Carnival Row (Season 2), Episodes 7 & 8: Carnival Row begins its final act in yet another mixed outing, which has become a staple for the fantasy-mystery show. It is created by Rene Echevarria and Travis Beacham and executive produced by Marc Guggenheim, René Echevarria, Jon Amiel, Travis Beacham, Cara Delevingne, and Orlando Bloom.
Andy Goddard is the director for these two episodes. He has previously directed episodes in shows such as Law & Order: UK, Downton Abbey, and Doctor Who.
Carnival Row (Season 2), Episodes 7 and 8 Recap:
Episode 7 – Kindred
This episode commences with Agreus (David Gyasi) and Imogen (Tamzin Merchant) dancing at the revolution’s anniversary celebration while Ezra (Andrew Gower) quietly observes from a distance. Agreus feigns fatigue, and Imogen invites Kastor (George Georgiou) to dance, which distracts him from them. Agreus then instructs Ezra to follow him while Imogen pretends to vomit and exits soon after, following them quickly.
The crew member who negotiated with the escape ship is displeased to see Ezra but is placated when Imogen offers to double his payment. Suddenly, The Pact’s airships appear and start attacking Ragusa by dropping bombs all over. The New Dawn members are ordered to rush to their stations, and Kastor spots Agreus and his group, realizing their scheme to escape the country. He warns them that they will not survive unless they fight off The Pact and distributes firearms to everyone.
Meanwhile, in The Burgue, Sergeant Dombey (Jamie Harris) and Officer Berwick (Waj Ali) are escorting Philo (Orlando Bloom) back to the Row. They ask for his aid in catching the Sparas, but he seems hesitant. A mob impedes their carriage, carrying fae effigies on fire and chanting about burning down the Row.
Dombey intervenes, stops the mob, and expresses his concern to Philo about the Row being destroyed, saying he doesn’t want it to happen any more than Philo does. He reminds Philo of the time he saved his life during the Black Raven’s assault on him and proposes that they trust each other. Philo averts his gaze and doesn’t respond.
Upon arriving at the Row, Darius (Ariyon Bakare) spots Philo and inquires about what happened in Bleakness Keep. Philo inquires about Vignette’s well-being and indirectly apologizes for choosing the wrong side when she tells him to choose, telling Darius to convey his message. However, Darius insists that Philo should speak to Vignette himself. Philo explains that he must stay away from her and she from him since he’s gained a better understanding of things. Darius points out that never stopped him before, but Philo leaves.
As they’ve decided to stick together, Vignette (Cara Delevingne) and Tourmaline (Karla Crome) seek Boz’s assistance in leaving the Burgue, but he’s reluctant due to the bounty on Vignette’s head. He attempts to deceive them and sell Vignette out once he finds out that she has left the Black Raven, as she is no longer under their protection, but Vignette pulls out a knife, takes him hostage, and escapes with Tourmaline. They laugh together and contemplate their next move, as Boz is their best chance out of The Burgue. Outside, they discover that the Pact has departed their home country Tirnanoc, causing them to embrace with excitement and joy.
As everyone celebrates, Philo gets drunk. Three people confront him, and while he defeats them, he urges them to continue fighting and gives them a chance to resume. They assault him again, but Darius intervenes in his mar rock form and saves him. Philo reveals his guilt about releasing criminal humans while previously imprisoning faes to appear human and go undetected. Darius contends that he was attempting to help as best as he could in a horrible system and sends Vignette to him before leaving.
As the two talks, she tells him she needs to leave with Tourmaline for Tirnanoc, having previously decided that she is now her priority. Philo expresses remorse for not fully accepting his fae identity and lineage, and Vignette appears saddened by his words. Philo, however, accepts their decision to leave and resumes his ongoing plan to seek information about the Sparas attack. He seeks out Dombey and suggests speaking with Runyon Millworthy, who witnessed the attack.
The scene then shifts to Jonah’s funeral, where Millworthy (Simon McBurney) overhears the Ministers discussing the Pact’s losses in Ragusa and sees it as an opportunity. He then notices Philo, whom he follows outside. During their conversation, which should have been about the Sparas, Philo manages to convince Millworthy to arrange for passage and deport all supernaturals back to Tirnanoc. He does, however, decline Millworthy’s invitation to accompany them, citing a lack of familiarity with fae life.
