[For The Bastard Executioner‘s “Behold the Lamb/Gweled yr Oen” or any other recaps on Fetchland, assume the presence of possible spoilers.]
Behold the Lamb/Gweled yr Oen Wilkin and Lady Love come to grips with condemning an innocent man to death.
“Gawain Maddox was an executioner killed in service to your husband. I am one of the hooded bandits he pursued.”
So begins the confession of Wilkin Brattle, the eponymous Bastard Executioner, to Lady Love Ventris.
Love takes it shockingly well (especially given the fact that she’s been slowly falling for the ostensible commoner since almost the second episode).
Wilkin tells her, explicitly, some of the things we’ve been piecing together since the Pilot. He was a knight in Longshanks’s army; his commander — Ventris — sent Wilkin and his legion into a deliberate ambush. Wilkin survived, and fled into Wales where he took up another life.
Why is he confessing, and to Love, at this point?
Mayhap we’re getting ahead of ourselves.
At the outset of “Behold the Lamb/Gweled yr Oen” a rebel is brought to Castle Ventris, to receive “a death most agonizing” … The rebel is responsible for the death of Lady Pryce! A rebel, he was ordered to murder Lady Pryce by none other than the Wolf… A thick-waisted, red-bearded bear of a man.
We know, of course, from “Piss Profit/Proffidwyr Troeth” that none of the rebel’s story is true; Wilkin is the one who burned Lady Pryce to death (even if he didn’t intend to), and we know that the Wolf is anything but thick-waisted and red-bearded. The rebel is taking the fall for Lady Pryce’s death for some reason other than actually being guilty. It turns out he was headed to debtor’s prison — a debt that would have taken three generations to clear — and that if he takes the fall for Lady Pryce’s murder it secures the future of his family in Castle Ventris.
“You use his life as currency?”
Wilkin finds Vampire Bill’s behavior here deplorable.
It isn’t just a question of this week’s unsavory execution. All kinds of stuff goes down in Ventrishire throughout “Behold the Lamb/Gweled yr Oen”.
The Archdeacon of Windsor remains at Castle Ventris. He gathers up prisoners, conscripts the chapel, and uses it to rip off prisoners’ shirts, looking for “heretical marks” (tattoos, like the ones Annora has). He finds none.
Understandably, Father Ruskin wants to know what’s going on in his chapel, and the prisoners are mum. Berber tells him the Archdeacon was 1) looking for heretical marks, and 2) told everyone to stay quiet or the heretical marks would appear. They both know the heretical marks in question are quite literally tatooed on Annora. So, Berber asks the priest to warn her in the caves. Though the Archdeacon and his men are sworn to Christ… “they serve another.” Of course they’re overheard, and Ruskin will inevitably be followed.
The knights of Ventris (with Toran and Wilkin in tow) attack a nomad — NOT REBEL — camp… And do some murdering. One of the knights kills a woman in her tent, and plants the daffodil-and-dagger rebel mark on her. One of the knights responsible for the grisly events of the Pilot is killed by nomads; Toran and Wilkin are terrified that Corbett will blame them and take revenge on their loved ones.
Back at Castle Ventris, the twins approach Wilkin and tell him to meet Love in her bedchamber. Isabel tells Wilkin that the twins don’t serve Love… “I’m surprised those giggle wenches aren’t already warming Corbett’s bed,” before she dismisses him.
But while Wilkin was at Love’s, that gave Corbett the chance to strike. Calo, prisoner in the yard, is first ambushed, then beaten to death by Corbett, who puts the murder weapon in the hands of a nearby sleeping yard boss. Before he kills Calo, we learn a bit about Corbett’s childhood. He was the favorite plaything of a deranged halfway house manager, who called him Little Lamby as he sent his “gnarled meat into [Corbett’s] innocent bottom.” Well, that explains at least some of it!
The death of a friend (and all the other stuff) on his heart, Wilkin attempts to turn himself in and take responsibility for the death of Lady Pryce. He confesses to Love. It’s he, not the supposed rebel, who should be put to death. Wilkin has no interest in yet another innocent person being “punished” at his hands.
The next two things that happen are either quite surprising or completely telegraphed depending on your level of cynicism. First off, Wilkin and Lady Love lock lips. Then Wilkin tells”his Love” he had a vision of a boy child he believes to be theirs. But presumably the boy child will never come about given Wilkin’s confession. He asks for a few moments of reprieve before the end and goes to Jessamy in order to give her what she’s wanted since the second episode. He tells her she’s a good woman, a good wife, and a good mother. Then a millisecond after smooching Love, makes sweet love to his fake-wife.
First base and home run out of the way, Wilkin makes his way to the torture chamber and tears Petra’s cross from the Reeve’s neck, rallies Toran, and looks to be about to finish killing everyone he’d set sights upon. Until Love comes in, orders everyone to put down their swords, and calls the swordplay “a foolish boys’ test of virility” which appears to be medieval slang for dick-measurement. But not before Toran calls Wilkin “Wilkin” in front of the opposing knights. Love’s respite or no, the jig is officially up across the board.
Back at Annora’s caves, Father Ruskin warns the woman — covered in the heretical marks; which are not heretical at all, but presumably angel-speak.
The Dark Mute stands guard, all covered in his Teutonic Knight gear; we learn a little bit about him, and he still isn’t mute. It seems that there will be a four- or even five-on-one battle impending (depending on how useful Father Ruskin and Annora are), but that awaits in another episode.
“Behold the Lamb/Gweled yr Oen” ends with the rebel drawn and quartered at Wilkin’s signal. If you’ve never seen a man’s arms and legs torn from his body by horses running in opposite directions, “Behold the Lamb/Gweled yr Oen” can help you check that one off the old bucket list.
The biggest questions remaining are:
Now that basically everyone who matters knows Wilkin is Wilkin… What does that mean for his position?
How is Annora going to get out of being found out by the Archdeacon’s men?
This is a Kurt Sutter show so it is unlikely the Dark Mute is just going to kill them all.
How about Love’s fake pregnancy and Corbett’s machinations at marrying her to Pryce? Corbett, at least, knows the “Baron was barren” and no heir is currently gestating in the Baroness…