Mark Watches ‘Over the Garden Wall’: Chapter 7 – The Ringing of the Bell

In the seventh chapter of Over the Garden Wall, Greg and Wirt come across a small home that hides a terrible secret. Intrigued? Then it’s time for Mark to watch Over the Garden Wall. 

Seriously, what is this world? There is a high density of weirdness and magic in this universe, and I’m beginning to think that it can’t all just be a coincidence. The presence of the Beast – otherwise nameless and unidentifiable, except for his glowing eyes and shadowy form – in “The Ringing of the Bell” suggests that he is the key to unraveling this bizarre journey. Maybe it’s just circumstance that Greg and Wirt keep solving problems for people all over this forest, or maybe the whole place is haunted by the Beast.

If anything, Over the Garden Wall has taught me not to assume anything. Appearances are deceiving all the time, and the show frequently subverts tropes and stereotypes throughout their storytelling. “The Ringing of the Bell” is a fine example of that because Auntie Whispers is one giant red herring. WHICH IS UNDERSTANDABLE BECAUSE I AM STILL TERRIFIED BY HER. She’s drawn in a way to bias the viewer against her because… well, look at her. The way she walks, her TOO BIG FACE, those eyes, her mouth, that scene where she eats a tiny turtle… NO THANK YOU. (Is that where all those turtles came from in past episodes???) There was no reason for me to accept anything but the worst: this woman ate everyone who came into her home and kept Lorna against her will with the use of a magical bell.

Again, it’s a fairy tale trope come to life in a truly horrifying way. For what it’s worth, Wirt sees how wrong this is, and he devotes himself to breaking the spell Auntie Whispers has over Lorna. I admire that; like the last episode, one of the brothers takes a chance on someone who has the deck stacked against them.

At the same time, I found it significant that Greg was the one who realized that there was something supremely “off” about this whole arrangement. There’s that cutesy, twee song that plays during the cleaning montage, and Greg has a moment where he looks upon it all and knows this isn’t what they should be doing. Of course, he ignores it because this is Greg we’re talking about. He’s so easily distracted!

The true “monster” was Lorna, possessed by an evil spirit, and the bell kept the spirit away. Well, not “away” so much as “under control.” Yet even in reaction to this, Wirt thinks of saving Lorna! That makes me wonder: are Greg and Wirt subverting all of the Beast’s plans by saving these people and helping them? Or is that part of a greater trap? The Beast makes mention of the Woodsman nearly ruining his plans… which are what, exactly? He wants to keep Greg and Wirt in the forest, right? For what, though? Hell, I haven’t even talked about Beatrice, who is still waiting for Greg and Wirt to come back to Adelaide’s cottage. What’s up with that?

I can barely accept that there are only three episodes left, y’all. HOW.

The video for “The Ringing of the Bell” can be downloaded here for $0.99.

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About Mark Oshiro

Perpetually unprepared since '09.
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