Before we begin this week’s recap of The Bastard Executioner, I’m sure you’ve already seen the full page ad Kurt Sutter posted to his Instagram, which effectively said that there wasn’t enough viewership for him to do a second season. I completely disagree and am really disappointed that this is what he’s chosen to do because he felt the majority of show viewers said “meh”. At the very least, the final episode of the series nicely wrapped up storylines for fans of the show, but we’ll always be wondering where this show could have gone. Many fans have already taken to social media to proclaim their love for the show and to beg Sutter to continue with the series, but I think that with the Sons of Anarchy spinoff in the works, perhaps Sutter just doesn’t have the time to devote to TBX. With heavy heart and my own TBX Wil and Love fanfic starting to form in my mind, here’s the finale recap.
In the final episode of The Bastard Executioner, we begin where we left off last week, with a stunned Wil (Lee Jones) as Annora (Katey Sagal) cries out to him, calling him her son. The Dark Mute (Kurt Sutter) enters, telling him to sit. Wil sits and Annora holds out her hand to him.
Milus (Stephen Moyer) looks through Father Ruskin’s (Timothy V. Murphy) room, finding a hidden compartment that holds a cache of weapons, much to his surprise. He then spies Leon Tell (Alec Newman) in the chapel, praying. Milus appears to be regretting giving Wil and Toran (Sam Spruell) permission to take Tell and Locke’s (Ross O’Hennessy) life in return for helping him get Gaveston.
Guards stand watch over Father Ruskin and Luca (Ethan Griffiths) in Annora’s now abandoned cave. Luca sleeps, while Ruskin looks on.
Isabel and Love talk about what will happen when Jessamy (Sarah Sweeney) wakes to find out that Luca still has not been to see her. Isabel also questions Love about her feelings for the punisher. She admits she does care for him.
Meanwhile, Toran follows Locke to the wood shed, where he is chopping wood. He reveals to Locke that he is not Marshall, that he is instead the husband of a woman who Locke had slain. He pulls a sword on Locke, who rather than fight, holds his arms out, ready for his fate. He tells Toran that he follows the orders of his captain but that he is the only one who can answer for the blood on his own hands. He doesn’t ask for mercy because he has not earned it. Locke also puts together that the punisher is not who he says he is, which Toran confirms. Toran instead offers Locke a fair fight. The two spar with sword and ax, until Locke gains the upper hand. Toran reveals that it is fitting that he should be the one to send him on to his wife and child. Locke says while this place holds no mercy, it does hold honor, and drops the sword. He warns Toran however, that any other attempts on his life and Locke will kill him, but that neither will he reveal to anyone who Toran and Wil truly are as they have earned their place in Ventris. Locke picks up his wood and leaves. Toran leans on his sword, crying.
Back in Wil and Jessamy’s home, Annora gives the Book of the Nazarene to Wil, who questions his devotion. Annora tells him that his devotion is true. She explains that the singular experience of devotion with God is meant to be singular, and that the church would use God’s words to their own ends. Annora says that the truth will be given from the Seraphim to man when the words can be understood, but until then, the Seraphim, descendants of Jesus, will carry and protect the word, passing it on in each generation. She explains that she is from the blood of Jesus, a descendant. Wil realizes that if he is Annora’s son, then he is also a descendant and carries the blood of Jesus – he will one day be a Seraphim.
Wil plainly asks her if she and the Dark Mute are the Nun and the warrior he sees in his dreams. Annora doesn’t tell him outright if they are, only says that they loved him from afar, always watching over him. Dark Mute says that this truth is needed to save the boy. Annora tells him he must reach out to the ones he loves in order to fight the battle.
Wil goes to Love (Flora Spencer-Longhurst), tells her all that Annora has shared with him and that he believes what she has told him. Before he can tell her this, however, Isabel (Sarah White) threatens to hurt him if he ever hurts her Lady. When he is finally allowed to see her, Wil divulges the truth from Annora and that the boy and Father Ruskin were taken by Knights of Rosula, the Archdeacon’s men, because they thought Ruskin would lead them to Annora. They had no idea the boy was with Father Ruskin. He says he needs to find men, friends, and those who are not looking for payment or who will fight under a banner, to help him rescue them from Robinus and his men. He bargains his friends in servitude – if they help rescue them, will Love free them? She promises. Wil also reveals that Milus knew all about Wil from the very beginning, which she is surprised at.
Meanwhile, Sir Cormac (Ed Sheeran), who gives all gingers a bad name, comes for Father Ruskin, asking where the Seraphim hide. Ruskin tells him he only ever met them in the cave in which they now currently stand. Cormac and Robinus (Trevor Sellers) do not believe him and yank Luca from the floor, placing a sword to his neck. Ruskin shouts no, and as they are about to slice him open, Luca reveals that the Gray Woman and her Dark Mute are at Heaven’s Eye. As the men leave to check out the intel, Luca and Ruskin nod at one another quietly – a plan all along between them both.
