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SilverStormm

S01.E03: The Spies

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Episode Synopsis:

From the clutches of the Gobblers, Lyra finds help from an unlikely source, which helps her piece together more about her past and keep safe from the Magisterium.

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The conversation between Farder Coram and Lyra (and Pan!) about daemons was perfect. It gave viewers who are new to the mythology some important information about daemons, and it let the audience see that daemons can talk to people besides "their" person, even if it is uncommon (which I don't think the show had really made clear before). I also thought it was a nice touch that Pan spoke directly to Coram, and later ran toward Ma Costa after her emotional confrontation with Lyra, as if to show that some part of Lyra knew she could trust them even before she fully decided she could. It stood in stark contrast to how he acted around Mrs. Coulter.

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I wish I could say that Mrs. Coulter being Lyra's mother makes everything make sense, but all it does it make it all the worse that she was so willing to hurt her daughter in the previous episode.

I'm glad that Lyra knows the truth now, but the poor girl went from thinking her parents were both dead to finding out that her emotionally distant uncle is her father and her new employer/captor is her mother all within a few days. That's a lot to take in.

I was surprised that the master told Mrs. Coulter that Lyra had an alethiometer. Come on, Lester!

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26 minutes ago, ElectricBoogaloo said:

I wish I could say that Mrs. Coulter being Lyra's mother makes everything make sense, but all it does it make it all the worse that she was so willing to hurt her daughter in the previous episode.

I think it's perfectly in line with what we know of her. She talked about her own suicide attempts and she even hit her own daemon. She has so little liking for herself and such ambitions and they all tarnish her care for her daughter.

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I love the look of "how could you!" that Coram's daemon gives him when he says that sometimes he wishes her form was different.

Lyra is settling into her found family nicely and finally getting a hang of the...I can't spell it to save my life even when the word is right in front of me so I'll go with A-meter.

Hot priest alert! Hello handsome!

Lord Boreal's look of surprised bewilderment at the boot on his tire was hilarious.

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17 hours ago, ElectricBoogaloo said:

I wish I could say that Mrs. Coulter being Lyra's mother makes everything make sense, but all it does it make it all the worse that she was so willing to hurt her daughter in the previous episode.

I'm glad that Lyra knows the truth now, but the poor girl went from thinking her parents were both dead to finding out that her emotionally distant uncle is her father and her new employer/captor is her mother all within a few days. That's a lot to take in.

I was surprised that the master told Mrs. Coulter that Lyra had an alethiometer. Come on, Lester!

I thought they telegraphed it in the last episode when Coulter got emotional after her fight with Lyra (or the monkey fighting with Pan), because she caused her pain.

Also the way she was judge-y talking about Asriel.

But in this episode, the revelation seemed to just roll off Lyra's back.  Of course her mother has been absent but you would think some part of her wants to know more about her parents.

Instead, it seems like the die is cast, that Coulter is her enemy and she's going to war with the Gyptians against her.

It's hard to imagine the child abductions could be anything but nefarious.  For Lyra, it may be more about loyalty to Roger and Billy to a lesser extent, than trying to right a wrong.

They're in an alternate world where everyone but the Gyptians seem to take be blasé about the missing children.

Meanwhile, Boreal keeps crossing over and back all the time.  Says he had to overcome his fear of crossing over by getting himself nice phones and a $150k Tesla.  And he's got some minions carrying out his wishes to find one other person who may have crossed over.

If he spends so much time in our world, he'd know missing children is a huge deal over here, unless he doesn't drink milk or something.

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1 hour ago, scrb said:

I thought they telegraphed it in the last episode when Coulter got emotional after her fight with Lyra (or the monkey fighting with Pan), because she caused her pain.

That didn't do anything for me. If you don't feel bad after being abusive to a child (whether you're related to them or not), you're an absolute monster and possibly a sociopath (or psychopath? I always forget the difference).

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7 hours ago, scrb said:

If he spends so much time in our world, he'd know missing children is a huge deal over here, unless he doesn't drink milk or something.

The practice of having missing kids on milk cartons isn't observed in the UK; which is where he's crossing over to.

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36 minutes ago, SilverStormm said:

The practice of having missing kids on milk cartons isn't observed in the UK; which is where he's crossing over to.

The program was short-lived and was ineffective, apparently, so not really meaningful in the US except as a cultural artifact. 

