Carnival Row is a fantasy television series that release in 2019 and quickly gained a became popular among viewers. Set in a Victorian inspired world, really like them with all the trains and the steampunk theme, the show follows the lives of mythological creatures who got away from her homelands after it fall in total chaos of war and now live in a city known as Carnival Row.
The series explores themes of discrimination, social class, and politics, as the fantasy creatures struggle to coexist with their human neighbors while facing persecution and violence. The show boasts an impressive cast, including Orlando Bloom and Cara Delevingne, who play a human detective and a faerie , both become involve in a dangerous conspiracy.
With its fantasy world , stunning visuals effects, and provocative storytelling, Carnival Row has got many of the audiences eyes and minds to then left them awaiting each new episode. In this post, I will try to explain and dive into the world of Carnival Row and explore what makes this series such a great tv show, it was highly recommended by friends, its now on the second and final season.
Episode 01: Some Dark God Wakes
Philo investigates a mysterious assailant with a grudge against the fae; Vignette arrives in The Burgue looking for a fresh start; Imogen meets her new neighbor; In Parliament, the fight over the critch heats up. Source
The first episodes starts by explaining how the land of the Fae has been invaded and war started but at the end leaving the Fae alone in a land dominated by The Pact.
I have to say that just with the introduction I knew this series must be good, from my experience most productions that put this much effort on a model and this probably exist in real life, this statue, its worth giving a try.
The first scenes are very terrifying and sad, where we see barb wire above the ground within the threes, the purpose is to stop faeries from flying and be easier to trap or kill, immediately the picture came to my mind, again details, never seen the show but just by painting that picture with the barb wire and the dead corps hanging was a great detail for whats next.
We immediately see a bunch of faeries running away from an army that is chasing them with muskets and things that look like dogs but are way much bigger, ugly and aggressive, here comes in one of the main characters Vignette Stonemoss who at the end is the only survivor, jumps into a void and fly away to a ship that was waiting for them, she had a deal with the captain where she would take survivors to the ship and then transport to other lands so the captain use her to make some cash out of those faeries running from hell, but not this occasion she was the only survivor and ask him to take her, the ship becomes a target by the military at the cost and start shooting at them so they were force to sale and Vignette stays in the ship.
After been at the see for days, remember this were sail ships so it depends from the wind, see conditions and the captain skills to navigate. Vignette seems to have a picture of a man, a soldier she knew from war and miss him as he died.
The storm hits hard and the ship gets damage, starts to sink while everyone tries to safe their own life, probably most died until two kids found them at the shore while they were playing, it was a total mess.
In the city we find a big social conflict between humans and creatures, remember this is a fantasy theme tv series with many type of mythical creatures, as usual humans been the more aggressive kind between the two but not everyone is that type of person, comes in Rycroft Philostrate by Orlando Bloom, a detective who is currently investigating a series of murder but lycky him the last victim is still alive and provides a description with some details of the murder that most likely will strike again.
He was giving some precise details from the victim like a tattoo of a snake in his arm, no hair and short beard so he starts looking for the assassin.
The city is total chaos, the conflict between humans and creatures is increasing rapidly and this attacks are the result of such conflict, humans take side and try to create laws that benefit them and protect them from this creatures trying make them slaves and aggressive, its not easy task for
Absalom the chancellor of the city.
Vignette survives the crash and taken into custody, as the ship crash and there were survivors, in this case seems just Vignette, the owner of the ship was called, comes in Ezra Spurnrose, a rich men who invested in the ship Vignette came, mainly transport refuges to Carnival Row, police offer to keep her as a domestic and pay for her passage to the city and he accepts, Vignette end up working for his house as his sister, Imongen Spurnose, ladies maid who is threats her fairly well for what I thought she will, she is a maid but its not the worst.
Vignette is told to go and get a few things for Imongen at the city, this names really roll out of your tongue, while she was walking and looking around found her friend Tourmaline Larou who is working at a "gentleman club".
Vignette explains Tourmaline how she escape The Pact but not before they killed all the faeries that were with her and its at this point that I find out that the photo of the soldier that she misses was Rycroft, they use his short last name Philo on this scene I didn't immediately knew this but assume after he came up in the next scene where he is still investigating the murder and asking the police chief to put surveillance on their own men. Vignette didn't look any happy after she was given this news.
Philo is a very dedicated man, doing his best to find the murder and was discussing the matter with a fellow police man, at first he thought the murder was a man in uniform as in the description from the last victim but also there seem to have a time span between each attack and it was not until another police man carrying a sailor that look drunk and beat up told him every three weeks have this sailors going wild back at shore to relief some steam and this is when he figures out its a sailor and not a police man, goes to a local bar looking for a balled, beard with snake tattoo in his arm sailor and found one, so classic, there is mystery on this tv show but so far there are a few
things that we can see then coming very clear.
After Philo finds the murder who decides to run away, they get to the roof tops and at a point the sailor had no where to go, Philo points him with his gun and the sailor stop and said "You dont know the evil that is right under your nose...Some Dark God Wakes" to then jump into the void and ends up dead. Philo had no idea what he was talking bout.
Knowing that Philo is alive, Vignette takes off her maid uniform and change cloth, she is going after Philo, if I have to guess they were lovers and during a war she probably felt use and left behind to death while he was living in the city, there is much to that story to be tell but she flies under the rain and ends up in Philos room, she brought a knife.
She attempts to kill him but couldnt, then she ask her why he lied to her, why he left her behind and explain him what a bastard he is to do that to her, she try to cut his head off but she couldnt, I suppose still loves him but then realize its might be just too much trouble to become a murder of a human and then be running away from a place she just got in and at least has a job, place to live and food.
At the end of this episode there is a scene of faerie who ironically find the picture of Philo and then is drag down into a tunnel by something that looks like a octopus man, probably the Dark God that the sailor was talking about.
Zero disappointment, a total hit for me, I could give it a 7.5/10, there are a bunch of side stories that interconnect with each other of characters including that is one of my favorite times to develop story, the victorian theme, very dark scenes, mythical creatures, its very close to The Magicians Tv Show.
Cant say much from the characters for now, Vignette very brave and noble, she is not someone who want to mess with or mess with her loves one because she comes from a war from hell and fears nothing.
Philo, selfish but dedicated man, he seems noble too and there still to be explain why did he abandon Vignette, hope I didn't miss it on this episode but for sure latter on will be explain.