Philo informs Vignette and Tourmaline of the passage and urges them to take the unwell fae with them. Vignette inquires if he is coming, but he declines. Tourmaline thanks him for his assistance with a hug, while Vignette appears emotional. As the Row celebrates their departure from The Burgue, Tourmaline spends time with Darius in the square. She invites him to join them, but he refuses as he feels he has too much history with Tirnanoc.
The next morning, Afissa and Vignette assist the ill onto a carriage as they prepare to depart for Tirnanoc. They reminisce about the first time they met during Season 1, and Afissa apologizes for her behavior back then, as she was warned to avoid trouble her entire life. She expresses her gratitude for Vignette’s help and assists her in disguising herself to avoid detection by the police during the boarding process since she is still a wanted woman.
Meanwhile, Tourmaline returns the recipe book to Mima, who helps her and appears surprised by her departure and decision to return the book. Although Tourmaline suggests that Mima’s vision may have been incorrect, Mima remains unconvinced by her claims.
En route to the harbor, Vignette spots Philo and talks to him, requesting that he accompany her on the ship he arranged for everyone in the Row. Philo changes his mind and agrees to join her, but as they approach the harbor, humans hurl insults and objects at the crowd, and the police do almost nothing to intervene. Berwick notices Philo and is taken aback by his betrayal and his reneging on their deal. He implores Philo to remain and assist with the Sparas, but Philo refuses to and departs, having had no intention of ever helping them in the first place
Out of nowhere, the Black Raven appears and launches an aerial bombing attack on the ships. There is pandemonium as the police and military fight back against the Black Raven, but the Sparas appear and begin attacking the humans. Tourmaline assures Vignette that her death vision does not show her dying in this manner, and Vignette searches for Philo. Meanwhile, Philo witnesses Berwick being killed by the Sparas but is too far to intervene. As Vignette approaches, a sorrowful Philo stands beside Berwick’s body.
Episode 8 – Facta Non-Verba
This episode begins with the fae returning to the Row. Philo is shown looking at Berwick’s blood on his hands and screaming. At the same time, Louisa and Leonid are curious about the attack by the Black Raven, which they see from and notice police surrounding the Spurnrose’s home. They attempt to enter out of curiosity but are stopped by the cops. However, Agreus comes to the door, leaving them shocked, and as they ask about Ezra and Imogen, a flashback ensues.
The scene then cuts back to Ragusa, where the Pact is attacking the New Dawn, and the crew member who was helping them escape is killed. Agreus, Imogen, and Ezra hide in a house, but the enemy attacks them. During the chaos, Agreus accidentally turns one of the soldiers into a werewolf with an artificial weapon, but Imogen helps him kill it with a rifle. Ezra suggests surrendering for their own protection as the Burgue are allies of the Pact. Still, Agreus disagrees and advises them to head inland, abandoning their original sea escape plan. Despite Ezra’s dissatisfaction with this, he follows them and picks up a gun from a dead New Dawn member.
While on their way, Ezra starts to taunt the couple. As his efforts fail, he reveals that Imogen used to poison his fiancées against him until they ran away, as she could not stand being unmarried. Her reputation for doing this was why she was still unmarried when Agreus first met her. However, Agreus does not judge her, as he, too, has a history that he is not proud of.
Agreus reveals that he gained his freedom by betraying fellow slaves who attempted to escape and later became a bounty hunter who hunted his own kind out of greed. Despite Imogen’s attempts to empathize with him, Agreus is filled with remorse for his past actions. Ezra watches their interaction and laughs, saying that they are perfect for each other.
Their conversation is interrupted by the appearance of soldiers from The Pact. Ezra brandishes his gun and tries to approach them to surrender as he wanted to earlier, but Agreus overpowers and restrains him. At the same time, Imogen suffocates him to silence his screams, killing him. She is left in a state of shock after the incident while Agreus tries to comfort her and strategize their next move.
Imogen eventually realizes that Agreus’s words and actions mirror those of her controlling brother, and she vows to maintain her newfound freedom even at the cost of love. Agreus dismisses her concerns as a mere shock, but Imogen remains steadfast in her determination to make her own choices finally.
