In The Bastard Executioner recap, Lady Love and Milus team up to root out a common enemy and Annora’s secret could get someone innocent killed…
By Damon Martin — Editor/Lead Writer
One of the most fascinating parts of Kurt Sutter’s new series The Bastard Executioner is the way he weaves real history throughout his fictional universe — most notably with the strained relationship between King Edward II and his people.
Throughout his reign, King Edward II was known to be an impetuous and short-sighted ruler with a mind not meant to rule yet he wore a crown upon his head. One of the biggest downfalls throughout his reign was Edward’s relationship with Piers Gaveston, a noted advisor and rumored lover, who we met earlier this season.
Eventually, King Edward II was forced to rid the kingdom of Gaveston because of his awful influence and terrible decision making and that story played out in large part during the latest episode as Lady Love and Milus Corbett found out their greatest torture from Castle Windsor was not only no longer a concern, but he was now fugitive No. 1 to the crown after defying royal orders to leave the country forever and never return.
The reprieve couldn’t have come at a better time either with Lady Love supposedly three months pregnant with an heir that won’t actually arrive in six months time but Gaveston cast out like day old bread was the first good news the Baroness of Ventrishire had heard in quite some time.
With that said, let’s recap the latest episode of The Bastard Executioner tilted ‘Broken Things/Pethau Toredig’…
Faith No More
Father Ruskin continues to read the book given to him by Annora that she called ‘the book of Nazarene’ that contained stories about Jesus Chris. After three trips through the book, Father Ruskin still can’t manage to stop pouring over the words because of the sheer impact this text will have on his religion if released to the masses.
Father Ruskin: “If these are truly his words, the very foundation of all that I believe and all that I preach…
Annora: “Is shattered”
Annora’s possession of this book (we can assume it’s the New Testament) and her order of Seraphims are the exact reason why Archdeacon Robinus has been searching for her while killing her friends to gain possession of these precious novels that could change the Catholic church forever.
But Annora doesn’t need Father Ruskin’s help as a priest — she needs his skills as a warrior. She tasks him to return to Ventrishire and let Wilkin know what has happened and then send him back to her where she will be waiting. You see Annora, Father Ruskin and her dark mute Ludwig have relocated to new caves along the coastline while Archdeacon Robinus and his hit squad are back at the original caves near Ventrishire.
When the Archdeacon’s top lapdog Absolon launches his attack, he doesn’t find Annora or the book but he does find a pit of snakes and a fireball that nearly wipes out all his men. Infuriated by this latest setback, Archdeacon Robinus sends Absolon and his remaining troops back to Ventrishire to search for the priest and keep a lookout for a boy that he might have with him.
Robinus isn’t willing to disclose why they want this boy, but his instructions are clear and Absolon will follow them to the letter of the law.
Book of Revelations
When Father Ruskin returns to town, he passes along the message to Wilkin, who leaves his ‘son’ Luca with the priest while he goes off to see his mystical healer. Wouldn’t you know it as soon as Father Ruskin is alone with the boy, Robinus’ men spot them and they see exactly what they were told — the priest with a boy — so they kidnap them both.
Meanwhile, Wilkin and Toran meet up with Annora at her new cave dwelling where she shares more revelations with him. Wilkin wants to know first and foremost if she saw his future where he was forced to truly assume Gawain Maddox’s identity and get stuck in Ventrishire for who knows how long. At this point, he’s already buried at least one more friend (Calo, who got killed by Milus last episode). Annora says that her visions only show a path when she’s close to a person, but they don’t reveal everything that will unfold.
Today’s shared vision reveals some history about Wilkin’s past — he sees a nun attempting to drown a baby and another nun stopping her from committing murder. Behind them stands a knight dressed in the same garb as Annora’s dark mute. She reveals to him that he was the baby, born of ill repute, but saved by the nun. My theory is that the nun who saved the baby was Annora and the dark mute was the knight, who we saw training Wilkin as a child during another flashback. Then again, if Wilkin was born of ill repute maybe the nun was his mother and his mother is Annora?
Something to think about going forward.
In the middle of this visit, Wilkin discusses his complicated feelings towards Lady Love but the conversation is stopped as bandits — the same nomads Wilkin and Toran attacked on command from Milus — show up seeking revenge. Wilkin and Toran protect Annora while her dark mute Ludwig quietly dispatches of 10 or so sword bearing attackers on his own before telling the two men to get back to Ventrishire because their work here is done.
Man on the Run
Lady Love gets some great news this week when a faction from Castle Windsor shows up with a request for the baroness of Ventrishire. It seems King Edward II’s continued floundering while running the country has forced a group of Ordainers — 21 nobles who framed ordinances to regulate his power and influence throughout England — to force several decrees to be handed out to hopefully get the country back in order.
One of the top needs of the crown right is additional military forces to help stamp down any uprisings against the king. In exchange for Ventrishire’s help, Parliament will give the shire a seat at the table for future decisions plus at no point from now or the future will the shire be broken up or given to someone else to rule. This all sounds great, but there’s even better news awaiting Lady Love’s ears when Milus passes along one more royal decree.
