Monday, December 7, 2020

What I’m Watching: His Dark Materials

His Dark Materials: Season 2, Episode 4 “Tower of the Angels” (B+)

It’s always helpful when a mysterious idea is explicitly spelled out and explained so that there isn’t any confusion and everything makes sense. That was the case here for the subtle knife, which is of course the title of the second book in the series on which this series is based. It’s a pretty cool and intense concept, and there’s a great deal of mythology behind it, including the fact that Will got his fingers cut off in exactly the same spot as Giacomo Paradisi’s, cementing that this powerful object was destined to be his to wield, which doesn’t exactly vibe with the demand that Lord Boreal has made to get in back in exchange for the alethiometer. I recognized Terence Stamp right away, and it was good to see the veteran actor, now eighty-two years old, in a brief but very memorable performance. Will seems to be a natural, and Giacomo was evidently ready to pass the torch as he faced his demise without fear or reservations at the end of the episode. In another instance of clear answers, Lee found Jopari, also known as John Parry, who acknowledged that he was Will’s father when Lee told him he couldn’t understand how Lord Asriel could abandon his child. The biggest development was that Mary was able to communicate directly with the angels who revealed that they had intervened in human evolution because of vengeance. The witch attack was swift and violent, and all of these elements are on a collision path that will likely involve major roles for both Will and Lyra.

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