‘The Bastard Executioner’ episode 8 review: Jessamy’s story; Lady Love, Wilkin grow closer

tbxAs we start to get near the end of the first season of “The Bastard Executioner,” the show’s strengths and weaknesses are becoming ever more clear by the day.

In its best moments, this is a medieval political thriller where morals occasionally do come into play. Take, for example, Lady Love wanting to do something for Jessamy. After all, we understand why; she has fulfilled the duty of fake-wife for Wilkin Brattle fairly well ever since this scheme was first cooked up for him to secure revenge. The trouble here is that Wilkin made love to her, and now she starts to feel some sort of actual feelings of bliss. After everything that she has been through, we understand why she’d want to feel more loved, appreciated, and secure. The problem for her is that she’s not going to find it here. Lady Love does still want to help her find a way, as an extension of the feelings that she does have for Wilkin. (Granted, this happens after a hell of an intense sequence.)

The Baroness is not all sympathy, which should not surprise anyone that has seen her on the show so far. Take, for instance, her work-of-sorts when it comes to Gaveston. It was revenge in a way for the whole pregnancy scandal a ways back, and Milus, being a man who loves holding onto grudges in his own way, helped to facilitate what was the torment of Piers’ half-sisters. While we know this is not their story by any means, one could not help but feel rather heartbroken for them after the punishment they received. If this was another show, we’d question the violence; yet, this is a Kurt Sutter show, and it is a part of the aesthetic just as it is the story.

Our primary issue at this point remains Annora and what is becoming an increasingly holy war over the words of the Nazarene, which may otherwise be known as in many ways the New Testament. Robinus is out for its destruction, and she uses it and visions as justification for many of the actions of both her and the Dark Mute, who we really want to see at this point sport a cloak reading “I am badass. Hear me roar.” Our truth here is that we enjoy the show when it is less mystical and religious-based. We’re ultimately curious what it could have looked like if the landscape was a little less complicated and stuffed full of characters.

Then again, we love Katey Sagal and she fantastic in this role. It’s a trade-off. It just feels at times like we are watching separate shows, and for now, the medieval drama and politics of it all are winning out. Grade: B.

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