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S01.E08: The Gloaming

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As tensions rise, Philo must confront both darkness incarnate and the evil that controls it. Vignette gleans the true nature of The Burgue. Imogen lets her feelings for Agreus go unbridled. Breakspear's secrets catch up to him.

Airdate: Friday, August 30, 2019

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Well, I did it.  I binge-watched the whole thing in one day.

I have to say that I love Fantasy/SciFi and don't much like Horror.  For me that creature that Piety Breakspear was controlling (a cross between Chuthulu and the Demogorgon from Stranger Things) crossed the line into Horror.  I'm glad both it and Piety died (attagirl Vignette!)

But once it died there was just NO happy ending.  The whole damn board re-set with Jonah and Sophie stepping into their fathers' roles and then essentially declaring all non-humans to be the "enemy of the people" and corralling them all in ghettos. (Thanks a LOT faun assassin!)  I'm glad Agreus and Imogen got away on their ship but Imogen's brother also has a ship.  I fear they are going to cross paths in the future and the brother is clearly NOT okay with his sister's inter-species relationship.

Life in The Burgue actually appears to have gotten worse for the central couple (Philo & Vignette) by the end of the series except for one thing . . . they have each other.

I would have preferred a different, more up-beat ending.  I hear the show has been renewed and I guess that's why everything got blown up in the last 10 minutes -- to set the stage for NEXT season.  But that's kind of a disappointing way to end THIS season.

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I just woke up thinking about this show and so I hope people will forgive a double-post because I want to write a summary about the season as a whole (which I think I can safely post in this topic.)

The season has three major themes:

  1. The tortured love story of Philo and Vignette including the slow reveal of how they originally met, how they were separated, and why Vignette thought he was dead.
  2. The central mystery of what dark force is stalking Carnival Row and killing people.
  3. The social commentary on what happens in a world where refugees from a war flood into a city – refugees with who look different and who have their own traditions and religions.

The first plot-line is successfully concluded.  Philo is revealed to have been high-handed in the past (faking his own death to “save” Vignette) but the lovers ARE reconciled in the end. Philo decides to stop “passing” for human.  First he tells his human lover/landlady the truth, losing her, his room, and his job in the process.  Then he voluntarily joins Vignette in the newly formed ghetto for non-humans/fae.

The second plot-line is also successfully concluded, with the solving of this season’s central mystery and the killing of the Chuthulo/demigorgon/golem/monster via the killing of its creator.  But I’m still a bit confused about that story so more on that below.

The third theme lives on. Agreus and Imogen show us that humans and non-humans CAN love and respect one another but . . . can it last? Imogen’s brother Ezra seems consumed by hated of their inter-racial relationship and may be on a mission to find them and destroy their happiness. Furthermore, their situation is the exception – a  “happy ending” in a story where the oppression of minorities and immigrants actually gets worse as a result of the events arising from the central mystery.

(BTW, am I the only one who gets a bit of a Wuthering Heights / Kathy-and-Heathcliff vibe from the story of Imogen and Agreus?  I mean where DID Agreus get his money?  Like Heathcliff, he’s presented as being extraordinarily rich as a result of his years abroad but no realistic explanation for that wealth is ever offered. Do we really think a bounty hunter can afford to drop 300,000 on a painting when Ezra is shown as being relieved to have gotten his hands on 50 whatever-their-unit-of-currency is?  That was a weakness in the narrative, but I guess if it’s good enough for Wuthering Heights . . .)

So now let’s talk about that central mystery.  If I’ve got it straight what happened is this.  Piety Breakspear is a woman who craves power.  As a young woman, she consulted with her personal seer before marrying Absalon Breakspear and was assured that he would rise to the highest position in the land (he did) and that his son would rise even higher (to what?  King?  Dictator?)  So Piety marries Absalon and all seems to be going according to plan.  She gives birth to a son and later Absalon becomes Chancellor. The son grows up to be a bit of a fuck-up but hey, what’s a mother to do?  But THEN she receives a letter telling her that Absalon has ANOTHER son – a half-fae son.  And Piety loses her shit.  Piety, we discover, had an affair with her husband’s political rival and as a result she’s not 100% convinced that her son IS Absalon’s son.  So long as there was only one candidate for that position the prophesy about Absalon’s son’s rising even higher HAD to apply to Piety’s son.  When she learns of the existence of another son (via a letter she receives that is purported to have been written by the bastard son’s fae mother) she FREAKS OUT. To protect HER son she builds her own version of Frankenstein’s monster and uses it as a tool to learn the identity of the other son and to kill anyone who knows about the existence of the other son.  She kills the other son’s mother.  She kills the man who ran the orphanage where the other son grew up (the only one there who knew the truth of his identity).  She kills the doctor who clipped the baby’s wings (who presumably also knew the baby’s identity.)  She does all this to eliminate the people who could threaten HER son and also as a means of tracking down and killing the other son (Philo) – all to ensure that the prophecy could only relate to HER son.  Damn, Piety be one stone-cold bitch.  

But wait, WHO WROTE THE LETTER?  We learn (finally) that Philo’s mother did NOT write to Piety.  This whole bloody saga was put in motion by a forged letter that was written by Sophie “Littlefinger” Longerbane and she wrote it because CHAOS IS A LADDER in this world, just like it is in Westeros.  In the end, both she and her fuck-buddy half-brother (and may I just say, “ew”) are perfectly positioned to rise to power on the back of oppressing the “Other” (the fae). (Actually, maybe the parallel between this show and Game of Thrones is even stronger if you compare Sophie and Cersie – they both are unapologetic brother-fuckers rising to a position of power in a world where intelligent women are frustrated by their lack of options. But of course the real-world analog to the show is Nazi Germany – complete with the confining of huge swaths of the population to ghettos.)

