‘The Bastard Executioner’ Season 1 Episode 4 Recap and Review: A Hunger / Newyn

Bastard Executioner Lee Jones Stephen Moyer Episode 4
Lee Jones as Wilkin Brattle and Stephen Moyer as Milus Corbett in ‘The Bastard Executioner’ (Photo by Ollie Upton / FX)

A series of vignettes once again open the fourth episode of The Bastard Executioner airing on September 29, 2015. It is late at night, and Wil (Lee Jones) sits in front of the fire, reading his Bible. A sound in the loft above disturbs his reading – Jessamy (Sarah Sweeney) is tossing in her bed, calling for Maddie in her sleep. Her infant son sleeps near the fire, then stirs and cries. Wil picks the baby up, rocking him back to sleep. I’m sure he’s just keeping up the farce of this marriage of convenience, but she’s totally going to be giving him trouble soon, I just know it.

Lady Love (Flora Spencer-Longhurst) is deep in the forest and on her way to Windsor, England to meet with King Edward II. Perhaps an exciting outing for the widowed Baroness, she drinks some alcohol with her handmaiden. Girls night out!

Milus (Stephen Moyer) studies two maps of Ventrishire and Pryceshire by candlelight. He’s definitely plotting something that will benefit him in the best way possible.

On the river Thames in Windsor, England, brown-cloaked men dart through darkness, chased by an unknown enemy. As they make their way through the city, men in black cloaks catch up to them. Annora (Katey Sagal) wakes in the middle of her creepy snake cave, and tells no one who is actually with her to run. Does the man hear her telepathically? Perhaps.

One of the men being chased has a scroll that he tries to light on fire in an attempt to keep it from falling into the wrong hands. As his companion’s throat is slit, the scroll drops and is quickly picked up by one of their pursuers. The fire is quickly extinguished and the scroll unraveled. It is not in English, but bears the mark of a tree, with each branch tipped by a star surrounded by a circle. They rip off the man’s cloak as he falls on the ground and reveal that he has the same style of tattoos as Annora.

Speaking of the freaky healer, the next scene is yet another naked shot of Annora with all her tattoos, standing in front of a huge hide. The hide is strung up like some sort of decoration, and has the same symbol from the scroll on it, with some of the stars crossed off. Annora asks her gods for the man’s protection.

Wil dreams of Petra (Elen Rhys), who tells him that she still loves him and that love changes with circumstance. He worries he will never find their kind of love again and she says that he already has. He kisses her, then wakes up in shock to find himself lip-locked with Jessamy. I told you, this new wife is going be trouble!

Baron Edwin Pryce (Richard Brake) makes an appearance in Ventrishire, passing another dead man with severed limbs laying in a ditch on the outskirts of the town. His caravan doesn’t seem to notice all the blood and gore. Just as Pryce arrives, Milus tells Wil that he has noticed his morning outings to the far caverns and Wil is upset. He asks if Milus has set spies on him and Milus says no, but you know he’s totally lying. Jessamy appears out of nowhere again, telling him that Pryce is the Baron of the shire she and Maddie had come from previously. Wil worries he will be recognized as a fake, but Jessamy says the only person who could possibly out him is the chamberlain, Sir Dyer (Shane Attwooll).

Milus meets Baron Pryce and apologizes that the Baroness is not there to meet with him as she has been called to Windsor by the King. He neglects to tell the Baron that she left six days ago and instead tells him she left only the night before. Leon Tell calls him on this, then quickly retracts his statement at the withering glare given by Milus. Leon then advises Wil that he cannot go on his usual journey to the far caverns as Milus has set up a joust to entertain the Baron.

Bastard Executioner Flora Spencer Longhurst Episode 4
Flora Spencer-Longhurst as Baroness Lady Love Ventris in ‘The Bastard Executioner’ (Photo by Ollie Upton / FX)

Meanwhile, in Windsor, Lady Love arrives at the castle in her finest dress and is greeted not by the Earl of Cornwall who she was expecting, but instead by Sir Piers Gaveston (Tom Forbes). Think super creepy Cormac McLaggen from Harry Potter, but with a French accent. The guy gives me the heebies, as I am sure he is meant to.

