On the Monday of August 3, 1896, two men conducted Sarah from her home to commit her in Strohman's Asylum, while her husband, Lester, waited for her by the car. At that moment, the Galanthi flew over London and emitted a bright-colored exhaust, affecting many people, including Sarah. She watched it disappear and resisted entering the car, questioning about the object, but no one else seemed to remember they ever saw it.
In the asylum, Sarah watched as Zephyr Navine was committed and asked her to play with her. Zephyr, who had woken up in the body of Amalia "Molly" True, talked aloud about her suspicion that she was in a sim. The Matron then hit Amalia and warned her to keep a civil tongue. Amalia hit the Matron back, before being taken by the orderlies and restrained to a bed. Sarah awaited Amalia to woke up again and the two became friends. Amalia then questioned why she wasn't dead and began to struggle as she realized that she was not in her own body. Sarah held her close and comforted her as Amalia sobbed. The next day, Sarah told Amalia and Mrs. Hundley that she had seen the Lord and that he presented himself as a great light.
Days later, Sarah received a letter from her husband saying that she could return home soon and that the light in the sky was probably a German balloon. However, Sarah believed that God has a mission for Amalia and her. Dr. Edmund Hague joined them and said that he believed the two might be among the Touched who had blossomed up in London over the past couple of months. He was looking for someone to do a special study with at his facility and wanted to spend a minute with each of them separately. Dr. Hague started with Amalia and asked her about the lights in the sky. In fear of being taken and failing her mission, Amalia feigned ignorance and lied that she was only humoring Sarah's delusions. Amalia then passed by to Sarah and encouraged her to tell Dr. Hague everything she had seen, setting her up to be taken away.
Three years later, Sarah has become known as the serial killer Maladie ("disease" in French). She has killed five men, all psychoanalysts, and leaves messages with blood on the wall such as: "God's Angels Are All Fallen Now" and "Look not to Heaven Lest You blind God." One of her victims, though, is the journalist Effie Boyle, who Maladie leaves in a crime scene with a misspelled message to make the police believe the killer was only trying to incriminate Maladie.
Maladie made her first public appearance one night at the opera, slitting the throat of an actor dressed as the Devil. She is accompanied by Bonfire Annie and Winemar Kroos. Maladie tells one of the actresses it's not her fault, but the doctor's. She announces to the audience that she has come to kill an angel witch, but, the closer she came, the more she felt she was there for a reason. She claims to have seen God, who put his wreath on her, whereas they turned their back on Him. She adds that He sings, but she can't make the sound out, though she can feel his presence. Under Maladie's command, Kroos fires into the crowd, shooting Dr. Beldon and his wife, among others.
One of the stage performers, Mary Brighton, begins to sing. Her voice garners the attention of Maladie and several others, all Touched. Maladie then covers the singer's mouth and scurries out the back with Mary and Bonfire. Amalia goes after them and a fight ensues. Maladie's eyes glow orange and she delivers blow after blow to Amalia. The police announce themselves so Maladie and Bonfire flee with Mary.
Two days later, Maladie and her gang are hidden in Southwark & Vauxhall Water Works. She asks Mary why did she sing at the opera house. Mary tells her she knew that Maladie would hear it and hoped it would be a reassurance that she needn't act only from pain. Mary asks what it is that Maladie is after, and she reveals that she's searching for a thorn crown that she can't stop seeing; God made her see and remember the day He came, which only she can remember. She thought she was chosen because her agony made her special, but Mary is pleasant and He gifted her with abilities as well. She believes that God is mocking her with Mary's song and He sent a demon after her — Amalia, who she refers to as the woman that sheds her skin. Maladie then punches Mary when she tries to convince her into orchestrating a ransom. Maladie then proceeds to ramble on about God wanting them to hurt, which Mary disagrees with.
Maladie welcomes Amalia when she finds her in the hideout. She tells Amalia to "shed" and attacks her with a blade. Amalia dodges her attack and proceeds to beat her, who quickly recovers with her eyes glowing bright orange. She then points up to Mary, who is with a noose around her neck standing on the edge of the platform above them. Maladie says that Mary can drop and that Amalia can shed her skin. Maladie accuses Amalia of feeding her to "them"; she woke up every morning in their teeth that cut her, chewed her, and raped her into tiny pieces. Maladie says that she endured two years of it while Amalia thrived and never looked back despite claiming they were friends.
Amalia apologizes, claiming that she didn't have a choice, as she had a mission. Maladie explains that she has a mission of her own. Since Mary is Amalia's "new best friend," she must be done with Penance, who is on the opposite end of the platform, also with a noose around her neck. Amalie must choose which to save. Maladie hands Amalia a gun and tells her to shoot one to save the other. Amalia shoots herself and falls to the ground. Maladie rushes over and Amalia shoots her in the shoulder. When Maladie attempts to kill Amalia, Bonfire Annie sends a fireball her way. Maladie flees with Colonel and Clara as the police arrive.
The Colonel leads Dr. Horatio Cousens to Maladie's carriage. Inside, she asks him to heal the wound caused by the gunshot in her chest. Should he agree, Horatio asks for reassurance that she doesn't kill him to get back at Amalia. Maladie notices he must be close to Amalia, but she doesn't remember him well. He agrees to use his healing turn on her wound and removes the bullet fragment from her chest. Maladie says the bullet was the only atonement Amalia offered. Horatio retorts that Maladie is blaming Amalia for something she couldn't control.
