On the penultimate season one episode of The Watch, Vimes switches places with the evilest version of himself in the multiverse. Our Sam finds himself in prison with many familiar but totally different faces and searches for a way back home. Meanwhile, his doppelganger teams with Carcer Dun and helps him retrieve the final artifact to control the noble dragon. Though we find no mater the Vimes, there is always some good in him, Carcer gets his hands on everything he needs.
[Slight Spoilers Ahead!]
You couldn’t tell that Ankh-Morpork is in danger since many of its citizens carry on with business as usual. Only a handful of people grasp the severity of the situation and make plans accordingly. Lord Vetinari abandons his responsibilities and finds a safe place to weather the storm leaving only the Watch to defend the city. They try their best to warn the public when Carcer summons the destructive beast. It’s a challenging time and it’s seems as though our heroes suffer a major casualty. They regroup for a final stand to end the chaos in the only way they know how.
“Better to Light a Candle” is a fitting conclusion as it brings all these different elements throughout the season together in a fulfilling way. There are impressionable characters that return, answers to mysterious rooms at the station, and a showdown between Lady Ramkin and Doctor Cruces. The series has been laying the groundwork to lead to this moment and it’s enjoyable to see all the callbacks and how the various pieces fit together. Even the significance of the theme song is revealed and we’ve been listening to it from the start.
We also witness the desperation of death causes amongst the characters. Obviously, all of Carcer’s actions have been fueled by the fear of nonexistence. He’s willing to burn the whole world down if it means he can live a little longer. The two couples of the Watch also find an urgency to express their feelings to each other. These are tender moments that reveal more about the pairs from what is inferred and unsaid than to what is ever verbally communicated. The first scene between Carrot and Angua especially stands out for both its comedy and heartfelt earnestness.
This all ties in with the impressive power of love. It’s the Watch’s belief in each other that allows them to overcome the odds. It’s the longing for companionship that ultimately tames the noble dragon. It is a very cheesy message but if you’re surprised, you’ve obviously not been watching the entire season. This is a show that doesn’t take itself too seriously.
The season finale also helps set the stage if The Watch were to be renewed. There’s room to introduce more characters from Discworld via a new class of recruits. They also present the new villain they’ll tussle with. She seems a much more formidable foe than Carcer and hopefully we’ll get to see what she and her unseen allies have in store for our heroes.
“Better to Light a Candle” is a fun way to end this season of The Watch. It has amusing callbacks and a lot of heart while laying the foundation for more stories.
The Watch can be viewed on BBC America.
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