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S02.E06: Malice

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Lyra and Will find allies who can help them in their search for Will’s father. The Magisterium learn something shocking, and Mrs. Coulter meets a formidable foe.

Originally aired: December 13, 2020 (on BBC One; Dec 21 on HBO)

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What an episode. I had no idea the finale was next week. I'm going to miss this show.

Whilst I knew it was going to happen, it was a great scene when Lord Boreal died. He was a very compelling character, played by an excellent actor.

 

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I knew Ms Coulter wouldn’t be happy that Lord Boreal considered himself equal to her. 
 

I found it odd that not once did Mary and Marisa come across each other on Cittagazze. 

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Mrs. Coulter is really rocking her more modern look. Enjoyed seeing her control the spectres (having the golden monkey basically go into a trance as she hid her humanity was a nice touch), and loved the look on her face when she told Boreal he'd never be her equal.

The witches seem a little less stilted when dealing with Lyra and Will, which I like. It's clear Serafina developed an immediate fondness for Lyra.

So glad they're not holding back on any of the religious elements. Now we know that Mary is the serpent and Lyra is the one who will be tempted...

Only one episode left, and now that all of our parties are in the same world, it's bound to be exciting.

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Pan has been a red panda for two episodes in a row. Does that mean Lyra is growing up and her daemon is settling into its final form?

I knew that things would not end well with Boreal when he said that Mrs. Coulter was his equal. He was not a favorite of mine but I still wanted to shake him and say, "BRO, are you trying to piss her off?"

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1 hour ago, ElectricBoogaloo said:

Pan has been a red panda for two episodes in a row. Does that mean Lyra is growing up and her daemon is settling into its final form?

Pan has been the red panda quite a bit lately, but he also changed shape a fair few times in this episode, especially during the escape when Angelica's gang attacked the house. So I don't think he's settling quite yet. 

I wasn't fond of Boreal but I do really like Ariyon Bakare as an actor so I'm sorry to see him go.

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Dang, how convenient that Mrs. Coulter not only doesn’t have her life sucked out of her, the Spectres will now do her bidding.

She’s the ultimate big bad in this story?  Though the Magesterium has now decided she will be sacrificed.

So Mary is protected, a wind in the shape of an angle whooshed above her as she sat on that boat on the beach.

Maybe we will see angels like the ones on the side of the Torre dei Angeli.

 

Are the witches trying to lead them back to Lyra’s world?  Didn’t they reach Cittagazze world by flying into the tear?  If he wants to get patched up, why not tear open a passage back to his world for some modern medicine?  Didn’t seem like the witches really knew about the Subtle Knife so maybe they won’t be able to heal his hand?

But they’re just going to slog through the forest and it appears the soldiers and the Spectres catch up to them.  Should make for some cliffhanger.

The witch queen flew after the angels to try to recruit them while the redshirt angel became Spectre fodder.  Not many witches left, can they really protect Lyra?

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On 12/15/2020 at 5:58 AM, ElectricBoogaloo said:

I knew that things would not end well with Boreal when he said that Mrs. Coulter was his equal. He was not a favorite of mine but I still wanted to shake him and say, "BRO, are you trying to piss her off?"

I think he was a dead man walking from the time he hid inside while she met the spectres. That was when she realized she didn't need him at all anymore. The fact that he pulled out the partnership offer after he saw her control them (and when she'd already mocked his fear early on) was a real sign of just how much he'd been kidding himself pursuing her all this time.

Love that Coulter apparently just sat there for hours afterwards with his corpse, drinking wine and playing with fire. At this point, I'm actually feeling sorry for the creepy monkey when she pulls shit like this on him.

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The story has slowed down to a snail's pace. I am not sure why everybody who meets Lyra instantly falls in love with her. My attitude about Lyra is more in line with the "Lord of the Flies" kids. I am just here for the talking polar bears, where are the talking polar bears? I think Pan should settle as a polar bear.

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12 hours ago, AnimeMania said:

The story has slowed down to a snail's pace. I am not sure why everybody who meets Lyra instantly falls in love with her. My attitude about Lyra is more in line with the "Lord of the Flies" kids. I am just here for the talking polar bears, where are the talking polar bears? I think Pan should settle as a polar bear.

I agree. I get she is special, reading the alethiometer and all. But she isn't  that endearing a kid. I tend to like all the scenes without her.

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It's amusing to me that there's a Prophecy regarding Lyra, which to me suggests a deterministic end to all of this, yet many of the characters are worried and fretting that their choices may or may not make an impact on the circumstances.  Are worries and concerns a way the mind convinces it's self of its own free will, while what's happening in the world around it has already been determined?  I'm not sure if the show is actually exploring this issue, or if I'll have to make it up as I go.  

Does anyone have any insight into how Mrs Coulter is evading the Spectres?  "Hiding her humanity" was so vague and open to interpretation that I didn't find it all a satisfying explanation.  Perhaps she can't explain it herself, and said that because it sounded better than saying she didn't know how she was able to do it.  It's been so long since I've read the books.  

I like Lyra, and find her to be charming most of the time, but I thought Lee Scoresby's claims that his life was worth only one-tenth of hers to be a little OTT.  I figured it said more about him and his own self worth than the greatness of Lyra.  The witches likely love her because of the Prophecy.  

