Message In A Bottle
With a much slower pace this time around and more prophetic messages brought to the foreground, See begins to experience problems with its overall world-building as you begin questioning just how far humanity has fallen over such a short space of time. Despite this, and a few continuity issues surrounding Baba Voss’ step-children growing up while everyone else remains the same age, See does well to keep things interesting, leading to a cliffhanger ending that sets things up nicely for episode 3 to follow on.
Huddled together, episode 2 of See begins with the villagers sleeping while Baba Voss heads out with the babies to hunt. As thunder crackles overhead, he finds himself ambushed by a brown bear which growls in his face and forces him to lose his footing, and subsequently the baby basket too. Fearing for their life, Baba Voss goes toe to toe with the brown bear until an archer saves him, shooting the beast through the next. That archer happens to be Jerlamarel. As it happens, he does have his sight and he looks upon his children with pride, telling Baba to take care of them as they grow. He gives him the key to a box which holds knowledge for this world and implores him to open it when the time is right for the children.
Determined to find out what it holds, Baba Voss heads to the aforementioned cave in the waterfall and finds the box, promptly bringing it back home to his tent.
Meanwhile, Gether Bax and Maghra head out to find Shadow, a strange, nimble woman who dances her way through the forest without being detected. While in her presence, they ask her to follow Paris in order to find out if she’s a witch or not. While the Shadow stands in the corner of the hut listening, Baba Voss opens the box where he finds numerous books and documents. It turns out the Witchfinder burnt many of the books back in the old days but when, why or how this happened remains a mystery.
The Shadow returns after her mission and tells Maghra what she knows. It turns out there’s no news about Paris being a witch, however he doesn’t need it. Instead, Gether Bax decides to spread it anyway to rid them of Paris. As he throws a bottle containing a message down the river, Baba Voss confronts him some time later about whispers on the wind. Here, he tells him that if anyone has anything to say, they should say it before he finds them first. It feels more like a challenge than a suggestion but it’s enough to unsettle him nonetheless.
Meanwhile, trouble stirs with the Queen as the people question her rule. Her advisor relays this information back to her before grabbing him, slicing his neck and letting him fall to a heap on the ground. Determined to prove her dominance over the others, she holds two captives up by chains as the rest of her close advisors watch on. The prisoners lament her rule and tell her she’s not a God. However, she bites back and delivers a speech of her own, ending with the two men killed.
Back at the village, the two children are grown and it turns out they can definitely see. After telling Paris what they can do, in the restless forest surrounding the village, the Witchfinder General hunts them all mercilessly. Paris certainly senses this too and believes the children should be prepared. However, when she asks Maghra to give up her hatred and find Jerlamarel, she simply gives her the cold shoulder and tells the Elder to go away.
As day turns to night, Paris speaks to the two children and gives them books. From here, an unspecified period of time passes as both Kofun and Haniwa are now grown fully into teenagers, despite everyone else in the village having not aged in the slightest. To celebrate how much they’ve grown, Paris gives them the key to the box and allows them to open. However, Baba Voss has difficulty accepting this as he wasn’t the one to guide them down this path. As Paris talks to him, she tells him the twins need a change and their sight gives them an advantage to do just that.
As the episode closes out, the twins make their way up to the waterfall and begin reading books, absorbing more of the ancient world around them. While they do, a villager down the river finds Gether Bax’s bottle washed up on shore.
Despite some nice ideas and a couple of well-worked time jumps, See doesn’t have an awful lot else going for it here. Given how much money was poured into this, as you may expect the cinematography and visual design of the episode is excellent, breathing life into this post-apocalyptic tale. As the episodes tick by however, I can’t help but question where this one is going. The children clearly have a prophetic part to play in the tale and the design of the world, right down to the set and prop design, has been meticulously crafted to make the most of this too.
With a slower pacing and more characterisation this time around, quite where the next episode will go from here, remains to be seen but See’s second episode pales in comparison to its first.