Find us the Grail
I hate to say it, but I’m genuinely struggling with this show. While it’s beautiful, and well acted, the plot still has yet to really grab me, and besides Landry, I haven’t found any of the other secondary characters compelling. I know that it’s only the second episode, so I’m hoping things will change with another episode or two.
This episode focused more on the court intrigue than the last episode. We start out with Landry visiting the court, still mourning Godfrey’s death. Of course, the King is kind to him, and as he walks away, Landry takes a chance to talk to Joan, whispering for her to meet him that evening. I found it a bit ridiculous that he would ask so openly–perhaps no one could hear, but there is a risk to that.
Spurred on by the rumor that the Holy Grail may be somewhere in France, Pope Boniface arrives in Paris. He urges Landry to find the Grail–and also makes him the head of the Templars in the city. Which, given how ‘good’ of a Templar Landry has been lately, seems a bad idea.
The Templars go to gather up Godfrey’s body, wanting it properly buried within the walls of the stronghold…but find it missing. Parsifal, who was burying his fiance (and vowing revenge of course), decides to help them find the body.
Apparently a man named Roland is behind all of this, and his men are so horrible they kill helpless monks. Genuinely it’s cliche, and I wish there was more nuance in all of this. Of course Parsifal kills one of the men in a rage when he hears that the man raped his dead fiance , and after all this is over, Landry offers the young man a place in the Templars. Again–I’ve seen this story before, but told better.
Back at court, we get to meet Princess Isabella, who seems genuinely sweet. She wishes to marry the Prince of Catalonia (her mother approves), but her father wishes to marry her off to Prince Edward of England. Unable to make a decision, the King and Queen ask the Pope to weigh in; he chooses Catalonia, as it would help solidify his Catholic power. However, historically Isabella does marry Edward, so this alliance won’t last. Also–side note: De Nogaret is creepy and definitely has some icky intentions towards Isabella…despite being her uncle.
De Nogaret also attempts to kill the Pope, but sees his assassin killed instead…and the Pope knows of it. Frustrated, De Nogaret goes to a pub where he stumbles upon Gawaine, who is angry that he has been removed from active duty, due to his leg injury. He’s so angry, he tells De Nogaret about the quest for the Grail. I understand that he was offered a good doctor to help his leg, but what is Gawaine really thinking? That the Templars won’t find out and/or care that he told?
…also with Godfrey’s body recovered from Roland’s men, they cut him open to find he had swallowed a key before he died. …a key to what, who knows.
I’m not trying to be a naysayer, and these two episodes aren’t bad, but they are weighed down by some lackluster writing, and a story that has yet to prove overly original. I’m holding out for something better.