Knightfall: He Who Discovers His Own Self, Discovers God | Season 1, Episode 4 | Rating: 9/11 |
If nothing else, by the end of this Knightfall episode you will resolve to release just about any presuppositions you may have about this damned show as it’s determined to prove that nothing (and no one) is what it seems.
*SPOILERS AHEAD* If you didn’t know that this space is where episode recaps (with random bits of commentary) occur, now you do. So, if your mind’s not ready to know exactly what happened in this week’s episode of Knightfall, avert your eyes. Now. You’ve been warned.
Ready? Let’s roll.
Once Upon A Time:
Last week’s murder of Nassir threw a chink in the search for the Holy Grail chain mail armor: a dead Saracen can tell no tales let alone locate the Templars’ most precious relic, so let’s add a murder mystery into the mix. Plus, Landry notices a mark on Nassir’s wrist; something familiar from his childhood but can’t quite place it. So with Gawain tasked with sleuthing out the guilty party and Tancrede tasked with keeping an eye on Gawain, Landry heads off on a mission to consult a forest-dwelling Pagan named Jonas about the mark. Alone. He does that a lot, doesn’t he?
With the help of his Pagan gods, funky smoke and some special eye drops, Landry trips out on a journey through the past to a convent where child-Landry first met Godfrey, the Holy Grail and – after being pursued by a Cathar (a heretical Christian) named Malraux (Jack Sandle) – becomes Godfrey’s squire, but it’s while in the desert where Godfrey and Landry meet a group of Saracens that the vision quest begs more questions than answers. One Saracen with the same mark on his wrist approaches them reciting a phrase in Arabic…and bearing an orange. When Landry returns to the present reciting the phrase over and over, Jonas translates, “He who discovers his own self, discovers God” and tells Landry that the men were the mythical group, the Brotherhood of Light. And that they call on one another with an orange. Just as one of them did to Godfrey before he died.
Engagement From Hell:
With a royal wedding on the horizon, Prince Lluis’ mom, Queen Elena of Catalonia (Claudia Bassols), comes to town to throw a few barbs at her cousin, Queen Joan, inspect Princess Isabella like a brood mare and be an overall Debbie Downer because, well, she’s just petty. Still annoyed that Prince Lluis went against his counsel and committed to committing Catalonian troops to fight an impending French/English war, Ambassador Rodrigo and his new BFF De Nogaret put their heads together in order to suss out a way to shut the nuptials down.
“There is something that you may wish to whisper to your queen,” De Nogaret whispers to Rodgrigo and with those words, puts the whole affair in jeopardy. Suddenly Elena is calling the wedding off because Isabella isn’t “virtuous” (aka a virgin): these things really matter particularly where royal succession is concerned. Where King Philip is outraged at the vicious “lies” with the passion of a loving father, Isabella confesses to her mother that she and Lluis did have sex once. It all comes down to an old fashioned “purity test” (eww) which Joan bribes one of Elena’s women to ensure that a mortified Isabella passes, virgo intacta, and the wedding is still on. But Joan’s relief is short-lived. The medicine that Sophie gave Joan in order to miscarry was harmless: she’s still pregnant.
Just as expected, Parsifal went after Adelina for the ring that she stole. While we knew it was a set-up, now we know why: Roland hired Adelina to find Parsifal so that he could kill him, loose end that he is. But – like clockwork – Adelina has a change of heart. Turns out stories about dead girlfriends with crossbows through their necks will do that.
*Insert Expletive Here*
For the rest of the season, perhaps we should get used to the premise of for every faith restoring act, there being at least three “WTF?” moments. Think on that while you reflect how heartwarming it was to see Gawain more at his dutiful, honorable and godly best and not at his wounded worst. With instinct, precision and understanding the nature of a knight, his public accusation that Pierre murdered Nassir caused the real murderer to step into the light: Tancrede.
And even Gawain’s repudiation of Tancrede’s rationale for committing such a violation of a Templar’s code – the fear that Nassir’s prophecy of doom that the Grail would destroy them all was true – showed his faith to run stronger than Tancrede’s. As does the fact that even with Tancrede’s confession, he’s not inclined to take judgement into his own hands: Gawain is placed in custody instead of executed.
While Tancrede’s crime is a betrayal to the entire order (let alone against God), be curious as to how Landry takes this offense by his singular, most trusted brother knight. First Godfrey, now Tancrede: however sturdy Landry’s faith, it is taking a beating from hell.
By the way, here’s a nod to writer Dominic Minghella for an episode showing the female character population move the machinery of the times – times that tended to use them as mere means to an end – in order to take agency over their circumstances. While the methods are far from perfect or pretty, we see that the knights aren’t the only ones battle-ready.
- Landry really has a thing about the smell of a mother’s hair. (see episode 1’s Acre battle for further)
- Am I the only one who viewed Joan’s course of action with a “You should’ve done that last week.”?
- That moment when The Godfather and medieval history collide: leaving Isabella’s horse, Sebastian (gifted to the King of England as a marriage consolation prize) beheaded in the castle’s courtyard is an unusual, but highly effective, way to declare war.
- Damn, Mother Superior. Damn.
- Isabella is shady: the Shewolf of France is emerging.
- Isabella and De Nogaret…please…stop. Eyes burning. Please.
- “It’s not God who takes it from us, it’s men. Weak men. Men like you.” (Gawain to Tancrede)
- “Look at these hips: childbearing. Like her mother.” (Queen Elena of Catalonia)
- “You cannot believe in light and not in dark; in heaven and not in hell.” (Tancrede to Gawain)
- “I did not save one child today only to lose another.” (Queen Joan)
- “You Christians: all that confidence in your Lord, but fear still rules you.” (Jonas to Landry)
- “The white wolf thrives on love and faith; the black wolf, on fear and hate. And you have to know which wolf to feed and when.” (Godfrey to young Landry)
Next week’s episode: “Hard Blows Will Banish the Sin ”