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TV Episode Review: “His Dark Materials”: “The Break”

Will travels with Iorek and Balthamos to where Mrs. Coulter is keeping Lyra. They find a girl named Ama who knows about Lyra and Mrs. Coulter. Ama almost fell for Mrs. Coulter’s lies, but then she saw the way she treated her daughter. Ama knows about plants, especially edible ones. Will finds Lyra and confronts Mrs. Coulter. Will does NOT believe anything she tells him about Lyra and about the “danger” she is in. Unfortunately, some of what Mrs. Coulter tells Will is true. Although Will doesn’t trust Mrs. Coulter, she does manage to get inside of his head. 

Lyra, still imprisoned by Mrs. Coulter, hears from Roger again. He tells her where he is: the Land of the Dead. 

Lord Asriel brings Commander Ogunwe and his army into the world where he and the rest of his supporters have gathered—whom he dubs “The Republic of Heaven.” Commander Ogunwe is impressed with Asriel’s setup and agrees that he can train the army into what Asriel needs. Meanwhile, Asriel introduces Ogunwe to Queen Ruta Skadi of the Lake Lubana witch clan, and her daemon, Sergi—from Asriel’s world. Ogunwe starts to question Asriel’s true motives for instigating the Authority, until Queen Ruta Skadi tells him about Lyra. Asriel interrogates a prisoner who tells him the Authority’s true purpose, and it’s not good.

Dr. Mary Malone continues her journey through worlds trying to locate Lyra. Soon, she finds herself in Commander Ogunwe’s world. She talks with some of the younger soldiers about what has been happening in their world, her world, and about the war to come. 

The Magisterium sends an army to capture both Lyra and Mrs. Coulter. Father Gomez is to lead the attack, on a woman and her child. Father Gomez is as ambitious as the Cardinal is, but his ruthlessness makes him more dangerous than the Cardinal. 

Mrs. Coulter knows it’s just a matter of time until someone finds her and Lyra. But, Mrs. Coulter always has a plan. Her first “visitor” is Will, whom she fails to convince that her methods are justified. When Father Gomez arrives, she knows she is out of time, but she still makes the same case to him. This time Mrs. Coulter’s paranoia, which leads to her actions, are justified. 

This episode presents the beginning of what’s to come in the rest of this season. The children know what’s going on and they decide to make the rest of their journey on their own (Lyra does NOT trust neither of her parents, and with good reason). Ruth Wilson’s performance as the villainous, yet complex, Mrs. Coulter is a reason itself to want to watch this season.

My Rating: 9 out of 10.

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