The following are a few notes from Knightfall Season 2 Episode 2. Warning: mild spoilers may be included, though I’ve tried to stay away from anything too glaring. Either way, consider yourself warned.
In Knightfall Season 2 Episode 2, Landry continues training under the harsh guidance of Talus, the battle-hardened Initiate Master. Meanwhile, De Nogaret implores King Philip to build a legal case against the Templars and seeks out the aid of a former member. And, at the same time, Prince Louis is tasked with a shocking clandestine mission.
One thing I really enjoyed about Knightfall Season 2 Episode 2 was the way in which it delved deeper into de Nogaret’s past. I mean, we were already aware his parents were Cathars, burned at the stake by the church. We learned as much through dialogue between he and his Cathar uncle during season one. I would argue, in fact, knowing that about his character provided additional depth to explain his rather virulent atheism. Here is a man who not only doesn’t believe in religion, but hates it, and for good reason.
I’ve been saying since the beginning that he was probably the most interesting character on this show, and nothing I’ve seen so far of Season 2 changes that assessment. Still, it was a nice touch for Knightfall Season 2 Episode 2 to actually show us some of his past, rather than simply talking about it. It left us with much greater context with which to understand the palpable hatred he holds for Pope Boniface during their scenes near the end of the episode.
I really enjoy how Knightfall has evolved.
I had great fear during the first season – when it was revealed the Temple Master was carrying on an affair with the Queen of France – that the show was going to devolve into some kind of medieval soap opera. Instead, however, we have a series that’s much more cerebral. Even the action sequences only serve to support the overall narrative in which things center on the characters themselves.
In place of a soap opera, we have a series where multiple pieces of the narrative revolve around how different characters deal with the aftershocks of Landry’s affair with the Queen. King Philip is understandably angry, though one wonders why he can’t see the good sense his son is trying to impart. Joan was the Queen of France, after all, beloved by the people. Treating her with respect in death can only help him, including using her murder as a way to discredit his enemies.
As far as Louis is concerned, whatever she was, she was also his mother. It makes perfect sense he wouldn’t want her memory tarnished. He wants her buried with honor, which is why he retrieved her body himself last week. It also makes perfect sense that he would seek Landry’s death. This will – no doubt – be complicated later when he learns his father actually killed her. Still, though, Landry might remain a target as the perceived source of her dishonor.
And, of course, one cannot forget what will no doubt be Landry’s redemptive arc this season. That too is an example of part of the fallout from his affair, as the show becomes almost a psychological study of all of these characters.
One thing wasn’t immediately clear and I hope I am right about it.
What I’m speaking of is the sudden appearance of an inconvenient gaggle of Luciferians, sacrificing some poor soul out in the forest. It’s presented in the vein of giving Landry and his compatriots something heroic to do, but honestly it falls flat. In what was otherwise a great episode, this stood out as a low point. I would argue this for no other reason then there’s no historical precedent of organized devil worship in France during this time period. As a result, what has heretofore been some pretty solid historical fiction runs the risk of becoming unnecessarily cartoonish.
What I think I saw, however, would quickly make up for it if I’m correct. The following scenes, depicting Louis’s forces ambushing the Templars sent out to deal with the situation, leads me to believe it was all set up from the beginning. There were no devil worshipers at all; simply a ruse to draw out some Templars, for the express purpose of stealing their cloaks and tunics.
That part of the story was actually quite brilliant. Louis’s Herod-like mission to seek out baby Eve now becomes an even bigger part of the overall story. With what history tells us about the accusations eventually brought upon the Knights Templar, it’s easy to see how Louis’s activities will make it much easier for people to believe when the time comes. Knightfall Season 2 Episode 2 gave us yet another piece of the puzzle to explain how that will come about. I thought it was really great.