With Mary's death, Maladie attends her funeral from inside the coffin. Disguised as the journalist Effie Boyle, whom she killed a month before, Maladie questions Inspector Mundi on the detainment of two Purists and asks if they're connected to Mary's death. She says she believes that there's something bigger at play and accuses the press of vilifying the Touched. Mundi replies that it was the Touched who killed Mary and tells Effie to return when she learns more than that.
Later that day, Maladie, now dressed as herself, enters the Metropolitan Police building through the window and holds a garrote around the Superintendent's neck. He calls for Inspector Frank Mundi to his office, who Maladie heard Mary say he was a smart and honest detective but sad. Maladie accused the Superintendent of lying about her in the newspapers and accusing her of killing Mary, when in reality she liked Mary and only kills "angels," or mostly. Maladie demands that they stop lying about her or else she'll return. She then jumps out the window, landing onto a cart down below, while Mundi chases after her. Maladie hides while Clara, disguised as Maladie, attacks Mundi. Believing Clara to be Maladie, Mundi places her in a chokehold and renders her unconscious. One of the officers comes towards her with a knife, but Mundi disarms him and declares that, like anyone else, Maladie will receive proper justice.
Clara is imprisoned and convicted as Maladie, sentenced to hang in the public square for the count of 15 murders. Under Effie's alias, Maladie writes another article in The Clarion calling this an unjust sentence.
Maladie, disguised as Effie, asks Inspector Mundi for an interview with "Maladie" and discusses the unconstitutional registration of the Touched. She takes notice of a photo of a murder victim, the real Effie. Mundi says that the crime scene had a message trying to frame Maladie, but it had incorrect spelling. She says she recognizes the coat the victim is wearing: it's cheap and popular with working women, so she was likely a secretary. Mundi replies that he'll take her to Maladie himself if she can identify the victim. Later, "Effie" approaches Hugo Swann in the police department and tells him there is something he can do for her, then whispers in his ear.
At the time of the public hanging, Mundi reads the new article credited to Effie, claiming that she personally spoke to Maladie. Mundi suspects that her article might turn the crowd into a mob and instructs the officers to only allow 400 of the viewing public to enter for the hanging. Maladie, again disguised as Effie, sneaks into the execution. She watches as the crowd chants "drop the bitch" and Clara sacrifices herself in her place.
The Colonel then turns on the power and electrocutes those in the front row of the crowd, killing those who held the metal barricade. The people begin to run in panic and trample over Harriet Kaur, before Maladie pulls her to safety. Afterward, Mundi notices the missing toes in the hanged body and realizes Maladie was Clara, Effie was Maladie, and the tunnel victim was Effie. Meanwhile, Maladie makes her way to the street, where riots have broken out. She throws away the glasses, fake teeth, breast padding, facial prosthetic, and blond wig, then laughs as she continues to walk away.
Behind the scenes
- She is portrayed by Amy Manson and the stunt double Chloé Bruce.
- Her official description introduced: "Committed by her husband (and genuinely unstable), she's been warped by a power she can't understand, and tortured by doctors intent on finding its source. She now lives underground, runs a gang and is on an infamous murder spree. She affects a theatrical parody of a bedlam waif, but mad as she is, she's a woman with a purpose."
- In the audition script, Maladie's character was named Mabel and had been abused with electric eels at the hands of Dr. Hague.
- Manson has talked about Maladie's motivation: "I don't consider her to be a villain. She's got her objectives, she gets sidetracked at times, but I wonder how much I would fight for justice if I went through what she went through at the hands of the male patriarchy. I wonder how much I would fight. I'm not saying that I would go out and kill people left, right, and center, but it seems to be just the repercussions of a woman seeking justice. For her to fight for her freedom is a huge thing, and also seeking revenge is a big thing for her too."
- The serial killer Aileen Wuornos served as an inspiration for Manson's portrayal of Maladie: "Looking back at her last speech that she gave to journalists the day before she was executed, and how much she felt she was chosen or affiliated with God, and just how much she kind of believed that. People will think that Maladie is mad or that she's a terrorist, but I think she's just misinformed. She's just crazed because she just doesn't have answers. She needs to know why. She thinks she's Jesus in a way, you know, that she's had this pain inflicted on her and not on the cross for a certain reason." Mason also lists being influenced by the performances in the films Monster and A Woman Under the Influence.
|The Nevers: Season 1|
- The Nevers — "Exposure". HBO, April 18, 2021.
- The Nevers — "Hanged". HBO, May 9, 2021.
- The Nevers — "Touched". HBO, April 11, 2021.
- The Nevers — "True". HBO, May 16, 2021.
- The Nevers — "Ignition". HBO, April 25, 2021.
- The Nevers — "Undertaking". HBO, May 2, 2021.
- James Hibberd, "Joss Whedon's HBO sci-fi drama The Nevers casts 12 actors". EW.com, July 30, 2019.
- Monsters and Critics, "The Nevers: Amy Manson dishes on the creation of her character Maladie". YouTube, April 8, 2021.
- Cheryl Eddy, "'The Nevers' Amy Manson Shares Which Serial Killer Inspired Her Complicated Character". Gizmodo, April 7, 2021.