REVIEW: His Dark Materials, S2 Ep3 – Theft

His Dark Materials S2 E3 A

This week’s His Dark Materials sees Lyra and Will caught in Boreal’s trap, Mary Malone attempting to communicate with Dust, and Lee Scoresby has an unexpected encounter.

Lyra decides to return to Oxford to speak more with Mary Malone but Boreal’s agent, Detective Walters, is out to get her. Malone suspects that something is amiss and helps Lyra escape. But though she slips through Walters’ fingers, she runs straight into Boreal, who steals the alethiometer from her.

His Dark Materials S2 E3 BMeanwhile, Mary Malone tries to connect to her computer to communicate with Dust but is not as successful as Lyra. Later on, at home, she decides to use the I Ching and unbeknownst to her, Dust begins to respond.

While Will searches for Lyra in Cittàgazze, he has an interesting conversation with Angelica about the nature of the Spectres and the risk that he will be a target because of his age. He later reunites with a distraught Lyra and they decide to somehow get the alethiometer back.

Before they head to Boreal’s mansion, they spend some time hiding out in a cinema and it’s another delightful scene showing their growing bond as Lyra discovers popcorn and as Pan watches Paddingtonin awe. Lyra reveals her grief about Roger and Will begins to understand her a little better. Despite everything, they continue to learn to trust each other.

There is a short visit to Svalbard where Serafina Pekkala’s daemon, Kaisa, speaks to Iorek Byrnison. The panserbjorn king talks about how Lord Asriel’s portal to another world has had climate change repercussions on the old world.

His Dark Materials S2 E3 CIn a departure from the source material, His Dark Materials contrived for an opportunity for Mrs. Coulter and Lee Scoresby to meet. When the latter is arrested after a quarrel with the Magisterium, Mrs. Coulter decides to interrogate him about Lyra’s whereabouts. What follows is a revealing conversation about childhood trauma and the sometimes toxic nature of love. The conversation also features a rare moment that characters (other than Lyra) are comforted by their daemons.

Whether or not you think that this scene benefits the series as a whole, it is a very engaging conversation not least because of the strong performances of Ruth Wilson and Lin-Manuel Miranda.Despite their differences, they reach a strange alliance and Coulter frees Scoresby and asks him to protect Lyra. In some ways, she may also be asking that he protect Lyra from her.

The episode concludes with Boreal sending the children on a mission to acquire a special knife, which is hidden in the Tower of Angels. Book readers know what’s about to happen next and if you haven’t read the books, just know that the next chapter will be a major turning point for Will and the whole saga.