And finally WHAT WAS THAT BLUE DRINK?  Haruspex is a seer and as such she knows she is eventually going to die at the hands of the golem that is stalking Carnival Row.  I’m still not 100% clear if she knew Piety was the puppet-master for that creature but she knew it would be the cause of her death and she prepared. Just before she died she whips up a cocktail and knocks it back.  I’m assuming that was not just a bit of “liquid courage.”  I’m assuming she didn’t take the time to have one last Tom Collins before facing her fate. So what did she drink?  Mark my words, we’re gonna find out next season. 

Edited by WatchrTina
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On 8/31/2019 at 11:44 AM, WatchrTina said:

I’m assuming she didn’t take the time to have one last Tom Collins before facing her fate. So what did she drink?

She drank a potion to keep her alive long enough to tell someone who her killer was.

What did I think about the show, it seems kind of bait and switch. You promise a story about magical creatures and you don't allow them to be magical, you just want them to be different. I don't understand why they created so many different "Crits" when they really only needed one type, since they hardly recognized or used the strengths and differences of the different Crits. It is an us vs them story that constantly reminds me of what is going on in the real world when I would prefer to escape to a fantasy world.

There was not a lot of magic, wonder or happy times in this particular world.

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I know it's not the story they are telling but I was hoping that they would build a resistance army and return to try and liberate Tiernanok from The Pact. I wanted the Fae to have the option of returning home although I suppose of they did manage to get rid of the Pact they would then have to deal with the Burgue trying to invade and take their resources. There really are no good options for the Fae.

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In episode 6, I said I like Sophie but this episode proves I don’t. I enjoyed the show, but I do think the world just became darker for the Fae. 

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I just binged all of this over about two days.  I overall enjoyed it.  Though I do admit this season felt more like a prologue then it's own story, YMMV.  I am glad to hear that's it's already been renewed for a second season, as like I said, this season just seemed a little bit like it was placing the chess pieces on the board.  This seemed especially evident in the last episode which didn't seem to end, so much as stop.

I'm hoping the second season focuses a little less on Philo and Vini though.  I don't dislike them and honestly, Bloom and Delevinge have decent chemistry, I just find to be pretty much the least interesting thing about the show.  If we must have star crossed lovers, I much prefer Agreus and Imogen.  Which is surprising because I was all ready to hate Imogen when she first appeared, both because the character seemed like a vapid racist rich girl at first blush and I'm not a huge fan of Tamzin Merchant.  I really didn't care for her in the Tudors.  That being said, does she have some sort of fountain of youth, because she doesn't look any different then she did then (and yes, I realize she was fairly young then, but still).

I quite liked their romance and felt it was compelling.  And I'd never thought I'd be saying this about a sex scene that involved a half-goat man, but it was fairly hot and sweet.  I think Agreus as character torn between two worlds of his own choosing is a more interesting and fresher story to tell than Philo's version.

I'm kind of sad that this doesn't seem to be based on any books.  I appreciate the restraint the show used in its info-dumping and for the most part just let the world unfold as we were watching as opposed to spoon-feeding us the background.  But I would like to know more about the world and the politics that led us to the point at which we enter the story.

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I watched it all in a couple of days but just found it OK.

There was zero chemistry between Orlando Bloom and the fairy lady (I have already suppressed the cringe-worthy character names) -- I thought the goat-man and the rich girl were a more interesting couple (shame her brother is so one-dimensional and will be following them to the second season).

I agree there wasn't all that much magic given all the magical creatures. 

In such a season so overstuffed with genres, the "mystery" element seemed to be the most successful (or at least I didn't guess any of the whodunnit) -- but also the least necessary? They did some good world-building, I wish they'd just spent more time living in that world than on crime-solving. 

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So, the killer was Piety this entire time, because she was worried that the "prophecy" she was so hell-bent on was actually about Philo instead of Jonah, and was taking out all of those closest to him to try and find him.  But wait!  The true mastermind was actually Sophie this entire time, because her father had all of this dirt, but she was the one to use it by forging a letter to make it look like it was from Philo's mom, and basically set it all into motion.  What a twist!

Not surprised both the Chancellor and Piety were finished off since I had a feeling they were one season and done character, but I'll miss Indira Varma and Jared Harris here.  But I'm sure they'll be popping up in plenty of other stuff, since both tend to have no issues finding roles, thankfully.

I thought the stuff with Imogen/Agreus was going to end with them killing Ezra and covering it up, but it looks like they're on the run instead.  I wonder if they're using them to expand this world some more next season, by showing them at different locations and countries.

I see they found a way to get at least one twist involving incest, by having Jonah and Sophie being secret siblings this entire time.  Really is a popular thing now, huh?

I hope we get more of Tourmaline next season.

All in all, not a perfect first season, but it was solid enough to make me want to check out any future seasons.  If nothing else, both Orlando Bloom and Cara Delevingne exceeded my expectations: possibly since the show seemed to play to both of their strengths.

