Episode 6 of Carnival Row season 2, titled ‘Original Sins’, starts off with Agreus waking up in bed after his argument with Imogen of Ragusa being a dangerous place. She tells him that she is truly happy there and for him to give it a chance. She also lets it slip that Leonara will kill him if he doesn’t stop fighting. He says that for her sake he will try to be happy.
At breakfast, Kastor is surprised to see Agreus being docile and impressed that Imogen convinced him to cooperate. He tells them about Leonara’s time in prison for eating scraps without permission and how she decided to fight back and start the revolution. He also gives them revolution literature and tells them that now they are part of New Dawn and to join the celebration of their first anniversary.
After he happily leaves, Imogen realises that it is all propaganda and that if they don’t align with the revolution’s interest they will be in danger. Agreus is relieved and they plan to escape Ragusa with their remaining ship crew member. They hatch up a plan while working to escape on a boat during the celebration but at that moment, Agreus is called away by Leonara.
She points a gun at him and he fears for his life but she brings in Ezra and gives the gun to Agreus. She tells him that Ezra came on the pretence of helping the New Dawn but in reality, wants to kill Agreus and kidnap Imogen. Agreus points the gun at Ezra who begs till he puts down the gun.
As he says that he wants to give his brother-in-law a second chance, Leonara warns him that Ezra is his responsibility should anything happen. Agreus takes Ezra to Imogen who is shocked by his plan and by the ease with which he was caught. She tells him about the nightmares where he would kill her and finds the reality much more embarrassing.
Ezra blabbers about his aristocratic ideals of being the head of the household, trying to protect her from herself and following societal norms. She slaps him and hints that if Leonara had given her the gun, she would have killed him. She is not happy about escaping with Ezra but Agreus says it is the right thing.
We are then taken into a flashback, 7 years ago in Tirnanoc with Pact soldiers chasing Philo and a human Darius. With Darius injured, Philo stays back to buy him time as he runs. A flying creature similar to the one terrorizing the Burgue appears and kills all the Pact soldiers. It lands in front of the terrified Philo and transforms into a woman. She doesn’t attack him since he is half fae but tells him to run.
Back at his base, he is told that she is a Sparas and Philo suggests allying with them. An officer points out that Sparas hate humans. While strategizing about their retreat, the lieutenant suggests bombing the valley which would wipe out the last of the Sparas. Philo tries to refuse but the lieutenant threatens to demote him. He orders the bombing and feels miserable as he sees a few burning Sparas.
Back in the present day, Philo is arrested for allegedly helping the murderous Sparas terrorizing the Row. Dombey and Berwick convince the warden to leave him alone and while Philo is dazed he sees himself. The vision!Philo says he has been lying to himself and smiles widely.
Meanwhile, Vignette rushes to the Row and sees the cops attacking the flying fae. She finds Tourmaline at the Haruspex shop and tells her that she felt her in her head. She tells Tourmaline that she should have run away with her back in Tirnanoc and feels sorry that she didn’t.
Tourmaline tries to assure that she is now safe but Vignette points out that they are still trapped and defenceless in the Row. Tourmaline asks about Philo and Vignette is confused as she didn’t know he had come to the Keep to break her out.
We see Philo bantering with his imagination while Berwick looks concerned. Vision!Philo wonders why Philo cares when he let the Sparas die in Tirnanoc. He says that Philo hates himself with the way he tried to keep his fae identity hidden. Philo tries to remember his initial motive of helping people like him by joining the force but vision!Philo points out that by helping the police, he is hurting the fae.
Tourmaline notices that Philo’s darkasher is alive but squirming and worries for him. Meanwhile, Darius stops by much to Vignette’s surprise and tells them about the Sparas. Tourmaline realises that she has been seeing through the Sparas’ eye and that it is coming to kill her. Vignette suggests escaping together. Tourmaline tells her that she loves her but Vignette will never put her first as she will always have a cause to fight for to which Vignette apologizes.
Meanwhile, the Pact and Winetrout free Millworthy. They tell him that they need him but he wishes them good luck and leaves. Vir follows him out and hints that the humans want to burn the Row to the ground for the Sparas’ murders. While he doesn’t care about the fae he would rather not have his allies fighting a civil war so that they can focus on the New Dawn which has Millworthy conflicted.
Berwick visits Philo and tells him that even Dombey and the Sarge know he was not part of Sparas’ plan but simply wanted to free Vignette. They need his help catching the murderer but Philo refuses as humans killed Sparas. Berwick is confused with Philo’s Gollum-like speech and it is hinted that his refusal to help may be the idea of vision!Philo.
At the shop, Darius and Vignette have a face-off as he wonders why everyone he cares for bends over backwards to help her. He asks if she will ruin Tourmaline’s life as she did Philo’s and she hints that she is closer to Tourmaline than Darius is. Kaine stops by to tell her about the freed fae who have big plans but she says that she is out. Tourmaline is happily surprised and Vignette tells her that they will be escaping together while Darius looks suspicious.
In the Keep, Dombey gives Philo a choice – to help the police catch the Sparas or rot in prison. Vision!Philo starts chuckling and tells him to lie to get out. Philo hesitates but agrees to his plan as he tells Dombey he will help.
The Episode Review
For once, we can agree with Imogen when she calls Ezra embarrassing. While we expected him to be the human big bad baddie of season 2 with the way he killed that servant and seemed pretty slimy when he came to Ragusa, it seems that he wasn’t too much of a danger to anyone.
Of course, as a satire on the class-conscious aristocrats who believed they are all-powerful, Carnival Row highlights the contrast as we go from the snooty Spurnroses of season 1 to Imogen becoming more open-minded while Ezra flounders to barely stay afloat.
And ouch, it must have hurt Tourmaline to actually realize that as much she loves Vignette, even when she is in a life-and-death situation, it won’t be enough for her to be a top priority for her friend.
Sure, Vignette has had a moment of clarity, but it doesn’t seem like it will last when she is once again reunited with Philo or catches a glimpse of the Black Raven struggling or suddenly has some connection with the Sparas. We do hope that Tourmaline finds someone who will finally put her first (we are looking at you Darius).
You can read our full season review for Carnival Row season 2 here!