Episode 2 of His Dark Materials Season 3 picks up with Will thanking the angel, Balthamos, for helping him. Balthamos points out that the bond between angels is strong and they can sense one another across large distances. In this instance, he can sense his brethren getting close to Asriel.
As for Lyra, she ends up having a bad dream where she’s whisked across to the Land of the Dead. There, she sees Roger but as she calls out for him, she suddenly awakens in bed, still under Coulter’s watchful gaze.
Ogunwe sees the vast armies that Asriel has assembled, including Queen Ruta Skadi who’s with the Lake Lubana witch clan, alongside her demon Sergi. She’s a vital part of Asriel’s counsel, as it turns out, and she’s actually the one who recommended bringing Ogunwe onboard. The reputation of his soldiers precedes him, however Asriel is quick to point out that they need a vast number more at their disposal to provoke the Authority. They need to force Him to show His face, and when that happens they’re going to need the numbers.
Asriel receives word that Lyra is in trouble and that Father MacPhail and the others are after her. Asriel scoffs at this, writing her off as simply a young child and not actually the fabled Eve from the prophecy we heard MacPhail mention last episode.
Anyway, they’re interrupted by an angel who crash lands down after fighting with another who happens to be working for the Authority. He reveals that they’ve found the God Killer; the weapon to destroy the Authority. Of course, we know this is about Will. Before the Angel passes, he points out that Will is en-route to Lyra and Asriel needs to find the knife before it’s too late. Unfortunately, that Angel happens to be the one romantically involved with Balthamos, and when the latter finds out, he’s crushed.
The angel working with the Authority, Alarbus, is imprisoned by Asriel who begins torturing the creature for information, weaponizing Dust to get answers. Alarbus unveils that the new Regent, known colloquially as Metatron, intends to control Dust and make all domains bend the knee to his will.
Asriel though intends to coax their leader into coming out of hiding. And upon learning that those in the Kingdom of Heaven don’t even know Asriel’s name, he’s more determined than ever to remedy that and intends to bring them out of hiding.
The clue could lie with Dust, and who better than resident Dust (dark matter) expert than Dr Mary Malone. She wanders into a camp where a couple of soldiers are still hiding from the drones swarming overhead.
Meanwhile, Balthamos and Will arrive near the house, where they find Ama. She knows about Lyra and in fact, she’s collected Sun Root to try and awaken her again. However, Mrs Coulter suddenly steps into view as Will arrives in Lyra’s bedroom. Coulter has been expecting him, and knows that he has the knife too.
Coulter is well aware that the Magisterium believe Lyra is Eve and she’s quick to point out that they’ll stop her no matter what. As for Coulter, she’s keeping Lyra dosed and asleep as she knows her daughter will just run away if she awakens. Despite believing she’s doing right by Lyra, Will is not quick to believe this silver-tongued woman and leaves, unsatisfied with her explanation.
Unfortunately, the Authority arrive and look close to descending on the refuge Mrs Coulter and Lyra are at. Asriel learns of this courtesy of his secret agent and decides to head there himself to intercept them. He’s not particularly interested in saving Lyra but does want to take the God Killer for himself.
Mrs Coulter notices the Authority arriving and decides to have her Daemon smash a rock against her head, blaming it on Will and claiming he’s taken Lyra away. The lie is a tepid one, and does little to quell Father Macphail and his followers, in particular Father Gomez.
Balthamos decides to leave in the wake of all this drama, believing the whole endeavour is a human matter, while Will cuts a hole in reality once more and leaves. This is, of course, unbeknownst to Asriel who’s still inbound. But wait, Will suddenly cuts a hole in the fabric of reality once more, and arrives right in the middle of the hut. Why didn’t he just do that originally rather than getting a boat and taking an age to arrive?
Will saves Lyra and attempts to take her away, but unfortunately Mrs Coulter’s venomous words cut deeper than that knife ever could. In fact, it distracts him so much that he ends up shattering the knife into pieces!
With very little to his name, Mrs Coulter grabs Gomez’s gun and holds him captive. That is, until Salmakia, the fairy spy we’ve been hearing from, stings Coulter and encourages them to follow. As they head outside, the whole place erupts into gunfire but Iorek jumps in to stop the Authority, long enough for Will to head through another gap in reality. As they leave, Asriel shows up and realizes he’s too late.
The Episode Review
The action is just starting to pick up now in His Dark Materials and not a moment too soon. The second season works well to really drive home the idea of Lyra and Will both being in this together, with Asriel flirting that line between hero and villain in a great way. It’s clear that a much larger fight is coming and quite who will come out on top remains to be seen.
This second chapter definitely steps it up a gear though, although characters like Mary Malone have had very little significance on the plot thus far. I’d imagine that may change moving forward though. Despite all that, His Dark Materials promises plenty more drama to come next week and that double bill should be quite the blockbuster!