The Clouded Mountain
Episode 7 of His Dark Materials Season 3 starts with a cloud descending over the camp. Ogunwe hugs his children as he – along with everyone else – prepares for the final fight.
The Clouded Mountain draws nearer and the only hope stems from Lyra and Will. If Metatron manages to control the Daemons it could well be the end. The only hope for their rebellion hinges on Lyra, as Asriel realizes that they need to hold off Metatron and his forces as long as possible to try and buy Lyra and Will time.
Asriel has also prepared for Metatron’s arrival, having withheld the base against Angelic attacks. He’s placed capacitors in the abyss to harness the Dust flow. It might be powerful enough to destabilize the Clouded Mountain.
Mrs Coulter has her doubts but Asriel is convinced that the Angels are envious of their short lives and he now intends to take Metatron to the Abyss. Eternal oblivion awaits them – a fate far worse than death – that would also mean Asriel would be lost. He intends to do this for Lyra, giving her back something after doing very little for her all this time.
Coulter is warned by Xaphania that her love for Lyra is both her salvation and her greatest downfall. She needs to be ready for this, because when the Authority arrive and they begin fighting, it could well shape her destiny.
While she mulls this over, Asriel gives a big speech to all races, telling them that death is not an ending but instead a journey back into life. They’re going to confront death and allow their lights to shine through darkness. “Today, we are free!” He calls, as the cheers are eventually drowned out by the coming darkness.
Asriel flies up in his Intention Craft to the darkness, as numerous lights begin turning on. They’re Angels; Metatron’s minions. Thousands of them.
Down in the Land of the Dead, Will and Lyra watch all the ghosts walk through the portal to the other side. They’re both in this together and Will eventually cuts through to Lyra’s world, which in turn starts the big attack between the two sides.
Lyra and Will are in danger, and as such Mrs Coulter is sent out to try and help. Metatron has released Daemon-Eaters and with all creatures turning against them, this fight doesn’t look like one they can win.
Mrs Coulter manages to bring all the Spectres into her and uses extraordinary power to blast them back into oblivion. As for those in the sky, Serafina stays close to Asriel’s Intention Craft, until Kaisa informs her that he’s found Pan! Serafina flies down and discovers that Pan is also alongside Will’s daemon, Kirjava. She encourages them to take flight and join as they head back to camp.
Ogunwe who shows first before Lyra and Will, and he leads them to Asriel’s camp, informing them not to use the Knife because the Angels will sense it immediately if they do. Ogunwe also mentions the big speech Asriel gave, going on to mention how he championed her name, much to Lyra’s surprise. Unfortunately, they’re attacked by beasts on their way.
Metatron invades Asriel’s camp through the power of manipulation, attempting to turn all the soldiers against Asriel and his rebels. Mrs Coulter follows the whispering voice in her ear and demands Metatron show himself. He certainly does just that, encouraging Coulter to kneel before him. As she does, Coulter turns to her Golden Monkey, revealing that he knows what to do.
Mrs Coulter walks forward, along a strange ethereal pathway and into the blinding light alone. As she does, Asriel also flies his craft inside too.
Mrs Coulter finds herself face to face with Metatron, who shows up in his human form, Enoch. Coulter admits she wanted to meet him. As for Metatron, he offers temptation – and salvation – for Marisa. Specifically, he offers to allow the woman to transcend her human form. The multiverse would be hers to look over and she’d officially become one of the Angels.
As for Asriel, he’s toyed with by Metatron, who forces him to face himself. He fights with a doppelganger, who taunts him and claims Asriel will never be remembered by anyone. Asriel realizes that Mrs Coulter is there too and begins calling out for her. However, she’s too busy being manipulated by Metatron.
Coulter seems to have been turned to the dark side, and she has him show off Asriel, who’s lying on his back and bleeding from the nose. Mrs Coulter approaches and looks upon him.
Back in Camp, the soldiers begin turning and praying to the Authority, wanting to be forgiven. Lyra and Will see this firsthand, before being shown by Serafina where their daemons are. Lyra decides they should be together again, as Will cuts a hole in the world and immediately distracts Metatron. It’s just what they need to change the fate of the world.
The Golden Monkey jumps in and activates the switch for the capacitors, sending Asriel, Metatron and Mrs Coulter down into the abyss, saving the world. The Golden Monkey reaches out to touch Lyra, but in doing so disappears and fades away in a rather touching scene.
The Clouded Mountain is no more. Everything has been saved and the war is over. Of course, big sacrifices have been made to make this happen. Lyra and Will leave the camp and prepare to be reunited with their Daemons.
The Episode Review
The penultimate episode to His Dark Materials saves the best until last. An amazing chapter of sacrifice, love and prophecies fulfilled eventually sees Metatron stopped with Asriel and Coulter both finally working together and sacrificing themselves to bring about the end of this evil. It’s certainly quite the dramatic turn of events and it’s perhaps poetic that this is the way it went down.
Asriel and Coulter’s daemons fading away were really heart-wrenching moments too and it’s hard not to get caught up in it all.
The fighting, for the most part, was well shot and the entire episode, which hinged on Lyra and Will making it back and working their magic, had almost Lord of the Rings vibe to it in seeing two little figures dwarfed by huge fighting.
However, we still have the situation involving Farther Gomez, not to mention Mary Malone’s issues too, which I’m sure we’ll see more of across this final chapter!