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On 9/2/2019 at 4:06 AM, AnimeMania said:

What did I think about the show, it seems kind of bait and switch. You promise a story about magical creatures and you don't allow them to be magical, you just want them to be different. I don't understand why they created so many different "Crits" when they really only needed one type, since they hardly recognized or used the strengths and differences of the different Crits. It is an us vs them story that constantly reminds me of what is going on in the real world when I would prefer to escape to a fantasy world.

I absolutely agree! It had enough episodes to give us something other than people versus people who look different and come from a different place.

My other complaint was how one note the politics were. The chancellor and his majority were vehemently against segregation, yet his son turned everyone to the other side with a speech based on the actions of a single isolated extremist group?  It made no sense how the entire majority would flip flop so suddenly against every single nonhuman as if they had only the flimsiest of reasons to have supported them in the first place.

When the show ended with fairies trapped in a ghetto and being killed for flying in such an obvious parallel to life under the pact in the first episode, I felt cheated. Rather than spending hours in a fantasy world of magical creatures, it was a heavy handed political commentary with a relatively predictable murder mystery (from the beginning only a single main character used magic and she conveniently had no qualms about power at all costs). Plus one love story I didn’t give a toss about (vin/philo) and a second I was surprised by and rooting for (agreus/imogen). 

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57 minutes ago, thuganomics85 said:

The true mastermind was actually Sophie this entire time

That was my other problem with this show’s conclusion. There’s no way Sophie could have suspected Piety would start murdering people right and left including her own husband because of the secret of his other son. Sophie didn’t even know of the prophecy about the son being more powerful. It makes no sense.

Piety was a woman capable of kidnapping her own son without anyone involved ratting her out. She could have easily questioned Philo’s mother after getting the letter to learn who else knew the secret, find the son, and then make all of them disappear. Way less mess and zero impact on the power structure. Sophie couldn’t have predicted what a psycho Piety was. 

Edited by oldCJ
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One more thing then I’m done ranting on and on. I certainly hope Ezra was smart enough to grab that painting. All his money woes are over. 

Does anyone else think his sex issues and his obsession with his sister was because she wore that troll in heat perfume and it drove him crazy because she was his sister and therefore he knew, unlike the Lannisters and Jonah/Sophie, she was off limits?

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2 hours ago, thuganomics85 said:

I thought the stuff with Imogen/Agreus was going to end with them killing Ezra and covering it up, but it looks like they're on the run instead.  I wonder if they're using them to expand this world some more next season, by showing them at different locations and countries.

https://forums.primetimer.com/topic/95398-carnival-row-media-laying-the-track/?do=findComment&comment=5572053

The link to Season 2 answers some of your questions.

2 hours ago, oldCJ said:

Piety was a woman capable of kidnapping her own son without anyone involved ratting her out. She could have easily questioned Philo’s mother after getting the letter to learn who else knew the secret, find the son, and then make all of them disappear. Way less mess and zero impact on the power structure. Sophie couldn’t have predicted what a psycho Piety was. 

That is essentially what she did without having to come anywhere near the crime scene and without any risk to herself. The liver revealed everything, even to questions you couldn't even think to ask. This is why Piety chose to cut out "Vinaigrette's (I have been dying to call her that at least once in the forum, I think it is out of my system now, but that will still be her name for all my internal use.)" liver, even though she was tied to a chair and could be easily interrogated.

Vignette becomes Vinaigrette because she is sour and cloudy.

Philo become Phido because he is a puppy dog, trusting, loyal and follows his nose to every he is going.

I thought Vignette was kind of stupid for her reaction to the museum exhibit although I get and predicted it would happen. The museum exhibit is probably the best thing that could have happened to Vignette's library since it is intact and well protected. Vignette could have probably gotten a job at the museum exhibit explaining her culture to the scholars and laypersons, if she wasn't so bitter all the time.

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4 hours ago, oldCJ said:

That was my other problem with this show’s conclusion. There’s no way Sophie could have suspected Piety would start murdering people right and left including her own husband because of the secret of his other son. Sophie didn’t even know of the prophecy about the son being more powerful. It makes no sense.

Piety was a woman capable of kidnapping her own son without anyone involved ratting her out. She could have easily questioned Philo’s mother after getting the letter to learn who else knew the secret, find the son, and then make all of them disappear. Way less mess and zero impact on the power structure. Sophie couldn’t have predicted what a psycho Piety was. 

I think Sophie's initial intention was simpler: send the letter, causing the Chancellor to make a mistake. She could have expected him to cop to the affair to stop the blackmail, gone to Carnival Row to hunt down Aisling, or pay the bribe. All three of those give her/her father actionable ways to undermine Breakspear, which makes Longerbane the Chancellor. 

She didn't expect Breakspear's wife to be dabbling in dark arts and go on a killing spree, and she certainly didn't expect her father to get killed in the process, but it worked to her advantage. Plus, the more Piety ran around freaking out, the easier it probably was for Sophie to find out about the prophecy and put the pieces together, so she was able to stay 2-3 steps ahead. 

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4 hours ago, oldCJ said:

That was my other problem with this show’s conclusion. There’s no way Sophie could have suspected Piety would start murdering people right and left including her own husband because of the secret of his other son.

You're right she couldn't.  Sophie is a shit-stirrer.  She lobbed a bomb in the general direction of her "enemies" (or if not enemies, then her family's political rivals) just to see what would happen.  Sophie is a very smart woman leading a very constrained life due to her controlling and over-bearing father coupled with a society in which women -- even well-educated rich women -- have few options.  Sophie didn't know what would happen when she wrote that letter.  But she seems delighted by the results.

