The following are a few notes from Knightfall Season 2 Episode 1 *Season Premiere*. Warning: mild spoilers may be included, though I’ve tried to stay away from anything too glaring. Either way, consider yourself warned.
Knightfall Season 2 Episode 1 picks up with Landry having been banished from the Knights Templar after his affair with Queen Joan is discovered. He must work to redeem himself under the watchful eye of a mysterious veteran of the Crusades. Meanwhile, King Philip plots to take action against the Templars. At the same time, however, he must also deal with the return of his erratic eldest son Prince Louis.
One thing I’ll say about Knightfall Season 2 Episode 1 is it wasted no time setting up a compelling narrative. It’s unclear exactly how much time passed between this episode and last season’s finale, but it couldn’t have been long. Most likely, no more than a few days. Feeling both fearful and unworthy of his new daughter, Landry seeks to make amends to his brothers. Making sure the child is kept safe, it’s made immediately clear he will move forward in that regard, no matter how difficult a path it represents. I think it’s only fitting that after an entire season of watching him break his vows, we now see Landry seek redemption.
I also can’t say enough about the addition of Mark Hamill to the cast. Despite being barely recognizable from his formal roles, he carries every scene in which he appears. The gravitas, the gravelly voice: he is in every way believable as a grizzled old Crusader knight. I honestly can’t wait to see what he does with the role from here on out. So far, his addition and other factors have led to a great first episode of the season.
Fortunate and unfortunate changes for Season 2
One thing that was almost immediately clear in Knightfall Season 2 Episode 1 was an increase in production value from last season. Wardrobes, sets, etc. quite simply look better than they did last season. That’s definitely a fortunate change. History, it appears, believes enough in the show to invest in its success alongside the Season 2 renewal.
One thing I did not care for, however, was the recasting of several characters. I mean, don’t get me wrong, I know this is simply the cost of doing business sometimes. I guess it’s just something that naturally makes me cringe. On that front, the biggest thing I hated to see was the recasting of Jacques de Molay, played last season by Robert Pugh. Pugh is a great actor, who has shown up in a bunch of these genre films and shows. Perhaps most notably, he portrayed Craster in the second season of Game of Thrones.
Not that the actor playing him now isn’t great, but he’s no Robert Pugh. That being said, I do think they did a great job recasting Princess Isabella. Considering how she is being portrayed, it’s fitting to have an actress in the role who is more capable. To be honest, the girl they had playing her last season was much too cherubic. This season, that role is being played by Genevieve Gaunt, and I have to say she’s already much better.
Perhaps the best thing to say about Knightfall Season 2 Episode 1 is it’s gotten me excited for Season 2. That much, I can already attest to, so I’m definitely looking forward to it. I hope you feel the same way and will join me in watching each week. What we know from history tells us the Templars story is one with a definite expiration date, so I’m really hoping the show lasts long enough to keep telling that story through to the end.