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

            This episode begins with the explanation of what Dust is and why it has become “dangerous.” It’s a warning about what is to come now that Metatron has “answered” Lord Asriel’s call. An earthquake tears throughout all worlds.

            Mrs. Coulter regains consciousness and learns that the bomb detonated. She finds Father Pavel and asks him to ask the Alethiometer whether or not Lyra survive the blast. Lord Asriel and his army feel the earthquake as a rift form alongside the edge of the camp’s base. Dr. Mary Malone feels a similar earthquake and she sees more of the Sraf flow out from the trees. The Dead survive the bomb’s blast, for obvious reasons, but it’s some time before it’s clear Lyra and Will survived it. 

            Lord Asriel is excited to learn that Metatron has responded to his war cry. Mrs. Coulter returns on the Intention Craft and tells Asriel that Lyra is dead and that it was his actions that forced Metatron’s hand to do it. Asriel explores the abyss to learn why there is a “river of Dust” flowing at the bottom of it. At the same time, Queen Ruta’s daemon investigates the abyss, only for him to get pulled into its current. It is unclear whether or not the Queen is “dead.” 

            Dr. Malone and Atal discuss the earthquake and how more of the Sraf is leaving the world. Both of them know what it means, but they don’t know what to do. For now, all they can do is wait. 

            Mrs. Coulter and Lord Asriel deal with the news of their daughter’s fate differently. Mrs. Coulter’s grief is more of what many would expect from a mourning parent—which is unusual given who she is—but, Asriel decides to use Lyra’s death to gain more allies. He pleads his case to the one who loved her more than he did, and he is presented with shocking news about Lyra, and about the concept of life after death.

Queen Serafina Pekkala is back, and she arrives at Asriel’s camp from communicating with Queen Ruta Skadi. She demands answers to what happened to Queen Ruta and to Asriel’s foolishness. The abyss exists across the multiverse and the last thing you want to happen to you is to fall into it.

            Lyra and Will wake up—they are not dead—with the Dead, and they all realize that the blast was an unusual event because not even the harpies—the creatures who torment the Dead—are capable of doing such a thing. Due to the blast, the landscape of the Land of the Dead has altered and the trek to the zenith has become more dangerous, but they all continue with their journey to get there. Lyra, Will and the Dead continue telling each other stories about their lives to keep themselves occupied during their journey.

            The abyss is even more dangerous in the Land of the Dead because it means the Dead can still be affected by something worse than death. Lyra is saved by one of the harpies. She gives her thanks to the harpy, and she strikes a deal with them on behalf of the Dead. Before their journey ends, Will reunites with the person who he was hoping to see one last time. Afterwards, they reach the pinnacle of the Land of the Dead. Now, the question isn’t whether or not Will can cut a new door, but whether or not the Dead are willing to walk through it without knowing what happens next. 

            Mrs. Coulter and Lord Asriel learn the truth about the prophecy about their daughter. However, it was only the first prophecy about the Final Battle. In addition, Lyra and Will are not safe yet. They need to find their daemons and to return to any world of the living. The Republic of Heaven begins searching for them. At the same time, Metatron and his army are assembling near Asriel’s camp. The Final Battle is about to commence. 

            This episode is one of the best of Season 3, and the series overall, and there are still 2 episodes left, in which the next one has to be the Final Battle between Lord Asriel’s army and Metatron and his angels. For those who read the books, we’re hoping the final episodes live up to our long-awaited expectations. As for the viewers, the final 2 episodes are what we all have been waiting for since Lord Asriel’s intentions were made at the end of Season 2. The acting done by the entire cast are the best in this series yet. 

My Rating: 10 out of 10.

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