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1 hour ago, enchantingmonkey said:

Does anyone have any insight into how Mrs Coulter is evading the Spectres?  "Hiding her humanity" was so vague and open to interpretation that I didn't find it all a satisfying explanation.  Perhaps she can't explain it herself, and said that because it sounded better than saying she didn't know how she was able to do it.  It's been so long since I've read the books.  

 

The Authority podcast by Slate explains that in the books:

Spoiler

Mrs. Coulter and the Spectres make a deal, she would bring more humans into Cittegazza for the Spectres to feed on.

 

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5 hours ago, enchantingmonkey said:

It's amusing to me that there's a Prophecy regarding Lyra, which to me suggests a deterministic end to all of this, yet many of the characters are worried and fretting that their choices may or may not make an impact on the circumstances.  Are worries and concerns a way the mind convinces it's self of its own free will, while what's happening in the world around it has already been determined?  I'm not sure if the show is actually exploring this issue, or if I'll have to make it up as I go.  

Yeah. I mean, the one thing I knew about this series going in was that Pullman wrote his books as a reaction against overtly religious literature like the Narnia series, that it was 'the anti-religion' series. Yet this show bangs on about religion and prophetic determination and the like far more than anything else I've ever seen or read, including Narnia! And I'm not sure it entirely makes sense, although I am prepared to believe that the show is skimming over issues that are explored in more depth in the books.

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Mrs. Coulter is so creepy that even life sucking monstrous wraiths don’t want to mess with her. I knew that Lord Boreal was dead even in the last episode when he was condescending to her about women, and him running and him calling herself her equal was what sealed it

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On 12/23/2020 at 3:58 AM, Llywela said:

Yeah. I mean, the one thing I knew about this series going in was that Pullman wrote his books as a reaction against overtly religious literature like the Narnia series, that it was 'the anti-religion' series. Yet this show bangs on about religion and prophetic determination and the like far more than anything else I've ever seen or read, including Narnia! And I'm not sure it entirely makes sense, although I am prepared to believe that the show is skimming over issues that are explored in more depth in the books.

What's particularly fascinating is that Pullman is writing in the same literary tradition as Lewis--and J.K. Rowling and G R R Martin too--viz. literary alchemy.  You can write a fantasy story without alchemy, so I've always wondered why Pullman went that route.  The alchemy is even more intense in the new series, The Book of Dust.  Alchemy isn't necessarily Christian, but it IS spiritual.

 

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Even though important stuff happened in this episode, mainly Boreal's death, I felt this episode was just spinning wheels waiting for the season finale to arrive. Not that I found it boring, but looking back not a lot actually happened.

The main question I have is I don't understand how Spectres work. I mean Coulter and Boreal were wandering around for a while before they became an issue. I got the impression that Spectres pretty much pounce as soon as an adult appears in the market. I initially thought maybe they were nocturnal but that clearly isn't the case.

And even though I know the angel's voice in a previous episode told Mary she would be protected heading to Citigazze but it was nice to see that shimmering light to confirm her protection.

I admit I am getting a little annoyed that Ms Coulter has all these talents to help her continue to be the antagonist of the story. It's getting to the point where I am actively hoping for her death. And I will be satisfied if that happens.

I was also a little bit bored with the Scoresby and Will's dad scenes. Not sure why but it wasn't exciting,, even them being shot down at the end didn't leave me on the edge of the seat like they thought I would.

And I think I've aid this before, but I really feel for Ms Coulter's daemon. He must wonder every day why did he get saddled with such an uncaring person while every other daemon gets to have a BFF.

 

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On 12/22/2020 at 7:53 AM, AnimeMania said:

The story has slowed down to a snail's pace. I am not sure why everybody who meets Lyra instantly falls in love with her. My attitude about Lyra is more in line with the "Lord of the Flies" kids. I am just here for the talking polar bears, where are the talking polar bears? I think Pan should settle as a polar bear.

I so agree with you about all of this. When the witch told Will “Lyra has lost so much,” I asked her “Have you met Will?”

She didn’t answer. 😄

And I don’t get Lee’s devotion at all. I didn’t realize what a bad actor LMM is.

Jopari (whatever his name) is weird.

Ruth Wilson continues to be the most interesting character but I want to kick that monkey. 

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Snort. Of course the Spectres leave Mrs. Coulter alone. I know she said something about hiding her humanity, but I think it was simply professional courtesy. From one type of soul sucker to another.

Boreal was an idiot for not noticing the contempt she had for him simmering just below the surface. And really, she's not wrong.

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I enjoyed this episode but I'm afraid I'm missing alot, like I think I can't hear every line or something.

Like I didn't hear anything saying to Mary she would be protected, or that Lyra would be tempted by her (Eve and the Serpent I guess?) What scene was that?

And the Magesterium want to kill Lyra? 

I also don't get the threat when the Cardinal was talking about the prophecy- if dust is sin, isn't it already there? It's not like they are in some sinless paradise like in the Bible.

But I don't know very much about religion.

I did start the books but I am a very slow intermittent reader so I bet season 3 will be out before I finish them.

Loved Moriarty. Such a great actor and love the character.

Edited by cleo

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