[For The Bastard Executioner‘s “A Hunger/Newyn” or any other recaps on Fetchland, assume the presence of possible spoilers.]
A Hunger/Newyn. Lady Love journeys to Windsor to learn the fate of Ventrishire from King Edward II.
The opening montage — among shots of of Wilkin reading the bible and acclimating to his new family, Lady Love journeying to meet the King, and Annora chatting up a stretched animal hide — shows Stephen Moyer’s Milus Corbett poring over maps. It’s not clear at the time what is up with the maps initially, but by the end of the episode we are explicitly told that he is an impressive man. Corbett shows himself adept not only at manipulations, but arithmetic, reignmaking, and architecture… human architecture.
With his nominal boss Love off to Windsor to meet Edward II and learn the fate of Ventrishire with her Baron now dead, Corbett arranges a covert meeting with Baron Pryce from the neighboring shire; his goal is to consolidate the power of both shires by arranging a marriage of Love to Pryce (with Corbett himself named as the chamberlain of the greater kingdom, of course).
There are two barriers to this alleged greater good: 1) Pryce already has a chamberlain, and 2) Pryce already has a wife. More on one of those in a bit.
Another dead body with its arms and legs hacked off and reversed appears in the wilderness. Ventrishire soldiers are dispatched after the (obviously) demon-worshipers who were doubtlessly responsible… But have to settle for Wilkin’s crew, whom they capture despite a mystically prescient warning from woods witch Annora.
In Windsor, Love is jerked around by the King’s right-hand sycophant, the French Sir Gaveston, who alternately compliments and insults her. Ultimately he is playing games trying to get up into her sexy golden gown (and also take Ventrishire for his own via his influence on the King). For his part, Edward II (who barely speaks English) appears to be anything but an engaged ruler and lets Gaveston do whatever he wants while practicing archery and yammering with his buddies in French.
(Love and Isabel agree in their hatred of the French.)
Love outsmarts the smarmy Gaveston and distracted King; claiming to be pregnant… With a legitimate [presumably male] heir, she trots back to Ventrishire leaving the amorous barnacle with his jaw on the floor. Sorry Gaveston, no
soup castle for you! Her shire will not be chopped up and handed over to him after all. This of course raises quite a few questions… What about Corbett’s plot? How is she going to get a baby in her [in time]? Would it be too on-the-nose for Wilkin to play daddy?
Wilkin has all kinds of problems in “A Hunger/Newyn”. Romance is just one of them. Case in point, Wilkin ends one of his semi-frequent hallucinations about his dead wife making out with her; only he is actually making out with his new wife (rather Gawain Maddox’s actual wife) Jessamy. Complicating matters, the ghostly Petra tells Wilkin he has already found a new love. Jessamy wants to get all romantic, but Wilkin isn’t quite ready.
Mrs. Maddox continues to be tough to peg. She at least acts that Wilkin is Maddox, and punishes her son Luca for talking openly about his true identity (just in their apartments, mind you) by cutting him with a hot knife! Apparently the original Gawain Maddox “punished” his own family in a similar vein when they transgressed. Oddly (or perhaps not oddly at all) Luca would love to keep calling Wilkin his “daddy” regardless; Wilkin being much more kindly and tender than his actual father.
Wilkin and Toran can’t make one of their regular trips to visit Annora and the old village crew because Corbett (human architect that he is) has called for a celebratory exhibition fight between Ventrishire troops and Pryce’s… Including Wilkin of course. After dispatching one of Pryce’s soldiers in his exhibition bout, a Hulk-Smash-raging Wilkin cuts loose on Leon, having caught a glimpse of his dead wife’s sapphire cross around his neck at exactly the wrong blood-crazed moment; remember, Wilkin thinks Leon killed his wife even though we know he probably didn’t. It is only being tackled by Toran at the last second that keeps Wilkin from going too far.
Onlookers think the Ventrishire-on-Ventrishire “mock” melee is a hoot, of course.
And OF COURSE there is one guy who recognizes Wilkin from Baron Pryce’s visiting contingent. And OF COURSE it is Pryce’s chamberlain (aka Corbett’s currently unwitting rival in his proposed marriage scheme). Given that Corbett now has all of Wilkin’s old crew in his dungeons, Corbett reminds our Bastard Executioner that everyone he loves is either dead or in his power… So Wilkin has to go into executioner mode once again.
He stuffs a drumstick down the other chamberlain’s throat (making it look like a drunken choking accident), thus clearing the way for Corbett to be Number Two across two shires.
If that weren’t enough going on we also start to learn big arc things about the characters, and perhaps the greater The Bastard Executioner universe in “A Hunger/Newyn”. We learn the secret origin of Isabel’s friendship with Love; and of Love’s marriage to Baron Ventris. The bigger moment is the capture of a “Seraphim” by hostile… Well, I’m not sure who captures him actually. They are some kind of knights or priests (it is heavily implied they are Rosula). British superstar singer Ed Sheeran plays a [Rosula] torturer who gleefully plucks out the eyes of the captured Seraphim, triggering much cross-country psychic trauma for Annora. Also their boss seems to be the Archdeacon serving Edward II, so pretty high up in politics, monarchy, theocracy, or just chicanery. Because this is a Kurt Sutter show, we get to see the Seraphim blinded, like Big Otto and Bobby Elvis before him.
Top 8 Question Marks for “A Hunger/Newyn”:
- Who is Wilkin’s new love? It is contextually implied to be Jessamy, but come on.
- For her part, just how coo coo is Jessamy? Zero or maximum?
- How is Love going to get an “heir” inside her? Well I guess we all know how this works, but who is going to put it there? I’d guess we all have the same firm guess on this (I mean come on).
- If Love has an heir, where is that going to leave Corbett’s plot with Pryce?
- For that matter, how about Pryce’s current wife? She is supposedly sick to the point of dying… But come on.
- How long are Berber, Calo, and Ash really going to be stuck in that dungeon?
- What’s up with the Seraphim and all their tattoos and magic, et cetera?
- Are we ever going to get a bit of daylight on this show? And for that matter if we do, won’t Corbett just burst into flames?