His Dark Materials: Season 1, Episode 7 “The Fight to the Death” – Recap, Review (with Spoilers)

As Lyra continues the path required to reunite with her father, which includes starting a battle between Iorek and Iofur, Ms. Coulter deals with the aftermath of her project failing.


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Ms. Coulter screaming.

As Lyra continues the path required to reunite with her father, which includes starting a battle between Iorek and Iofur, Ms. Coulter deals with the aftermath of her project failing.


Network BBC One, HBO
Directed By Jamie Childs
Written By Jack Thorne
Air Date 12/15/2019

Recap

Work With Me Or Against Yourself: Will, Elaine, Boreal

Boreal is tired of the games and hanging around in a foreign world waiting for answers. This especially becomes true upon learning of John writing letters to Elaine. So, to hasten his investigation, he asks of them and for them. All under the guise he works for some secret government agency which Elaine is better to work with than against. However, she doesn’t take the bait and with Will seeing this isn’t just his mother’s madness, he acts. Ultimately leaving one of Boreal’s men dead.

The Fall Of Ms. Coulter: Father MacPhail, Ms. Coulter

With her project in ruins and research gone, once again, Father MacPhail looks to take advantage of the opportunity to rid himself, and the magisterium, of Ms. Coulter. However, with the next big plan being to go after Asriel, who Ms. Coulter claims she can handle, she is given yet another chance to prove herself.

The Legend Continues: Lyra, Iorek, Iofur, Asriel, Roger, Lee, Serafina

Iorek and Iofur fighting.

Using the alethiometer, Lyra finds a way to manipulate Iofur into challenging Iorek to, for once and for all, legitimize his reign as king of the bears. However, all that happens is Iofur dies and Iorek regains his throne, strangely without insurrection. Which I only note as strange since Iorek had a negative reputation. The kind which would lead you to believe of the estimated 200 something bears, they wouldn’t quickly accept him as their new king. But, with him speaking of running things as bears again, not as those who envy humans, like Iofur, it seems that is all they need to hear.

Thus allowing Lyra to reconnect with Asriel, who, as he usually does, isn’t the kindest when it comes to Lyra. However, for some reason, upon realizing Roger has joined her, he becomes far kinder, and rather than rant and rave about him not sending for Lyra, he tells his assistant to make food and run the children a bath.

Oh, and as for Lee, while his balloon is destroyed, he is alive. Also, Serafina comes to visit him to reinforce that he has a place in the war to come.

 

Review


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Highlights

The Bear Fight

The battle between Iorek and Iofur was one of the most entertaining battles we’ve seen on this show. Perhaps due to it being back and forth, with very little interference, and it seeming it could go either way. For as much as we know Lyra is likely to make it to the end, Iorek isn’t necessarily expendable but doesn’t seem like someone who couldn’t be killed off for dramatic effect.

Will Slowly Pushing Himself Out Of Lyra’s Shadow

Will, Elaine, and what goes on in that world has long been handicapped by not having daemons, battles, and Boreal not necessarily being the most intriguing of people to do battle against. But, with him killing someone, I want to say Thomas, things might pick up now for he knows there is a real threat and that he is in danger.

Roger and Lyra’s Relationship

There is something about Roger and Lyra’s relationship that doesn’t appear to be your usual girl/boy pairing that is supposed to seem like a ship. Instead, what we get from them is something that has the vibe of a Studio Ghibli movie. Meaning, as much as there is chemistry, you can see the love and loyalty isn’t dependent on romantic feelings and the possibility of becoming a couple. There is a love there that is platonic, but no less powerful than if Roger had a crush on Lyra or vice versa.

On The Fence

How Weak So Many Organizations Appears

Granted, as shown also in The Mandalorian, just because a villain or hero is powerful, it doesn’t mean they are meant to see undefeatable. However, the embarrassments the Magisterium suffers, Ms. Coulter, Iofur, and even Boreal’s henchmen really make you wonder what can tip the balance? What kind of real loss can Lyra or Will suffer to make it clear their victory isn’t inevitable, won’t be smooth sailing, and they will be forced to deal with the consequences of their actions?

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The Bear Fight - 85%
Will Slowly Pushing Himself Out Of Lyra’s Shadow - 84%
Roger and Lyra’s Relationship - 86%
How Weak So Many Organizations Appears - 70%

81%


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