Gaveston tosses back-handed compliments at the Baroness, saying the King would like her to dine with him but wonders when she can be presentable. Ever the diplomatic Baroness, Lady Love takes a moment to bite her tongue and asks for a moment to freshen up. Gaveston offers her a gown that is more to the tastes of Windsor and as he leaves them, her hand-maiden Isabelle declares her hatred of the French. Lady Love tells Isabelle (Sarah White) that her girlish dreams of meeting the King now hold no joy due to the circumstances under which they will meet.

Back in the far caverns of Ventrishire, Annora warns Berber the Moor (Danny Sapani), Ash (Darren Evans), and Calo (Kyle Rees) that they should move their camp. Ash notices that she is afraid and the Moor decides they will stay to protect her, despite her warning.

Enter Ed Sheeran, who not only wrote the theme song for the series, but will now star in it as well! Ed plays Sir Cormac, who helps Windsor’s Archdeacon interrogate the tattooed prisoner, Tobias (Stefan Kalipha). By interrogate, we mean, stab, slice, and remove the eyeballs of their prisoners in order to get them to talk about the scroll. We’ll come back to the blood later.

Right now, let’s talk about how sneaky and slimy Milus Corbett is. As Pryce and Milus meet in Ventrishire, Milus discusses the possibility of joining Ventrishire and Pryceshire together by means of the Baroness wedding Pryce. Pryce, who isn’t overtly creepy (looks pointedly at Gaveston), still seems interested in Corbett’s plan, despite the fact that he’s married and that Milus wants the job of Chamberlain to Pryce even though Sir Dyer is currently holding the position. Milus sucks up to Pryce, feeding his ego by offering condolences on his wife’s deadly consumption problem and offering the riches he sees in their future by way of making Ventrishire the widest port on the island. Milus tells Pryce that of course the Baroness would go for this plan, because she loves the marshlands so much she’d do anything to keep them, however, Pryce’s good looks and humor will obviously make it an easy decision for her.v

Two hours later, Lady Love is still sitting in the King’s chamber in front of a huge table loaded with food. However, she can’t touch it as court protocol calls for no one to eat before the King eats. Both Isabelle and I agree – it’s a stupid rule.

Meanwhile, Wil and his “son” Luca (Ethan Griffiths) talk about the Bible and he reassures the boy that while his real father thought he was a dull-minded kid, Wil doesn’t think so. Jessamy (stalker!) listens in on the convo as Wil offers a deal to Luca – he will teach him how to read if Luca will help ease his mother’s worry. The boy agrees.

Calo considers leaving after Annora’s warning but Berber convinces him to stay, telling him that while he may be afraid, he faces the fear with the tiny bit of bravery he can summon. Calo doesn’t leave entirely but moves his camp further away from the cavern.

Ed Sheeran is back, letting the Archdeacon know that Tobias refuses to say anything about the scroll, although he has determined that it’s obviously written in code and even if they had all the scrolls together, they couldn’t decipher it. The Archdeacon tells Sir Cormac that they are done with Tobias and that he will suffer the same fate as all the others. The Windsor’s punisher proceeds to CUT TOBIAS’ ARMS OFF, leaving them hanging in the chains as his body falls to the ground. Still alive, the punisher drags the moaning Tobias elsewhere in the dungeon. Meanwhile, Ed Sheeran doesn’t break a sweat.

Above the bloody dungeon, Lady Love is STILL waiting on the King and a manservant enters, just to switch out an old pie from the table with a fresh pie. Lady Love does nothing while Isabelle fumes. After being reprimanded by her mistress, Isabelle apologizes and sits down in her corner, once again vocalizing her hatred of the French. Lady Love gives up, grabs a basket and fills it with food and they head back to their chambers to eat. Isabelle looks thrilled.

Wil jousts some of Pryce’s men, beating them all. Leon jumps in, offering to fight Wil, who takes him down quickly and nearly kills him after catching site of Petra’s cross again. Luckily Toran (Sam Spruell) steps in and pushes Wil away. Milus tells Sir Dyer that he should be ashamed of his men, as Gawain Maddox puts them in their place. Sir Dyer then stares at Wil. I just knew Corbett would make the man realize that Maddox wasn’t Maddox.

