See’s biggest problem is a total lack of vision [Apple TV+ recap]


Baba Voss (played by Jason Momoa) is looking for answers in See's final season.
Photo: Apple TV+

Oh, brother, here we go again. See is back for its third and final season with more grim, doomy, portentous, heavily filtered, scowling, medieval dystopian tedium for you.

The Apple TV+ show about a future Earth where most everybody is blind takes one last lap through Joseph Campbell and the big book of heroic cliches.

Jason Momoa’s Baba Voss is on the lam, Kofun’s a father (and hates everything about it), Maghra’s having no fun at all being queen, and Kane is still insane in the membrane. Strap in.

See recap: ‘Heavy Hangs the Head’

Season 3, episode 1: Two seasons into See, we’ve covered a lot of ground. Summing up the backstory would be kind of pointless — if you’re not already watching See, you’re not gonna dive into the third season.

But, briefly: Practically everyone on Earth went blind some time ago. Now everyone lives in warring tribal communities, and there is much bickering over who should be in charge. A handful of people can see, but they tend to keep their capabilities secret so as not to be burned as witches.

After the defeat of Baba’s brother Edo Voss last season, a soldier named Tormada (played by David Hewlett), has taken up Edo’s mantle.
Tormada has an ace up his sleeve that he doesn’t tell his comrades about: His sighted explosives expert, Oloman (Dayo Okeniyi), has finally finished his research. He’s perfected a bomb powerful enough to kill the invading army.

After that, it only takes Tormada about six seconds to grow completely drunk with power. He wants to kill Baba Voss (Jason Momoa) for killing Edo, then take over the whole world.

After Edo’s death, his lieutenant Wren (Eden Epstein) has fallen in with a doomed crowd. She’s still doing time for the Trivantian army, and when we join her — several months after she decided to give up her love for Baba’s adopted daughter Haniwa (Nesta Cooper) — they’ve just gotten their asses kicked by a different town’s army. Only a half-dozen of the Trivantian troops make it to safety.

A tale of two queens

See recap season 3, episode 1: Maghra (played by Hera Hilmar) might be too soft to rule.
New queen Maghra (played by Hera Hilmar) might be too soft to rule.
Photo: Apple TV+

For some reason, Maghra (Hera Hilmar) has allowed her sister, the deposed Queen Kane (Sylvia Hoeks), to not only live and carry her baby to term. This comes, you will remember, after Kane killed Baba and Maghra’s confidante Paris (Alfre Woodard) in cold blood. None of this tracks to me, but I guess we have to accept that Maghra’s just too much of a soft touch.

As always, everyone on See makes dumb mistakes today so they can pay for them tomorrow. They just love not doing the easy thing. Shows tend to write themselves when no one ever does anything logically.

Witchfinder Tamacti Jun (Christian Camargo) and politician Lord Harlan (Tom Mison) are trying to get Maghra to make some kind of a decision about the kid — the child of Kane and Maghra’s son, Kofun (Archie Madekwe).

A problem child

Once word gets out that an heir to the throne has been born, they’ll attack them, I guess? Seems fuzzy to me but no one on See ever really needs a reason to panic and get violent.

Harlan married Maghra after Baba Voss left at the end of last season because he didn’t like the idea of his wife getting into politics. Harlan wants Kofun to take parenthood more seriously because he, of all people, should know what it’s like to have an absent birth father. Kofun’s own dad was the traitorous villain Jerlamarel (Joshua Henry), who left after impregnating Maghra all those years ago.

Meanwhile, sighted siblings Haniwa and Kofun bicker over the direction their civilization has taken and could take. Kofun’s so bent out of shape about his son that he’s grown despondent about the future of anything. His sister wants to build a utopia.

See recap, final season opener: Haniwa (played by Nesta Cooper) is a dreamer.
Haniwa (played by Nesta Cooper) is a dreamer.
Photo: Apple TV+

One day, Haniwa is taken by the sight of someone else who can see. However, when she runs into Row Vano (Hayden Finkelshtain), he scurries away, as if embarrassed to be seen.

The next day, Haniwa sees a loud, dissident crowd stirred up by former soldier Lucien (Dean Jagger). He’s mad at Maghra for calling off their war on the sighted. They’re going to burn Row Vano alive in front of a crowd. Haniwa tries to stop them, but this just buys her an ugly fight, which she narrowly escapes.