Piers Gaveston — the pompous French asshole who humiliated Milus and had eyes on taking Ventrishire for himself — has been banished out of the kingdom as part of the Ordainers rules to keep Edward’s kingdom in one piece. Everybody hated Gaveston and the influence he held over the king so they exiled him (this actually happened in history and he was exiled several times before it finally stuck).
Originally, King Edward ordered Gaveson exiled to Wales where he would have access to the sea and the two of them could eventually meet again by boat. The Ordainers figured as much so they made an even stronger statement with Gaveston’s exile this time around.
“With this there will be no sailing — Piers Gaveston shall be cast out and exiled not only England but from Wales, Scotland, Ireland forever and without return.”
~ Lady Love
The visiting party from Castle Windsor offers Lady Love and her shire a handsome reward for any information that could lead to the capture of Piers Gaveston. She offers one better — if they are able to find and capture Gaveston alive, the crown will pay them the reward plus allow Lady Love to lead negotiations with the rebel forces uprising in Wales to hopefully bring their conflict to a peaceful resolution instead of a bloody one (obviously she doesn’t disclose that the leader of the rebels is her half-brother but clearly she has a plan). The King’s representatives agree to the plan and Lady Love now has an opening to not only replenish the shire’s finances but bring an end to the internal war that’s been tearing her country apart for years.
Lady Love is overjoyed with the prospect of capturing Gaveston after all the heinous things he tried to do to her shire, but the problem now becomes actually finding him. Milus suggests sending out letters to all the outlying shires for information on whether or not he’s entered their gates, but he might even have a few inside sources that could give the an exact location on the Frenchman’s whereabouts.
Remember the twin girls that Edward sent as a ‘gift’ to Ventrishire following Baron Ventris’ death and they were actually Gaveston’s half sisters?
Well, Milus was aware of their treachery and he sets a trap for the twins and springs it just as they are prepared to leave the shire to warn Gaveston of what’s coming at him. With Wilkin off at the caves with Annora, Milus turns to his Reeve to do the dirty work to torture the twins until one of them gives up Gaveston’s location.
“This one still has some tort. It should be the other one — her treacherous slat already droops like wet clay”
He orders the Reeve to place her on the Judas Cradle — an actual medieval torture device that looks like a pyramid and the victim is hung by ropes and lowered down onto the point with the end of it going into the anus or vagina and then they are slowly dropped down as the object impales them further and further and well you get the point.
It’s not easy work being a punisher, but Reeve Leon gets the job done and they gather exactly where Gaveston is hiding out. Watching her sister get tortured puts the other twin into a near catatonic state when Wilkin and Toran return from their travels as they begin to wonder what exactly happened in this chamber while they were absent.
All episode long, both Milus and Isabel have shown concern about how much time Lady Love has been spending with Wilkin lately. She’s a royal and he’s a commoner after all and that kind of relationship is forbidden at best. Still, Lady Love is drawn to him and her affections only grow stronger after Milus request that he join the search party to find Gaveston along the marshlands where his sister said he would be.
The Reeve puts up a fight that a punisher doesn’t belong anywhere on the same hunting party as actual soldiers, but both Lady Love and Milus come to his defense and he’s requested for the job. Lady Love sends a note to Wilkin to meet her down in the family crypt, where we last saw her gather some gold to give to the Wolf to help fund his rebel party.
When Wilkin receives the note, his ‘wife’ Jessamy is none too pleased. She believes she’s finally getting closer to her ‘husband’ after they made love a week ago although Wilkin only did that as a goodbye present thinking that he was about to escape or get executed and neither ended with him coming home to her again.
Wilkin rushes off to see Lady Love and the two of them can barely contain their excitement and joy in those few moments they share together. Both know this is a relationship that can only be maintained in secrecy and probably shouldn’t be maintained at all, but they just can’t resist each other. Last week, Wilkin told her his biggest secret — that he’s not actually Maddox and he also had a hand in her husband’s death — and this week she shared one with him as well.
Lady Love isn’t actually three months pregnant with an heir to Ventrishire.
The two of them continue to share glancing looks as they finally confess their feelings for each other.
Lady Love: “When I’m with you I feel safe.”
Wilkin: “My mind spins with every conceivable wrong and then when I see you all is quiet.”
The two finally embrace and Wilkin kisses Lady Love with all the passion in his heart, but from out of nowhere Jessamy comes rushing in, screaming at the Baroness that this is her husband and she deserves him. She deserves him!
Wilkin finally tackles her to the ground but her dress is ripped in the process and both see the scars across her back, undoubtedly handed down to her as punishment for being the wife of a cruel and evil husband. Father Ruskin gives Jessamy some whiskey to help her sleep, but the problem they are having with her isn’t just going to go away after she sleeps it off.
Wilkin and Lady Love will have to deal with Jessamy later because now it’s time to go off on the hunt that will hopefully yield results — namely the capture of Piers Gaveston, which will give Ventrishire power in the kingdom, a flush reserve of money and the ability to put an end to the uprising without a single drop of blood being shed.
Somebody is going to bleed, however, to capture Gaveston and every person in the party sent to get him knows they may not return.
The Bastard Executioner returns next week with the penultimate episode for season one ahead of the finale in just two weeks time!