The Storyline/Major Arcs of Season 1 of Amazon Prime’s Carnival Row (Spoilers)

Title Card - Carnival Row Season 1
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The story, broken down by significant arcs, of Season 1 of Amazon Prime’s Carnival Row.

The Mystery of the Darkasher/ A Serial Killer Among Us

In the beginning, Philo finds himself searching for a man, known to Critch as Unseelie Jack, for a series of assault crimes. This leads to him nearly apprehending the man, but the sailor jumping and killing himself. Yet, the violence doesn’t end with him. From that point on, Philo is trying to stop the killings of people who, in the long run, he learns are all related to him. Some in a biological sense, others having a place in his history. Including one person who is ready to end his story altogether.

The Fall of House Spurnrose & Rise Of Imogen Spurnrose

Ezra as Imogen leaves port with Agreus.

With the destruction of the ship known as Deliverance, the Spurnrose house seems to be rapidly declining, financially, despite the father of its current name holders, Ezra and Imogen, leaving a 10K guilder allowance after his death. Thus leading the desperate, and financially irresponsible, Ezra to want to put a lien on the house to seek out a loan for a new ship. However, his sister Imogen has other plans.

Said plans is to use a faun, often referred to as Critch, named Agreus, who is somehow wealthy and is also a tad of a social climber. It is conjured that in exchange for introducing him to high society, he will become an investor in Ezra’s business. However, as time goes on, and prejudice, as well as desperation, melt away, so comes the question of whether the deal remains needed for a multitude of reasons.

The Kidnapping Of Jonah Breakspear & The Prophecy

Piety, wife to Chancellor Absalom Breakspear, has long consorted with a witch named Haruspex, someone who raised her, about her future and a prophecy. One which would have her be with a great man who would bring her an even greater son. For years she has thought of Jonah as the one to escalate the Breakspear family name yet his lack of ambition, and fancy for whores, made her question what was supposed to be fated.

So, she pushed the needle. In fact, she kicked, punched, and did every aggressive maneuver possible to make sure Jonah’s fate was sealed. Even if it meant sacrificing the life of either human or fae to see the deed done.

The Truth About A Man’s Lineage

Philo’s earliest memories are within the Foundling Home. An orphanage in which he and Darius, his closest friend, grew up together before later entering the military, going to war, and their lives were changing forever. But, during the way, in Tirnanoc, so came realizations which began with meeting a young pixie woman named Vignette. She awakened something inside him, a need to no longer hide but speak the truth. One which he has hidden from the world for his safety but with her acceptance, so came the desire to seek out who his parents were.

Leading Philo onto a journey which is bloody, tragic, and with little respite. For just as things come together, they are viciously ripped apart. Sometimes in front of Philo’s eyes.

The Rise Of A New Dynasty

The Burgue, where most of the show takes place, is in turmoil as the human population feels overran by the various species of the fae. Leading to the government often in battle over what to do. Yet, as serial killers haunt the streets, and major assassinations happen, so comes a new era, a new dynasty, and preparations for a civil war which may be far bloodier than what the Burgue waged on those of the Tirnanoc years ago.

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Travis Beacham, René Echevarria

