The Hunter and The Hunted
Episode 4 of Dark Crystal begins with Deet swooping down and saving Hup from his caged fate, disguised in luminous paint to scare off the guards. After escaping together, we return to Brea exploring the rooms under the throne. As she ponders over a riddle, she looks upon seven different symbols in the circular room and figures out she needs to use her pendant to solve the contraption. She gets close to solving it too, but unfortunately stumbles at the end, bringing her back to square one.
As she ponders over what she may have done wrong, she eventually figures out that the riddle is a lie – no clan is better than the other and everything is equal. Having cracked the code, the ground shakes and shudders, causing the rocks to group together and form a rock golem called Lore, a mystical creature that communicates by running its talons along its arm. As guards arrive, they attack Lore, but not before it tasks Brea with a new mission – find the key that will stop the Skeksis once and for all.
Back at the Castle, the Skeksis discuss what to do next regarding Rian and the other Gelflings. As things get heated, Chamberlain and the General bash heads while the Emperor watches in horror as his limbs start to break off. Realizing they need to take action now, the General is given a promotion and tasked with squashing Rian’s rebellion once and for all.
While the Skeksis get to work, the Emperor vists The Scientist and asks him how many Gelfling are needed to cheat death and remain eternal. He throws the number 50 at him and sets to work in bringing this to fruition.
Out in the wild, Aughra begins following some rogue arrows left by an archer nearby. As she continues to follow the arrows, she laments the amount of walking she needs to do while arrows land all around her. As she turns a corner, she looks upon the beauty of The Sanctuary Tree and begins her ascension. As she reaches the top, she finds Archer (urVa), one of the mystics. It’s here she learns that Thra will teach her the way of the Song.
Meanwhile, Chamberlain blows the horn at the Castle and calls upon The Hunter to capture Rian. As he gives him his mission, a Skeksis wearing a skull helmet arrives. After some convincing, Chamberlain gives the maniacal Skeksis a piece of Rian’s clothing for scent, and lets him out on the hunt.
Determined to get answers, the General interrogates Gurjin, putting him infront of the crystal and draining his essence slowly. Stubborn to the end, the Emperor interjects just in time and tasks the General with visiting Ha’Ra instead, saving Gurjin from certain death.
Meanwhile, Gurjin’s sister arrives at the podling village in the middle of a big celebration, holding Rian up at knife-point. As Tavra appears too, Rian eventually shows the stolen vial and tells the Gelfling to dream-fast with him to learn the truth. Pushing the threats of sickness away, the lights in the tavern turn blue as the Gelfling Clans learn the truth. Mid-dreamfast, the Captain joins in and together all the Gelfling learn the truth of what’s happened with the Skeksis.
United against a common enemy, and determined to outrun the Skeksis, the Gelfling team up while The Hunter chases after them. With the help of his Father, Rian distracts The Hunter, eventually leading it into an earlier foreshadowed encounter with the Gobbles, preying on any that enter its realm. As The Hunter reveals all four blades, The Captain sacrifices himself and The Hunter for Rian’s safety. Unfortunately, the move is in vain as The Hunter rises from the depths and snatches Rian up, making haste with his body.
With the Gelfling now united, whispers of rebellion begin to rise up and it’s here where the real fight appears to be coming to fruition. It’s been a surprisingly well paced journey thus far too, with this episode acting as a pivotal moment in the narrative as our characters start to come together for the fight to come.
The Hunter’s added presence to the episode injects some urgency and excitement here, and seeing him glide across the woodland, lusting after the Gelfling’s blood helps to add tension to proceedings. The final climax is really dramatic too and seeing the Captain’s sacrifice come to nothing is a bittersweet moment that only further reinforces how dangerous the Skeksis are.
With another cliffhanger ending and things left wide open, Age Of Resistance leaves many questions hanging over the series as we reach the midway point.