Serafina and Queen Skati begin episode 6 of His Dark Materials Season 2 looking out at the darkened sky, marveling at angels passing by. With the worlds thrown apart, they realize Asriel may have recruited these creatures to his cause. If that’s the case, it could cause serious problems going forward.
Meanwhile, a delirious Will struggles with a fever thanks to the cut on his hand worsening. As Lyra heads outside to get him some water, the other boys and girls in Cittàgazze swarm their location and try to break in. Realizing that their time is up, an air-raid siren pierces the tranquil air as Will and Lyra scramble up to the rooftop.
As the kids surround the pair, Serafina suddenly swoops down from above to protect them. She leads the pair out into the woods and examines Will’s hand. It’s not a normal wound and needs magic to heal properly.
While Serafina begins foraging for ingredients, Lyra talks about her knowledge of witches from the books she used to read. Serafina warns that Will’s wound runs deep and in order to properly heal, she wants to bring Will and Lyra back to the latter’s world.
Before that though, Lyra asks the alethiometer about Will’s Father. It turns out he’s close and actually near Cittàgazze. They continue walking, where Serafina speaks to Lyra and exhibits her concerns over Will, questioning whether he’s the right person to wield the knife. Lyra seems to think so and after consulting the alethiometer, prepares to travel vertically.
While Lee and Jopari fly toward Asriel’s hole in the sky, Mary tries to decipher exactly where she is and what’s going on. She obviously doesn’t know about the spectres and the kids there pick up on this. Eventually Angelica and Paola come out of hiding and learn that Lyra was there. She asks them to tag along and go with her to find the other adults.
Only, they’re not alone in Cittàgazze. Boreal and Mrs Coulter both show up but when the latter sees what the spectres can do, wonders how they can use this to their benefit.
Their time in Cittàgazze seems numbered though as low rumbling eventually paves way for the spectres to show up. While Boreal cowers and hides inside, Mrs Coulter steps forward to face this swirling black mass. They don’t attack her though and it seems like she’s learnt how to control them.
At the Magisterium, Father MacPhail receives word from Fra Pavel that Mrs Coulter has gone to another world. He also echoes Mrs Coulter’s question to the alethiometer , “Who is Lyra?” The answer however, happens to be the person destined to bring about the downfall of the Magisterium itself. Determined to prevent destiny from occurring, MacPhail rallies the troops and prepares to go after Lyra.
Meanwhile, Will learns about Lyra’s prophecy from Serafina. She urges him to protect her at all costs. They’re not the only ones in Cittàgazze though – Jopari and Lee both fly over and see the spectres swarming through Cittàgazze. Even worse, magisterium airships appear on the horizon and look set to attack.
It turns out Mrs Coulter suppressed what makes her human in order to control the spectres. Boreal finds out and the pair sit and drink together. Only, Boreal has let his guard down and unfortunately finds himself poisoned at the hands of Mrs Coulter. After a brief struggle, he eventually dies. “Strength is salvation.” Mrs Coulter says coldly to her daemon, placing her hand over a flaming candle.
Up in the sky, Jopari conjures forth a storm, trusting Lee’s flying ability while plunging this world into darkness. Lightning crackles, taking out one of the airships, while bullets whiz through the air toward the balloon.
In retaliation, Jopari manages to bring a whole swarm of raven to take out the second airship. With one remaining, a well-placed shot to the balloon’s gas canister causes Jopari and Lee to spiral out of control and look set to crash land.
The Episode Review
His Dark Materials delivers one of its best episodes this week, a slice of drama that brings more answers and all of our characters converging in the city of Cittàgazze. Given this world was built from the ground up, the production team have done an incredible job bringing a sense of history and wonder to this place.
That’s before mentioning the way all of our separate story threads have converged in this one spot too. With Mrs Coulter’s game-changing ability to control the spectres, this sets the stage for what should be a magnificent finale next week.
The whole story this season has been perfectly constructed, with a great dose of mystery and tension throughout to keep things ticking by at a good pace.
This is easily one of the best fantasy series of 2020!