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Season Reviews

Season 1 (Storylines & Major Arcs)
Check Out The TV Series & Specials Page
Season/ EpisodeSynopsisEpisode InformationTopics & Focused Characters
Season 1, Episode 4 "The Joining of Unlike Things"As a name is given to the beast which haunts the shadows, Agreus makes a deal with Imogen and Vignette is put in a life or death situation.
Director(s) Thor Freudenthal, Anna Foerster
Writer(s) Travis Beacham, Marc Guggenheim, Peter Cameron
Air Date 8/30/2019
Introduced This Episode
Ritter Longerbane Ronan Vibert
Sophie Caroline Ford
Hamlyn Dejan Bucin
Mima Sawsaan Mina Andala
  • A Life For A Life: Mima Sawsaan, Haruspex, Philo
  • It’s Politics: Piety, Jonah, Ritter, Sophie, Absalom, Imogen, Ezra, Agreus
  • For The Love Of You: Ms. Fyfe, Philo, Vignette, Tourmaline, Dahlia, Hamlyn
Season 1, Episode 3 "Kingdoms of the Moon"We come to learn how Vignette and Philo met, a grave secret he and Darius hold, and see the final days of the war.
Director(s) Anna Foerster
Writer(s) Travis Beacham
Air Date 8/30/2019
Introduced This Episode
Darius Ariyon Bakare
Mima Roosan Badria Timimi
  • The Young Woman Who Watches Over The Books: Mima Roosan, Vignette, Philo
  • The Secrets A Man Holds: Philo, Vignette, Darius
  • Was It The End Or A Long Pause?: Vignette, Philo, Tourmaline, Mima Roosan
Season 1, Episode 2 "Aisling"As a formerly famous pixie is found brutally murdered, Philo finds himself a new case as Vignette decides the Spurnrose household isn’t for her.
Director(s) Thor Freudenthal
Writer(s) René Echevarria
Air Date 8/30/2019
Introduced This Episode
Aisling Erika Starkova
Afissa Tracey Wilkinson
Absalom Jared Harris
Jonah Arty Froushan
Piety Indira Varma
Haruspex Alice Krige
Sylvanus Wil Johnson
Tourmaline Karla Crome
Dahlia Chlie Pirrie
  • A Missing Son: Absalom, Jonah, Piety, Haruspex
  • A Dead Pix: Aisling, Philo, Sylvanus
  • It’s Hard To Move Forward When You Keep Looking Back: Philo, Vignette, Ezra, Imogen, Tourmaline, Agreus, Dahlia
Season 1, Episode 1 "Some Dark God Wakes" [Series Premiere]Carnival Row may begin with a gorgeous, complex world with varied creatures, but the beauty fades when anything is put under a microscope.
Director(s) Thor Freudenthal
Writer(s) Travis Beacham, René Echevarria
Air Date 8/30/2019
Genre(s) Fantasy
Good If You Like
  • Shows With Large Worlds & Large Casts
  • Victorian Era Shows, With A Slight Steampunk Vibe
  • A Dash Of Romance, But It Not Likely Being The Selling Feature
  • Possibly Episodic Stories
Introduced This Episode
Rycroft Philostrate Orlando Bloom
Vignette Cara Delevingne
Portia Fyfe Maeve Dermody
Imogen Tamzin Merchant
Ezra Andrew Gower
Agreus David Gyasi
Unseelie Jack Matthew Gravelle
Season 1, Episode 5 "Grieve No More"The truth behind Philo’s parentage is revealed as things begin to come to a boil in Imogen and Absalom’s life.
Director(s) Andy Goddard
Writer(s) Ian Deitchman, Kristin Robinson
Air Date 8/30/2019
Introduced This Episode
Dr. Mornage Gregory Gudgeon
Runyan Simon McBurney
Young Philo Ilian Gergisak
Young Aisling Veronika Mackova
  • How Low Our Family Has Fallen: Ezra, Imogen, Agreus
  • Never Underestimate A Longerbane: Sophie, Jonah, Piety, Absalom
  • A Mother’s Lullaby: Young Aisling, Young Philo, Philo, Runyan, Dr. Mornage
Season 1, Episode 6 "Unaccompanied Fae"Philo reveals a secret which will cause many, including him, trouble. Which coincides with Sophie revealing her secret, and Imogen coming to a realization.
Director(s) Andy Goddard
Writer(s) Stephanie K. Smith
Air Date 8/30/2019
Introduced This Episode
Quill Scott Reid
Cabal Theo Barklem-Biggs
Sargent Dombey Jamie Harris
  • Pity Those Who Underestimate Us: Sophie, Absalom, Jonah
  • A World Of Treasures & A Shocking Realization: Vignette, Imogen, Agreus
  • Be Wary Of Who You Trust: Ms. Fyfe, Philo, Runyan, Afissa, Sargent Dombey
Season 1, Episode 7 "The World To Come"Philo’s father has been revealed, just as it seems he faces death, and Imogen seems to have picked up her father’s habits in sympathy for fae.
Director(s) Jon Amiel
Writer(s) Peter Cameron
Air Date 8/30/2019
Introduced This Episode
Constable Berwick Waj Ali
Magistrate Flute Mark Lewis Jones
  • Watch The World Burn & Be Part Of Its Rebuild: Runyan, Sophie, Jonah
  • Beauty & The Beast: Imogen, Agreus, Ezra
  • Does The Truth Ever Set A Person Free – Outside Of Their Mind?: Philo, Vignette, Ms. Fyfe, Sargent Dombley, Constable Berwick, Magistrate Flute
Season 1, Episode 8 "The Gloaming" [Season Finale]In the season finale, the controller of the Darkasher is revealed, as well as who the real mastermind behind the events of season 1.
Director(s) Jon Amiel
Writer(s) Travis Beacham
Air Date 8/30/2019
  • A Love Like This Does Not Come Every day: Imogen, Agreus, Ezra
  • Many Secrets Revealed: Piety, Absalom, Jonah, Sophie, Philo, Haruspex
  • The Prophecy Holds True: Jonah, Vignette, Philo, Sophie, Piety

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