After a high-tempo and borderline frantic start to its second season, Apple TV+’s See starring Jason Momoa and Dave Bautista has settled into a steadier rhythm with episode three. While this episode still features some trademark action, it also benefits from taking the time to let us sit with the characters and build out the world in a way that makes it feel much bigger and more lived in.
The episode opens with Edo Voss still reeling from the loss of three prisoners in Baba Voss, Tamacti Jun, and Haniwa. The Trivantian council rakes Edo over the coals for his slip-up, and he is now on a blood mission to recover the gang and exact his revenge.
Edo leans on his right-hand woman, the capable Lieutenant Wren, to help find out who aided in the escape, unaware of the fact that Wren’s forbidden love affair with Haniwa sparked the entire episode. The tension is palpable throughout, and it seems that this secret, along with the fact that Wren can see, does not have long before they come to the surface.
Meanwhile, the newly escaped team of Baba, Haniwa, and Tamacti Jun are foraging through the winter wilderness en route to reunite with the rest of the family. Haniwa is understandably not as quick to trust Tamacti Jun as Baba Voss was, especially after Tamacti Jun drops the bomb that her mother is in fact sister to the Queen. All things considered, everyone just seems to take this revelation in stride whenever they come across it. I suppose there are worse things to learn than your mother being royalty.
Before they can cover much ground, the group is cornered by some savage slavers and nearly bested in their compromised state. Their salvation comes at the hands of a brutal group of women warriors, who provide some of the most graphic kills in a show where such things are par for the course.
Shockingly, the warriors are being led by Paris, and they are in fact members of a centuries-old secret society. Paris reveals that a number of sighted children were born many years ago, but were ultimately hunted down and executed by the monarchy. As a result, the mothers of these children created the Compass, a secret fighting force charged with protecting future children born with the gift of sight.
Furthermore, Paris tells Haniwa that one of the sighted children she came to care for was an especially gifted young boy who ran away after soaking up all the knowledge she could provide him, and still craved to learn more. She is speaking of course of Haniwa’s biological father Jerlamerel. Weirdly, this scene is played for surprise when it seemed fairly clear that Paris could only be talking about Jerlamerel – after all, there are only so many sighted significant characters we’ve met thus far.
Back in Pennsa, Harlan and the Queen are up to their old cat and mouse ways, with each nudging the other to try and advance their own agendas. Harlan continues to make his case for marriage into the royal family in exchange for his promising the loyalty of the people of Pennsa. Maghra finally reluctantly agrees to tie the knot with Harlan on the condition that her family is cared for safely, and they convince the Queen to abandon her plans for war.
This seems all well and good for all parties involved until Queen Kane takes it upon herself to announce the engagement (not part of the plan) and decree that the wedding will occur in just four days’ time (definitely not part of the plan).
The palace intrigue and politicking between these different factions has been one of the most enjoyable parts of See’s seconds season, and these scenes really give the performers a chance to spread their wings and chew some scenery.
The end of the episode is scattered with a couple of vignettes, including Kofun being escorted by the Witchfinders back to Pennsa. Privately, some of the soldiers are deeply troubled with being ordered to protect someone they consider a witch. They attempt to kill Kofun in the middle of the night but are stopped by their commanding officer, Toad, who is now tasked with returning Kofun to the new capital safely all by himself. Surely the road ahead for them is a long one from here.
Finally, the episode ends in the home of the newly blind Jerlamerel who has to prepare for an impromptu visitor: Edo Voss. Surmising that only a sighted person could have helped Baba Voss escape the Trivantian prison, Edo accuses Jerlamerel of assisting him. Jerlamerel correctly points out that he’d have almost nothing to gain from that, but things go from bad to worse as Edo figures out that Jerlamerel can no longer see. With all of his power essentially nullified, Edo kills Jerlamerel in the expected brutal fashion and takes over his resources. The biggest and most significant secret from the season is now fully exposed.
This week’s episode of See delivers a great balance between paying off moments set up at the very beginning, while also introducing enough new elements to keep up the momentum that’s been established so far. Each of the gears in this clock is ticking smoothly, and the story is wide open heading into the middle of the season.
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