His Dark Materials Season 1, Episodes 3 & 4 Review

I’m back, we’re in the North, and people have already died.

Episode 3:

tl;dw His Dark Materials Season 1, Episode 3 Recap

Episode 4:

tl;dw His Dark Materials Season 1, Episode 4 Recap

 

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-Lyra’s precociousness is really coming in handy. In episode 3 she learns to read the alethiometer, and she makes more than good use of it in episode 4. It has become very clear why the Master gave her the alethiometer as she was leaving his care. Lyra is a kid at the dinner table who knows she’s right and has Google to prove it. The adults around her are either unimpressed, or want to use her. Though, speaking of adults I find it rather lackluster writing that Coram was so convinced of her abilities after she predicted Benjamin’s death. He was spying on Mrs. Coulter not at afternoon tea.

-I wish Benjamin had stayed on longer as a character, or that we at least got to see more of how it affected Tony to see his mentor die that way. I understand there isn’t time for everyone, but we could have had less Magisterium reveals. Make them the Big Bad by all means, I’d just prefer it if we established our protagonists first.

-Much as I love the hunt for Grumman, it feels like I’m watching two different shows. Three really. We’ve got Lyra’s journey, Magisterium political shenanigans, and trips into our world. They seem like a venture best left for another season as Boreal’s absences piqued our interest.

-The Costa matriarch is a warm, touching revelation. Her love for Lyra and her family is a grounding, very real emotion, in a show that has so far been slightly lacking in that department. Honorable mention to Coram and his backstory for making me tear up with no ramp up. Zero to tears way too fast for my reputation as a stone cold witch.

-There’s a stark difference between Mrs. Coulter in episode three and episode four. In the first we see her untethered and cruel, far more animalistic than her civilised veneer. In the latest episode, however, she is polished, practised, and every bit the example of a calculated political animal. It’s strange how the show has made us sympathise with her daemon. I remember hating the thing -and it still creeps me all the way out- but I also feel for it. It’s very much her victim as well as everyone else

-Lee Scoresby is the steampunk Han Solo of my dreams. Friends with a hand removing machine and prone to acting cooler than he is while committing petty crimes is apparently a very good look. It’s hilarious that he got played so well by a child, and Lin’s reaction to finding out he was not the promised savior of these people is incredible. Mr. Miranda’s performance may lack a consistent accent but he more than makes up for it, creating a character oozing charisma.

-I’m sorry but Iorek was a bit of a let down… The whole thing was resolved rather quickly with emphasis on making Lyra look smart (not bad), rather than making us root for his release. It was also a missed opportunity to talk about modern systems of imprisonment and indentured service.

-(Raknison looks goofy AF!)

Apologies about last week, but I had a presentation for my post-grad and changed departments at work to a completely new working environment so I was drowning. Thanks for your patience!

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