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I have mixed feelings about this episode. I liked all the scenes with Lyra bonding with Ma Costa and Father Coram. It is nice to see her actually belong somewhere and find people she can trust. On the other hand Benjamin and Tony breaking into Mrs Coulter apartment was meh. Though it might be my personal preference, because I hate plots when someone thinks he knows better and gets himself into trouble. Also it was very irresponsible of Benjamin to bring Ma Costa's son into this after he promised to look out for him AND after she already lost one child. Can't say I felt that bad when he died.

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I think the portrayal of the daemons is very well done in this series - the scene near the end when Lyra and Pan, along with Farder Coram, were running to Ma Costa and Tony, showed Pan flying and then turning into a weasel/ferret/marten in the blink of an eye. Just as I imagined it while reading the book. I thought the scene where the golden monkey was holding Benjamin’s hawk daemon down was also well done, and when the hawk died, she just dissolved into Dust, which was a clever touch.

When Lyra learned to use the alethiometer, I would have liked to see more visual effects to show how her mind worked while using it, and how the meanings of the symbols came to her.

Spoiler

In the book, it’s described as her mind sort of drifting down the layers of meaning until the answer to her question appears.

Edited by SilverStormm · Reason: Tagged book talk
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On 11/19/2019 at 3:29 AM, scrb said:

Boreal keeps crossing over and back all the time.  Says he had to overcome his fear of crossing over by getting himself nice phones and a $150k Tesla.

So where is Boreal getting all his money? Whatever currency they use in the Lyraverse probably isn't useful in our world. And Computer Hacker Guy isn't working for free. Did I miss something that explains this?

I DO like that people don't have doubles. That is one aspect of multiverse stories that always breaks my brain.

ETA: Maybe Boreal has a good supply of diamonds or gold or some other substance that he can sell in our World.

Edited by marinw
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20 minutes ago, marinw said:

I DO like that people don't have doubles. That is one aspect of multiverse stories that always breaks my brain.

It does not break my brain but sure does annoy me.

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I thought the fact that Coulter is Lyra's mother was telegraphed when she had her outburst that revealed to Lyra who her father is.  There was just too much emotion there.  I figured that either Coulter was her mother, or Lyra's father left Coulter for Lyra's mother.  

I, too, wondered how Boreal was paying the computer guy.  I had hoped that they would show us the payment. I'm also curious how they first met. How do you find such a useful ally in a foreign world?

I appreciated the info about the dæmons.  It is interesting that their final form reflects an aspect of their human's personality, and is not a fully independent choice. It looked like Ma Costa and Tony's dæmons both had the shape of the same type of hawk. Is that common in families? 

I am assuming from what we have seen that the members of the Magisterium have somehow severed their physical connection to their dæmons so that they are not compromised if their dæmon is injured or killed, and so that they can be at a longer distance from their dæmons without harm. I think we've seen that with Coulter and her dæmon. I'm not sure if it is unique to her or if it applies to all Magisterium members, but I would assume they would all want that ability.

I haven't read the books, so I'm curious about the window.  Do others know it's there, but are too afraid to cross, as Boreal suggests? Or is its existence a secret, too? It's inside the College, right? Makes me wonder if the College was built around it to protect / hide it.  Are there many other windows? Or is the number and location of all windows an unknown?

ETA: I had missed the fact that the daemons are actually the person's soul externalized and personified.  My daughter tells me that was written in the first episode, but I missed it.  I thought they were two separate souls that are somehow connected.  So that changes the dynamics.

Edited by McKinley
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The talk with Lyla and Coram about daemons was really great and informative, and seemed to answer a lot of questions that newcomers were probably having. Daemons can talk to people other than their person (even if its uncommon) people dont choose what form their daemon settles into and that form says something about them. We also see what happens when a person dies, their daemon just disappears into dust, which was very well done and sad when we saw it happen. Its also noticeable that, while Pan was always nervous around Mrs. Coulter, he ran right away towards Ma Costa. 

I loved the look on Corams daemon when he said that he sometimes wished she had taken a different shape. "Excuse me Mr?!"

Poor Lyra has had her world rocked over and over again in the last few days! Not only are her parents not really dead, not only is her emotionally distant adventurer uncle her father, but her evil mastermind employer/guardian is actually her mother! 

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And it's the daemon episode...

