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World Without End – Review of Episode 5: Pawns

World Without End

EP:04 – Pawns

“Caris Wooler, your spirit and heart are all that I love of England. If I am still King tomorrow, I will grant your petition.” ~ Edward III

Life goes on in Kingsbridge as Caris falls into her role of nun and healer, Mother Cecilia is still battling a plotting Godwyn, Gwenda despairs over her family life and Edward’s war rages on in France.

Gwenda’s son, attempts to steal a bun and burns his arm in the oven. Caris tends to his burn but his accident furthers the tension between Wulfric and Gwenda as she blames him for not minding their son. Caris offers Gwenda words of comfort.

Sister Mair finds Brother Thomas and Brother Matthias together in bed but says nothing. Caris tells Sister Mair Godwyn must never find out. Meanwhile, Thomas tells Matthias he loves him but Matthias doesn’t know Thomas well enough to say the same. He begs Thomas to share his life with him but Thomas worries if he tells Matthias about his past it will endanger him. Matthias tells Thomas it doesn’t matter because he’s already lost his soul. This was an interesting plot line and I was happy to see it was included well done. This scene foreshadows interesting moments later in the episode.

“Lock it up tight sister, thieves are everywhere” ~ Mother Cecilia

Mother Cecilia’s cousin dies and leaves her 150 gold coins. Mother Cecilia is thrilled because it means she can now build the hospice Godwyn thwarted. She decides to put Caris at its head as a reward for her becoming a good nun in spite of how she came to the calling. Godwyn manages to get his “mole”, Sister Elizabeth, to give him the hospice gold. Mother Cecilia can’t get it back from Godwyn without help so she sends Caris on a dangerous mission to petition the King. Caris, accompanied by Sister Mair, witnesses the horror of the battlefield when she comes across the devastation and death caused by Edward’s army. In the midst of this chaos, she is kissed by Sister Mair; the same nun who saw Thomas and Matthias together. Now we understand why Sister Mair was sympathetic and didn’t tell anyone but Caris. I found the moment chosen rather strange – in that amidst the horror of bodies and carnage, Sister Mair acts on her feelings toward Caris. I’m curious to see how this develops or if it develops at all beyond this one incident.

Meanwhile, a rather stressed Edward presses hard with his war only to find out he’s been sorely outflanked. He is offered terms of surrender by the French King, Philip VI, but Edward refuses the terms and decides to meet the French in battle. Edward wins and signs Caris’s petition. The scene between Caris and Edward prior to the battle was quite amusing. I found it odd that a nun could just walk up and get access to the King so easily on a battlefield. Also curious? That she successfully argued her case when it was obvious Edward had bigger fish to fry at the moment than worrying about a hospice back in England. It was an odd scene to say the least.

Lastly, Caris gets a letter from Florence from Merthin. He is married, has a daughter and is a successful builder. Although he claims to love his wife, he admits he’s never forgotten Caris. Caris is obviously still in love with Merthin. Meanwhile, we flash to Florence where the beginnings of the Plague are seen and poor Merthin’s wife becomes one of its first victims.

This was an engaging episode with many twists and tense moments. The stalemate between Godwyn and the nuns appears to be broken – but will it last? Will Godwyn find a way to thwart the King? Merthin’s wife is now a plague victim, will Merthin meet the same fate or survive and return to Kingsbridge? Will Brother Thomas’s and Sister Mair’s secrets remain secret? Has Edward finally won his war?

Tune in to see another thrilling episode of World Without End – in the US on ReelZ, in Canada on Showcase, and in the UK on Channel 4.

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