Saturday, August 31, 2019

REVIEW: 'Carnival Row' - Philo Learns What Is Physically Possible in This Fantasy World in 'The Joining of Unlike Things'

Amazon's Carnival Row - Episode 1.04 "The Joining of Unlike Things"

Philo investigates the murder of his childhood headmaster. Vignette ingratiates herself into the Black Raven. Imogen hatches a plan to help her brother. Breakspear goes on the offensive with Longerbane.

In 2018, there were 495 scripted shows airing amongst the linear channels and streaming services. The way people are consuming content now is so different than it used to be. It happens according to one's own schedule. As such, there is less necessity to provide ample coverage of each specific episode in any given season from a show. Moreover, it is simply impossible to watch everything. As such, this site is making the move to shorter episodic reviews in order to cover as many shows as possible. With all of that being said, here are my thoughts on the next episode of Amazon's Carnival Row.

"The Joining of Unlike Things" was written by Travis Beacham, Marc Guggenheim & Peter Cameron and directed by Thor Freudenthal & Anna Foerster

Philo has seen some incredible things throughout his life. And yet, he's not capable of believing the idea that a monster made of various dead body parts is the creature that lurks beneath the Burgue. Yes, that would be incredible to believe upfront. But this is a world where creatures can fly. There is so much discrimination in this world though. The lack of belief and understanding plays into that. Even though Philo is half-fae, he still grew up in the Burgue and has those mentalities lead him forward. He may be more sympathetic to the plight of others in this world. But he still doesn't have the comprehension to take anything solely on faith. He needs to see this as feasibly possible. That just means he's physically assaulted in the process. That's what Haruspex does in order to prove to him it's possible to raise two creatures from the dead as one. That's the sacrifice he has to make. The ends may justify the means when he comes back and his faith is rewarded. Right now though, it's a little too disgusting and unnecessary. The show is putting forth the image that Vignette is still the only one Philo thinks about. He doesn't take Portia out on a real date until this hour. He does so almost as a reaction. He needs to prove to himself that he is over Vignette and the relationship they had together. He ruined it by lying. He didn't have to proclaim his death. He could have found another way that didn't keep Vignette in the dark. That has fueled so much of her angry. She was right to feel that way too. But it's also incredulous how the two of them keep popping up in each other's lives. It's not unreasonable when she sneaks into the police station to capture the flag. But they run into each other on the street just so the Black Raven can doubt her loyalty. And then, Philo saves the day when Vignette fights back against the fae who has actually been talking to the police. That is an outrageous moment that is explained away somehow by Tourmaline knowing what's going on. Even if she did, it would be hard for Philo to track Vignette down in the heat of the moment because she is engaged in a fight in the sky and could have landed at any place on the ground below. But there he is to save her. That once again bonds them together. They dispose of a body together. They don't want anyone to ask questions. Now, that was always unlikely because the police don't really care when a fae is killed. They only care when it potentially makes them look bad. The coroner questions Philo having someone else conduct an autopsy. That's scandalous to him but he doesn't care about the many fae who are dying in this city because of the hateful rhetoric that is only increasing. Only some people are able to use that to their advantage. This hour cements Piety and Agreus as power players in this world who are able to manipulate any situation to their benefit. Piety makes her husband believe that his political rival kidnapped their son even though she did. Longerbane dies as a result of this plot. It's all an effective way to keep Absalom charged up and in power. Sure, it may fall apart at any moment in time. It also remains very tangential to so much else going on. But it hasn't so far. The same goes to Imogen and Ezra's concerns. That is much more trivial though. It's all about their standing in society. They can't risk being seen as social outcasts. And yet, Imogen believes that she has to rely on Agreus in order to turn around the misfortunes that her brother has caused. That could lead to something fruitful. It's just taking a long time to actually get to that point. There also isn't any guarantee that all of these disparate narratives will come together to create a cohesive whole. They aren't really influencing one another. They mostly just present as various stories that are potentially intriguing for this very unique fantasy world.