TV Series

His Dark Materials: Season 2/ Episode 4 “Tower of the Angels” – Recap/ Review (with Spoilers)

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A familiar face appears under a new name, Mary speaks to angels, and Will reaches the first milestone of his destiny. Oh, and the witches go to war.


Director(s)Leanne Welham
Writer(s)Namsi Khan, Jack Thorne
Aired (BBC One)11/29/2020
Introduced This Episode
OliverRobin Pearce
XaphaniaSophie Okonedo
GiacomoTerence Stamp

This content contains pertinent spoilers. Also, images and text may contain affiliate links, which, if a purchase is made, we’ll earn money or products from the company.

Recap

God Is A Woman & She Seeks Vengence – Mary, Boreal, Oliver, Ruta, Serafina, Xaphania

With funding running out, Oliver arranges a meeting between Boreal, in his Oxford disguise, and Mary. Someone who is slightly open to conversation until Boreal reveals he is a defense contractor. Upon hearing that, the conversation is over, and Oliver is just at a loss since money is running out.

Carlo and Oliver (Robin Pearce) pitching to Mary
Carlo and Oliver (Robin Pearce)

However, that night Dust, dark matter, what have you speaks. Not in cryptic symbols or messages but in a voice. One that isn’t revealed as Xaphania yet, but it has to be. For they represent angels seeking vengeance, and as Mary speaks to them, she becomes acutely aware of what she has been researching and might question if she tripped into something not meant for humans to know or see.

But, while the angels of Mary’s Oxford speak of vengeance, Serafina and Ruta get it for the fallen witches. They massacre the ships and guards near where Asriel split the world and fly through the gate. Possibly to get or assist Lyra but, with the witches just becoming prominent enough to understand them, their part in Lyra’s fate has yet to be revealed.

A Man By Many Names With One Particular Mission – Lee, Jopari

After searching and searching, Lee finally finds Stanislaus, John, or his new name Jopari – take your pick. With this, we learn that Jopari is still as young as ever and has spent his lifetime trying to get back to his family, yet only finding new worlds. Thus, he reinvented himself repeatedly as a scholar, a shaman, and even claims he summoned Lee to his door.

John greeting Lee

This, as you can imagine, comes at a slight offense to Lee since he has been through hell to find Jopari. Yet, with Jopari pulling out Lee’s mother’s ring, he begins to believe there is more to Jopari than a bunch of cryptic words. In fact, once they make a deal that, Jopari will make sure Lyra is safe, and Lee will help Jopari help Lord Asriel, they are off, and Jopari shows he can control the wind!

A Subtle Knife With A Deep Cut – Giacomo, Will, Lyra

Despite how hyped up the tower was, Lyra figures out a way in within a day. Alongside that, while it causes Will to lose two fingers in the process of getting it, due to a thief who is fearful of specters, Will gets the Subtle Knife that Carlo desires. He even learns, from its former bearer, Giacomo, before he kills himself, how to use the knife and seal the doorways he creates.

But, while the knife is safely in hand, there remains the question of how to get the Alethiometer back without handing the knife over? Well, outside of using the blade, which can kill immortals, to murder Carlo.

Giacomo (Terence Stamp) as Spectres try to kill him
Giacomo (Terence Stamp)

Collected Quote(s) & .Gifs

A dead-end is a new beginning.
— Chester

Don’t confuse the man with the mission.
— Jopari

[I have] not given up. Just made peace with my limitations.
— Jopari

From what we are, spirit. From what we do, matter.
— The Angel

Review

Highlights

Introducing The Angels

With the show having the ability, and already showing, it’s willing and able to stray from the books, so comes the need to wonder if the angels, Xaphania, for instance, will still wage war? Also, how will each character play a role, and will they die in the process? There is continually this conversation about Lyra being in danger, partly because of Will, who now has a weapon that can kill immortals and open doors to various worlds. So could it be, to end the Authority, Lyra may end up a sacrifice?

When Witches Attack

The authority has long seemed weak and just utterly pathetic, and less than a dozen witches destroying multiple gunships and killing, likely, everyone onboard, only further proves how overstretched The Magisterium is. Yet, it could also be they haven’t had a challenged like this before. So with that in mind, maybe they may finally rise to the occasion? If not, receive a mercy killing?

The Blossoming Relationship Between Will and Lyra

It remains unclear what could become of this close relationship. The two work perfectly well as friends, yet there is this vibe that, as things become more life and death, they could grow closer. Mind you, we are always an advocate for platonic relationships, but we are starting to wonder if that’s just when they seem forced.

Because, as it is now, just as you see Will on the cusp of puberty, there seems to be a bit of a fork in the road with what Will could be to Lyra. Yet, taking note she hasn’t really expressed interest in anything besides adventure, maybe Lyra will be a bit of an anomaly? Could she be someone with no romantic interest, be the lead, and it not be made into a thing?

Carlo’s False Sense of Confidence

Isn’t Carlo the epitome of the Magisterium’s attitude? He thinks that he has Lyra in a trap, is bold enough to reveal the one thing he knew that Ms. Coulter didn’t, and seems overly confident in his superiority. Yet, this ego, his confidence, his life, you can see it might be a house of cards. I’d even say Ms. Coulter knows Carlo is in over his head and foolish, yet wants to keep the peace and a quality ally.

Though, don’t take that as she’ll save him when things fall apart. Rather, she may watch, laugh, and take what she can from the ashes.

On The Fence

Jopari and Lee’s Task

Be it because Lord Asriel doesn’t inspire much interest, Lee, or that John, Jopari, or whoever may say a few cool lines but makes you roll your eyes, I worry about the screen time dedicated to them. Not to say they may not have a moment that invigorates what feels like the most lifeless storyline on the show, but it doesn’t look good.

So one can only hope Lee joins forces with someone who has charisma and a storyline worth taking note of since it seems they want to tout him as a hook, and he is anything but that.

His Dark Materials Directory

Creator

Jack Thorne

Character Guide

Created

Collected Quotes

Not Created

Current Status

Active

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Season Reviews

Season 1 | Season 2
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Summary

Jopari and Lee's Task - 73%
Carlo's False Sense of Confidence - 81%
The Blossoming Relationship Between Will and Lyra - 85%
When Witches Attack - 84%
Introducing The Angels - 83%

81%

Notable reveals and moves bring minor excitement for supporting characters. Yet, will this quick burst of energy be sustainable? Never mind, keep your interest? It seems too soon to say.

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Amari Allah

I started Wherever I Look back in 2011 and have aimed to be that friend who loves watching various forms of media and talking about it. So, from bias, strong opinions, and a perspective you may not have thought about, you'll find that in our reviews.

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