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About Face Recap

In a brothel, a prostitute Emma is giving birth. As she goes through the difficult birth, Emma remembers the priest, Jonathan Nevin, who impregnated her. The madame, Bertha, asks who the father is but Emma remembers Jonathan swearing her to secrecy. Bertha sees the baby and screams.

Sixteen Years Later

A girl, Angelica, arrives at Jonathan's home. Inside, Jonathan is reviewing his newest book with his publisher, Gordon. Gordon assures him that the sales are good. Jonathan's wife Sarah comes in and says that there's someone there to see him, and insists that Jonathan see her now... and alone. Gordon excuses himself and asks if Jonathan wants to meet with his new secretary, Miss Prichard. Sarah is less than thrilled to hear that her husband has a new secretary so soon. Once Gordon leaves, Jonathan insists that nothing happened between him and his former secretary. Sarah says that Angelica claims that she's Jonathan's daughter.

Angelica comes in and explains that Bertha took care of them and said that Emma told them that Jonathan was their father. She says that she has a twin sister, Leah, and explains that Emma worked their as a maid until she was turned out when she became pregnant. Angelica says that Emma died in childbirth and Bertha recently became ill, and said that they needed to seek their father's love and assistance. Jonathan asks what she really wants, and Angelica says that she just wants to know and love her father. She can't speak for Leah, and admits that they have nowhere else to go.

Jonathan asks her to step out and Sarah says that they're finished. He figures no one will believe them, and Sarah says that she's had enough. She refuses to let him put everything they have at risk, and Jonathan says that nothing is at risk as long as they work together. Jonathan reminds her that if Sarah brings him down then they lose everything. He suggests that they send Angelica away rather than risk his image, but then gets an idea and tells his wife that there's another way. He calls Angelica in and says that he wants her to get Leah and bring her there, and they'll both live there. Once Angelica leaves, Jonathan tells Sarah that a family will be the perfect image. They can claim that they adopted the girls, proving his goodness.

Once Angelica moves in, Jonathan visits her and asks to meet Leah. Angelica explains that Leah has locked herself in the bathroom, and warns that her sister is troubled. She believes that Jonathan abandoned them, and asks Jonathan to give Leah more time. Angelica assures Jonathan that she loves him and always has, and they hug before Jonathan leaves. In the hallway, he calls to Leah, wishing her good night.

Sarah is in the study drinking when Leah comes in. She slams the door shut and steps into the light, revealing that her face is covered with scars. Leah calls Sarah a blasphemer and asks when she lay with Jonathan. Sarah insists that Jonathan is married to the church, and Leah says that Jonathan abandoned his daughters.

The next morning, Sarah tells Jonathan what Leah said. She warns her that he won't have much luck defending himself from Leah, and leaves. Jonathan goes to Angelica and demands to see Leah. Angelica says that she convinced Leah to seek out Jonathan, and Leah claims that Sarah said things about Jonathan and Leah. Jonathan asks her to apologize to Leah on his behalf and he'll make it up to her.

Angelica goes to her sister's room and talks to Leah, who is behind a screen .Leah insists that she doesn't want to love Jonathan, insisting that he's a sinner. She makes Angelica promise that they'll always be together.

In his study, Jonathan is rehearsing his lecture as Miss Prichard takes notes. Gordon comes in to excuse himself, and says that Sarah hasn't returned yet. Once he leaves, Jonathan offers Miss Prichard a glass of sherry and she accepts. They end up having sex, and Leah listens at the door as Jonathan insists that they're doing what God wanted. Disgusted, she walks away. Miss Pritchard comes out a few minutes later and Leah cuts her throat.

When Sarah returns, she fails to see Miss Pritchard's corpse on the divan. Leah steps out and says that she was the messenger and delivered the sign, and Sarah shoves past her... and sees Miss Pritchard's corpse. She screams and Jonathan comes out. He assumes that his wife killed his secretary, and Leah has slipped away. Jonathan says Sarah is a murderer and has ruined them, and then strangles her and says that he's giving her a way out.

Once Sarah is dead, Jonathan goes to Angelica's room. She's lying on her bed, her back to the door, sobbing and holding a rosary. Jonathan says that he has to go away for a while and start over. He asks her to come with him but gets no response. When Jonathan turns her over, he discovers that it's Leah and recoils in horror. She yells at him to repent and says that the day of wrath has come, and closes the door before Jonathan can get out. Leah then stabs him in the stomach with a knife, then stabs his legs as he falls. Jonathan grabs a heavy cross from the wall and hits Leah in the head with it, and then stabs her through the chest with the tip. She turns over, dying... and reveals Angelica on the other side of her head. Angelica asks what Jonathan has done and dies, and Jonathan screams in horror.

Written by Gadfly on Nov 11, 2016

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