Luna Nera – Season 1 Episode 5 Recap and Review

The Capture

Episode 5 of Luna Nera starts as the Benandanti, along with Cesaria and Pietro, head into Serra and address the people. They declare that anyone seen helping a woman unaccompanied by a man will be prosecuted and executed. In the Dwelling, Tebe tells Ade that once the lunar cycle is complete, her powers will awaken and the book will be deciphered. Worried about the book, she explains that someone powerful has it in their possession – Marzio. He happens to be the successor of the Furious on Earth.

In Serra, Pietro finds his father rambling about getting a second chance as the book will let them cross the boundary between life and death, bringing his mother back. He later sees Cesaria who confronts him about their kiss the night before. He tells her he’s very confused so she tells him that his Dad is looking for him as Spirto has created a new weapon.

Pietro finds Spirto sharpening the new swords where he tells him he’s no longer sure he wants to be a Benandante. Pietro is also torn as he’s not sure who Ade really is. After he leaves, Persepolis, who has been listening the whole time, appears to Spirto. He tells her that it’s dangerous and suggests getting married to keep her safe. She’s touched by this but quickly leaves as she knows it is not possible.

The young girl returns home and relays what she heard: the cardinal is the one who has the book and he will bless the weapons in the inn later this evening. This causes friction between Tebe and Leptis as they disagree on the next course of action. Tebe insists though, claiming that getting the book back should be their priority.

In the garden, Leptis speaks to Valente about doing the right thing while Ade has a memory of herself as a child when she met Marzio. She then tells Janara she worries that she’s bringing death around her but the latter reassures her as she can save everyone with her gift. After realising her brother is missing, Ade worries that he has gone after Sante in the inn and decides to leave to find him. Upon hearing this news, Janara, Tebe and Leptis rush after them.

In the inn, Marzio addresses the Benandanti about their actions then imbues the weapons with his power. At the same time, Valente is hiding and just as he takes his shot at Sante, Marzio manages to grab the arrow before it reaches his head. Ade arrives and takes her brother away just as the Benandanti chase after them. They soon catch up though and surround the siblings. Tebe, Janara and Leptis come to their help and after casting a spell, they manage to take Ade and Valente away on their horses. Unfortunately,  Cesaria hits the ground with her magical sword, creating an earthquake and enabling Marzio to capture Valente. As the boy cries after Leptis, the latter rushes after him and in turn, winds up being taken.

Back in the dwelling, Ade confronts Tebe about not staying united while Marzio speaks to Valente about his mother. He also tells him he’ll soon be able to grant him power if he tells her where Ade is. However, the boy remains tight-lipped and vows to kill him and Sante. The latter returns with Leptis after torturing her where Marzio announces that they’ll execute both his prisoners tomorrow.

In the dwelling, Ade is visited by the spirit of her mother, there to console her, while we see Marzio hiding the book in the wall using a spell as the episode closes.

The penultimate episode of Luna Nera brings us closer to the final conflict with some dramatic twists as the episode closes. Both Valente and Leptis, the non-magical members of the group, have been caught which was quite the emotional scene to watch. One of the more enjoyable elements of this series comes from seeing the two bond and interact, as they both have something in common and struggle to fit in with the witches.

While the story remains quite interesting, the show still suffers from some under-developed plot points and more on-the-nose agenda driven writing. It’s a shame too because Luna Nera has all the right ingredients to be an engaging supernatural series. It would have been nice to find out more about some of the past and magical lore while tackling the interesting debate of religion versus science. With just one episode to go, it’s looking increasingly likely that the trademark Netflix cliffhanger will arrive. For now though, Luna Nera is not a very memorable series, despite its interesting premise.


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