Back in Ventris, Berber (Danny Sapani) and his scribe (Scroobius Pip) talk of what the price will be for Berber to keep the scribe’s secret, that he is a practicing Jew. Berber hands the scribe his Koran, saying now they are even and there is no price as they both must keep each other’s secrets. They then talk childhoods, the scribe stating he came from a dirty hole where only the Torah and survival were taught. Berber asks what crime he committed to get 20 years of service as punishment. Scribe revealed that a man who teased him every day for looking like a Jew broke him. He stabbed the man four times but he did not die. After he was left to hang in the village square and rot, they ended up bringing him down to work in servitude as they had need of his skills. Berber then reveals that he came from a family of scholars who escaped slavery. His wife and daughter escaped but neither he nor his brother escaped.
Milus and Love meet about Wil’s crazy plan to get Luca and Ruskin back. Milus says it is too much of a risk, but she says she knows Milus is aware of who Wil truly is. She compliments her chamberlain on his tactics and abilities and it is what Ventris needs in a chamberlain. He says he will gather the men Wil requires in return for Love honestly considering Baron Pryce to wed and protect the shire. She says she will keep all prospects open to all. Despite his tactics, she tells Milus that she cares for him and he returns her sentiment.
Isabel lies to Jessamy about Luca’s whereabouts, leaving laundry near the window. She leaves and Jessamy has the means to escape.
Milus and Love meet with Wil, Annora, Ash (Darren Evans), Berber and Toran to determine their plan of action. Milus says he can get half a legion, Love offers familial help, Berber offers a scribe who would like his servitude reduced.
Jessamy escapes to her home with Wil, only to find the Mute there. She screams about Luca, and how the Mute is a demon and then she goes in search of Wil in the castle. She bursts in on the meeting and attempts to attack Lady Love once more. Milus stops her by knocking her out.
Sir Cormac tells Father Ruskin they found no truth in Heaven’s Eye. Father Ruskin says he will tell them the truth.
Leon Tell and Locke string Jessamy up in the punisher’s cage and Wil wonders what will happen to her. Tell dismisses Locke, until they are alone. Leon recalls what Jessamy told him before they could stop her from screaming, that Maddox is really Wilkin. He draws his sword on Wil. Wil reveals all, that he was one of King Edward’s Knights under Ventris, but had been living the life of a farmer after battle until the Baron and his men raided their village and killed their families. He points to the cross around Tell’s neck, stating that it was his wife’s. Leon says he did not kill the pregnant woman, could not do that. Wil doesn’t believe him and they fight. As Leon is pinned down and Wil is about to kill him, Leon holds up the cross. He tells Wil that he wears this not as a trophy but a reminder, God before crown. The light in the room changes and Wil looks to a bound and gagged Jessamy, who turns into Petra (Elen Rhys). She tells him not to kill Leon.
Wil reveals to Leon how he found his wife on top of the pile of bodies, his daughter cut from his wife’s womb. Leon realizes that Milus knew who Wil was the whole time and made him his dog. Milus enters, saying Jessamy is to only be confined until her trial per the Lady’s request. Wil leaves and Milus asks Leon what happened. “Nothing you do not already know.”
Meanwhile, at the caves on the beach, Robinus, Sir Cormac and their men set up camp, sending scouts along the cliffs as they prepare for battle.
Wil and Love meet in the chapel, they discuss the vision they shared of their child being born. She asks him if it was real and he says yes. They hold hands until Toran shows up. She tells Wil that she can see no clear path for them, but that all candles are lit for him and to come home safe. He promises he will return.
The Dark Mute, Scribe, Wil and his friends get ready to leave with Milus. Locke and Leon turn up, offering their services. Milus tells them they will receive no pay for this battle. Leon says they are here to help, not plunder. Leon hands Wil the cross that belonged to his wife.
Annora plays the piano inside castle Ventris, when Love enters. She tells Love that she was born on the way to the Black Sea, to parents who were always ‘on the way’ somewhere. Love says she misses the comfort that a castle cannot provide. Annora tells the woman that she is happy of the comfort she finds with Wil. Love asks Annora about her bond with Wil, to which Annora replies that answers will come.
Wil’s army gathers on a cliff, planning to meet the other army in battle. They meet the Wolf (Matthew Rhys) and his band of rebels on the beach. Milus is suspect, but Toran says that while their beliefs are different, the honor is the same. Overhead, one of the Archdeacon’s men spies them meeting and runs to tell Sir Cormac what he has seen.
