Just give me a minute here, I'm still trying to cleanse my brain of the sight of that blood-covered Judas cradle torture device...
The Bastard Executioner Season 1 Episode 7 featured many plot developments and unveilings of secrets. Actually, are there even any secrets left to uncover in the remaining two episode of this season? At this point, kept secrets are becoming fewer and fewer and there may be nearly none left to be revealed.
The Bastard Executioner is typically not very coy about its violence. It was surprising that the twin maiden's torture occurred off-screen, but that somehow made the whole occurrence that much more disturbing. Her slumped body, her twin sister's traumatized sounds and later catatonic silence, the blood-drenched torture device – it was all kinds of horrifying.
The big news revealed in "Broken Thing/Toredig Pethau" that precipitated this torture was that the absolutely hideous Sir Gaveston was ordered into exile and somehow ("somehow") managed to escape. Given the king's (ahem) affinity for his number one pal, best bet is that Edward II aided in his friend's escape.
Regardless, this installment of the series really ramped up the tie-ins to actual historical events. The drama with Gaveston and Edward, and Gaveston's exile, are all things that really occurred in 1312 (the year in which the series' first season is set). The political turmoil with the Ordainers (embodied here by the visiting Earl of Warwick), who restricted the terrible king's power, is also based in historical fact.
The scene in which the Earl of Warwick met with Lady Love and Milus was a really fantastic one for Love's character. All three men present (the Ordainers and the Chamberlain) had a clear, palpable respect for our heroine. She managed to easily negotiate both a compensatory reward and the favor of being allowed to deal with the Welsh rebellion as she wished, in exchange for her men capturing Gaveston.
One has to try compromise before combat. Only then can I justify the swing of the sword as a way to peace.Lady Love
She's just so damn cool.
As Love reported back to Wilkin, she was chastised twice for her relationship with him: once by Isabel and once by Milus. The scene between Milus and Love was one of the absolute best in "Broken Thing." Stephen Moyer and Flora Spencer-Longhurst have fantastic chemistry and play off of one another beautifully. Milus' sincere growing respect for Love is one of the best parts of the series.
In the months since Eric's death you grow stronger, smarter. Certainly more bold. You have become formidable, Love. A voice that challenges me and every pompous noble that rides through our gates. It would be the devil's best work to have scandal take that away.Milus
We are so used to seeing Milus one step ahead of everyone else. That's what made it so shocking when he was duped by those twins and their brother Gaveston back in The Bastard Executioner Season 1 Episode 4. His humiliation at Gaveston's hand clearly cut him deep (remember that brutal beating of the French servant, who he very possibly killed because I don't recall seeing him since?)
Milus is all kinds of terrible, but it made a sick kind of sense that he was so ready to torture the information about Gaveston's whereabouts out of the twins. They directly lead him to his humiliation by Gaveston. Doubtless on some level, Milus considered his torture of the maiden and the traumatizing of her sister just compensation for making him feel like an ass at Gaveston's hand.
It's becoming ever more obvious, week to week, that the Reeve is becoming disgruntled with his Chamberlain. It first became apparent a few episodes back, when he was giving Milus some serious side-eye after noticing Corbett's dealings with the Executioner. He finally voiced his grievances, laying into Milus about his dissatisfaction in having been thrust into the temporary role of Executioner in Wilkin's absence, as well as the Chamberlain's decision to have Wilkin accompany him on the hunt for Gaveston.
It will be really interesting to see how this conflict develops. Every since Leon took Petra's cross and spared her life way back in the The Bastard Executioner Episode 1, I've found him to be an interesting, understated figure. Will Milus simply dispose of him? That seems unlikely, since he expressly forbid Wilkin doing any harm to the Reeve in the quest for vengeance for his village.
You'll notice I rarely discuss the Annora/religion/Seraphim/Robinus storyline. Truthfully, I find it so much less engaging than the political storylines. Lady Love's trials in keeping the throne, her dealings with her brother/the Welsh rebels, Milus' political macchinations – these are all way more interesting than the Seraphim nonsense.
It's gotten a bit better since Father Ruskin became involved. He is a great character, with an intriguing, hidden backstory. I could honestly care less about Annora and her Dark Not-So-Mute. They are mostly just confusing and "shrouded in mystery" to the point of being obscure. Obviously, this is a "your mileage may vary" type of opinion. Perhaps you're more interested in Annora's cryptic tellings of religious history than Milus being the actual worst person ever. I'm just emphatically not.
Luca's fate has been a concern ever since Wilkin became close to the boy. I've mentioned before that their relationship was a surprising delight, and since Wilkin is the token tortured hero, this obviously spells trouble for Luca's life.
Lo and behold, Luca was caught in the crossfire between the Rosula and the Seraphim. He was kidnapped by Absolon and Robinus' other men. How did Robinus know to tell his watcher to keep an eye out for a male child? That was strange and pointed, and I think I must have missed something there.
Meanwhile, more of Wilkin's past was revealed via Annora's visions (grain of salt: who knows how much we can trust what Annora is showing him). It seems as though he was conceived in an illicit union between a knight and a nun. I have an inkling that said knight is the Dark Mute, but that's just a hunch.
Wilkin: My mind spins with every conceivable wrong, and then when I see you, all is quiet.
Lady Love: Not all, Wilkin Brattle.
Poor cray-cray Jessamy. It seems that the bout of pity/I'm-about-to-die sex that Wilkin bestowed upon her did much more harm than good. She clearly thought she had a shot at his heart, and he totally did get the poor woman's hopes up. She was already unstable, and I was already nervous that she'd do something insane to punish his wandering eye – like throw that infant into the fire – so her breakdown was not in the least surprising.
It's unclear what their plan is. Basically everyone now knows that there is something between Wilkin and Lady Love. Is the idea to just keep crazy Jessamy locked away in Isabel's quarters in perpetuity? Bad plan, guys.
However, if that is the plan, it also all but confirms that the baby of Wilkin and Love's shared vision is Jessamy's child by Wilkin. In my mind, it's pretty much a given that Jessamy will not be raising that child, and might not even be alive for much longer beyond the baby's birth.
- I may not care much for the Seraphim storyline, but I can't deny that the Dark Mute is a total badass. That fight scene was pretty great.
- If Luca dies, my interest in this show will plummet by approximately 45%.
- The side story with Berber and the other, secretly-Jewish scribe (Aiden?) was interesting. Again, mostly because it is giving Danny Sapani something to do with his time. He is way underutilized as Berber, at the moment.
- Annora's Russian accent has either just stopped bothering me or become actively less grating. Not sure which.
- Remember how Annora was totally the one to actually kill Wilkin's rapidly-forgotten wife Petra? Still can't piece that one together. Any theories?
- "He said 'thank you,' maiden." "Yes. Yes, he did." Isabel continues to be the queen of sass.
What did you think of "Broken Thing"? What will become of Ruskin and Luca? How will Wilkin handle his adopted son's kidnapping? Chime in with your thoughts and remember to watch The Bastard Executioner online to catch up if you've missed anything!
Caralynn Lippo is a staff writer for TV Fanatic. Follow her on Twitter.