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Sophie's father would often whisper in Breakspear's ear that he knew that Breakspear had slept with a fae and from the reaction he knew it was true, he just would never announce it in public.

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On 8/31/2019 at 2:32 AM, WatchrTina said:

The whole damn board re-set with Jonah and Sophie stepping into their fathers' roles and then essentially declaring all non-humans to be the "enemy of the people" and corralling them all in ghettos. (Thanks a LOT faun assassin!) 

The faun cult assassinating the Chancellor reminds me a lot of the anarchists who killed Tsar Alexander II, who was probably the most reformist ruler Russia had ever had, and which precipitated a reactionary repression under his son and grandson (the latter being Nicholas II, the last czar).  It's possible these guys likewise view themselves as accelerationists, though I'm not clear why they think the Fae are in any position to win a race war.

I will say, at first I found it quite interesting to get a fantasy series that has a form of democratic government for its power politics storylines, but honestly the whole bit around the succession of Jonah would make more sense if his father was a king.

Having now watched the whole thing, I can say I'm a fan of the show.  While not without wrinkles here and there, the first season had very solid plotting, it paced its reveals very nicely and so isn't threatening to leave us with tons of unanswered questions long-term, and it swerved in a number of places where I wasn't expecting them to go.  And the world has tons of potential for future stories.

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On 9/2/2019 at 7:30 PM, Proclone said:

I just binged all of this over about two days.  I overall enjoyed it.  Though I do admit this season felt more like a prologue then it's own story, YMMV.  I am glad to hear that's it's already been renewed for a second season

//snip//

I'm kind of sad that this doesn't seem to be based on any books.  I appreciate the restraint the show used in its info-dumping and for the most part just let the world unfold as we were watching as opposed to spoon-feeding us the background.  But I would like to know more about the world and the politics that led us to the point at which we enter the story.

I took a bit longer, 6 days in all. I liked it and am looking forward to seeing where this story goes in the future. I really liked the Victorian/Industrial/Steampunk look and feel to this.

I also caught (or think I caught) that the Fae/fairies had distinct Irish accents, while the Fauns had a bit different accent, maybe Scottish or Welsh? The working class humans were more Midlands/Mining/Industrial England sounding, while the upper class had more posh/BBC accents. This is how my US born ears hear them, anyway.  Also, in that vein, Agreus seemed to be using a more refined accent, which I took as an attempt to mirror the upper class he was trying to be accepted by. Good layers for that character.

I definitely got the Nazi Germany vibe, especially when the Fae were being herded into the "ghetto," aka Carnival Row, at the end of this episode. I'm not overly bothered by any similarities between this particular show and any possible comparisons to real life current events though. I won't let that cause me to skip a good fiction. YMMV here. Besides, at least in fiction the downtrodden and the good guys eventually prevail in the end, right? Right?

Good work by all the actors. Good to see Orlando Bloom on the screen again in a lead role. I was hoping Jared Harris would survive the season, but since he is a hot commodity right now I understand why he would choose a part that was one and done.

I respectfully disagree on the based on books idea though I do agree that the showrunners did let the world reveal itself organically, for the most part. I think this makes it more interesting to see where this world goes in future seasons. I'm kind of glad that a potentially compelling show like this won't have a whole "but the books are better" or "the books sucked, I hope the show is better" section. This being said from someone who is also an avid watcher of a couple other series based on book series I really liked and which were/are probably better overall than what ended up on the screen. And nobody is spoiled unless they are set stalkers or something.

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I don't understand why the fae are not more valued in society. I would hire pixie workers to build tall buildings since they won't get hurt falling off. I would have pixies delivering mail since they can move really fast and do it "as the crow flies". I would have centaurs delivering packages and freight, by pulling carts, why would you use horses. Kobolds can do things that are in small, tight spaces. They act like all fae are just humans, but inferior.

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Finished the show, and while I enjoyed the show, it felt like it was almost a prologue for a greater story that we will be getting later, or that it was incomplete somehow. There were many aspects of the show that worked, but it just seemed to be missing something, its hard to put my finger on what though. Maybe because, while the setting is unique, a lot of the plots were things I've seen done many times over, like the star crossed lovers, the supernatural creature as metaphor for oppressed minority, and done with more flavor. I feel like the show has a ton of potential though, and am excited to see what a second season brings. It clear that a lot of thought has gone into this world and how it works, and I think the setting is one of the strongest parts of the show.

Well way to go faun assassin cult, you managed to make literally everything worse for your people, smooth move! So Jonah finally decides decides to do something, and its to be a fascist asshole who tries to undue any progress his father made. Who is pretty chill about incest as well, apparently. At least he kept the carnival guy around as an adviser, so maybe there is hope for him yet.

So most everything is crappy, but at least Philo and Vignette are together, even if its in a fae ghetto under armed guard. I think Orlando Bloom carried a lot of this show, I thought he did a really good job here, this part really played to his strengths. He and CD had pretty good chemistry, and while I think that she isnt the greatest of actresses, she did pretty well here, especially when she got to do more than be angry. 

So it was Piety the whole time, with a super creepy flesh golem killing people to make her prophesy happen! Damn lady, your are cold as ice. Sad to see her and the Chancellor go, but they probably had to go to let this reset of the status quo happen. Its always good to have Jarred Harris around, so maybe he can come back in flashbacks? 

