See 3.03 “This Land is Your Land” – Review:
Whisper it carefully but See is in a bit of a rut this final series. I had hoped Baba Voss’ testimony of the trevantians using bombs would be enough to convince Maghra, but that doesn’t look to be the case – it takes Wren showing up in Haniwa’s room with visible worded proof of the weapons for Maghra and Harlan to get them on board.
Wren is having a crisis of confidence; not only does she feel guilty as a deserter – Haniwa tells her that her family will know she isn’t what her former masters will tell them if they know her – but it still feels odd for her being in the same room as Baba Voss, given how much she looked up to and respected Edo. She, like Haniwa and Kofun, the next generation – have a lot of growing up to do.
Kofun’s been manipulated by Sibeth and feels distant from Baba Voss, wrestling with the fate of his child. Sibeth has been working under the belief that Wolff can see – but that illusion is shattered when Baba Voss confronts her, and forced to choose, Kofun sides with his father. It’s a moment that will hopefully see Kofun get his act together and no doubt provoke more questions as to why Kofun was helping Sibeth – but Baba Voss is smart enough to realise her manipulation has lasting effects. Can’t say that I won’t miss Sibeth playing such a big role, but her presence on this show prior to this season has been nothing short of extraordinary. That said, it does feel like she’s been kept on the show past the writers’ interest in her story as this episode suggests, this feels like an epilogue for her and yet her story stretches beyond. Now the new villains are outwards – rather than within, the looming threat of an army with an unstoppable weapon draw comparisons to the White Walkers of Game of Thrones given how much See has drawn influence from the HBO show whilst offering something radically different.
That was the big inciting event of the episode but I’m not sure how much Sibeth’s exile will change much in the grand scheme of things save maybe for Kofun, but it’s good to see Baba Voss back in action. Maghra’s understandably annoyed at him for coming back in the manner that he did and getting himself locked up after being apart for so long, but her attention is elsewhere – the witchfinders are causing trouble in her kingdom and coming after the sighted – attacking her children on the streets in open shameless display of violence, killing an unsighted man.
Tamacti Jun is sent to capture them but Maghra is warned that if they are hung there will be greater ramifications on her reign so she decides to spare them in an act that pushes Haniwa into rage. Understandably so – she’s just seen them get away with murder first hand.
It feels like we’re still putting the pieces together for the season to start properly and it hasn’t fully done that yet, these three episodes almost feel like an extended premiere not dissimilar to how Apple debuted the series in its first season. Hopefully episode four will make a positive advancement in that regard and feel like a Series 3 rather than a Series 2.5 – and Sibeth being out of the way – at least for now will help greatly.
See 3.04 “The Storm” – Review:
The Storm then, picked up by delivering on that promise and I’m glad it did. As mentioned in the above recap – I watched, to clarify, episode four after writing the review for episode three – that things would see an uptick – and that’s come in the form of some not-so-light treason at the Trivantian buildings where the peices are moved into play for a coup to take place and Harlan to switch sides, casting aside his loyalty to Maghra in favour of survival with the Trivantians and their new bombs. The triangle had to decide to agree on how to procede with their next course of action, a simplistic portrayal of politics in television but a compelling one nontheless -and the coup was creatively pulled off as always with See delivering its explosive promise of the the fourth episode – the gauntlet is laid down now – and the Bank siding with the coup seals the deal.
Much of the episode tested Harlan’s loyalty and with Tamacti Jun going one way that meant that one would go the other and now we’ve seen Harlan take the plunge into the enemy camp. It’s a shift that sets up a Maghra/Baba Voss reunion on better terms – but the complicated dynamic has been an interesting part of the series and certainly a unique one, you buy Haniwa’s shock at seeing Harlan lead that army at the end of the episode; even if he may be a double agent – remember where his loyalty lies, with Maghra. There’s more to his story than meets the eye.
Sibeth continues to have the most plot armour of any television show at any point because – how is she still alive? – if episode three was a transitional period for her and an epilogue of sorts, The Storm is the new beginning, Lady Macbeth incarnate – Maghra at the same time worrying for her safety whilst wishing her damnation. They are family after all – and Maghra’s love is almost what leads to Sibeth’s return.
See is at its core an action show and it is very much good at delivering action on a grand spectacle and the brutal fight sequences at the munitions factory were a delight. Seeing the group asssembled under Baba Voss, who starts the episode looking after Kofun’s child more than he has so far, was fun to watch them take out the soldiers defending the building with relative ease. Now the harder task is here.