His Dark Materials: Season 1, Episode 2 “The Idea Of The North” – Recap, Review (with Spoilers)

Father McPhail (Will Keen) praying.
Father McPhail (Will Keen)
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Mrs. Coulter reveals her true self, and another what she is up to, leaving the vulnerable Lyra forced to make a move.


Network
BBC One & HBO
Director(s) Tom Hooper
Writer(s) Jack Thorne
Air Date (BBC One) 11/10/2019
Properly Introduced This Episode
Carlo Boreal Ariyon Bakare
Thomas Robert Emms
Lord Faa Lucian Msamati
Farder Coram James Cosmo
Tony Daniel Frogson
Ma Costa Anne-Marie Duff
Roger Lewin Lloyd
Billy Tyler Howitt
The Cardinal Ian Peck
Father McPhail Will Keen
Adele Georgina Campbell

Recap

Crossing Over: Boreal, The Master, Thomas

While we are led to believe that dust and other worlds is heresy and forbidden to the point of ignorance, this is far from true. As shown by Boreal, and his relationship with a man named Thomas, who lives in a world without Daemons, the Magisterium is very much aware of other worlds. It is just they don’t want the people aware of such.

Which makes Boreal’s need for Grumman’s head serious, for it would confirm some of his and the Magisterium’s suspicions. However, with no head to be had, and The Master being very uncooperative, it seems Boreal’s search for the truth shall continue.

The Search For The Children: Lord Faa, Farder Coram, Tony, Ma Costa, Roger, Billy

Lord Faa always seems one step behind when it comes to finding the Gyptian children, and while Farder Coram finding Billy’s sweater vest gives confirmation they are going in the right direction, it isn’t enough for Billy’s mother. This is why it seems those under Lord Faa may do their own work to get things going and use Tony, Billy’s older brother, for their mission. Especially since he clearly is growing restless staying behind. Much less, as shown in episode 1, he is now considered an adult per Gyptian customs, so him not being part of the action seems wrong to some but right to those who are adults in the general sense.

Dr. Jekyll, Mrs. Coulter: Lyra, Pan, Mrs. Coulter, Cardinal Sturrock, Father MacPhail, Boreal, Adele

At first, Mrs. Coulter seems rather kind. Yes, a bit school mom-ish, a librarian type, but outside of being so prim and proper, she also had a cool side in Lyra’s mind. She was a woman infiltrating a male world and training Lyra to join her. However, with time, it becomes clear Mrs. Coulter is less interested in making someone who could one day be her equal and would rather a subordinate.

If not, simply put, an obedient child who stays in her place. Otherwise, the punishment would be harm to her daemon Pan who is of no match for Mrs. Coulter’s daemon. But what triggers the first act of violence? Well, with Lord Faa on the gobblers tale, and them financed by the Magisterium, it leads Cardinal Sturrock to speak to Father MacPhail about making sure things remain airtight.

Naturally, following the chain of command, MacPhail speaks to Coulter, and with the pressure of the upper echelon taking note of her project, the General Oblation Board, it makes Lyra’s curiosity, if not mischievous, a bit much. Her talking back especially, so Pan is harmed and Lyra, in connection. In fact, Mrs. Coulter gets so angry with Lyra for snooping on her conversation with MacPhail, it is slipped Lord Asriel is Lyra’s real father. As for her mother? Well, Lord Asriel is painted as a whore so the idea of knowing who Lyra’s mother is seems impossible to pin down.

What does become truth though, is Pan’s suspicions of Mrs. Coulter and what she does. First by going into her office and discovering a station being built up north, alongside the name “General Oblation Board” being in many papers, and then this is followed by meeting a journalist named Adele who further confirms Pan and Lyra’s, suspicions.

So, with all that information in her mind, Lyra gets the Alethiometer and runs away. Unfortunately, though, someone captures her.

Collected Quote(s) & .Gifs

Whispers become weapons in the wrong hands.
— Father MacPhail

Review

Highlights

The Complexities of Mrs. Coulter

The concept of good and evil isn’t necessarily 100% clear on this show. Yes, some seem like villains, such as Boreal, who outright murders Adele, and Father MacPhail, but then there is Mrs. Coulter. With the push that there is sexism in her business, we are pushed to question if she is playing the game as a man would to survive, thrive, or simply until she carved a permanent space?

What I mean by that is, there is this need to question if the woman who would hurt a child, even if through her daemon, is the real Mrs. Coulter or, as seen in Dr. Jekyll, Mr. Hyde, whether the prim and proper Mrs. Coulter is her repressed self? You know, the person she puts out into the world to be non-threatening and get to make the baby steps she can despite wanting and being fully capable of, leaps.

So, as we get to know Mrs. Coulter more, it should be interesting to learn if her ambitions have led her astray or if there might still be hope for her.

The Mirror & The Multi-Verse

With talk about multiple worlds comes the question of how many are there, and are they different? The way Thomas spoke, you are led to believe maybe he lives in our worlds since he has a fascination with daemons. But, with that said, are there more than two worlds out there and, if so, what are the other worlds like? Could that be why the children are being rounded up? To be used, if not thrown, into the different worlds, integrate, and report back? If not be groomed for power so the Magisterium to take over?

The Magisterium

The more we see the Magisterium does, the more you have to desire to know its inner workings. For example, what good does it do since it seems to reign over people with fear? Also, while likely a theocracy, is that how it is run and who decides what is heresy and what is not? Not to forget, how are people chosen, and what is everyone’s role? Much less, with people like Mrs. Coulter protected and financed by them, what are some of their goals beyond keeping knowledge for themselves?

On The Fence

The Gyptians

The main issue with the Gyptians is, as much as they are the underdogs, they don’t have that one character with the fighting spirit you want to get behind. Whether talking about those Lord Faa’s age down to Tony, there is this desire not to invest much in them. Partly since they seem like they could get wiped out for shock value, but also there isn’t much in the way of charisma amongst their people. Which can only make you hope between Lyra joining them, or Roger, someone gives them a much-needed boost.

 

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Logo for quotes, featuring the various media formats on Wherever I Look. Artwork by Dean Nelson (Social Media Links Below).

November 2019 – Quotes & .Gifs

Here are the quotes collected and .gifs made during the month of November 2019.

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