Maybe next season we will find out more about the rest of the world, like who The Pact is, and why they hate the fae so much? Meet some more creatures? We have seen some species around who we havnt really spoken to very much yet, and I hope its something we get more of next season. Maybe Imogen and Agreus will explore the world more?

At least Imogen and Agreus managed to get the hell out of dodge before they started rounding fae up, and just in the nick of time. I ended up really loving their story, and I am interested to see where they end up.

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18 hours ago, AnimeMania said:

I don't understand why the fae are not more valued in society. . . . They act like all fae are just humans, but inferior.

I chalk it up to a deep-seated fear that if they don't keep the fae down, the fae will rise to power and oppress the humans.  After all some of the fae are stronger than humans.  Others can fly, which humans can't. If the fae all banded together agains the humans, who knows what would happen?  So the humans put rules in place (no flying!) to keep the fae in their "place." 

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I found this last episode to be riddled with soap opera cliches. "She's . . . your sister!!!" "Oh noes, he sees them through the window!!"

Overall I enjoyed it, although I had a hard time getting into it at first. It's one of those shows you have to get used to, like an acquired taste. There's  an awful lot of world-building going on with the dialogue. I had to watch with closed-captioning because they pepper the dialogue with so many fictional names. Not just names of people but places or religious references and so on. It makes it kind of hard to follow. There's no expectation the audience is going to know who Saint So-and-So is, they just throw stuff like that in there to make it sound authentic.

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Maybe next season we will find out more about the rest of the world, like who The Pact is, and why they hate the fae so much? 

My impression was that the Pact just wanted to eradicate all indigenous species in order to strip mine the land or whatever. They never really explained what kind of resources the two warring sides were after though. That's another problem I had with the story. It's overly invested in exploring themes of racism and classism, and not so interested in establishing a backstory.

A map might help too. I don't have a real clear picture of what this world looks like and where the countries are in relation to each other, etc. 

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What type of fae is Mr Millworthy? It seems Jonah is not the total fuck boi his parents thought he was and he does have a bit of a brain in that head of his. If they are imprisoning all of the Fae In Carnival Row how is any of the work going to get done? Won’t the upper classes be pissed their servants aren’t available or will people be given “work passes” to make sure the elite stays comfortable?

Seems Philo and Vingette are the real deal and committed to staying together (he must love her to declare his ancestry and be imprisioned in the ghetto with her)- so we won’t have to deal with “will they or won’t they end up together” next season.

I enjoyed this series- I wish there had been a few more episodes to let the plot lines breath a bit. 

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I'd be more on-board with the Philo Vignette relationship if Philo hadn't chosen Portia and a human life just a few episodes ago. Portia didn't react the way he hoped so now he chooses life as a fairy with Vignette. 

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I'd be more on-board with the Philo Vignette relationship if Philo hadn't chosen Portia and a human life just a few episodes ago. Portia didn't react the way he hoped so now he chooses life as a fairy with Vignette. 

Actually he was telling Portia it was never going to work between them. She was the one pushing for a real relationship, and he finally had to tell her why it wouldn't work. So I don't think he was attempting to "choose" that at all. He always knew it wasn't meant to be, and knew instinctively if she knew the truth about him her feelings would change.

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12 hours ago, Razzberry said:

I found this map in a review, apparently they were sent out with screeners.  Kind of hard to read though.carnivalmap.thumb.jpg.09cdeff624c8edf5ea3ade38ab7e7250.jpg

I'd find that really interesting if I could read it.  😕  Not your fault. 

ETA:  Found this link which gives a much bigger view of the map.  🙂

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Ahh, much better.   I was thinking the Burgue was somewhere near Tirnanoc, which looks like a very large England or Ireland.  The land mass on the left somewhat resembles North and South America to me, with the Burgue roughly in the area of New York. 

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What did Piety use to make the Darkasher?  It was pretty obvious what Philo used to make his version and Piety doesn't have that option lol.  It has been driving me crazy.  Sorry to make everyone else think about it.

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Wow, it never occurred to me that Cersei Sophie was the architect of the whole crisis, although we have to handwave that she somehow learned that there was a half blood child from her father's aborted search for dirt.  I thought Piety came across the information on her own.  

I wonder if Imogen and Agreus (does he have a first name?) will be in season 2.  I'd rather think they got away and are happy in a land that accepts their relationship.

I was afraid for Tourmaline the whole season.  Glad she's still there.

On 9/10/2019 at 8:40 PM, Lorelei4895 said:

What did Piety use to make the Darkasher?

It was all those cut up corpses in the room where the fight occurred.  I noticed the centaur but didn't look closely enough at the other creatures.

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26 minutes ago, Haleth said:

Wow, it never occurred to me that Cersei Sophie was the architect of the whole crisis, although we have to handwave that she somehow learned that there was a half blood child from her father's aborted search for dirt.  I thought Piety came across the information on her own. 

That wasn't a handwave for me, those two have been very close political rivals for longer than their children have been alive. Don't forget that the son might have been fathered by either of the men. I am sure at home he probably vented to his wife, mentioning every rumor and unsubstantiated claim and hired investigators to verify them all.

If you want some worldclass handwaving explain to me how the only way anyone can tell if Philo is a half blood is to ask him and they will accept anything he says. He says he refuses to go to a doctor because they would figure it out, but nobody else seems to want to go there. It is a crime after all and they are the police.