The two armies ride toward one another. The Mute says that they cannot defeat the Archdeacon’s men on steeds. He walks forward and tells Wil that he will know what to do soon. He leaves the army and lays his cape down on the sand, revealing that he has carried two jugs with him. He pours oil all over his body. Sir Cormac tells Robinus that the Mute is here but the old woman is not. He deduces that the old woman must be hidden at the castle. He rallies his troops to take out Ventris’ men. As they rush forward, the Mute takes his two swords and brings them swiftly down on the two jugs, causing an explosion that sets him on fire. The Mute runs into the oncoming army, lighting soldiers on fire as he goes and slicing them down from their horses with his double blades. Wil and his men follow, the battle begins. Ash revels in the bloodshed, stabbing the same man over and over again.
Back in castle Ventris, Annora knows her man has fallen dead. She stops playing the piano as he falls to the ground, still aflame.
Sir Cormac has been stabbed and runs. Wil sees the Mute on the ground, dead and realizes that this is his father who has died. Robinus moves towards the battle and away from Father Ruskin and Luca, who have been tied and left back for safety with Robinus. He moves towards the battle just as Cormac comes back, telling him to run. Robinus says, “This can’t be happening.” Berber cuts Ruskin and Luca loose. Luca stabs Robinus from behind, killing him. Cormac comes back for Robinus and finds him dead, with Luca still standing there with the knife in his hand. He gives chase and they both scramble over the top of a grassy dune. Wil sees the exchange and goes after them, however Luca makes quick work of Cormac, slicing him across the leg. Luca runs into the arms of Wil, who wants to go after Cormac to ensure he is dead, but Luca asks his father not to leave. He carries his son down into the now finished battle, where they have overtaken the Archdeacon’s men.
The Wolf and Milus meet. Milus asks what the Wolf possibly gained from this. The Wolf replies that they never fight for gain, they only fight to keep what is already theirs.
Milus, Ruskin, and Leon Tell return to Ventris and meet Love in the chapel. She hugs Milus and Ruskin, thanking them both. Ruskin excuses himself for a bath and contemplation. Milus dismisses Leon, but not before telling him that he fought true. The chamberlain updates Love on what happened, and their losses. Love acts surprised when Milus reveals that the Wolf and his men showed and helped them win. However, Milus is not a fool and knows she had something to do with it.
Love asks Milus how long he thinks it will be before the truth of her condition is known. He estimates two months, maybe three if they ignore missives from the king. He states they can announce that while the child of the Baron and Baroness was loved, he was also so special to God that he was called home before he had yet been born. He tells her that she will handle it with grace and advises her that the punisher was on his way to see Annora.
Frenchie (Matthieu Charneau) and Isabel plot together, taking a basket of rags into the punisher’s chamber where Jessamy is being held. Frenchie is nervous and gives too much information to the exiting guards, causing Isabel to quip, “So pretty but so stupid.” She takes a bottle of liquid from the basket and a set of keys, presumably to free Jessamy.
Annora welcomes Luca and Wil home, and even Toran, hugging all three of them. Wil updates her as Toran leads Luca from the room. He brings up her mate, and she says she knew. They embrace as Annora cries for her man. Love enters and Annora pushes Wil away. Wil and Love kiss.
Jessamy is in the back of a wagon, surrounded by furs and blankets. Isabel and Milus tell Frenchie that one of Baron Pryce’s men will meet him on the road and will lead him to the sanctuary. Milus gives the cloak off of his back to Frenchie because the weather is too cold to be without one. As Frenchie leaves, Isabel asks what will happen to Jessamy. Milus reveals that in the punisher’s book, she will have jumped off a cliff to the sea, but she will be taken to Baron Pryce who will have her locked in a sanctuary where she will be treated for her madness. Isabel wants to know if it is true that they ram hard pokers into the head as a form of treatment. Milus says if that is true, he would rather live with the madness. He then propositions her, asking how long it had been since she’d had a long, hard poker rammed into her. She looks shocked and then says it will depend on the length and size, before she flounces away. Milus smirks, taking this as an invitation to continue his cheeky innuendo. We ship it, as long as he doesn’t get all murdery!
Finally, FINALLY! The last scene in the season one/series finale is the one we’ve been waiting for! WiLove is happening people, it’s really happening! The pair meet in her private chambers, with Wil shirtless and Love in her flimsy nightdress. They both strip, get into bed and she asks him the question all girls in love ask and want to know the answer to – does he love her? He looks deep into her eyes and says he has always loved her. Then, the pair get started on making that vision baby come true!!
The Bastard Executioner has been a wild and bloody ride. We’ve cried with Wil as he lost his family, cheered him on as he fought against Milus and his manipulations, and pined for Love and Wil to get together. With today’s news that the series will not return, the adventure has come to an end and we are left with questions that may never be answered. What was Wilkin’s true destiny? Now that the Dark Mute has died, what will Annora do? Will Milus find happiness with Love’s handmaiden Isabel, or perhaps with Frenchie? Looks like creative minds will have to create their own future for the characters of TBX. Thanks for a great show, Kurt. We’re sorry to see that it won’t continue in future seasons and wish the cast and crew of the show success in all future endeavors.
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