Two riders enter the woods near the far cavern and wake Calo. Calo knows they are headed for his friends and contemplates going to fight for them. He does eventually find his bravery, but also finds that a sleeping Ash and Berber have been roused and captured. Calo is taken prisoner as well. Annora hides in her snake cave, allowing them to be taken without revealing she is there.

Back in Windsor, Lady Love is woken from her sleep by slimy Gaveston on her bed. He says the King is ready to meet her now, and slides his hand along her leg over the covers. She does her best not to make a face, but you can tell she’s creeped out. Lady Love gets dressed and meets Gaveston and the King by the river’s edge, where the King (Jack Greenlees) and his friends are shooting flamed arrows at a target on the water. The King greets her, but has no interest in her. He calls her a “petite scarab beetle” and says that Sir Gaveston will help her with her shire. As Gaveston leads her away from the King, she knows the deal and calls him on it – he knew that the King had no interest in her shire and that Gaveston would be put in charge. He said the marshlands are a frustration and they will do their best for the shire. She pleads passionately for her homeland and speaks of the agreement her father had with the King, which left the land and castle to an heir. Gaveston touches her face (again, creepy!) and tells her that the only agreements that matter are the ones made now. She pulls away and says she will go back to her dung heap. He’s not happy that she didn’t take the sexual hint, but we sure are. A girl’s got to have her standards.

Sir Dyer appears in Maddox’s dungeon and accuses the punisher of being a fake. Milus thanks him for keeping the info to himself to discuss in private, then proceeds to hit him over the head. Milus tells Wil to kill Dyer, and when Wil refuses, he opens the door to show Ash, Berber and Calo in custody. He once more threatens that all the people Wil cares about or loves are under Milus’ control, and to make Dyer’s death look like an accident. Wil seethes with rage, leaning over his Bible as he searches for the right thing to do. Dyer wakes and tells Wil that his soul is as fake as his name, which seals Dyer’s fate. Wil rushes him, taking a chicken leg from his dinner and shoving it down Dyer’s throat until he chokes on it and dies.

Lady Love is packing her things and heading back to Ventrishire but receives a visit from Gaveston. He’s gloating and sneering with that French accent as he tells her that the shire will be divided but that the castle she resides in will fall under his control. He offers to let her keep the expensive dress he gave her and she tells him she won’t have need of it soon. His sneer leaves him as she tells him she is with child, an heir from her dearly departed husband, which will negate the need for the division of Ventrishire. She and Isabelle leave Gaveston, who I just know we haven’t seen the last of yet.

Pryce is also leaving, but as he does he vocalizes his suspicion that Lady Love never invited him, and that Milus was behind it all. Milus hopes he will forgive him considering what they have to gain. Somehow, Pryce doesn’t mention his missing chamberlain …

The signature vignettes from the series wrap up the episode:

Ash, Berber and Calo are lowered into the dungeon cages while Wil and Toran watch helplessly.

The Archdeacon of Windsor sits in his chamber, staring at six hides on the wall, each with different tattoos on them. The newest hide is still dripping with the blood of the now slain Tobias, who we know will show up somewhere, limbs severed.

Annora stares at her version of the hide, and uses a rock to cross out yet another star on the mysterious tree.

Wil returns home to find Jessamy and Luca in front of the fire, Jessamy with a hot iron knife in her hand and Luca with a burn on his back. Wil yells at her to stop, asking her why she would do this. She replies that she didn’t do it, but HE did, as he always does when they need correction. This statement further shows the spiral of madness Jessamy has slipped into. Wil opens his arms and Luca runs into them. Jessamy leaves the room and Wil’s anger is apparent in his eyes yet again.

With each new episode, we see the anger take hold of Wil more and more. Soon, his anger may be uncontrollable and he might make a mistake. However, I urge you to recall Petra from his dream, where she said that he had found love like theirs already. I suspect she means Lady Love, who we know IS NOT pregnant with her late-husband’s child and who had the crazy acid-laden vision of a baby when she touched Wil’s hand in the church. I wonder, how will that baby come into existence?

Tune in next week for an all-new episode of The Bastard Executioner and don’t forget to let us know what you think of the show! Love it or hate it, we want your opinion!

Aimee Krenz
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