Edited by AnimeMania
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Favorite character
Agreus (no first name apparently) is by far the most interesting to me, so I hope he's back in season 2.   I get the impression that as a group he doesn't trust anyone, even Pucks.  Smart man.  Enjoy watching the Spurnroses, though Imogen's personality transplant seems highly unlikely.  Love Runyan, and his troup of Kobolts were adorable.  His new gig with Jonah bodes well for the country.
The two leads are okay.  I've never seem Cara, but for an actress/model she's not afraid of the Ugly Face.  Bloom is easy on the eyes and has a nice body.
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Least favorite character
The giant squid. It seemed miscast and chewed the scenery. 

Nastiest SlurcarnivalA1.jpg.2b4e35ee97aa7d99dab83426eb4c8533.jpg
Named for a crotch or butt-crack itch, I can't help but giggle.  Is that so wrong?

Best Death ScenecarnivalA2.jpg.d06b8f8dd83e2ddd4d6534013aa98374.jpg

Best Set of Horns

It's hard to choose.  They don't appear to attach any significance to the wide variety of horns, but surely size matters?

carnivalhorns1b.thumb.jpg.65d3d71d9cfc7ffe72103d378af0835e.jpg

carnivalhorns1.thumb.jpg.82e8057d775dc984fcf2d3d84db430d3.jpg

carnivalhorns1c.thumb.jpg.f55bce17df05013144e5144bfbeb29d0.jpg

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8 hours ago, Haleth said:

It was all those cut up corpses in the room where the fight occurred.  I noticed the centaur but didn't look closely enough at the other creatures.

I'm not worried about what creatures she used.  The haruspex needed HIS (Philo's) seed so he would be bonded with the creature.  Pretty sure using someone else's doesn't count.  Did she cut an egg out of Piety? Or wait until that time of the month?  I was a biology major, so this really bothers me lol

Edited by Lorelei4895 · Reason: what is not the same word as wait
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Just now, Lorelei4895 said:

I'm not worried about what creatures she used.  The haruspex needed HIS (Philo's) seed so he would be bonded with the creature.  Pretty sure using someone else's doesn't count.  Did she cut an egg out of Piety? Or what until that time of the month?  I was a biology major, so this really bothers me lol

Piety did it to herself, whatever it was.

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On 9/13/2019 at 7:58 AM, AnimeMania said:

If you want some worldclass handwaving explain to me how the only way anyone can tell if Philo is a half blood is to ask him and they will accept anything he says. He says he refuses to go to a doctor because they would figure it out, but nobody else seems to want to go there. It is a crime after all and they are the police.

I think it’s one of those things as “why would you say you’re half fae if you aren’t?!”  I take it akin to people who passed for white during segregation- they may have been passing for safety/social advancement in certain areas, but if a white appearing person told you in confidence “I’m actually black/negro/colored etc.” while living/existing in a white space you’d be likely to believe them because WHY would they do that unless it was true?! Because saying such a thing could get them killed.

Philo appears human, it would likely only be after an intense physical examination or a blood draw you’d be able to tell he was half fae(like extra blood vessels where his wings were has a baby or an extra internal organ humans don’t have but fairies do). 

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I finally finished this. I'm not sure what I think about the turn at the end for the fae. It seemed abrupt given the majority party at the start of the show was (relatively) pro-Fae. 

But there's certainly interesting stuff. Neither Jonah nor Sophie are ideologically committed to Fae tyranny from what I can tell. But for all that Sophie is committed to being a puppet master, she currently seems to have very little ability to actually direct how her power is used. She seems as controlled by her party's aims as controlling them. Presumably, she's going to want to change that. But to what end? And how will it match anything Jonah wants to do? The line about worse before it gets better and hiring the theater guy as an adviser suggests Jonah may not plan for Fae tyranny forever.

I also don't understand why the Burgue would want to trap Fae in instead of encouraging them to leave. What benefit do they get from putting them in ghettos? 

So the political stuff is confusing to me. But I thought the mystery was great and Philo's journey effective. Agreus and Imogen were also well developed.

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10 hours ago, Zuleikha said:

I also don't understand why the Burgue would want to trap Fae in instead of encouraging them to leave. What benefit do they get from putting them in ghettos? 

I think a lot of people in the Burge are supportive of restricting the rights and movements of Fae because they see them as inferiors, but want them around as a very low paid labor force. We’ve seen a lot of fae as domestic servants, manual laborers, wait staff, sex workers etc. Sophie even said it in her speech- fae care for human children, clean their houses, make their products etc. 

As far as the fae leaving- leave and go WHERE? Their homeland has been invaded and destroyed by the Pact. Life in the Burge May be horrible but it seems The Pact are actively slaughtering them. Most will take social and legal oppression with a chance at food/shelter and ability to be with their loved ones (look at Imogen’s housekeeper) over having to dodge bullets any day. Moving the fae OUT also costs money, keeping them as a restricted labor force makes money for those in power. 

Edited to add- think of how in the beginnings of reconstruction in the USA there were talks of giving newly freed slaves the options to move to Liberia etc and set up communities there. We all know why that didn’t happen- the labor force of former slaves was too valuable to the southern economy. It was seen as better to restrict the people to second class citizens (with Jim Crow and the like) than to encourage or finance a way for them to leave the country. 

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As far as the fae leaving- leave and go WHERE?

I didn't mean evict the fae who were staying in the Burgue. But the soldiers actively pulled fae who were already on their way out off the trains and boats. Why do that? Why not let those in the process of leaving just leave?