On 11/17/2019 at 11:56 PM, Cranberry said:

The conversation between Farder Coram and Lyra (and Pan!) about daemons was perfect. It gave viewers who are new to the mythology some important information about daemons, and it let the audience see that daemons can talk to people besides "their" person, even if it is uncommon (which I don't think the show had really made clear before). I also thought it was a nice touch that Pan spoke directly to Coram, and later ran toward Ma Costa after her emotional confrontation with Lyra, as if to show that some part of Lyra knew she could trust them even before she fully decided she could. It stood in stark contrast to how he acted around Mrs. Coulter.

All of this plus seeing Pan switching a couple of times. I loved Coram's daemon shooting him a look. Ooooooh, buster you screwed up. The question of how Mrs. Coulter ended up with a monkey daemon was answered when the fight choreography between Benjamin and Mrs. Coulter featured Mrs. Coulter doing a ton of ape like pounding. It was obviously a shorthand for the audience.

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14 hours ago, HunterHunted said:

The question of how Mrs. Coulter ended up with a monkey daemon was answered when the fight choreography between Benjamin and Mrs. Coulter featured Mrs. Coulter doing a ton of ape like pounding. It was obviously a shorthand for the audience.

So here's Ruth Wilson in some thin pajamas, straddling a restless teen male.

Mrs. Coulter should have used the carrot rather than the stick.

I could be wrong but never having read nor seen the movie, I get the sense that Mrs. Coulter won't only be an all-evil character.

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On 11/18/2019 at 11:29 PM, scrb said:

But in this episode, the revelation seemed to just roll off Lyra's back.  Of course her mother has been absent but you would think some part of her wants to know more about her parents.

I definitely don't agree that the revelation "rolled off Lyra's back." She seemed truly shocked, upset, and emotionally confused about both.

On 11/19/2019 at 12:50 AM, ElectricBoogaloo said:

That didn't do anything for me. If you don't feel bad after being abusive to a child (whether you're related to them or not), you're an absolute monster and possibly a sociopath (or psychopath? I always forget the difference).

I think we have seen that Mrs. Coulter is a brutal person willing to hurt anyone to get control over whatever she wants. But I do think she felt bad for her behavior toward Lyra, and toward her daemon. I would believe she loves Lyra, to some degree, and definitely loves her daemon (and herself). Yet in both cases, she showed willingness to be violent, and then remorse. This doesn't make her good, but it does make her more complicated than "psychopath" or pure evil.

On 11/20/2019 at 5:27 AM, Capricasix said:

I think the portrayal of the daemons is very well done in this series - the scene near the end when Lyra and Pan, along with Farder Coram, were running to Ma Costa and Tony, showed Pan flying and then turning into a weasel/ferret/marten in the blink of an eye. Just as I imagined it while reading the book. I thought the scene where the golden monkey was holding Benjamin’s hawk daemon down was also well done, and when the hawk died, she just dissolved into Dust, which was a clever touch.

When Lyra learned to use the alethiometer, I would have liked to see more visual effects to show how her mind worked while using it, and how the meanings of the symbols came to her.

  Hide contents

In the book, it’s described as her mind sort of drifting down the layers of meaning until the answer to her question appears.

Agreed. Both were very well-done. And I'm liking the slow introduction of the alethiometer and its powers.

On 11/20/2019 at 7:25 AM, marinw said:

So where is Boreal getting all his money? Whatever currency they use in the Lyraverse probably isn't useful in our world. And Computer Hacker Guy isn't working for free. Did I miss something that explains this?

I DO like that people don't have doubles. That is one aspect of multiverse stories that always breaks my brain.

ETA: Maybe Boreal has a good supply of diamonds or gold or some other substance that he can sell in our World.

If he has money in one (very similar) world, how hard would it be for him to use that money and power in another? It doesn't seem off to me that he would have quickly amassed funds, assets and power in a parallel world. For people with power, it's always easy to gain power. Boreal wouldn't be starting from zero in any capacity. He'd have minerals, gems, knowledge, etc.

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I am liking the series, but didn’t care for the fact that NO daemons were visible (or few enough that I couldn’t spot any) during the Gyptian rallying scene. I get that the CGI is expensive and difficult, but they can’t just all disappear every time there’s a crowd scene. I mean, come on. Pan should have been on Lyra’s shoulder listening raptly. Lord Faa’a daemon should have been near him, conveying resolve. There should have been a bunch of birds in the rafters. 

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