‘The Bastard Executioner’ episode 2 review: How Wilkin Brattle takes on his role

TBX Pilot 1Revenge can be a very risky thing. Is it possible that you feel some sort of emotional retribution at the end? Certainly, but it can also lead you with a feeling of emptiness or great sorrow. If it fails, you are either even more miserable or dead. This is the position that we are left off in after the second episode of FX’s “The Bastard Executioner” Tuesday night. By the end of the hour, Wilkin Brattle made the decision to become a wayward executioner, and he did so as a way to ensure that he could seek vengeance for who he lost.

This was all powerful stuff, and there is no better way to start a story than with a premise so simple … and yet, we worry for his soul dearly, and what killing so many will do to him over time. We do see some similarities between him and Jax; they are each tortured, and want something that may be in some way permanently out of reach.

Yet, their worlds and their surrounding characters are all very different. Wilkin is much more of an outsider within Ventris’ lands, and he is going to have to find his way and his place. We do still find the actors surrounding Lee Jones perfect compliments to what he is doing. We’re already starting to get used to Katey Sagal with an accept, for one, and Stephen Moyer is brilliant in what we’ve seen from him already.

Are there times when the show feels like it is gorier than it needs to be? That epic fight scene early in episode 2 is probably an example of that, almost like someone turned the show on and entered a cheat code for more blood. Yet, this is a show going for this sort of brutal, almost-disgusting tone, and in that way the story fits.

We found hour two equally strong to hour one; while we’re not ready yet to proclaim this Kurt Sutter’s next masterpiece, it is well on its way. Grade: B+.

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