S2 will presumably expand on this, but it looks like the fae are being literally confined to the ghetto along the lines of historical ghettos. That means no more domestic workers (remember, we saw Afissa being confined as well), no more guards, and probably severely reduced options even for manual labor.

Reconstruction-era Jim Crow is a very different kind of mistreatment than European ghettos. Americans did finance Liberia and encourage free and freed Blacks to resettle there until Black leaders successfully argued against it. So I don't know what you mean by "We all know why that didn’t happen" when it did happen. (and yes, Southern leadership was generally opposed for exactly the reason you listed, but US politics and institutional power were fractured rather than uniform--which is also how the Burgue has been portrayed)

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6 hours ago, Zuleikha said:

I didn't mean evict the fae who were staying in the Burgue. But the soldiers actively pulled fae who were already on their way out off the trains and boats. Why do that? Why not let those in the process of leaving just leave?

S2 will presumably expand on this, but it looks like the fae are being literally confined to the ghetto along the lines of historical ghettos. That means no more domestic workers (remember, we saw Afissa being confined as well), no more guards, and probably severely reduced options even for manual labor.

Reconstruction-era Jim Crow is a very different kind of mistreatment than European ghettos. Americans did finance Liberia and encourage free and freed Blacks to resettle there until Black leaders successfully argued against it. So I don't know what you mean by "We all know why that didn’t happen" when it did happen. (and yes, Southern leadership was generally opposed for exactly the reason you listed, but US politics and institutional power were fractured rather than uniform--which is also how the Burgue has been portrayed)

I see what you mean now thanks for expanding. I see the restriction of all fae as partly fear based (the populace after the murder of the chancellor) and the need for a scapegoat for societies problems (Sophie and her political group). Putting the fae in ghettos makes you able to count them and control their movements. It’s also very demoralizing and leads to suffering due to disease and the like.

I fully expect in season 2 to see people complaining that they don’t have their fae servants with them now and opposing ghettos for that reason, or doing something similar to curfews and the like. I see 3 major groups forming, 1. Those who oppose the treatment of fae and wanting them to be integrated as full members of society, 2. Those who want the fae as a part of society but with clear lines of second class citizenship and no opportunity for economic/social mobility 3. Those who play on the fear/prejudice and hatred of fae and want them gone (as in removed from the Burge) at best and/or exterminated at worst. 

 So I don't know what you mean by "We all know why that didn’t happen" when it did happen.

My apologizes I wasn’t more clear- it didn’t happen that former black slaves were removed in mass from formally slave holding states, and the cultural/social/legal/ethnic remnants of black slavery removed from the historical record from the country. The legacy of slavery and Jim Crow shaped the country and former slaves were granted citizenship and equal protection under the law (in theory if not in practice), not forcibly removed or exterminated via genocide. So I can see why all the fae aren’t moved out of the Burge and given their own political state as it were.

I want them to develop this more in season 2 (and I think they will) that the fae are too valuable to too many people to have them forcibly removed from the Burge or murdered At once (like a bomb or something on Carnival Row). It’s more likely they will be oppressed even more harshly and we will see people (humans and fae) reacting to that- either through violent rebellion, some type of religious movement and/or self hatred after internalizing all the negative fae propaganda. 

Of course I could be 100% wrong in my theories. While I enjoyed the show very much I don’t think we got as many episodes as we could’ve used for a good foundation- I can see they spent the money on production values (it was gorgeous) and didn’t have enough left for 12 episodes instead of 8. (And I really count 7 because the flashback episode didn’t move our current plot forward)

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On 9/1/2019 at 8:06 PM, AnimeMania said:

it seems kind of bait and switch. You promise a story about magical creatures and you don't allow them to be magical, you just want them to be different. I don't understand why they created so many different "Crits" when they really only needed one type, since they hardly recognized or used the strengths and differences of the different Crits. It is an us vs them story that constantly reminds me of what is going on in the real world when I would prefer to escape to a fantasy world.

There was not a lot of magic, wonder or happy times in this particular world.

I tend to agree.  Overall I think I enjoyed the show, although I feel like I would have enjoyed it much more if it was a murder mystery set in a fantasy world.  I found myself not particularly caring about the political story with the humans vs the critch, the star-crossed love of Philo and Vignette, and the breaking-barriers love of Agreus and Imogen.

The obvious parallels with real-life politics is a bit too heavy handed IMO.

On 9/3/2019 at 3:54 AM, oldCJ said:

That was my other problem with this show’s conclusion. There’s no way Sophie could have suspected Piety would start murdering people right and left including her own husband because of the secret of his other son. Sophie didn’t even know of the prophecy about the son being more powerful. It makes no sense.

Piety was a woman capable of kidnapping her own son without anyone involved ratting her out. She could have easily questioned Philo’s mother after getting the letter to learn who else knew the secret, find the son, and then make all of them disappear. Way less mess and zero impact on the power structure. Sophie couldn’t have predicted what a psycho Piety was. 

I was confused about this as well... so did Sophie know all along that it was Piety who kidnapped Jonah?  I don't think this part made sense at all.  I know that Sophie wanted to cause trouble, and trouble she did indeed cause, but I don't think there's any way she could have predicted that Piety would kill both fathers and that she and Jonah would both inherit the power.

Also, the fact that they both took over for their fathers doesn't make a lot of sense to me but I guess in this world, children inherit their parent's political position?  So strange.

On 9/10/2019 at 7:40 PM, Lorelei4895 said:

What did Piety use to make the Darkasher?  It was pretty obvious what Philo used to make his version and Piety doesn't have that option lol.  It has been driving me crazy.  Sorry to make everyone else think about it.

