Knightfall: While I Breath, I Trust the Cross | Season 2, Episode 8 | Air Date: May 13, 2019 | Rating: 9/11 |
*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.
We’ve arrived at the season 2 finale of Knightfall and what’s left of our favorite executioners for God – Landry, Tancrede, Vasant, Rhone, and Templar-gone-rogue Gawain – are tied to burning stakes with prayers on their lips, ready to give up the ghost…
RUN FOR YOUR LIVES
That is until a train of wagons carrying the Templar’s treasure passes by the execution site and a distraction allows one wagon to peel off. Inside that wagon is everybody’s favorite foul-mouthed training instructor, Talus (manning a very Game of Thrones-esque scorpion), Sister Anne, and Gabriel with a handful of his brothers from the Order of Saint Lazarus to the rescue. Sworn to answer one another’s call, after all.
Chaos and disorder ensue as the rescue party frees the Templar brothers and they all escape together into the Paris streets. Talus disappears and King Philip seethes appropriately. Since we’re in the age of walled cities and this setback is a public relations nightmare, King Philip orders Paris to be locked down: no one enters or leaves the city until the Templars are found and dead. While taking momentary refuge in the Paris Temple, they find and free a chained-up Lydia (aka Prince Louis’ pet) before having to flee thanks to a kid snitching on their whereabouts.
While holed up together, Landry and Gawain address the many elephants in the room by playing the blame game: Landry’s affair with Queen Joan, Gawain’s hatred and betraying the order plus some self-reckoning as both men have brought this mess upon themselves and the Templar Order. The hard history between the two former fierce friends comes to a head, but there are more important things to worry about.
While hiding Tancrede and Gabriel in her home where Prince Louis murdered her husband and son, Lydia almost gets them all caught when she has a mini-breakdown. Can you really blame her? Not really, it’s just bad timing. Also, Tancrede having his head cut open finally catches up to him.
Roaming the streets as a beggar, Talus reveals himself to Sister Anne, Rhone and Vasant with a Talus-like insult, fends off a group of soldiers allowing them to escape…only for him to walk away and disappear again (it’s what he does). Cue another Parisian yelling into the night about the Templars’ whereabouts and everyone hunkers down for the night.
THE PRINCESS IN THE TOWER
When King Philip dispatched Prince Louis to find Talus, Prince Louis’ “The villain will find his end soon enough” response barely veiled his resentment towards his father. And that resentment reaches its peak when Prince Louis forgoes obeying King Philip’s order in lieu of breaking his wife, Princess Margaret, out the tower prison cell that King Philip put her in for an act of adultery that she didn’t commit. Unfortunately, Prince Louis is too late to save his wife. her despondency at being unjustly imprisoned moved her to desperate measures: she dies in Prince Louis’ arms from cutting her wrists.
Even with the royal shit hitting the fan, King Philip does not forsake his father duties: he has made preparations to get Princess Isabella safely and discreetly out of France in order to marry Prince Edward in England. His parting words to her are Capetian power incarnate:
“You must always be the wolf, never the sheep.”
A spineless Pope Clement panics over his role in the suppression of the Templar Order while De Nogaret receives the full brunt of King Philip’s anger. King Philip delivers nine brutal blows and a handful of insults to De Nogaret regarding his worthlessness as an advisor and it’s almost enough to make you feel for the guy. Of course, King Philip blames De Nogaret for everything gone wrong: who else could be responsible for this mess? Because despite murdering his wife, a Pope, and framing the Templars for heresy, leave it to King Philip to be confused as to what he could have possibly done to offend God: “How have I offended thee?” he asks in prayer. Really?
As it should be, it all comes down to a face-to-face between Landry and King Philip but not before King Philip finds out who his friends really are…and those friends are not Prince Louis or De Nogaret.
Yes, we saw Landry sailing away from a royally pissed off King Philip, but somehow Landry makes his way back to the palace: the guards are gone but Prince Louis and De Nogaret are by King Philip’s side…for a hot minute.
Prince Louis finally exacts his revenge (which has been steeping like a good cup of tea) against King Philip for the deaths of his mother Queen Joan and wife, Princess Margaret, by literally throwing his sword down at Landry’s feet and walking away but not before giving his father some retroactive advice:
“You should have been kinder to the women I love.”
As for De Nogaret, he reinforces his ‘worthlessness’ by refusing to pick up a sword to defend King Philip, making an advance “The King is dead, long live the King” proclamation to Prince Louis and also walking away. It’s a cold-blooded, well-earned reward for King Philip to be abandoned by those closest to him and – surprise, surprise – he’s still no match for Landry in a fight. Surrounded by the Templar’s treasure that he coveted so much, King Philip falls by Landry’s sword but not before Landry delivers him one final message:
“God has forsaken you.”
The King is dead, indeed.
ODDS & ENDS:
- The morning after “higher ground/closer to God” moment between Landry, Tancrede and Vasant was a well-played and graceful break in the chaos.
- At least Pope Clement V in panic-mode had the gumption to disrespect King Philip by simply calling him, “Philip” to his face.
- According to Landry, Talus will die on his own terms and only when he decides to: we are here for that.
- Is Tancrede really dead or merely wounded? Hmmm….
- Pretty sure that the real cause of the 100 Years War was because there were so many damned snitches in France.
- “God’s greatest army has evaporated like water in the desert.” (Landry)
- “This world only responds to the closed fist, not the open hand.” (King Philip to Princess Isabella)
- “As you reminded me, I am worthless.” (De Nogaret)
- “I didn’t let her go because she was your child: I let her go because I couldn’t continue working for King Herod.” (Gawain)
While that concludes this historical chapter of Knightfall, the question remains if there will there be another in the form of a third season. In reality, despite the events of October 13, 1307, the Knights Templar continued to exist and remained active in Europe. So with Landry, Gawain, Talus and the others still alive and in play, the story doesn’t have to be over. Plus, there’s still that pesky season 1 Holy Grail-situation that needs clarity.
So on that note, Knightfallers, we’ll be keeping an eye on HISTORY Channel for further. Stay tuned…
All Photos: Larry Horricks & José Sarmento Matos courtesy of HISTORY