Show Don’t Tell
Following last week’s surprising reveal, See returns this week for an episode of exposition, as we learn more about our character relationships through a series of different, long discussions. See stumbles its way blindly through another episode devoid of action, whilst failing to progress the story in a meaningful way. While there are glimmers of promise here, this week’s episode does little to inject excitement into the series.
With the Witchfinder General breathing down their necks, we begin with Baba Voss and the others trying to evade the enemy. Desperate to keep his kids safe, Baba Voss abandons Maghra for now, believing she’s been taken, and hurry away to a dark cave. Unfortunately this happens to be a trap as the family are double-crossed by Boots and captured.
Meanwhile, Queen Kane is thrown to the ground by her captors and as blood oozes from her mouth, they vow to make her talk sooner or later. At the same time, Maghra laments the Witchfinder General over his past betrayal, explaining through exposition about her royal position and how others have under-estimated her.
Deep underground, the family contemplate what to do next but as hope starts to fade, Baba Voss speaks up and promises to find them a way out. At the same time, Queen Kane asks why one of her captors is helping before telling her more about Maghra and their familial bond. Unfortunately this is a foolish move, as the leader learns who she really is and realizes he has something valuable in his possession. Ripping the amulet from her chest, he leaves her bleeding on the table before sending this on to the Witchfinder General.
A woman named Delia approaches the family in their underground prison and explains where they are. The underground is a place unable to be returned from and as she goes on, she explains more about Boots and asks the others to kill him.
As night turns to day, Baba Voss stays behind in the depths, fighting off guards, while Haniwa and Kofun manage to make it to the top. Unfortunately the lift breaks and traps Baba Voss down below. Determined to leave, he clutches the rock and begins scaling the heights with his bare hands. Thankfully he makes it back out. As the episode closes out, Boots asks Maghra to team up together as he’s the only one who can help her. Before we get a reply however, the episode draws to a close.
With a couple more episodes to go until the season finale, See delivers a slow-paced slice of drama, one used to explain more about the relationship between Maghra and Queen Kane while allowing Baba Voss and the others to reflect on their predicament after being captured by Boots.
Given the haphazard world-building this season, See’s strong suit has been its action and although there are a few skirmishes here and there, the distinct lack of fighting allows the expository dialogue to come to the foreground. Instead of explaining the royal relationship between Maghra and Kane, I can’t help but feel the series would have been all the stronger if it had just shown us some flashbacks in the past, especially the interesting betrayal that Maghra mentions.
Despite all that, the show leaves things wide open going forward and I hope this slower episode is prepping us ready for a dramatic finale. For now though, See bows out this week with another slow episode, one that fails to inject as much pacing and excitement as it perhaps should.