Review: His Dark Materials - The Spies - 1.03

***Contains Spoilers***

His Dark MaterialsTonight, HBO premiered the third episode of His Dark Materials, titled “The Spies.” In the episode, Lyra (Dafne Keen) is rescued from the Gobblers by the Gyptians, who hope to interrogate her kidnapper as they continue to look for the children.

Meanwhile, Coulter (Ruth Wilson) visits Dr. Carne (Clarke Peters) for information, who although revealing he gave Lyra the alethiometer, won’t help Coulter locate her. After tearing the place apart for anything heretical, she and Boreal (Ariyon Bakare) extend their search.

Lyra agrees to stay with the Gyptians, but she only brings more trouble when magisterium officers are dispatched, and she has to hide. Not everyone is happy with harboring her, but eventually everyone is on the same page.

More secrets are revealed to Lyra, who also gains knowledge of the alethiometer, but it only brings unpleasant news when things go bad for the Gyptians.

His Dark MaterialsThis week not as much goes on in the story and it moves a bit slower, but it was still a good episode.

There’s an interesting conversation between Farder Coram (James Cosmo) and Lyra when they talk about daemons and how their final shape represents who the person is. Lyra doesn’t want Pan to stop changing, but eventually she will have to grow up and choose what kind of person she will be.

Speaking of daemons, Boreal’s meeting on the other side raises interesting questions about where daemons come from, when it’s revealed that someone from the other side possessed one.

One of the other important scenes is of course Ma Costa (Ann-Marie Duff) revealing to Lyra that Coulter is actually her mother. Lyra rightfully has a hard time accepting it.

The thing about the episode that surprised me the most story wise, is that Lyra decided to tell Coram about the alethiometer. I know she needs to find someone to trust, and while I do believe he deserves that trust, I’m worried that she isn’t protecting herself enough and may later give information to the wrong person, which could send her down the wrong path.

Once again the cast is excellent. In this episode Keen really holds her own against the adults as she struggles to make her own choices. She also is great to watch when she gives her speech to the Gyptians, helping them to be strong and continue the fight.

His Dark MaterialsWilson continues to be an fantastic and multilayered villain, and we get to see more of her anger and darkness when she doesn’t get her own way.

I’m at the moment still most interested, however, in Boreal’s story and where the information he gained will lead him. I hope that we continue to see more of the other world.

Even with less action, the show is still gorgeous, and I especially enjoyed seeing some tech when Coulter releases her little “spies.”

The episode may have felt a little slow but it was still quite entertaining, and it’s obvious that it’s leading up to something big. Only time will tell what that is.

Photos: Alex Bailey

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