Knightfall: Death Awaits | Season 2, Episode 7 | Air Date: May 6, 2019 | Rating: 8/11 |
*SPOILERS AHEAD* Episode recaps (with random bits of commentary) occur in this space, so if your mind’s not ready to know what happened in this week’s episode of Knightfall, avert your eyes. Now. Ready? Let’s roll.
It’s the penultimate episode of the season and, since history cannot be rewritten, we are reaching the point of conclusion. After the fall of the Chartres Temple, King Philip has returned to Paris with the captured Templars in tow. It is now October, Friday the 13th in the year of our Lord 1307…
FRIDAY THE 13TH
High theater commences as King Philip humiliatingly parades the beaten, broken and shackled Templars through the streets of Paris, past the stakes where they will be executed by burning and before a royal and papal assembly where something barely resembling a trial takes place. Thanks to Pope Clement V, De Nogaret’s campy, carnival barker routine, fake evidence and the coerced false testimony of Kelton, ‘guilty of heresy’ is a foregone conclusion and Grand Master Jacques DeMolay becomes the first victim of the fire, but not before he foreshadows God’s vengeance upon them (King Philip and Pope Clement V both died within a year of DeMolay’s execution). While Vasant reasonably flips out at their sudden fall from grace and they all await their turn at the stake, Landry and Tancrede receive some special attention from King Philip.
King Philip’s personal torturer with a fondness for knives tries to extract information about the Templar’s hidden gold from Tancrede head (literally and figuratively) while Landry is introduced to an iron maiden for no other reason than King Philip wanted to. Both are eventually returned to their cells, but a funny thing happens as they sit and wait to be executed…
While at Chartres Temple, since Gawain is familiar with temple designs, he went in search of their gold for King Philip. Instead of finding gold, he discovered Sister Anne, the wet nurse and baby Eve in hiding, that Eve is Landry’s daughter, and King Philip’s intentions to kill her. Apparently, that was his moral last straw because after helping them escape the temple, Gawain tried but failed to kill King Philip and Prince Louis in the middle of Tancrede’s torture session and wound up with a nail driven into his bad knee for his troubles. Tancrede corroborates the story.
After praying together, the Templars and Gawain are led and tied to the stakes with Landry’s stake in front and center of the king. Despite a last-minute attempt by Kelton to recant his false testimony, one by one the stakes are lit. And after all of his embittered vengefulness, Gawain is finally back with his brothers.
A QUEEN’S GAMBIT
Princess Isabella is nothing if not as strategic as a chess game. After drugging and staging a scene to make Princess Margaret look like she committed adultery, Princess Margaret is arrested and imprisoned in a castle tower and now we know why: she overstepped.
It seems that Princess Margaret’s presumptuous queenly actions and attitude aka forgetting her place rubbed Princess Isabella the wrong way. Little things like sleeping in Queen Joan’s bed and promising to take care of her after Princess Margaret becomes the queen of France when Prince Louis becomes king. The nerve! So, armed with an eye witness, an engraved ring matching those of Gautier and Phillipe’s planted for evidence, and King Philip’s ingrained distrust of women in general, it’s all the ammunition that Princess Isabella needs to turn King Philip against her. And after Princess Margaret’s arrest, Princess Isabella is only too happy to inform her who the architect of her misfortune was.
As for Prince Louis who very much loves his wife? Despite Princess Isabella’s crying how “heartbroken” her brother was over Princess Margaret’s adultery, Prince Louis was completely blindsided by the whole thing and even went so far as to confront King Philip with a sword over it. Of course, that went nowhere close to well with King Philip smacking his son down, putting him back in his place and informing Prince Louis that his marriage will be annulled. Discussion over.
ODDS & ENDS
- It’s safe to say that Angus got off easy by dropping dead during the walk of shame through the Parisian streets.
- Princess Margaret calls Prince Louis out on his and his father’s penchant for cruelty…unfortunately, a little too late.
- During the iron maiden session watching Prince Louis take out his my-father-murdered-my-mother frustrations on Landry’s face after Landry dares mention how Queen Joan actually died…in front of King Philip.
- After that last-minute recantation, Kelton is literally thrown to the Paris mob and what happens to him is straight out of season 2, episode 6 of Game of Thrones. Yes, I noticed.
- Of course, Landry is so important that King Philip reserves a stake solely for him, front and center packed with wood that King Philip chopped with his very own hands.
- Prince Louis’ certainty that Princess Isabella set Princess Margaret up proves the Capetian apple doesn’t fall far from the tree.
- Say what you will about Gawain, despite the incalculable damage that he’s done, at least he eventually came through for good despite the evil.
- “It appears that you and I now share the unpleasant distinction of being cuckolded by our wives.” (King Philip to Prince Louis)
- “I understand cruelty when I see it.” (Princess Margaret)
- “Why would I set you free when I worked so hard to put you here?” (Princess Isabella to Princess Margaret)
Even though Knightfall is a work of fiction based on historical facts, logic suggests that next week’s episode will be the show’s season and series finale. We’ve reached the date that lives on in Templar Knight infamy, the wooden stakes are lit, and the King of France gets what wants so what more of this resonant story of faith, God, betrayal, and brotherhood could there be left to tell? Guess we’ll have to wait to find out.
Next week’s episode: “As I Breathe, I Trust the Cross”
All Photos: Larry Horricks & José Sarmento Matos courtesy of HISTORY