See season two (now streaming on Apple TV+) got off to a great start in its premiere last week, throwing viewers right into the middle of a world that is rapidly changing faster than the characters can keep up.
Curiously, episode two starts off not with any of the storylines introduced in last week’s premiere, but instead with our first look at Jerlamerel since battling Baba Voss last season. Despite undergoing an extremely sketchy-looking DIY eye surgery, Jerlamerel is informed that the damage done is irreparable. The world’s most famous sighted man is officially blinded, and what comes of that remains to be seen.
Speaking of Baba Voss, he isn’t doing much better, as he undergoes brutal torture at the hand of the Trivantian forces that captured him last week. Baba is then confronted by Trivantian commander-general (and his sinister brother), Edo. Despite Baba Voss’s pleas, Edo assures him that he intends to hunt down and kill Baba’s daughter, Haniwa, as retribution for Baba’s past murder of their father.
The most significant subplot of the episode concerns Haniwa and her captor, the enigmatic Lieutenant Wren. The two women seemed to develop an unspoken understanding after sharing a bond over the fact that they both harbor the gift and curse of sight. In a rare show of camaraderie, Wren releases Haniwa and takes her on a trip through the village to show her a secret place: a perfectly preserved high-rise apartment from before the fall of modern society.
After nine episodes of intense focus on the primitive ways humanity has adapted to life without sight, it’s incredibly strange – almost jarring – to see two sighted characters in a completely contemporary setting, but it gives the moment an undeniable weight and poignance. The performances here from Nesta Cooper and Eden Epstein are also particularly strong.
It soon becomes clear that the relationship between the two might be more than just platonic, and it’s easy enough to understand – these two characters come together in a rare moment where they are finally free to be fully themselves without having to worry about being hunted as witches. The emotions are high. This makes it all the more devastating for Wren when Edo Voss commands her to hand Haniwa over to him so he can begin to enact his menacing plans.
Meanwhile, as Baba Voss is thrown in prison to await his demise, he hears a voice that is immediately familiar to both him and the viewer: Despite his evident demise at the hand of the Queen last season, Tamacti Jun has returned!
While he certainly may not be the most eccentric or erratic character of the bunch, Tamacti Jun is easily the most layered and dimensional player in the cast, and it is an absolute treat to see him back in the mix here. When Wren sneaks into the prison to Break Baba Voss out in the hopes that he might help her rescue Haniwa, Tamacti Jun convinces them to let him aid in the effort, resulting in a team-up for the ages.
The combined power of this trio is obviously devastating, and they manage to storm Edo Voss’s stronghold with little to no problems. Inside, we learn that his horrifying plan is to use Haniwa to breed sighted children for his army until her body gives out. This ties neatly together with the other sighted child in Edo’s army we saw last week, whom Wren confirms in this episode is another offspring of Jerlamerel. Baba Voss is able to reach Haniwa in time and finally has the climactic battle with Edo that we’ve been promised since season two was announced.
Meanwhile, the Queen is up to her own tricks in Pennsa, where she continues to prep the army for war with Trivantes based on justifications that she completely made up. The deliciously slimy Lord Harlan comes to visit her clandestinely to propose a marriage between the two of them.
His claim is that, if they marry, the people of Pennsa that are loyal to him will overlook her controversial pregnancy with a sighted child. Queen Kane rejects the idea and floats another – she promises to pledge Maghra to be Harlan’s wife instead. Maghra is decidedly not cool with this, and it’ll be interesting to see what the reaction to this is from her immediate family when they inevitably find their way to Pennsa and reunite. My suspicion is Baba Voss won’t take to Harlan too kindly.
Back in Trivantes, Edo ultimately gets the better of his brother, who begs him one last time to spare Haniwa’s life for his own. Edo threatens Baba with the promise of unbearable pain for Haniwa, and Baba threatens, in turn, to kill Edo and burn Trivantes to the ground. There’s seriously a lot of threatening going on in this episode.
Luckily, Baba is saved at the last minute by Haniwa’s bow and arrow. She dispatches Edo, but Baba Voss does not deliver a definitive final blow, a decision he may come to regret as the season progresses. As Baba Voss, Tamacti Jun, and Haniwa make their way toward the edge of Trivantes to escape, Lieutenant Wren ultimately decides that she can’t go with them. Painfully, she and Haniwa realize that, at least for now, they must part. While this relationship was an intriguing element of the episode, it came, it went fairly quickly, and I wish there was a little more time to explore it before moving on so definitively.
Finally, the last moments of the episode leave us with – who else – Queen Kane, who has murdered a servant after she is informed her child with Boots has been miscarried. Boots offers to provide her with an even stronger child, but she kills him too, leaving us with one of the most shocking events of the new season and a whole lot of questions.
This episode keeps up the good momentum that the premiere set last week, and even manages to dazzle with new surprises and interesting character moments in the midst of the chaos. The speed of major story developments is a good sign, and I can’t wait to see the epic showdowns that are in store when the worlds of these characters all eventually collide.
New episodes of See are released Fridays on Apple TV+.
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