It’s wedding bells for lovely new couple Sibeth Kane and Tormada on this week’s episode of See, the Apple TV+ show set in the not-too-distant future in a world full of blind people. The deposed queen has consolidated her power and is ready for her next move.
Elsewhere in this dystopian world, Lord Harlan recommends a fateful shortcut, Maghra’s done playing Mr. Nice Guy, Lucien’s luck runs out, and Baba Voss kills lots and lots and lots of people.
It’s an above-average outing for the Nietzschean, not-quite-samurai epic.
See recap: ‘The Lowlands’
Season 3, episode 6: In the episode, entitled “The Lowlands,” former head witchfinder Tamacti Jun (played by Christian Camargo) and Maghra (Hera Hilmar) are already prepping for war when they happen upon the remnants of a slaughter. Her local governors have all been killed. Shocked by the massacre, she and Jun realize the war is closer than they anticipated.
Maghra’s also starting to lose it. She’s beginning to think and talk like her sister, deposed queen Sibeth (Sylvia Hoeks). She wants the witchfinders found and killed, despite Tamacti Jun’s warnings that that way lies madness. They head to the marketplace to torture a blacksmith for information, then go to the witchfinders’ hideout where they kill everyone they can find. Then they head back, knowing that Sibeth is back in town.
You know what they say about shortcuts …
Harlan (Tom Mison) floats a risky suggestion to get Baba Voss (Jason Momoa), Wren (Eden Epstein), Haniwa (Nesta Cooper), Kofun (Archie Madekwe) and Ranger (Michael Raymond-James) back to Maghra quicker. Head for the lowlands.
Apparently, Harlan and his smuggler friends have taken this route before, but it’s risky. There’s something down there that kills people, but they don’t know what it is. With three sighted people at hand, they’d surely be better suited to the journey. Baba doesn’t like it, but he wants to get home bad enough to try it.
Baba also insists that Kofun try to patch things up with his sister Haniwa after their fight at the House of Enlightenment. They don’t get very far into their parlay when something makes its presence felt. The lowlands are full of old cars (which again begs the question: How long ago did the apocalypse happen? Some of these things still have paint on them). And the men hiding there seem especially vicious, but they’re just men — and men die. Still, they make off with Haniwa and Harlan before they can be subdued.
From bad to worse
Meanwhile, Tormada (David Hewlett) is leading the shipment of bombs to Maghra’s doorstep when Sibeth and her witchfinders intercept them on the road. He immediately bows before Sibeth, and they negotiate a truce. They’ll conquer the world together, on the condition that they marry to merge their kingdom. Lucien (Dean Jagger), Sibeth’s lieutenant, objects to aligning with Trivantes, so she kills him. This is going well, I think!
Haniwa and Harlan realize they’ve been kidnapped by cannibals and have to free themselves because Baba Voss doesn’t rescue them right away. If he isn’t coming now, he’s just not coming, so they have to strategize. Baba sends Kofun ahead to warn Maghra. (He doesn’t get very far before Sibeth’s men catch him, though.)
Baba, Wren and Ranger camp out, waiting for the cannibals to come back. After Baba cuts off one of their arms, he sends it back to its home so he can track it back. Harlan manages to untie himself just as Baba makes it to them. After a grisly fight, they go free, but Harlan suffers a grave wound. He rightly reminds them that they can’t carry him if they mean to make it to Maghra in time to stop the invasion.
See raises the stakes as the series comes to a close
The fight between Harlan and Baba and their respective cannibal foes in the final 10 minutes of this week’s episode is as good as See gets. The choreography is good. The lighting in Harlan’s half is decent and moody. (Unfortunately, you kinda can only half-see what’s happening in Baba’s scenes.) And now that the show is ending, there are real stakes because the showrunners finally have no compunction about offing members of the main cast. Harlan not making it out of the fight wasn’t a guarantee, and I’m glad they actually did it.
Harlan was never the show’s most interesting character, but his personality broke up the monotony of the single-minded main cast of characters, who really only ever think about one or two things. Killing him really only leaves grunting warriors left for us to care about. But there are only two episodes of See left, so no harm, no foul I guess.
Watching the main cast dwindle makes me realize how much I like Christian Camargo as Tamacti Jun, a character I did not care about for the whole of this show’s first two seasons. As part of a larger ensemble, instead of the main foil, he provides interesting texture.
This show loves a fight
I also like the sight of Maghra fighting people with her whistle sword and her sharp blue armor. Not because I like the plot development (frankly it’s not the most imaginative turn), but because I like the aesthetics and the fight scene is kinda fun.
Speaking of aesthetics, it’s not news by now that the show styled Baba Voss to look like a Toshiro Mifune character. But I do have to report that Jason Momoa wears the look well, and acquits himself beautifully on basically everything they’ve asked him to do. Sure, it’s maybe a little weird for an American to play a samurai, but everything on this show is weird in exactly that way. So what are we going to do but roll with it?
I was less impressed with the development that overnight Sibeth and Tormada’s men constructed a huge catapult to launch bombs into the city out of some rusty, disused construction equipment. That’s uhh … well, that’s dumb. I don’t believe that happened. But hey, home stretch. Let’s go.
Watch See on Apple TV+
New episodes of See arrive on Apple TV+ every Friday.
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.