Carnival Row – Season 1 Episode 7 Recap & Review

Embracing The Truth

Captured and thrown in the murky cells in the station, episode 7 of Carnival Row sees Rycroft imprisoned with men intent on hurting him. However, he manages to fight them off, enough for the police to return and tell him to leave the cell and switch to the one housing the fae. It’s here he runs into Vignette who asks him just what he’s doing inside the cell.

Meanwhile, whispers grow of an alliance as Jonas and Sophie begin sleeping together. She asks him to think over her proposition while Ezra comes face to face with Agreus, asking him to back down on spending time with Imogen. He refuses of course, until he’s socially accepted by the community. However, the neighbours have invited him to tea to discuss the painting he outbid them for. Before he can go however, Imogen arrives and they discuss the painting and his battery, before they both kiss and make love together.

Back at the station, Portia’s arrival prompts the police to reconsider their hastiness in arresting Rycroft, as she tells them she made up everything to do with him being a half-blood. The police ask him personally for the truth and he reveals his true lineage, no longer able to swallow his pride and lie. This prompts the inspectors to leave him rotting in the cell, disgusted. As Dombey conspires to see fit he doesn’t have a trial, Rycroft is warned by one of the officers, as he prepares for the worst.

In the depths of the shadows, the Puck decide enough is enough and lust for blood, killing the man who wronged them last episode and smashing a giant block over his head. This cultist group sub-plot has been bubbling up over the past few episodes and here we see them starting to grow in force. Could this be the catalyst for the climactic finale ahead?

As the episode closes out, Rycroft is transported in the middle of the night by the police, all the way to parts unknown at daybreak. With a bag over his head, they lead him into an abandoned house and sit him on a solitary chair, hands tied behind his back. It’s here Absalom appears from the shadows, with a stern look on his face as he rips the bag off Rycroft’s head and stares at him menacingly.

For the most part, Carnival Row’s penultimate episode feels very much like a transitional one, with 45 minutes used to build up to the finale to come. There’s nothing wrong with that of course, and Imogen’s affair with Agreus is something that’s been in the pipe-line for a while and progressed pretty well over the episodes. Out of all the characters in the series, it’s arguably her who has the best arc here, managing to round things out nicely as she lets go of the archaic thoughts of the past and embraces her true feelings.

Rycroft is another who embraces his true feelings and seeing him finally live up to his half-blood past, and not-so-subtle way this is played out across the two cells, is a nice reminder that this world is build on racism and xenophobia. Still, there’s plenty of questions left unanswered here and hopefully the finale can go some way to answer some of them. For now though, Carnival Row delivers a pretty good episode, one that simply sets the foundations for the 65 minute finale to come.


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