Photo: Apple TV+
War seems inevitable on this week’s episode of See, the Apple TV+ show about a world that lost its sight and its mind. Harlan gets closer to divining the nature of the explosive coup being plotted in Trivantes, and deposed queen Sibeth Kane is in the wind and shacking up with a serpent.
Baba Voss and his family go looking for trouble, and there are vendettas aplenty that need settling. All in all, it stands as a decent episode that exhibits few of the show’s worst habits.
See recap: ‘The Storm’
Season 3, episode 4: In the episode, titled “The Storm,” Sibeth (played by Sylvia Hoeks) has only a few minutes to flee the city after her escape. She evades the guards’ hunting dogs by rubbing herself in horseshit to cover up her scent. (I do not know what it is about this show that it can’t go but a few minutes without smearing someone in animal waste.)
Sibeth spends the next several days eating worms for sustenance and sleeping in piles of leaves. Then she finds a cave during a rainstorm, and it’s got a rattlesnake living in it. Somehow, the thing bites her — and it dies instead of her. I’m not sure if that’s bad writing or a decent joke.
Elsewhere, Baba Voss (Jason Momoa) gives a speech to his dog No about staying behind to protect Kofun’s son, Wolf, from Sibeth if she ever returns. Then he, his adopted children Haniwa (Nesta Cooper) and Kofun (Archie Madekwe), Charlotte (Olivia Cheng) and Wren (Eden Epstein) set out for the House of Enlightenment to free the rest of the children of Jerlamarel (Joshua Henry).
If they can free them, Tormada (David Hewlett) can’t use them to make explosives anymore. Baba takes them to Ranger (Michael Raymond-James) and Lu’s (Mainei Kinimaka) house to show the party what the aftermath of the explosions looks like, and to ask Ranger if he’ll help Baba in his mission. All Ranger needs to hear is that Tormada, under whom they both served, is behind the plot, and he packs a bag and joins them.
Plots and alliances all around
Meanwhile, Lord Harlan (Tom Mison) and ambassador Trovere (Trieste Kelly Dunn) set off on their way to Trivantes to try their hand at divining whether the explosives — and the rebellion they portend — are real. They part ways before they enter the city so the Trivanteans won’t learn of his presence.
When they get in, they try to convince sympathetic arms of the government to start investigating the potential coup. And Trovere resumes her plea to get Harlan to leave Queen Maghra (Hera Hilmar) and marry her instead. He won’t admit it, but he loves Maghra in a way she’ll never love him, but he does know it deep down. Maghra’s heart belongs to Baba Voss.
Tormada makes his report to the government about the effects of the bombs and starts laying the groundwork for a full-scale invasion of most of the territories. When the rest of the government objects, he leaves the room — and blows it up on his way out.
Harlan and Trovere barely escape with their lives. But of course … that was by design. Turns out this coup was in the works ages ago, and Trovere was in on it from the start. She only brought Harlan to Trivantes because she loves him and wanted to spare him a fiery, violent death when the invasion happens. So now he’s gotta pick a side in a hurry.
Queen Maghra braces for war
Back in Pennsa, former supreme witchfinder Tamacti Jun (Christian Camargo) tries to council Maghra as she grieves the potential loss of her family without them. She’s unmoved by his words, but decides it’s time to practice combat again. If all else fails, she may have to protect the city with a sword herself.
She gathers up her regional emissaries and begs them for help in the looming fight. She wants Tamacti Jun to ask the witchfinders to help them defend the city, but they’re literally planning to kill her at that very moment.
When Baba and company make it to the House of Enlightenment, they free the sighted children of Jerlamerel and kill the guards watching them. However, a company of armed Trivantians shows up to get their next shipment of bombs, with Harlan at the head of their column. This is going to get messy.
A crisis unlike anything we’ve ever known
See’s usual nonsense can be found across this episode’s 53 long minutes. (How did Sibeth get from a waterfall in darkness back to the city to meet with the witchfinders? She was completely lost…) But it’s basically OK. Nothing outright infuriating happens. And, as always on this show, we’re now just building toward a big fight in the final episode.
The battle at the end of last season was kind of a letdown. (That’s what happens when you only bring in big-name directors for the pilot, then let them wander off before the heavy lifting gets done. Game of Thrones was a terrible, infuriating show in a lot of ways but at least its showrunners remembered to hire Neil Marshall to direct their combat-heavy episodes back when that meant something.) But hey, you know, it’s a big battle scene and it won’t just be CGI so I’m guardedly excited.
This week, I laughed when they introduced Lucien giving a sermon to his witchfinders using a gasoline can as a thurible. See always does reliably funny things with old-world objects that just beggar belief in a hundred ways. For instance, the cradle where Baba Voss leaves Kofun’s baby is a converted cello. I ask you, how in the world did anyone think to open up a cello and turn it into a crib?
Anyway, the raid on the House of the Enlightened was decent fun. And I like that Trieste Kelly Dunn‘s ambassador Trovere represents a genuine conundrum for Harlan, a character I didn’t have much interest in until recently. There’s finally a little more to care about than which blood feud gets settled over which off-screen crime I don’t care about.
Watch See on Apple TV+
New episodes of See arrive on Apple TV+ every Friday.
Watch on: Apple TV+
Scout Tafoya is a film and TV critic, director and creator of the long-running video essay series The Unloved for RogerEbert.com. He has written for The Village Voice, Film Comment, The Los Angeles Review of Books and Nylon Magazine. He is the author of Cinemaphagy: On the Psychedelic Classical Form of Tobe Hooper, the director of 25 feature films, and the director and editor of more than 300 video essays, which can be found at Patreon.com/honorszombie.