After getting caught in Lord Boreal's trap, Lyra loses what’s most precious to her while Lee runs into someone unexpected.

By Lauren Morgan
November 30, 2020 at 09:51 PM EST
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Credit: Simon Ridgway/HBO

Even though the alethiometer told Lyra she must help Will find his father, she finds the mystery of Dust too strong to ignore. While Will sleeps, she slips out of Cittàgazze and back into Will’s world to visit Dr. Malone, who has been experimenting unsuccessfully with the Cave. She’s tried to change the coding of the machine but it doesn’t respond to her as well as it did to Lyra. At least, she thinks it doesn't but when she heads back to her office to wait for Lyra, an image of a snake appears on the Cave's screen as a warning. 

Back in her office, Lord Boreal’s police henchmen, the Pale Faced Man, appears asking a lot of odd questions about Lyra’s appearance the day before. Malone, who’s not an idiot, finds this all rather creepy and manages to head Lyra off in the hallway but not before the Pale Faced Man catches them both and forces them back into the office for questioning. Though Malone tries to stop the interview, Lyra handles it well at first until she uncharacteristically trips up and confirms she knows Will.  

Credit: HBO

Malone engineers Lyra’s escape but Lyra “conveniently” runs right into Lord Boreal as she flees from the Pale Faced Man. He offers her a lift and at first she resists until she realizes she has no better option. While Pan is trapped outside of Lord Boreal’s car as a bird, Boreal insists she put on a seatbelt which means Lyra must take off her backpack with the alethiometer. Feeling the pain of Pan being physically pulled away from her while he’s trapped outside of the car and still nervous about being followed, Lyra insists Boreal let her out of the car. But in a move that seems like she really got hit by the stupid stick, she forgets her bag as she gets out. Boreal calls after her to take the bag but not before he lifts the alethiometer out of it and drives away. 

While this disaster is happening, Will is back in Cittàgazze having disturbing dreams of the knife with the angel hilt and the idea he must take up his father’s mantle. As he wakes and looks at his dad’s letters, he has renewed hope that he can find him with the help of Lyra and the alethiometer. Missing Lyra’s note telling him she went to see Dr. Malone, he goes to look for her around Cittàgazze and finds Angelica instead. 

Will asks her about the person he’s seen in the mysterious tower at the center of the town and she dodges the question but tells him that the tower is called the Torre degli Angeli. It belongs to the Guild, who were a group of philosophers that ran away when the Specters came. She asks Will if the Specters got his parents and he admits they didn’t. Since they got her parents, she tells Will that he needs a plan since he is on the cusp of adulthood. Will’s not afraid of the Specters but seems awfully wary of Angelica and leaves to find what happened to Lyra. 

He finally stumbles upon Lyra’s note and heads straight for his world to find her . He doesn’t have far to go since she’s crying right outside the window to the city. She admits that she lost the alethiometer and he comforts her but becomes quite alarmed when he finds out the police were at Dr. Malone’s office and they knew about him. He wants to go back to Cittàgazze immediately but she doesn’t want to leave without the alethiometer. She tells him about Charles Latrom (a.k.a. Lord Boreal) and Pan remembers that Latrom gave her his card when they first met. 

Once they hear a police siren, they realize they can't go see him until it’s dark so they pick the best place they can think of: an afternoon screening of Paddington. As Paddington gives his hard stare to Mr. Brown and Lyra steals all of Will’s popcorn, they start arguing — and not about how Hugh Grant should have won an Oscar for Paddington 2 (but he should have). Will thinks she doesn’t take anything seriously and she’s mad he thinks she was messing around. She reminds him that her best friend was murdered by her father and the guilt that she carries because of that. Eventually, they get shushed and she continues shoving popcorn in her mouth even though she thinks it tastes like wood shavings. Remorseful, Will admits he came for her because he was worried. 

And Will was right to be, because not only has Lord Boreal found Lyra, he’s sent a message to her mother that he knows where she is. But thankfully, he’s not the only person on Lyra’s tail. Though the witches have suffered fearful devastation at the hands of the Magisterium, Serafina realizes that they must find Lyra. She sends her daemon Kaisa to visit Iorek Byrnison, who says that Lyra followed Lord Asriel through the tear in the sky, thus giving the witches a vital clue to Lyra’s whereabouts. 

Credit: HBO

But before either the witches or Mrs. Coulter can find Lyra, the latter has an unexpected meeting with Lee Scoresby, who has gotten captured by the Magisterium on his way to find Stanislaus Grumman and his magical object of protection. Having been hailed by the man himself through magical means, Lee made his way to the Samirsky Hotel in Nova Zembla where tall tales about Grumman abounded. While some think Grumman is dead, others have heard he is very much alive and point Lee in the direction of the nearby observatory. The man that works at the observatory, Dr. Haley (Angus Wright), tells Lee that Grumman is up the Yenisei River but unfortunately, he also believes the mysterious man is a heretic. Before Lee knows it, he’s in a gunfight and winds up killing the doctor in self-defense. As he tries to escape, he gets captured by the Magisterium. 

And it's in jail where Mrs. Coulter finds Lee when she lands in town on an unscheduled stop. After some dancing around the topic of Lyra, it becomes clear what she means to them both. Coulter tries to intimidate Lee into telling her where her daughter is, using pain to try and break him, but his dedication to Lyra is too strong. She must love Lyra but Lee will never trust a woman like her with the girl, not someone who could turn children into ghosts. He does some psychiatric work on Mrs. Coulter, saying she must have had the same kind of awful parents he had. Despite his past, he feels more alive than he has in years because Lyra gave him hope. 

Seeing in Lee the kind of parental love she should have always given Lyra, Coulter breaks. And when she gets a note from Boreal saying that he knows where Lyra is, she frees Lee from his cell, telling him about the prophecy and that many people who are looking for Lyra mean her harm. If he finds her first, please keep her safe. He promises. As he heads up the river to find Grumman, he believes more than ever that Lyra needs whatever object of protection that Grumman has to keep her safe. 

Credit: HBO

Back in Will’s world, Dr. Malone is trying another method to communicate with the shadow particles using the I Ching as Lyra suggested and though she is not anywhere near the Cave at the time, it starts reacting to what her mind is doing. 

Lyra and Will, meanwhile, have arrived at Lord Boreal’s home in this world, an elegant mansion filled with antiques of all kinds. Though Lyra introduces Will as Mark, once Boreal takes out the alethiometer and she demands it back, he identifies both of them by their real names. Chiding her for not recognizing him, he notes that Lyra isn’t as astute as her mother and she finally realizes that he’s Lord Boreal and that she had seen him before at her mother’s party. 

As he puts the alethiometer out of her reach, she throws a glass at him and he threatens to call the police on both of them. He has an offer for them though and tells them he knows about the other world. The man who made the doorway to Will’s world has a knife and Boreal believes he’s hiding in the Torre degli Angeli. If they bring the knife to him, he’ll give them the alethiometer back. Though Lyra swears she’ll get him the knife, Lord Boreal should be careful because as the episode ends, Lyra looks like she’d like to stab him with it.

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