As we pass the halfway point of Apple+’s fantasy epic See, the story begins to take shape as we’re offered a nice twist at the end and a little more character development. Beyond that though, there really isn’t an awful lot else going on here, with no consequences to the dam breaking for now and little action to savour, save for the final few minutes of the season.
With the machinery switched off and the dam ready to burst, episode 5 begins with Queen Kane whispering her goodbyes to a statue of her Father. With the water rising, she escapes on a horse-drawn metal carriage and races away, just as the dam completely bursts and water pours out.
Meanwhile further down the river, Paris speaks to Maghra about her motives, hinting at the darkness growing within her. In turn, she tells the Elder to hold her hand and pray with her for the safety of Baba Voss and the others. As they close their eyes, Baba Voss opens his and listens to the sound of gentle humming with Kofun and Haniwa. As they creep forward, they find a strange base, seemingly home to scavengers, leading Haniwa to head off alone and investigate.
A scream breaks the silence as Kofun and Baba Voss rush to find an unconscious Haniwa on the floor. While tending to her, a man arrives and ambushes them, prompting a fight to break out. However, as it turns out he has the familiar symbol engraved on his chest and he can also see as well.
Further down the river, Queen Kane laments the simple country life but she soon learns her driver has been killed. Beginning to panic, she grabs the knife hidden in his pocket but before she can use it, finds herself ambushed by two assassins. They grab her arms and take her away, as the camera pans out and we see her advisor has been killed too.
Meanwhile, Baba Voss and the others contemplate what to do with the scavenger, given he may be tied to Jerlamarel. After some back and forth DEBATING, Maghra decides that, in order for them to build an army of the silent, he must show his allegiance to them. Afterward, Haniwa takes him aside and reassures him that he’s now part of their family.
Queen Kane is taken to a village and immediately berates them for her poor treatment. The Elder steps forward and assesses her hands, deciding she’s perfect for what he has planned. Tying her up, he begins discussing the silkworm.
With the tide out, Baba Voss and the others find themselves stuck and forced to wait it out until morning. However, a horse-rider, followed by the Witchfinder General, force them away by foot and into the depths of the forests nearby. While Maghra and the others hide, Baba Voss and Kofun team up and start taking out the guards, one by one. Midway through the skirmish, Paris calls out as Maghra slips away and heads straight for the Witchfinder General.
Once there, Maghra jangles her jewellery, prompting the Witchfinder to gasp and drop to his knees. “All hail Princess Maghra of the House of Kane”. The episode then closes out, leaving us with numerous unanswered questions.
Why didn’t the guards in the forest rush toward Baba Voss and the others upon hearing their voices? What consequence will the dam breaking have on the rest of the world? And why didn’t Maghra use her royal status beforehand to prevent the original village from being destroyed? See, on paper, is an interesting concept but the more you stop and dissect the logic behind this one, the more Apple+’s fantasy fails to really nestle itself in the rich lore that makes this genre so appealing.
Don’t get me wrong, there’s some good drama here and the visual design of the world is fantastic. With three more episodes to go, I’d imagine this one will end on a big cliffhanger, setting things up for a second season. If it does I hope See doubles down on its history and world-building because there’s certainly potential here but unfortunately it feels squandered right now.