The Nevers continues to find its identity this week as a show about characters finding their way in the world. This week, episode three delves deeper into Amalia True’s (Laura Donnelly) place as the head of an orphanage and how she’s perceived. As a character-focused show, this episode continues to open up new relationships and register how certain groups feel about one another. Directed by David Semel with a script by Kevin Lau, the identity of characters comes more into focus.
Titled “Ignition,” the episode continues to move about its many subplots but opens on the orphanage revealing how other characters feel and act around True, but also how True acts this way for a reason. Mary Brighton (Eleanor Tomlinson) could be considered the main focus as she opens and closes the episode. At the start, she’s questioning True, but also making a home for herself in the orphanage.
Meanwhile, Penance Adair (Ann Skelly) attempts to amplify Brighton’s powers. Brighton can sing and reveal who is touched even if they don’t know it yet. This plays into the management and personality of True and how she may, or may not, be the best leader for these people.
Hugo’s character (James Norton) gets more development as the episode reveals the inner workings of his plan to use touched people for his money-making schemes. Anyone looking for nudity in an HBO show should watch this one as Hugo’s bordello of super-powered touched is further explored.
Hugo is an interesting character who isn’t quite a villain, but he’s not a good guy either. He is played as a spoiled brat who wants to indulge but is also terribly bored. One might surmise he could do good things, but he simply doesn’t want to. He’s not a purely evil person, but the kind of clichéd sort of brat we’ve seen before, though. How Detective Frank Mundi (Ben Chaplin) plays into Hugo’s plans is also intriguing.
The villains end up stealing the show in this episode with great dramatic moments. In one key scene, Doctor Horatio Cousens (Zackary Momoh) is dragged into helping Maladie (Amy Manson) who has an infected wound. His touched abilities are used to heal her, but the real shock of the scene is how Maladie acts. She continues to be schizophrenic in her thoughts and actions, one minute threatening Horatio and the next asking him to make love to her. These scenes go far in making her sympathetic and possibly savable even though her mission seems to be an agent of chaos.
The Beggar King (Nick Frost) gets a brutal scene after not making an appearance last week and it’s a reminder there are threats most violent for the touched. He’s turning out to become a direct threat to True and it’s through his desire to be a real king or ruler of the streets where his character is most interesting. There also seems to be an element of toxic masculinity afoot which plays well against a show with many lead female characters.
Those looking for action will be sorely disappointed as the show continues to feature characters mostly standing about and talking. There are interactions, be it Horatio healing Maladie or the Beggar King cutting a man, but it’s more about getting lots of exposition off for the viewers. At this point in the show, this is more about characters making alliances, or breaking away from one another. These connections will likely build towards the finale in an action-packed sort of way, at the very least.
“Ignition” is a better episode than the last, thanks in part because key villains get scenes to chew up the scenery. It also digs a little deeper into the characters in a real way rather than establish connections between them. It all ends on a major conflict that will likely send all parties spiraling in one direction or another making this one of the more important episodes to the larger story.
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