Carnival Row: Season 1, Episode 3 “Kingdoms of the Moon” – Recap, Review (with Spoilers)

Mima Roosan (Badria Timimi) looking sternly as Philo and his Dragoon approach her.
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We come to learn how Vignette and Philo met, a grave secret he and Darius hold, and see the final days of the war.


Network
Amazon Prime
Director(s) Anna Foerster
Writer(s) Travis Beacham
Air Date 8/30/2019
Introduced This Episode
Darius Ariyon Bakare
Mima Roosan Badria Timimi

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Recap

The Young Woman Who Watches Over The Books: Mima Roosan, Vignette, Philo

Back during the war, Philo finds himself in the highlands at the mercy of an isolated village and its religious leader Mima Roosan. Someone who clearly doesn’t like the idea of a bunch of soldiers taking things over, noting a treaty to a war that devasted her people, and it nearly seeming she should be so grateful for their presence. Hence why, as Philo gets nosy, decides to explore, and encounters a sacred library, Vignette is asked to keep an eye on him. Mainly to make sure the treasures of pixies don’t end up at auction or stolen and held captive in some museum.

The Secrets A Man Holds: Philo, Vignette, Darius

What’s a show, with a hint of romance, if the male lead isn’t broody, mysterious, and has a dark past? Such is the case of Philo. He’s quiet, a bit of an outsider, and seems to spend more time reading a book, “The Kingdom of the Moon” about a half-fae child seeking their parents, than interacting with his peers. Well, at least outside of work-related things.

This perhaps is part of his appeal though. Philo is different from the other humans and after growing close, so close they have sex, Vignette learns Philo is half-fae and the reason he loves that one book so much is that the story reflects his. He doesn’t know his parents, he is half-fae, and while he is passing, it puts him in this odd place of not knowing where he belongs and fearing getting too close to anyone.

Darius (Ariyon Bakare) after fending off a werewolf.

Which becomes a problem one of his peers named Darius may end up sharing. You see, this group known as “The Pact,” who are the reason Philo’s troop is in the highlands, are cutting down communication lines. So, naturally, Philo, Darius, Vignette, and a few others, reinstall the lines so telegrams can go out. However, during this, they are attacked, and Darius acquires the Wolf’s Curse. Making it so now, he is a werewolf.

But, rather than have a woe is me attitude, he actually embraces it. In a way, it even pushes him, and the viewer, to understand why the fae live as they do. For they seem to have a certain freedom in being themselves, and enjoyment of their culture, that rushing towards technological or weaponry advancements isn’t a huge goal. Even if before the humans came, there was war.

Was It The End Or A Long Pause?: Vignette, Philo, Tourmaline, Mima Roosan

Before the village was attacked, Tourmaline, an old friend, a possible lover, of Vignette shows up. Within no time, she is poisoning Vignette and Philo’s new relationship and pushing the idea it could only end in tragedy. Be it because of the war or because they belong in different worlds. This negatively effects the relationship and leads Vignette to wonder what can they be long term and Philo, well it pushes him to wonder if his line of work, and his secret, could get Vignette killed.

So, when airships of the pact attack the village, he asks of Mima Roosan to say he died. Hence why, 7 years later, Vignette is pissed at him yet also, in a way, glad he is alive. Since, outside of Tourmaline, he is the only thing which reminds her of home. But, like her own personal past, outside of Philo, home is complicated, filled with painful memories, and it is hard to say whether she wants to lay that baggage down and abandon it, or shift through for happy memories.

Review

Question(s) Left Unanswered

Kingdom of Anoun as Philo and the dragoons traverse its highlands.

  1. So was the lack of discovery of the fae solely due to no one landing on the continent of Tirnanese?

Highlights

Philo & Vignette’s Relationship

Their relationship, as of now, is the driving force here. Is it the best relationship I’ve ever seen? Absolutely not. Yet, there is something about Vignette which makes it so you can see this fear but yearning for love. Making it where you have your fingers crossed that Philo will get his stuff together. Since he clearly has shut down in so many ways and has a fear of intimacy.

On The Fence

The Pact

While The Pact is established, I feel like we don’t really know them that much. All we know is they are the enemy but it isn’t clear why or what caused the rift? Who threw the first stone and is peace possible or they want a genocide? Also, considering the technology they have, did they work with humans to gain that or they came up with that all on their own? What I’m asking is: What’s their story?

The Parallels To Reality In Terms Of Colonialism And Being Mixed

When it comes to fantasy and sci-fi, strangely, the ails and issues of indigenous and non-white people are usually made into stories for white folk. This show is no different, and while I appreciate it, at the same time it bugs me in a way. For outside of Agreus, and now Darius, we don’t see a whole lot of people of color with speaking roles. There is also Tourmaline too but who is she but a possible jilted ex jealous the woman she loves is stuck on some man she thinks is human?

Mima Roosan (Badria Timimi) looking over her shoulder.

Also, mind you, Philo is getting to portray being mixed, but the show doesn’t bring up the idea of passing much and other issues with being a minority. So it is like it is dipping its toe in these issues, using them since they are familiar, but watering them down, showing the sensational bits, and avoiding getting into the complexity. For then they’d have to acknowledge the source material, be it the various civil rights movements, or colonialism, in full and not just use bits and pieces to create some form of drama.

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Carnival Row Directory

Creator

Travis Beacham, René Echevarria

Character Guide

Created

Collected Quotes

Not Created

Current Status

Active

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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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