This week’s installment of See on Apple TV+ foregrounds dread right from the start.
After a few midseason episodes that allowed our cast of characters some small victories – including being reunited as a family once more – episode six brings in the storm clouds straight away in a cold open in which Paris has a chilling nightmare.
Haniwa enters the room to comfort her, and Paris tells her of a premonition: Maghra and Baba Voss will be betrayed at the upcoming peace talks arranged to take place between themselves and the Trivantians. Taking the warning to heart, Haniwa sets off after the travelling diplomatic party to deliver the message.
Meanwhile on the other side of the conflict, Edo Voss and Lieutenant Wren prepare to sabotage the peace talks by any means necessary. Wren, still undoubtedly harboring feelings for Haniwa, tries to convince Edo to make legitimate peace but he won’t budge. Despite his undeniable brutality, his claims to avenging Trivantian lives lost to the Queen are compelling, especially when we know that the justification for the monarchy’s aggression are purely made up.
Meanwhile back at Pennsa, Toad makes good on his agreement to help train Kofun in weapons and hand to hand combat. Despite the adversarial start to their relationship, Toad seems to be on the cusp of becoming a real mentor to the young man. When Paris tells Toad that she can tell deep down he is a good man, we can’t help but agree. I’d love to see this character get more of a prominent role as the season marches onward.
Kofun, meanwhile, is definitely more of a mixed bag. This episode continues the unfortunate trajectory of his budding relationship with the Queen (read as: his aunt) and the cringe is nearly unbearable.
This reaches a head in an unfortunate scene where Kofun and the Queen take some psychedelic drugs before engaging in a particularly wild night of passion. The moment goes on for seemingly an eternity, probably intentionally so, as a means to really make us bask in the disaster of what exactly is unfolding.
Once again, this is followed by a scene in which someone – this time, Paris – warns Kofun not to get too close to the Queen, and he responds defensively. If this is a trend, it is going very far in a certain direction – and it’s not the right one.
When Maghra, Baba Voss, and Lord Harlan arrive at the site of the peace talks, things initially seem to be going decently. That is until it all flies out the window when the Trivantians taunt Lord Harlan about executing his brother at the end of last week’s episode, causing him to tank the proceedings.
Meanwhile, Haniwa arrives at the camp and finally has her fateful reunion with Wren, who has been promoted to Captain for the diplomatic proceedings. The warmth of affection is still very much there between the two women, but Wren’s inner conflict gnaws at her palpably. Haniwa begs her to broker peace between the two nations, for the sake of their respective populations, but also so that they might have a chance at being together.
It’s easy to see that Wren would like to do just that, but her responsibility to Edo and her people is clearly still at the forefront of her mind. Even amongst the philosophical sparring between the two, Haniwa and Wren still manage to have a tender and romantic love scene that is every bit as warm and touching as Kofun and the Queen’s is disturbing.
Later on, Lord Harlan manages to make up for his earlier folly by scheduling a meeting between Maghra and the Trivantian ambassador in the middle of the night as a means to privately broker an agreeable peace deal before the next day’s official negotiations.
Maghra makes her pitch: she understands that the Queen is erratic and swears that if the Trivantians make their apology for the moment, Maghra will work on deposing the Queen. Afterwards, she will assume power and declare the truth, clearing the Trivantians of all wrongdoing. In return, Maghra agrees to give the Trivantians more land, but is ominously silent when the Trivantian ambassador tells her that the monarchy must recommit to opposing those with the gift of sight.
The expertly crafted plan is agreed upon by all parties, and when the next night falls it appears that war has been avoided. But the illusion shatters almost immediately.
That night, as the diplomatic parties sleep, a group of masked assassins make their way into the camp and begin murdering people in their sleep. Baba Voss is quick to react, but he can only do so much as the assassins take their toll. To Baba Voss’s shock (and ours) the assassins are not murdering the queen’s men, but those from Trivantes.
Wren and Haniwa are awoken in the night by the commotion, and when they emerge, Wren understandably assumes that this was a planned betrayal on the part of the Queen’s party. Haniwa tries desperately to convince her of the truth, but the damage is done. In the end, the betrayal Paris predicted came to fruition, but it wasn’t by the Trivantians.
Inevitably, the Queen had a larger role to play in this than she initially indicated, and her decision to let the peace talks occur was simply a staging ground to commit an act of war against the Trivantians from which there would be no going back. Despite everyone’s best efforts, it appears the latter half of the season will be full of more bloodshed to come.
In the episode’s final scene, Edo Voss conferences with Wren and questions her as to how she could possibly have been the only Trivantian to survive the attack. Rather than confide in him about her relationship with Haniwa, Wren makes the huge (and irreversible) decision to tell Edo that she has the ability to see.
This episode keeps the trend of the last several installments in terms of the great improvement of pacing. The action is swift and compelling, and this episode feels consequential in a way that sets the stage for the many bloody fireworks to come as we approach the latter half of the season.
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