Here are my 5 biggest takeaways from Episode 104 and 105!
1) When in doubt, go on a vision quest
The Saracen assassin has been murdered, and with him dies the only clue to the Grail’s whereabouts. It’s cool when you kill them in the Holy Land…not cool when you’ve captured and are hoping to interrogate them? Landry assigns Gawain (a non-grudge-holding and trustworthy dude, ahem) to investigate the murder. Landry then runs off to discover the meaning behind the tattoo on the Saracen’s wrist; a tattoo which he swears he’s seen before but just can’t remember where. Thankfully he knows just the pagan who can slip him some witchcrafty eyedrops and send him on a vision quest to recall that memory. We got to see a bit more of his history with Godfrey-could have done without Mother Superior’s arm roasting on a spit, THANKS VERY MUCH. And we learned that the tat is a mark of The Brotherhood of Light, a shady, mysterious band of vigilantes who signal each other with oranges…so that’s what those are for.
Kind of a let down, actually…until you remember that Godfrey left in a hurry after spotting one at the Temple. If he knew what the orange signified, could Godfrey have been a member of The Brotherhood? I’m pretty sure that counts as fraternizing with the enemy.
Landry hopes to bait the Brotherhood into revealing themselves by hanging an orange from the Temple wall. It seems unsuccessful, as a member of the Brotherhood goes to Draper instead to demand the body of the Saracen back. Landry agrees, but then the Brotherhood decides to ambush and kidnap him anyways. Testy, testy!
2) Joan pulls Le Oldest Trick in Le Book
Turns out that tonic was just a nasty placebo and Joan’s eggo is still prego. Not able to emotionally endure another attempt at ending the pregnancy, she turns to one of the oldest tricks in the book (Literally. It’s in the Old Testament)-sleeping with her husband and pawning her illegitimate love child off as his.
Side Bar: Seriously though. We’ve gotten NO back story as to how Joan and Philip’s marriage devolved into its current celibate state. She told that brief story about a lute player getting his fingers broken, but there hasn’t been anything obvious in Philip’s behavior to paint him as a repugnant, un-shaggable monster. He certainly hasn’t played the “This is the 13th Century and you will give it up to your lord husband whenever he commands” card. He’s trying hard to be patient and woo her. What did he do wrong?? WE NEED MORE DETAILS. THIS BOTHERS ME. Moving on…
Poor sad Philip is PUMPED that Joan is finally warming his bed again and immediately runs and thanks Landry for reminding her of her wifely duties. Boundaries, dude. Landry’s pouty face only lasts for a moment as Joan comforts him by admitting that she only slept with Philip to cover up that fact that she was pregnant with his child. When they secretly meet later he’s downright euphoric and ready to run off with her…until she throws his own words from Episode 2 back in his face. “What future does the wife of the King have with a Templar?” Burn.
3) Hell Hath No Fury Like a Princess (not actually) Betrayed
I had kinda dismissed Isabella as a rather unimportant and milquetoast secondary character, but that bloodthirsty ice queen proved me wrong these last two episodes. De Nogaret has sunk to even lower levels when he lets it slip to the Catalonian ambassador that the wedding could be called off if Queen Elena knew that Isabella wasn’t a virgin. Her darling little boy Luis is entirely blameless in the matter, OBVIOUSLY. Put through the humiliation of a purity test and entirely unaware that her “Uncle William” is a pervy peeper, Isabella naturally concludes that Luis can be the only possible leak. She does not take it well.
Not content to simply call off the wedding under easily falsified pretenses, she instead runs to her duplicitous Uncle and (rather coquettishly) asks him to fix everything. His solution? A huge, convoluted plot that involves Greek fire (which he just had lying around…?), framing and murdering ambassadors, faking not only his own poisoning but also an assassination attempt on the King of France AND a kidnapping of Isabella that ultimate culminates in Prince Luis dying a horrible fiery death.
That’s one way to rid yourself of a fiance, I suppose. Looks like the King of England is getting that French marriage alliance he wanted, after all. War has been averted!
4) Hard blows will banish the sin
Gawain’s super sleuthing reveals that it was dependable sidekick Tancrede who murdered the Saracen. Noooo! Apparently he took the assassin’s mumbled prophecy about the Grail destroying them seriously. It was just the blood loss talking, T-dog!! I’m sure he didn’t mean it!! Now you get to have your sins purified under the righteous fists of your fellow knights. But Tancrede does not repent, and is chained to a cross and made to languish in a dungeon.
Those Templars sure were a civilized bunch. The show has done a mildly decent job of slipping in jabs at the Templar’s less-than-honorable behavior, but they usually come from characters of ill repute. De Nogaret has had some deprecating one liners, and my recent favorite came from the villainous Malraux:
A Cathar who kills has lost his way. A Templar who kills is closer to God.
Now if only some of our main heroes could open their eyes to the unsettling Templar dogma. Let’s start with “chaining a guy to a cross and beating the snot out of him in order to save his soul.” Because that’s not messed up or anything.
5) Parsifal is still on this show for some reason
My hopes that the irritating Parsifal would fade into Templar Initiate obscurity were dashed when he showed up at the Jewish Underground looking for his necklace. Just as Adelina predicted! And of course she gave it to her friend outside the city. For safekeeping, probably. As she’s leading Parsifal to his doom she has a change of heart, however. You’ll live to fight Roland another day, Parsy, and perhaps even factor into the plot in a more interesting way (by the grace of God).
In the meantime, he aids Gawain in his investigation of the English ambassador’s disappearance and finally lets go of his past at the tree of abandoned emotional ties. Our little farm boy is all grown up and ready to a holy warrior!
Adelina, on the other hand, makes the super wise decision to follow Roland around and try to figure out what his deal is. When last we see her, she’s face to face with the man himself in a dark room. I’m sure that will end well.