At that moment, Kastor and his team discover them, and they disclose that their position was revealed due to Ezra’s dead body. The two of them are then returned to the port city, where they witness thousands of enemy corpses floating in the sea. Kastor instructs them to toss Ezra’s body into the sea, and Imogen sobs as she embraces him.
Then Leonora (Joanne Whalley) arrives and reveals that the Pact has been defeated, despite their reluctance to believe it. She also reveals to them her shame at having had to kill so many enemies instead of being able to convert them. She intends to appoint them as her envoys, accompanied by Kastor, to negotiate a peace treaty between the New Dawn and The Burgue.
The trio arrives in the Burgue and meets with Ministers Winetrout and Fletcher, who are reluctant to meet, and Millworthy. The former two are discourteous to Agreus due to his being a faun and refuse Imogen a meeting with the parliament, dismissing it as nonsense. Nevertheless, she points out that she can address Parliament directly as a citizen, and Millworthy realizes that this is why Leonora chose her as an emissary: due to her Burguish citizenship.
The scene then cuts to the present, where Leonid and Louisa are shocked as Imogen enters and stands next to Agreus. She informs them that Ezra is dead, giving only vague reasons, and they appear scandalized, wondering if she is living alone with Agreus. She holds Agreus’ hand, and they are stunned. As they depart, the two let go of each other’s hand and apologize for holding hands, showing they are still on cold and distant terms.
At the harbor, Dombey confronts Philo and punches him, saying that both Berwick and himself trusted him while Philo was attempting to flee to Tirnanoc. Philo reveals to him that the Sparas are male. They suddenly see numerous corpses washing up with the tide and identify them as Burguish Marines. Dombey asks why the Marines were on the destroyed ship in the first place, and Philo deduces that The Burgue was attempting to recapture Tirnanoc now that The Pact had departed owing to the civil war with New Dawn.
Back in Carnival Row, Darius searches for Tourmaline and is relieved to see her. She appears frightened, and he assures her that he will protect her from the Sparas. Meanwhile, Vignette is furious with the Black Raven and attempts to entice them out with a message, which works as she finds Kaine and attacks him. As she curses him for destroying their only chance of returning to their home, Phaedra knocks her out.
Carnival Row (Season 2), Episodes 7 and 8 Ending Explained:
Millworthy appears distressed as he pays his respects to the fallen soldiers, and Philo approaches him to confront him. Philo asks if Millworthy had prior knowledge of the soldiers on the ship and admits to devising the plan. Millworthy explains that the Burgue intended to send soldiers to reclaim Tirnanoc anyway. He convinced them to allow the fae to board the ship as a shield against any remaining Pact soldiers.
Philo realizes that the Black Raven discovered the plan and attacked. They wonder why the Sparas are assisting them, despite having killed Dahlia. Millworthy suggests that it may be related to the arrival of the New Dawn emissaries, whose presence may not be coincidental. They suspect that the Sparas are somehow connected to the New Dawn’s intentions to bring their revolution to the Burgue now that the Pact has been defeated.
Vignette awakens in Boz’s lair, which is seemingly the Black Raven’s new hideout. Kaine reveals to Vignette that the ship is a trap and that they are just sailing toward another cage, not freedom. He adds that they have new friends now, as Leonora appears and asks Vignette if she is ready to lead the Black Raven.
Carnival Row (Season 2), Episodes 7 and 8 Review:
The political machinations of sending the army to retake Tirnanoc while The Pact withdrew to fight New Dawn was a good move, but the Black Raven’s reaction to it was not. It’s somewhat understandable, but they should have come up with a better way to stop everyone from leaving.
As for Imogen’s sudden ‘epiphany,’ it makes no sense whatsoever, and it seems to be there solely to add unnecessary drama between her and Agreus. However, the acting in these scenes was top-notch, making it compelling to watch despite the fact that it was unnecessary in the first place.
Overall, things are happening at a frenetic pace in last week’s and this week’s episodes, which makes sense given that this is also the final season, but this doesn’t make for particularly good viewing. Let’s hope that the series ends in a satisfactory manner, though if the episodes up until now are any indication, it will end in one last mixed outing.
Carnival Row (Season 2) Episodes 7 & 8 Links: IMDb, Rotten Tomatoes
Carnival Row (Season 2) Episodes 7 & 8 Cast: Orlando Bloom, Cara Delevingne, Simon McBurney