What rises must eventually fall, and it seems a lot of what made episode 2 exciting was eventually lost. For with only 3 episodes, each an hour and a half, with little build, little payoff, and not much given to make memories of the time lost placed within the realm of nostalgia, what was once an indifference for only certain aspects has grown.
Trigger Warning(s): Gory Violence
Characters & Story (with Commentary)
Topic 1: In The Case of Suhad – Suhad, Ankhesamun, and Ay
We learn Suhad lives, though barely hangs onto life. Thus causing a sign of relief when it comes to Ay and Ankhesamun. However, with time, she recovers and with her pregnant with the pharoah’s child, and once again Tut gaining as Ankhesamun loses, she grows tired of being the one pushed aside and threatened to be cast into the shadows.
Luckily for Ankhesamun though, Suhad is a fool. One which, despite knowing she is within a den of enemies, continues to roam the palace alone. Much less, despite claiming, in a letter to the pharaoh, that she knows Vizier Ay wishes to kill her, she entrusts the delivery of such note to his only son. A move which leads you to question how in the world could this woman with a sharp tongue, be such an idiot? Though, I guess, when it comes to politics she is a fool, but when it comes to matching wits with someone on Ankhesamun’s level, she is of some intelligence.
Though, even with the upper hand when it comes to wits, strength is what Ankhesamun has which leads her to victory. For, before episode’s end, we find Ankhesamun strangling Suhad to death. Which, for me, effectively killed my reasoning to give a damn about the rest of what happened.
Topic 2: All Hail The Boy King – Tut, Lagus, and General Horemheb
As the ashes of burned bodies float in the air, the question of how to handle the Mitanni situation lingers. Their prince offers capitulation, which would mean the Mitanni having Thebes and the Nile, and Tut counters with food and wine. An offer taken, though not as a means of peace. If anything, it is taken for they suspect Tut is a stupid child fighting a man’s war.
However, what ends up happening is that, yes, in fact food is delivered, but not a drop of wine. The would be wine is some sort of explosive material, and with fire arrows flying through the air, once they hit their target there are explosions everywhere and enough of a distraction for Tut and co. to invade the Mitanni fortress. During that time, General Horemheb is left to provide time for Tut, Lagus, and a few others to go face the prince and king, and by the time it is all over, the Mitanni have lost their royalty, and the only damage done to Tut is what was an injured leg.
Topic 3: It Is Time To Be Laid To Rest – Tut & High Priest Amun
Leading to the finale. One in which High Priest Amun does his best to cause an uprising using his priest, and an alliance with Vizier and even his sworn enemy General Horemheb. However, Horemheb and Vizier betray the priest, and it is Tut, who has grown tired of the High Priest’s open disrespect, who takes away the voice of the man who believes he spoke for the gods.
Said action though seems to be Tut’s last. For with there being some sort of infection with his leg, all the movement, all the struggling, and the assassination attempt thwarting, it seems to drain him to the point he is on the precipice of life. Leaving him asking for his sister/ wife, the one who killed the only woman he loved, and spending his final moments by her side.
Following that, we learn of Vizier’s rise to pharaoh, and how he buried King Tut to where it would take 3,000 years for him to be discovered. Thus creating one of the biggest anti-climactic endings I have ever seen in a series.
When it comes to a show, its characters, and even the actors, the idea is to invoke emotion. Whether it is to hate this one character for they are so evil, love this other one for they are so heroic, or simply feel one of the various emotions to show that someone is doing something right. As for Tut? Well, at best we are left with something mediocre. The High Priest was never an interesting villain, and with no strong build toward his rebellion, watching his priest die one by one seemed as common, and a bore, as watching him apply eye liner.
Then, when it comes to Suhad, admittedly I heavily focused on Suhad and Tut, and probably didn’t push myself to care much about anyone else. But the reason cited in episode one and two remains, there is no reason to care about anyone else. Hell, even when it comes to Tut and Suhad, if you take away one of the actors and replace them with another, I honestly doubt I would find reason to care about them either. For, in many ways, this mini-series was like a redemption, for me anyway, when it comes to how Twisted ended up.
Though, if I put aside the romantic angle, I find that really taking in Jogia as Tut wasn’t something worth noting. For while the intensity of his stare was alluring, and he could deliver his lines well, he suffered just as much as anyone else from not being given enough time to really build this boy king into a man. Then, as for Bunbury as Suhad, let’s face it. While she did have some good back and forth with Ankhesamun, take away their one or two arguments and then you have some very weird moments. Such as her worrying about the woman who threatens her life just because she is having a miscarriage; her wandering around a city in which her people are the enemy; and honestly, as much as Tut and Suhad was always a positive, in retrospective, were they even together that often?
Leading to the overall perspective that this mini-series should be skipped. For while the Jogia and Bunbury reunion seems worth it, honestly it isn’t worth losing 4 and a half hours of your lifespan. The heroes aren’t memorable, nor inspiring, and the villains are as wicked as those you’d see on children’s shows. And while the show does seem to try to keep your eyes glued to the screen by giving you some censored sex, and slightly hardcore violence, it is all cheap and shallow. To the point where it leads you to think that as bad as many HBO and premium channels are, when it comes to their original series, at the very least, alongside the graphic sex and violence, there is usually a few characters, or storylines, consistent enough to compensate for everything else. As for Tut, there is no compensation, no highlights, nor reason to watch. It is just historical fiction which presents no interesting perspective, reenactment, or performance.
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