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Knightfall Recap 'God's Executioners'


Master Talus Mark Hamill Knightfall
Image from Knightfall, currently streaming on iFlix

The second season of Knightfall started with Landry at a harrowing point in his life. His love Queen Joan had died, along with many of his Templar brothers. The Paris temple, of which he was master, had fallen under the control of King Philip. When he asked the loyal Tancrede to take baby Eve away, he had declared that he needed to make things right with God before he could make things right with his daughter. Landry’s journey from his fall from grace would make a potentially interesting second season.


But truthfully, the reason I wanted to recap the second season of Knightfall was Mark Hamill as Master Talus.


For some reason, I missed the announcements regarding Mr. Hamill’s casting. I started watching the second season of Knightfall prior to reading anything about it. When Master Talus walked in, uttering the one word that gave Landry a new lease of Templar life — initiate — I did not even recognize him as Mark Hamill. My memory of Mark Hamill was that of young Luke Skywalker, of those days when I would feel amazed that my sister and I would be permitted to stay up late enough to watch Star Wars for the nth time. Mark Hamill as Master Talus was old and gruff, his voice distinctive, his undimmed, masterful skill as a warrior camouflaged by the slight stoop of his shoulders. When he walked on screen, immediately, it was evident that this was a character that would provide a jolt of creative energy to the series.


In the aftermath of the battle with the forces of King Philip, Landry made his way to the Chartres Temple. Not only was he denied entry at the gate, he was also stripped of his identity as a Templar. Landry refused to leave, begging entry for weeks, through heat and rain. Eventually, Grand Master De Molay permitted him to enter, and called for a vote on whether he would be accepted back in as an initiate. With a one vote majority, Landry was back with the Templars.


Landry had to train under Master Talus with lads much younger than him. He had to re-learn how to be a Templar. His prior experience was an asset at training, but when his fellow initiates learned of what got him expelled as a Templar, all but one shunned him.


When the Templars mounted a daring mission to enter the Paris temple, under the control of King Philip’s soldiers, and retrieve their hidden treasure, the Initiates were used for deniability; the Initiates, apart from Landry, were not known as Templars. The Initiates were joined at the raid by a few Templars, including Tancrede and Master Talus. When the French soldiers raised the alarm, Landry proved his worth as a soldier and saved many of his fellow Initiates. He disobeyed Master Talus’ command at battle, however, and for that he earned a harsh rebuke. Though Master Talus told Landry to leave the Templars, to be free of their rules, he seemed pleased when he saw Landry kneeling in front of the cross and lashing his own back. Landry self-flagellating was a mark of how seriously he took his journey toward becoming a Templar once more.


The arrival of Prince Louis (he rode his horse all the way to the throne room) promised to inject fresh life to the shenanigans at French Court, in the same way Master Talus did to the Templars’ side. Prince Louis was as dutiful as he was carelessly cruel, and he was furious that his mother’s death has not been avenged. King Philip had spread the tale that it was Landry who killed Queen Joan. De Nogaret had cautioned the King regarding taking further steps against the Templars, for they still had the protection of the Pope (What did Landry’s mother tell Pope Boniface that made him change his mind about Landry?). In response to his father’s reticence, Prince Louis dug up Queen Joan’s corpse himself and presented it to King Philip.


The first season of Knightfall, while not particularly inspired, was solid; what concerned me was whether it had enough to gain traction in a crowded TV field. The second season so far has much promise, and I am excited to go through these recaps with you.


Strays


⚔︎What did Landry feed baby Eve before he gave her to Tancrede?


⚔︎Gawain, too, had his own fall from grace. De Nogaret made an effort to seek him out so we'll see what these two will get up to.


⚔︎Princess Isabella has been re-cast and is now portrayed by Genevieve Gaunt. My first exposure to Isabella was Braveheart's highly fictionalized portrayal. Knightfall has leaned more toward the femme fatale image of Isabella. So far, I like Ms Gaunt in the role.


⚔︎After Prince Louis dug up Queen Joan's corpse, it was noted that her belly had been cut open. King Philip now knew that Queen Joan's child was alive.



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