“What right does one man have to force his religion on another? Is the world a better place for all its martyrs?” ~ Esclarmonde
So we continue with the exciting conclusion of last week’s two part mini-series, Labyrinth. Alice is being pursued by unsavory attackers, and Carcassonne has all but fallen.
Evil sister Oriane plans to betray Alaïs by handing over the Grail books. Alice finds the labyrinth with Will (Sebastian Stan) and over hears a conversation between the Marie Cecile (Claudia Gerini) and her assassin assistant Paul (Bernhard Schir).
Meanwhile, Trencavel (Tom Felton) is betrayed at a parley and Oriane offers herself as a bride to Guy D’Evreux (Tony Curran) in exchange for the two books on the Grail. Meanwhile, Alaïs escapes to try and find Hariff. Trencavel chooses death over an easy escape and betrayal of his people.
What’s great about this episode is all the story lines and loose ends get neatly tied up with a great narrative by Audric (John Hurt). We learn that Alice is a direct descendant of Alaïs when Audric produces the labyrinth ring that belonged to Alaïs. We learn that the Grail isn’t Christian, and not a cup at all. The Grail can prolong life for hundreds of years and Alice learns some startling news about Hariif from Audric.
Alaïs has a daughter, finds Hariff and lives peacefully for a while but unfortunately, a few short years later, the Crusaders find her and she must escape again to protect their secret.
The Crusaders finally take control of the South and the Cathars are rounded up and offered freedom if they recant. Many choose death and Alaïs’s maid takes her life to make Oriane think the book and Alaïs are consumed in the Cathar fires. Her servant, Sajhe (Matthew Beard) helps her escape and takes care of her.
Audric recounts many more things about Alaïs to Alice while they travel to the cave to resolve the mystery of the labyrinth and the Grail. The final minutes of the show have the usual dramatic reveals, guns, death and, of course, romance.
The Good: The action, and story lines were decent. The series was interesting enough and the resolution wasn’t as predictable as expected. I was able to suspend my disbelief and enjoy the action. In this part, the medieval scenes were extended and much more enjoyable to watch. Also, John Hurt is always a treat on screen – his backstory was great.
The Bad: Some really horrible and campy lines – every death scene seemed to include a corny speech. Case in point: “Alice, choose love”. *Gags*. Some of the lines were really dreadful and unnecessary. Not everyone needs to give a Braveheart speech before expiring.
The “love story” between Alice and Will. What love story you ask? Right. Apparently, there is one during the last half hour of the series. It seemed to be thrown in for good measure when there wasn’t one in the beginning. It was completely forced and didn’t add anything to the story other than to make the ending super cheesy. What’s worse is Will and Alice have zero believable chemistry. That love story could have been built up earlier or dropped entirely. Stuffing it in for the last twenty minutes of the series just seemed to be a poor afterthought.
Peter’s take: I quite enjoyed the concept of this mini-series of two stories – one set in the past and the other in the present – and how they interrelated. Both plots were compelling and intriguing, although they both suffered at first from having too many characters that you needed to keep track of. As the characters die off, which happens often, both stories become more focused. I really enjoyed the many evil characters here, whether it be Simon de Montfort, or the priest Paul Authie – it is a lof of fun to watch them lie and kill! Overall, it was a good four hours of TV.