With the threat of the noble dragon looming, Carcer and the Watch anxiously search for Gawain, the first relic needed to control the dangerous beast. The hunt leads both sides to a nursing home where the original thief of the sword is a resident but unfortunately, time has eroded her memories of its whereabouts. Through detective work, the Watch recover Gawain but Sam Vimes worries about the power that the relics possess.
[Slight Spoilers Ahead!]
Vimes doesn’t trust anyone to wield the powers of the highly sought-after relics. Not Carcer. Not Vetinari. Not even Lady Ramkin. In order to prevent Wayne falling into the wrong hands, he plans to destroy it in a lake outside Ankh-Morpork where the Unseen University disposes all of their failed inventions. The trek to the lake is a perilous one with many psychological obstacles and even if he succeeds, Vetinari will certainly have him executed for defying orders. Vimes makes his peace with the Watch and heads out on his mission alone but you know his colleagues won’t let him carry the burden alone and Ramkin and Cheery follow after him.
In a reversal from the previous episodes, it’s now Carcer’s crew playing catch up trying to steal the sword back. Who better to partner with to steal something than the Thieves Guild? The newly formed alliance is hot on Vimes and company’s heels. Thinking that their friends might need back up, Carrot and Angua hastily set out for the lake.
So far, the series has been building up a group of ineffective lovable losers into heroes trying to save their city from a perilous threat. “Not on My Watch” continues this narrative but begins developing a bigger picture perspective. You now have to consider what the idea of the Watch represents for Ankh-Morpork. With normal citizens surrounded by corruption, whether it’s the guilds or Vetinari, they need a beacon of hope to rally behind. Carcer’s unseen partners worry that Vimes will begin to believe in himself, which might lead others to believe as well. Many, including the Lady of the Lake, think the Watch is leading the resistance, which could pose a threat to those who like the status quo.
Though we were briefly introduced to Wayne already, the episode brings us the joy of Matt Berry. Not many people can imbue an inanimate object with such charm, personality, and attitude. He steals every scene Wayne is in and the manner of the dialog makes you wonder if they’re improvised. Either way, it’s hilarious.
There are some pacing issues because the plot is a little slow to develop. In addition, the flashbacks the characters receive while in the desert have mixed results. Though we see Sam’s closeness with Carcer as kids, Cheery’s fear of traditional dwarven ways, and Ramkin’s failed rehabilitation attempt, they didn’t really resonate. On the other hand, Angua’s tragic history stirs up so many feelings in a short amount of time. Actress, Marama Corlett, conveys the raw emotions and dread from the event and we see the toll being a werewolf takes on her.
Despite a sluggish start, “Not on My Watch” builds the Watch from mere heroes to root for to a more important symbol for Ankh-Morpork and has stellar performances from Matt Berry and Marama Corlett.
The Watch airs Sunday nights on BBC America.
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