Lyra and Her Death
Episode 4 of His Dark Materials season 3 begins with Will and Lyra following waves of people as they head along the road toward something sinister. Something that Pan is scared about, especially as there are no other daemons around.
The fog clears a little, allowing the pair to head on to a strange warehouse. Lyra heads on inside with Will, where they notice all these people walking in single file. A man at the top of a tower calls out for Lyra and Will, telling them they’re not welcome as they’re not dead yet. He gives them instructions to go to Holding Area 32 and hands over a slip of paper. They’ll need to wait until they die before being seen. As they continue on, the pair check the paper and notice a symbol which lyra interprets as needing to cross the water.
Meanwhile, Mrs Coulter arrives at the Magisterium, touching down in Asriel’s Intention Craft. However, she’s not alone as one of the Gallivespians is actually onboard too. Anyway, it keeps a distance as Coulter heads in and finds herself before Father Gomez. “Tell the Cardinal that Mrs Coulter is back.”
Of course, Macphail is now the Father President and decides to try and arrest Coulter. She cuts him off and brings up that she’s arrived willingly to see him and has left Asriel. Coulter points out that he’s betrayed her but Macphail is convinced that Lyra is dangerous and needs to be killed. Coulter though, points out the knife and how she broke it, taming it completely, as well as pointing out that Eve only got kicked out of Eden after being betrayed by the Serpent – and that Serpent is out there somewhere.
Coulter continues on and brings up how Asriel killed that Angel and she’s there to try and help him. Of course, Coulter is there to manipulate and get what she needs, even going so far as to kiss the ring on Macphail’s hand to convince him.
As we soon find out, Coulter is working with that Gallivespian, using her know-how to sneak around the Magisterium. In doing so, she finds Dr Cooper there and believes that she’s building some sort of bomb, using parts of the Daemon Guillotine that Mrs Coulter used in the first season. Unfortunately her time is up and guards arrive – either side of Father Gomez – to take her away.
With Coulter gone (and our Gallivespian friend listening in), Dr Cooper reveals to Macphail that this bomb their building is, in fact, designed to find Lyra and kill her.
Back in the Land of the Dead, Will and Lyra arrive at the Holding Area… where they’re told to go to another Holding Area, this time 507. As they continue on, they end up with like-minded souls who are also not really dead. One of the men explains that Death travels everywhere with each individual, all their life long. From the moment they’re born, their death arrives with them and this is what takes them out.
Larissa, one of the women there, claims that Death takes them to the river and ferries them across… but they need to be dead first. Lyra decides to call forth her Death first and she’s prepared to die in order to make it happen. Just like that, it shows up, presenting herself and leading Lyra outside. She agrees to help show the way but how does she get out again? well that’s up to Lyra to figure out.
Meanwhile, Mary Malone awakens while camped under a tree to find a strange creature before her. She hurriedly grabs her gear and decides to follow it.
Elsewhere, Mrs Coulter is recommended to leave by the Gallivespian, who points out that she’s given them the fuse to this bomb. Coulter burns the hair she has to prevent it being used against Lyra. With the bomb stunted for now – and the Gallivespian taking care of Dr Cooper too – Coulter decides to finish this once and for all.
Now that she’s there, Coulter is going to find the Intention Craft and cause destruction. As alarm bells wail and Coulter finds herself surrounded by Macphail’s troops, she’s forced into a corner and surrounded. As a result, Coulter decides to stand trial for the death of the former Cardinal, but also with the intent of calling out Macphail for his part to play in all this.
Unfortunately, they don’t fall for it and instead, Macphail decides to sever her from her daemon and use Coulter as a crucial component in killing Lyra.
Speaking of Lyra, she arrives at the Ferryman but he wants her to be separated from Pan. Will uses his knife to try and threaten the Ferryman but he points out that willing the Daemon not to follow is akin to trying to force water to flow up rather than down. It’s not happening. He apologizes but there’s nothing else for it. Lyra is separated from Pan and she feels it right in her heart too, as Lyra screams in pain after being separated from her Daemon.
The Episode Review
That was a tough ending to a very good episode. The whole idea of this warehouse and waiting room in the afterlife is quite reminiscent of Legion season 3 but the execution works really well and it helps to add an extra dimension to a fantasy series that continues to deliver.
Mrs Coulter has finally made her choice to stand up against the Magisterium, helping her character arc considerably. At the same time, we get a good deal of drama involving her and Father Macphail too which looks set to spiral out of control in the upcoming chapters. Next week’s double bill should be quite the dramatic affair.