Yes, I was wondering this as well.  The Haruspex said that she needed Philo's seed and said she needed a part of him.  So not sure what would have been used from Piety.  Not sure what animals were in that thing besides an octopus.

The Haruspex was Piety's longtime family witch, right?  So did she know all along who was responsible for the killings and just didn't say anything about it?

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1 hour ago, blackwing said:

Also, the fact that they both took over for their fathers doesn't make a lot of sense to me but I guess in this world, children inherit their parent's political position?  So strange.

I think they are short term positions until they have time to elect a suitable political candidate. They are trying their best to show they are the right people for the permanent job.

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so did Sophie know all along that it was Piety who kidnapped Jonah?  I don't think this part made sense at all.  I know that Sophie wanted to cause trouble, and trouble she did indeed cause, but I don't think there's any way she could have predicted that Piety would kill both fathers and that she and Jonah would both inherit the power.

Yes, Sophie knew. I'm not quite sure how, but it may have simply been logical reasoning. She knew her father genuinely didn't do it, and she knew the kidnapping was done for political maneuvering rather than money. That made Piety the logical candidate.

I don't think Sophie knew the letter would lead to Piety killing anyone. She just hoped chaos would be an opportunity for her (grr... that whole bit was a little too close to plagiarism for my tastes!). Once it was, she grabbed hold of what she could.

But Sophie seems more reactive than proactive. She's very observant and smart, but she doesn't have any long-term plans beyond grab hold of power.

The Haruspex was Piety's longtime family witch, right?  So did she know all along who was responsible for the killings and just didn't say anything about it?

I don't think the Haruspex knew until near the end. I understood her speech to Philo to be saying that she should have been suspicious of Piety's interest in the Haruspex's work, but hadn't been until the death vision.

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On 9/3/2019 at 9:24 PM, SeanC said:

I will say, at first I found it quite interesting to get a fantasy series that has a form of democratic government for its power politics storylines, but honestly the whole bit around the succession of Jonah would make more sense if his father was a king.

American here (so correct me if I'm wrong).  Isn't the House of Lords in Great Britain made up of individuals who hold their position by right of inheritance?  That's what I think is the model for the ruling body in this fantasy universe.  They only have the one house and the position is inherited, not elected.  If that's true, then that would explain why so few seats are held by women.  

As we know from Downton Abbey (and Pride & Prejudice and a dozen other British stories) some British titles (and accompanying wealth) is entailed so that only a male descendant can inherit.  But that is not true in all cases.  As such, I'm guessing there ARE women who are entitled to sit in the actual British House of Lords by virtue of having inherited their father's title, but they are in a clear minority due to so many titles being entailed to a male descendant.  (Or perhaps that bit of historical chauvinism has finally been done away with in the 21st Century. After all, they've gotten rid of it in the royal family -- Prince William's daughter now precedes her younger brother in the line of succession to the English throne.)

That whole paragraph above is real world stuff so to bring this post back to the topic of the show, I'm now revising my opinion of the form of government in The Burque.  I think they have a "legislature" and those legislators pick a Prime Minister on whom they confer special powers, but he still has to get a majority of votes for most things.  But I don't think those legislators are elected.  There is no "House of Commons" with elected representatives  There is only the ruling class who govern via a "House of Lords".  That's the definition of a Oligarchy, right?  As such, it's not really a democracy and the succession of Jonah does make sense.

Edited by WatchrTina

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2 hours ago, WatchrTina said:

They only have the one house and the position is inherited, not elected.  

There are repeated references to elections, though, e.g., that Sophie is appointed to fill her father's seat until the next election.

Jonah appears meanwhile to inherit not just his father's seat in the legislature but the chancellorship with it, despite this looking like a parliamentary system.

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On 9/21/2019 at 12:58 PM, SeanC said:

Jonah appears meanwhile to inherit not just his father's seat in the legislature but the chancellorship with it, despite this looking like a parliamentary system.

That's the part I don't get the most.... inherited seat in the legislature, ok, I can arguably see that, if it's like a House of Lords situation.  But why he would automatically inherit the chancellorship, that part I don't get.  He has no political experience.  Not sure if he's been groomed for the chancellorship but he appears to be at least 25 years old and is still receiving an education from a private tutor.  And apparently failing miserably at such studies. 

It's a strange system if someone can just step in and inherit the leadership.  I would have assumed that there would be an election amongst the majority party to choose their new leader after the death of their current one.  Same for the opposition.

Here in the states, when Senators and Representatives die, I can think of a few instances where their widows were either appointed or won a special election to fill out the remainder of the term... Jean Carnahan in Senate, Cardiss Collins of Illinois and Doris Matsui of California in the House, I am sure there are many others.  They may even have taken their husbands place on committees.  But I very much doubt they would have automatically been handed any leadership positions that might have been held.

I guess it's an interesting part of this Carnival Row world and of course advances the storyline that these half-siblings not only are sleeping with each other but they are each the leader of opposite parties.

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On 9/21/2019 at 11:46 AM, WatchrTina said:

As we know from Downton Abbey (and Pride & Prejudice and a dozen other British stories) some British titles (and accompanying wealth) is entailed so that only a male descendant can inherit.

Not sure if this has any impact on your theory, so just FYI: An entail applies to real estate only. Some British noble titles are hereditary, some aren't. There are currently 199 women in the House of Lords.

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