All this dissent is causing problems. The Trivantians have sent an emissary to say they want to put Queen Kane on trial for her crimes against them, but Maghra knows this is an excuse to torture the once and future queen Kane, rather than just kill her outright.

More palace intrigue

They’ve sent their ambassador, Trovere (Trieste Kelly Dunn), for a chat about it. She used to be one of Harlan’s lovers, if their overfamiliarity is any indication. And when they find out Maghra doesn’t want to kill Kane anymore, Maghra sends Harlan to seduce Trovere instead; he agrees, though he feigns reluctance.

Tamacti Jun wants badly to kill Kane for personal reasons. But it’s also just good politics, so he’s doubly pissed when he finds out the queen went soft.

So, where’s Baba Voss? He’s out in the wilderness with his old friends Bow Lion (Yadira Guevara-Prip), Ranger (Michael Raymond-James) and Ranger’s wife Lu (Mainei Kinimaka). They’re just living off the land, but Lu wants Baba and Bow Lion to go because years ago Baba lead a raid that massacred her people. Lu just wants to live in peace with her husband.

Bow Lion is just hanging out, trying to convince Baba to come out of hiding. Of course, he gets a reason to leave a few minutes later when Tormado shows up and blows up Bow Lion, thinking it’s Baba. And of course — because this show is wall-to-wall tactical geniuses — Tormado doesn’t check to make sure he blew up the right guy before leaving to kill Maghra, Kofun and Haniwa.

See’s writing will make you wish you couldn’t hear the dialogue

"See" recap Apple TV+: Tormado (played by David Hewlett, left) and his sighted comrade Oloman (Dayo Okeniyi) look like trouble.
Tormado (played by David Hewlett, left) and his sighted comrade Oloman (Dayo Okeniyi) look like trouble.
Photo: Apple TV+

Not once but twice in this episode, Jason Momoa puts his hands into a pile of shit. First to track a dog, second to punish Ranger by shoving it into his face. I’ve said this before, but writers should do their level best not to hand critics the tidiest imaginable metaphor for what it feels like to watch their show.

The writing on See has not improved from the last two seasons. And, though I doubt show creator Steven Knight is still in the writer’s room much these days, his heavy hand is nevertheless felt.

Characters still make the dumbest possible decisions because it’s going to move the plot forward. That would be forgivable on any other show, but nearly everyone on this show cannot see. It doesn’t really seem believable that they’d all be so anxious to make life even harder for themselves.

And then there are the usual unrepeatable stabs at poetry. “The herbs you smoke have taken what’s left of your brain,” says Lu, one of this show’s many wannabe philosophers, and “Even you, Baba Voss, are nothing more than a speck of a shit on the ass of a bug,” says Ranger, driving home the clumsiness of this writing staff…and it goes on like this, to paraphrase Reverend Lovejoy.

These ridiculous phrases all come tripping out of the actors’ mouths like drunken bears roller skating down a waterslide. Trying to make sense of the dialogue on See is like reading a book with size 4 print. You’re constantly squinting with your mind to try and figure out what’s being said and why. And typically, you come away none the wiser for it.

Plus, some other minor annoyances

And then there are the little things you start thinking about when the plot refuses to be interesting. Like, for instance, that Nesta Cooper (who plays Haniwa) is actually three years younger than Hera Hilmar (who plays her mother, Maghra).  How’d they make that work, exactly?

Or that Kane’s favorite song is Shawn Mullins’ excruciating “Lullaby.” Where’d she hear that? Someone drag an old CD through hundreds of years of zero power and zero technology and zero CD players and no knowledge of what a CD player is?!?

This one episode of See felt like a whole season of TV. I need the writers to free up these actors so they can go back to making things worthy of their considerable talents. Jason Momoa rooting around in animal feces is just not the best use of his time. I believe the man can act if someone wants to get out of his way and let him.


Watch See on Apple TV+

Season three of See premieres August 26, 2022, on Apple TV+. New episodes will arrive on Apple TV+ on the following Fridays.

Rated: TV-MA

Watch on: Apple TV+

Scout Tafoya is a film and TV critic, director and creator of the long-running video essay series The Unloved for He has written for The Village Voice, Film Comment, The Los Angeles Review of Books and Nylon Magazine. He is the author of Cinemaphagy: On the Psychedelic Classical Form of Tobe Hooper, the director of 25 feature films, and the director and editor of more than 300 video essays, which can be found at


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