Amazon’s Carnival Row
Season 1, Episode 4: “The Joining of Unlike Things”
Directed by Anna Foerster & Thor Freudenthal
Written by Travis Beacham, Peter Cameron, & Marc Guggenheim
* For a recap & review of the previous episode, “Kingdoms of the Moon” – click here
* For a recap & review of the next episode, “Grieve No More” – click here
At Light of the Martyr Foundling Home in the Burgue, a boy slips out of bed to head to the loo. He hears the headmaster being attacked. He goes to see what happened and pisses himself at the bloody sight. Is this the beast from the sewer, working its way further into the Burgue? And is this the same orphanage where Rycroft Philostrate (Orlando Bloom) was brought up?
Inspector Philo arrives, along with Constable Berwick (Waj Ali), to look over the crime scene. There’s a print left behind— a hoof. Another one “looks like a Trow.” Philo and Cst. Berwick look around the place, finding a grate to the sewer exposed. The Inspector heads down and almost immediately comes upon a creature, forced to fire on it. After a few shots the thing’s gone, leaving behind a chunk of meat.
The Black Raven have started to embrace Vignette Stonemoss (Cara Delevingne). She’ll learn from Oona (Anna Koval), and try to dodge the advances of Hamlyn (Dejan Bucin). Plus, Dahlia (Chloe Pirrie) has found out someone’s “been chirping” to the law. She offers the traitor safety if they come forward. Nobody does.
Imogen Spurnrose (Tamzin Merchant) doesn’t trust her brother Ezra (Andrew Gower) to save them from poverty. She’s convinced Argeus Astrayon (David Gyasi) is dying for “acceptance into polite society,” so she’s inviting him over for tea. She’ll send him through the servant’s entrance. Wouldn’t want the rest of the white bourgeois class to see her with a puck. She only wants to use him for money.
The hunk of meat left behind by the creature is another liver. Inspector Philo’s curious about why it would be so concerned with the liver. He goes to visit Mima Sawsaan (Mina Andala). She mentions “a beast” they call “Darkasher“— a “golem of flesh” made out of dead limbs. Who would make such a thing?
At the house, Imogen receives Argeus for tea and biscuits. She asks about his history. He was previously in a place called New Freehold after coming from his real home, Puyan. But he’s no slouch. Argeus knew after walking through the door he was being manipulated. And he won’t have any of her bullshit.
Absalom Breakspear (Jared Harris) continues believing his son Jonah (Arty Froushan) has been taken hostage by Ritter Longerbane (Ronan Vibert), unaware his own wife Piety (Indira Varma) is behind the entire plot. What exactly is her endgame?
In Parliament, Absalom not only has to listen to the Critch be called down to the dirt, he must contend with his own anger. He attacks Longerbane in the middle of the session. His wife convinces him to arrest Ritter, allowing her further devious control. She kills Longerbane and pretends what she knew all along as the location of their son was his dying confession.
On the street, Philo runs into Vignette. “I‘m trapped between two worlds,” he tells her. She has no time for his excuses. He’s off to see the haruspex, Aioffe (Alice Krige) about putting a dead mole and a fish together, trying to figure out the Darkasher. Aioffe explains the creature must have a master, bound to them by “seed,” just like a real child. Thus begins a trippy moment for the Inspector, as he sees visions of Portia Fyfe (Maeve Dermody), then Vignette, and Aioffe gets what she needs. Speaking of Vignette, she’s being interrogated by the Black Raven for being seen talking to a copper. Dahlia tasks her with rooting out the informant. She really has no other choice.
Turns out, Hamlyn is the Black Raven rat. He meets with Inspector Philo, who mentions the “beast made of dead things.” The copper’s poking around, trying to find out who might be capable of getting hold of all those corpse parts. Hamyln mentions Wren— she was the one who got tossed off the roof recently. Bit of a dead end, no pun intended. Also at the station is Tourmaline (Karla Crome), worried about her dear friend Vignette. She wants to know the rat, and Philo tells her.
After that, all hell breaks loose because of Jonah’s kidnapping.
Agreus has found out about Ezra and Imogen’s financial troubles. He goes to visit her in the evening, inquiring about the desperate situation. She’s honest, telling him the truth of why she invited him for tea. He takes this as a way forward to “an accommodation.” So, this time, the faun is allowed through the front door, and Imogen doesn’t bother worrying about what the neighbours think.
Now that Dahlia knows the identity of the rat, she’s making Vignette finish the job. Vignette seduces Hamlyn and then attacks. They end up in a fae wrestling match flying through the air with a blade between them. He starts to get the upper hand, beating her to the ground, ready to decapitate her.
Luckily, Philo’s followed them. He blasts Hamlyn away. After they dump the body, he gives her back the braid she once gave him in a gesture of love. Vignette takes a wing back to Dahlia, who’s pleased to see her return. She’s given “a promotion.” She’ll handle the Finistere route, which Hamlyn used to run. She’s left feeling a mix of awful emotions, from losing Philo to nearly having to murder one of her own.
“At the end of the day,
a man’s no better than the pain
he’s caused the people he loves
and what he’s willing to do
to set it right”
Truly great stuff in each episode so far. No wonder Amazon has renewed the series already for Season 2! At least we know there’ll be another set of episodes, and we won’t have to worry if there’ll be a proper ending.
Bloom is proving he’s still got the talent with the right material, while Delevingne makes the most of her interesting role. Excited for more of the Darkasher, too.
“Grieve No More” is next.