Saturday, December 14, 2019

What I’m Watching: His Dark Materials

His Dark Materials: Season 1, Episode 6 “The Daemon-Cages” (B)

My enthusiasm for this show continues to wane, and so I’m at least a bit relieved that we finally got a major game-changer in the form of Lyra’s successful rescue of all the children following her near daemon-severing that Mrs. Coulter stopped at the very last second. That close call was another moment I remembered strongly from the books, and which played out in an appropriately frightening fashion. There’s a creepiness to this show that presents itself only occasionally, and was on full display at the start of this hour with the nurse in a trance who had to be literally snapped out of it. The reunion with Roger was hardly cause for celebration since they had to pretend not to know each other, and the ability of villains in this world to grab daemons and hurt them as a way of hurting the humans they’re attached to is relatively disturbing. Mrs. Coulter presented an interesting rationalization for what she’s doing, suggesting that dust is a bad thing and that adults aren’t able to reverse its effects while children might still be able to, but Lyra had a perfect response prepared, which was that she should have eagerly let them separate her from her daemon if it really was such a good and pure process. All the forces that Lyra has assembled arrive to save the day when Lyra tricked Mrs. Coulter so that she could escape, including Serafina Pekkala, whose silent speed is quite powerful and useful. Now Lee, Iorek, Lyra and Roger are off to rescue Lord Asriel – let’s hope that makes for an exciting final two hours of the season.

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