One of the key components of any fantasy series comes from the world-building. Whether it be a rich history of lore to draw on like Game Of Thrones or a sprawling map full of different regions and ideas like Shannara, fantasy fiction lives or dies by its depth. On the surface, See is a glossy, polished production with some stunning visuals but under this facade, the show lacks logic and these slower episodes have really brought this to the foreground.
Episode 3 of See begins with the Witchfinder General heading back to base where he bows before the Queen, telling her his time of duty is now done. After relaying messages about Jerlamarel to her, she gives him permission to kill himself after failing his mission.
Out in the wild, Haniwa goes hunting with Baba Voss where she tells him about bombs and other weapons. He’s never heard of this though and it seems in a few hundred years, metallic weapons are all but gone from the world. We also learn they’re in America and as Haniwa and Kofun discuss a possible route to travel together, back at the village a fatality sees Paris implore them to head out into the world.
Meanwhile, the Queen receives the bottle holding Gether Bax’s message, allowing the Witchfinder General to avoid suicide as she brings word back to him that it’s not over yet. As they prepare to launch an offensive against the village, the villagers themselves head out in search of another tribe, following the Mississippi river. As day turns to night, the two kids look out upon the wreckage of a fairground and it’s here they happen upon a marketplace. Looking on in horror, they watch as hooded figures burn bodies on a bonfire under the pretense that they’re witches.
After a ritualistic dance with the tribe, it turns out they’re actually slavers and as the group wake up in the morning, they learn that some of the young from their tribe have been taken. Haniwa rushes into Baba Voss’ tent and tells him what’s happened but unfortunately Kofun has been taken too. As the group head out, Kofun is marched through the desolate ruins of a city, while Haniwa and the others head off in search of him. He leaves them a written message to follow while we find the slaves have been marched into the remains of of a building.
Baba Voss and the others make it to their location where he implores Haniwa not to follow, promising to bring Kofun back himself alone. With a guard held up at knife-point, Baba Voss heads in and kills the man before using his senses to kill the rest of the guards in the room. He effortlessly slices their necks before coming face to face with the one in charge, Bech. After a brief fight, Baba Voss gets the upper-hand and kills him. However, a solitary rogue guard charges at him but Baba is saved by Haniwa at the last second who fires an arrow into his neck.
In the aftermath of the fight, the villagers head back home where Kofun tells Maghra he doesn’t want to leave the village. Meanwhile, Haniwa has a different reaction; she wants to leave but is scared of what she can do with her sight. She tells her family she loves them and they embrace, prompting Maghra to tell the children about Jerlamarel. As Baba Voss heads outside for some air, he hears distant barking as the Witchfinder General fast approaches their location.
After a solid opening episode, See feels like it’s coming undone as more of the world is shown, raising more questions than answers. If parts of America are still intact and cars haven’t rusted and worn away, where are all the guns? Why doesn’t the Queen have better weapons if she’s made a base inside the building? Why has everyone regressed to tribal names in a few hundred years? I could go on but the point is See has a real problem with its world-building and therein lies the biggest issue with this fantasy epic.
With more action to come and a big cliffhanger at the end, See leaves things wide open but those looking for a suitable Game Of Thrones replacement (early seasons, not season 8 of course) are unlikely to fill that void with Apple’s new show. Still, there’s enough here to make for an enjoyable watch nonetheless, even if the show is full of inconsistent and illogical plot beats.