Well, Landry has been a busy Templar since getting re-instated to the order, hasn’t he? Last week he got to cross swords (flaming even) with Gawain and this week he throws down with Prince Louis. All he needs now is a good donnybrook with King Philip and he’ll have met and survived (we suppose) the three men who hate him most. And with the king’s army marching on the Templar Temple at Chartres as the episode ends, the chance to make the triple would seem to be very near, indeed.
Episode 205 of Knightfall, “Road to Chartres,” takes us on a couple interesting journeys. De Nogaret and Gawain cook up a heretical plot to discredit the Templars while King Philip prefers the more direct and blunt approach. It’s war, my friends. The Templars and the forces of King Philip are about to engage in what I’d assume would be a Titanic battle. If you sense my excitement at the prospect then you are most certainly an astute observer.
Prince Louis certainly had a journey of discovery in this episode, didn’t he? There were dark revelation all around the future king, some he found out for himself, others were found out about him. At last, he found Landry at the Abbey that was the home of daughter Eve. A good tip here: if you’re a Templar and the king has declared your kind an enemy of France, you need to be mindful of who might be watching. Tancrede’s visits to the abbey proved pivotal to Louis finding Eve’s home (and Landry’s surprise visit) thanks to a stoolie in that area.
But that’s how it all played out. King Philip dispatches Louis to do his bidding, the young prince and a couple of body men show up in Templar garb, Landry recognizes the ruse and the fight is on. Louis’ face is a wonderful little sight when Landry identifies himself to the still-unknown intruders. Oh, at that moment it was on. I enjoyed the running battle, the gutting of the bad guys by Tancrede and Landry and, eventually, Louis and Landry coming face to face – Landry with sword and Louis with crossbow.
And in that moment truths were spoken, pain felt and by the time Louis’ bolt was loosed, he knew the truth (or at least sensed the truth) – his mother was killed not by Landry, but by his own father. And while Louis eventually visited the dungeon that housed the soldier whose tongue Philip had cut out, I’m sure he was about 80 percent sure Landry spoke the truth about what happened that day in the forest.
Once the former soldier confirmed the truth, the pain for Louis was palpable. Tom Forbes does a great job of showing us the anguish this revelation has for the young prince. I feel for this character, though in the overall painting of the horror he’s inflicted for his father, it’s hard to work up a lot of sadness.
In the end, Landry, Tancrede, Ann, and Eve escape, eventually seeking refuge in the Chartres Temple (I loved the temple master’s look as women entered the temple. Priceless confusion). Louis is wounded by an earlier bolt and tops off his anger by killing the rest of the nuns in the Abbey. Tough scene to see him slap hot iron to the wound and as the camera goes wider, we see the bodies of the nuns scattered on the floor.
But that won’t be the only pain he’ll likely feel. When Margaret goes looking for her husband at the old Templar Temple, she discovers his own little secret – the captive mother/wife of those he’d killed earlier, wearing one of Margaret’s dresses. Wow, talk about stumbling upon something bizarre and unnerving. Now Margaret has a bit of a better read on what her husband has been up to and some of his struggles. Again, plenty of pain there as she dunks herself into a bath in the midst of a blood-curdling scream.
I would say the prince and his wife have some issues to work through in the coming episodes. And I suspect it will be messy on all fronts. It would seem the royal family is in for some serious turmoil.
But first, King Philip needs to exorcise his anger and aims it right at Chartres and the Templars – particularly knowing Landry is in the keep. I’ve enjoyed seeing the king kind of swirl down this emotional toilet this season, torn apart by multiple betrayals. Philip is hardened of mind and spirit at this point and he continues to flash the anger of a man fighting against some potent demons.
Oh, how Philip is filled with hatred and thirst for vengeance. Ed Stoppard is dynamite in this role and I look forward to seeing how big the meltdown becomes for the king – particularly once all the pieces of family issues start to come to the surface. Remember, Isabella is a naughty girl and obviously has some plans that don’t include going to England to marry a man she detests. So stay tuned.
Meanwhile, De Nogaret is still trying to discredit the Templars. With the help of Gawain (talk about a guy who is up, then down, then up, then down), who was dismissed by the king for not killing Landry in the earlier engagement at the Leper Knights of St. Lazarus Temple, De Nogaret hopes for an iron-clad case of heresy against the Templars. Gawain discusses some of the secrets of the order and comes up with an interesting plan to fuse two believes into an idol of sorts that he and De Nogaret (and later the king) will claim proves the Templars are heretics.
In a nice little “Godfather” moment, De Nogaret admits he adheres to the “keep your friends close, your enemies closer” philosophy and wonders which Gawain might be. I don’t know, but I’m hoping that in the end, there’s the spark of redemption rattling around in Gawain somewhere. It seems as though he’s fallen off the emotional and religious cliff, but I wonder if he’s beyond redemption.
The two-skulled silver abomination that they created is supposed to be the heretical proof against the Templars. While I found this somewhat silly (If you want proof, just tell people…you’re the king for heaven’s sake.), it gave us a chance to see Randolph in his new role as pope.
We see him first visiting the Templars at Chartres to alert them that the holy crusade will once again be undertaken, then later at the palace viewing the silver “proof” of Templar heresy. I couldn’t help but notice that when he stood before the king, it was the king offering the hand to be kissed, not the new pope. Kind of let’s you know who works for whom, doesn’t it?
Randolph, Randolph, Randolph, you’re in it now, my friend. So bend the knee and do the bidding of the king while you drink heartily and fornicate merrily.
So here we are, the king’s army is marching on Chartres, which now houses not only Landry, but his daughter Eve. And Philip doesn’t just come with crossbows, pikes and swords. No, he’s got something new in his arsenal as one of his men has discovered and refined the use of gun powder. A demonstration of its power at Philip’s camp brings a glow of anticipation to the king’s eyes. His patience grows thin and it’s time to get his army marching toward Chartres – with a terrible new weapon at his disposal.
The coming episodes should be good fun as there’s a lot of hatred and anger about to converge in one place. It’s time for things to get even messier than they have been. Personally, I can’t wait.
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