Episode three (‘Faith’) felt like a long slog toward Landry playing the hero because his fellow initiates just. weren’t. ready, but the final scenes with Talus redeemed it for me. ‘When there’s nothing to hold on to, hold on to your faith’, Talus counselled Landry. When Landry left the temple to singlehandedly fight the Luciferians, many of whom were experienced combatants, he did so fully expecting that he was not going to return. He knew, too, that he could not fully defeat them. I could only surmise that he hoped to thin their numbers before he was killed. Landry may have gone to the temple in search of redemption, but whilst inside he struggled to feel the grace of God. It was Talus, who did not want him as an initiate, who tested his resolve at each training session, who convinced him to hold on. In victory, they rode back to the temple together, and together they knelt in prayer.
So, overall, the episode worked. Yet the strength of an episode should not solely rest on good final few scenes. Why did Master Talus insist on taking the initiates to fight the Luciferians, when they were clearly not combat ready? Why not take an army of Templar knights, at the very least, those who had completed their training? Surely the initiates could be given jobs to ensure the temple remained well defended whilst a strong host rode against the Luciferians. If combat experience was the goal, was the time ripe for that, given that they could barely ride horses and carry their swords and shields? The plot to use the initiates against the Luciferians felt contrived, done solely to give Landry a reason to go on a suicide mission.
At French Court, King Philip remained furious at his wife’s betrayal, and Prince Louis was still murdering babies. The standout of the episode for me was the short scene between Louis’s wife Margaret and Princess Isabella. Margaret came to court to be with her husband, and was initially welcomed warmly by Isabella. Margaret looked like she meant to be kind when she assured Isabella she would always have a place in court once she was Queen, but it was clear Isabella did not take her sister in law’s words kindly. Isabella was born a princess of France. She was getting married off to England against her wishes. Her resentment at an outsider assuring her she had a place in her own home was apparent.
Whilst Landry strengthened his faith, Gawain professed that he had lost his. The coin he received from killing Pope Boniface was used to treat his injured leg. Philip was not happy that de Nogaret meant to match a cripple against Landry, but Louis appeared more amenable to working with Gawain. ‘I’m the best swordsman in all of France’, Gawain declared to the Prince. The words sounded not just a boast, but a declaration of what Landry took from him.
⚔︎ I am still upset that they killed Draper. It felt like they wanted an impact death, it could not be Tancrede, not yet, so they went with Draper. I’m not over it.
⚔︎ Archbishop Raymond de Goth, introduced to the audience whilst in a tub with (I assume) a lady of the evening, was Philip's pick for new Pope.
⚔︎ Philip took an axe to Joan’s throne, used the wood as kindling, then murmured, ‘Bit chilly in here’. I continue to enjoy Ed Stoppard as King Philip.
⚔︎ There was a slow, horrific scene where Louis and his men pretended to be Templars, then murdered a father and his baby, immediately followed by Louis not able to get it up with his wife.
⚔︎ Louis loves and trusts his wife. Philip is not happy that Louis has no heir yet.
⚔︎Talus was held prisoner for 10 years after the fall of Acre.