See can't find a way to make the murk work [Apple TV+ recap] | Cult of Mac

See can’t find a way to make the murk work [Apple TV+ recap]

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See recap Apple TV: Maghra (played by Hera Hilmar) and Baba Voss (Jason Momoa) come face-to-face again.★★☆☆☆
Maghra (played by Hera Hilmar) and Baba Voss (Jason Momoa) come face-to-face again.
Photo: Apple TV+

Baba Voss returns to civilization after a short-lived exile on this week’s episode of See, the Apple TV+ show about a world in the future where everyone on earth has gone blind.

Our hero Baba Voss (played by Jason Momoa) is trying to raise the alarm about explosives — but no one wants to hear it. Plus, his adopted sun Kofun is still shaky on the needs of fatherhood, and Baba’s wife Queen Maghra is between a rock and a hard place. Maghra’s sister, deposed queen Sibeth Kane, may have run out of ways to stay alive.

It’s a silly episode from start to finish — even if you manage to see what’s happening amid all the murky on-screen action.

See recap: ‘Watch Out for Wolves’

Season 3, episode 2: In the episode, entitled “Watch Out for Wolves,” Baba Voss’ ears are still ringing from the explosion Tormada (David Hewlett) set off. It killed Bow Lion (Yadira Guevara-Prip) but spared Ranger (Michael Raymond-James) and his wife, Lu (Mainei Kinimaka).

Baba knows that Tormada will use the explosives on every foe he has left, which will leave every other settlement powerless before him. Baba bids Ranger adieu and heads back to civilization to warn Maghra (Hera Hilmar) and their children, Haniwa (Nesta Cooper) and Kofun (Archie Madekwe).

Meanwhile, witchfinder Tamacti Jun (Christian Camargo) has been sent to talk to Lucien (Dean Jagger) about their burning witches. Knock it off or I’ll kill you, is his blunt message to his one-time comrade. Of course, Tamacti Jun may be older, but he’s also wilier than Lucien. After a brutal little skirmish, he defeats his foe, rips out his earrings and leaves triumphant.

Strange bedfellows

Lord Harlan (Tom Mison) is doing a little damage control of his own by bedding Trivantes ambassador Trovere (Trieste Kelly Dunn). Harlan’s stalling on behalf of Maghra, who isn’t 100% ready to give her sister, former queen Kane (Sylvia Hoeks), to the Trivanteans so they can skin her alive and stuff. Of course, that hasn’t stopped ungrateful lunatic Kane from constantly goading her nicer sister from her bed and her leg irons. Maghra finally resolves to give up Kane to Trovere after she sees her sister can’t help but be cruel to everyone.

Just as she decides, Baba Voss shows up and says that the Trivanteans are lying about wanting peace; they’re on their way with their explosives to kill everyone. This is the last thing Maghra wants to hear.

Baba recognizes Maghra won’t act, so he breaks into Trovere’s sleeping quarters for a little chat. He’s surprised to find Harlan there, which throws him off long enough for Trovere to blow her warning whistle, which sets her envoy upon Baba. Trovere’s going to have Baba killed, but Maghra, Haniwa and Kofun intervene just in time.

Explosives? What explosives?

No one believes Baba’s story about the explosives, though. When he finds out that Kane killed Paris, he runs into her chamber to kill her — but she’s already escaped.

Wren (Eden Epstein) is also having second thoughts about dealing with the Trivanteans. She hatches a plan to escape with sighted explosives expert Oloman (Dayo Okeniyi), another of the sons of Jerlamarel (Joshua Henry).

The rest of his children are being held captive by Tormada’s soldiers, so when Wren offers to free him, he declines the invitation. Even if they escape, Tormada’s Trivanteans will kill his family, which still doesn’t solve the problem of the explosives. Wren knows that the bombs will kill thousands of innocent people, so she offers to help him destroy them all after they free his family.

Her genius escape plan lasts about six seconds and then the guards kill Olomon and she has to leave on her own. Nice one.

See is so dark, nobody can see what’s happening

Can you see what I can't see?
Can you see what I can’t see?
Photo: Apple TV+

Like a lot of Apple TV+ content, this episode was about 50% completely unintelligible. Shot on digital cameras with zero light sensitivity, whole fight scenes and conversations transpire in pitch darkness. I could not see anything during fairly crucial scenes, so I just kind of looked around my apartment, checked my phone, zoned out, basically. Exactly what you want people doing during carefully choreographed fight scenes involving actors who have to pretend to be sightless while wielding big sticks and swords and stuff.

It’s a ridiculous betrayal of your cast and crew to not even give them the dignity of having their weeks of hard work under all that costuming and makeup be visible. There should be a SAG-AFTRA union rep whose job it is to make sure actors are visible, because otherwise what’s the point of dressing them in expensive Mad Max costumes and covering them in dirt and grime?

I don’t get how people let this become an industry-standard thing (it is, by no means, just an Apple TV+ problem). But it’s such a heartbreaking precedent to follow.

Maddeningly murky, and for no good reason

It’s doubly ironic that they do this on See, a show all about the idea of not seeing things in the world, and that it’s a total careless accident, instead of some purposeful device used to actually get us to experience things the way the blind do (which I also hasten to add this show has never done).

Three seasons of numbing combat and portentous exposition, and basically zero time put into getting us into an empathetic state for the blind characters. It’s frankly fairly easy to forget anyone’s blind at all (a lot of of the actors are still making eye contact and stuff under their contacts), which is, when you get right down to it, a little silly.

All this work, all this world building … for what?

Eyes to see you

On a brighter note, it’s always nice to see Trieste Kelly Dunn, a former indie queen (Cold Weather, Loves Her Gun) who’s been steadily chipping away at the mainstream with roles on Banshee and Blindspot. I like her instincts as a performer and her movie-star eyes. I hope they keep her character Trovere around for the rest of the season.

★★☆☆☆

Watch See on Apple TV+

New episodes of See season three arrive on Apple TV+ every Friday.

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 RogerEbert.com. 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 Patreon.com/honorszombie.