grieving Gore.

In a flashback, at a swanky reception, Sir John Ross drills Franklin about his rescue plans should the ships get ice-locked. "Death is slow in the Great White Nothing," he warns. Following the tense encounter with Ross, Lady Jane Franklin assures her husband that Ross just feels guilty because of his own poor captaining and assures Franklin that his expedition will succeed. She presents a capuchin monkey named Jacko.

Back in the present, Franklin plans a service for Gore.

On Terror, Cornelius Hickey watches Gibson enter Lt. John Irving's cabin.

Crozier walks to Erebus and offers his condolences to Franklin, then swiftly requests a party be sent South to the Hudson Bay Company outpost. Crozier argues that if the party leaves now, they'll have a rescue team at the ready. Franklin accuses Crozier of being miserable and overly-cautious, and denies the request. "You will never be fit for command," Franklin spits. Commander James Fitzjames and Lt. H.T.D. Le Vesconte eavesdrop on the conversation.

On Terror, Crozier finds Blanky and instructs him to put together a list of eight men for the rescue party. He plans to lead the party himself and disguise it as a hunting party so any blame will fall on him alone.

Diggle, Terror's cook, finds Richard Wall, Erebus' cook, and complains about Terror's spoiled canned provisions – something one of Crozier's lieutenants previously mentioned after returning from his lead party mission. He wonders if Erebus has been experiencing the same. Wall jokes about adding salt and dismisses any severity.

Franklin and Goodsir visit the hunting blind, where men are baiting the bear.

Irving finds Hickey outside and says Gibson told him all about how Hickey seduced and threatened him. Irving suggests spiritual activities to fix Hickey’s "crisis."

Hickey finds Gibson and confronts him about his accusations. Gibson maintains that he protected them both, though he's more concerned about his own standing with command. Hickey counters that Crozier offered him a drink, a sure sign that they’re friends. Gibson scoffs and declares their affair off.

Crozier sits at his desk to write.

Goodsir takes a photograph of the hunters alongside Franklin.

Crozier pens a letter to Franklin detailing his decision to resign as Terror’s captain.

The hunters encourage Franklin to stay and fight with them. Seconds later, the roof of the blind is torn off. Bryant is jerked upward then dropped, his head ripped from his body. The hunters start firing.

Crozier hears the gunshots and goes outside to get a closer look through a glass. He sends over Marines.

Franklin runs towards the ships as Fitzjames and others run toward him. Before Franklin can reach them, he's pulled viciously by the creature and his leg is torn off. The creature drags Franklin into the fire hole, where the Inuit man's body was disposed of earlier.

In the Erebus sick bay, Goodsir places Franklin's dressed severed leg in a coffin.

Seamen talk among themselves and wonder how the creature "knows" to take their best men. They speculate about a connection to the Inuit man. Morfin sings a melancholic song in honor of Franklin. The men join in.

Crozier enters the Erebus Great Room as the new captain and orders Blanky to proceed immediately with the rescue party plans. Fitzjames, emotional, begs Crozier to allow time to grieve.

Crozier holds a service for Franklin. He offers Franklin's own words as he reads a note originally in memory of Gore.

Meanwhile, Hickey defecates in Gibson's bed. Afterwards, he heads to Crozier's cabin and finds Crozier's resignation letter.

After the memorial, the rescue party begins its journey with Lt. Fairholme leading them.

Lady Silence hears the creature outside her snow dome. She remains still, then walks outside once it is gone. A dead seal has been left for her.