“Chapter One,” the episode which aired on four July, definitely took a turn in narrative style, and I’m not entirely sure that I approved. I think that the deviations in narrative style over the season have made the show a little bit choppy, and I suspect that if the show had been given more time to do its thing, this choppiness would have been smoothed. I also suspect that this shift in narrative style was meant to reflect the larger shift in the show, literally opening a new chapter in the story for viewers by underscoring the radical departure.
This is the episode where things came to a head, with David realizing that he’s got a little bit of a mandate going on, and starting to wield that power, and Silas pushing back in a pretty major way. Definitely major, in fact, since the episode ended with David being arrested for treason, despite the fact that he had only faithfully followed orders. It’s kind of interesting to see Silas abusing his powers, since the show is in such a modern setting that I sometimes fall into the trap of viewing the royal family as fairly benign figureheads, rather than as politicians engaged in savage machinations to secure their power.
Rose’s ruthless elimination of Katrina Ghent was pretty chilling. It’s interesting to me that she’s becoming an increasingly negative character in the series. We’re learning more and more than she is the power behind the throne, and that she stops at nothing to ensure that her will is done. This apparently includes offing Katrina Ghent because Rose didn’t like her, and in the process, shafting her son with a wife who is going to be miserable. Indeed, Rose seems to be on a determined quest to deny Jack’s homosexuality, stressing the idea that his wife is little more than a brood mare to perpetuate the royal line.
My enjoyment of “Javelin” was greatly hampered by the barking dogs on all sides; evidently, Sunday mornings are no longer sacred. I really don’t understand how people can stand it. Having dogs, I mean, with the barking.
Anyway, “Javelin” revolved around the trumped-up trial pulled together to bring David down. It was very interesting to see Jack forced to prosecute him, and to see the Reverend actively working against Silas. And, of course, the exciting denouement at the end with Jack confessing was quite a turn in events. Interesting to see that ultimately, Jack proved more loyal to David than Michelle was.
I was deeply perturbed that Michelle betrayed David, however. I sort of thought that she would rise above petty politics and do the right thing, especially since it would have involved exonerating an innocent man, but instead she let her highly manipulative mother, Rose, push her into turning her back on him.
The Kingdom is falling apart. Nowhere was this more evident than in Tomasina’s deeply conflicted attitude about her service to the royal family. When the most loyal retainer is doubting her actions, you know that something is seriously wrong. And when the King is embarking on tirades in the middle of criminal trials…