‘The Bastard Executioner’ Season 1 Episode 6 Recap and Review: Thorns/Drain

Lee Jones and Sam Spruell Bastard Executioner
Lee Jones as Wilkin Brattle and Sam Spruell as Toran Pritchard in ‘The Bastard Executioner’ (Photo by Ollie Upton / FX)

Remember how all along I’ve said that Jessamy is going to be trouble? Yep, this is the week on The Bastard Executioner she starts spreading that madness around.

The fifth episode of The Bastard Executioner opens with Jessamy (Sarah Sweeney) watching Wil (Lee Jones) as he sleeps. He wakes up, a bit disturbed by her attention. He asks if there is something weighing on her mind as she has been “vigilant” as of late. She says she’s simply trying to keep her “blessings” in order. I say she’s a complete nut job. Moving on … Jessamy indicates that soon, they will be able to enjoy one another, when Luca takes over swinging the axe, his birthright. Wil says Luca (Ethan Griffiths) will not inherit this life.

Lady Love (Flora Spencer-Longhurst) and Isabel (Sarah White) discuss the posting of a proclamation sent by the King. Lady Love says it needs to be posted. Isabel asks if they can go and pick berries and Lady Love says her spirit needs a girl’s errand.

Sir Leon (Alec Newman) goes to see the Chamberlain and looks confused as his knock elicits the exit of Ramona (or Clara?), a female dwarf, and Clara (or Ramona?) carrying a cage full of rats. I swear I’ve heard a joke that starts this way …

Milus (Stephen Moyer) tells a stymied Leon that it’s better left to the imagination. Leon ignores the uncomfortable images that come to mind and tells him that a missive from the King arrived. Milus reads it, his eyebrow cocked.


Annora (Katey Sagal) is in her cave, grounding some herb into paste, and suddenly stops. Her palm is bleeding. She pulls a thorn from it and the wound heals instantly.

Wil and Toran Pritchard (Sam Spruell) pile swords into a wagon, covering it with a blanket and some bags of grain, discussing their plans to take the weapons to the rebellion leader known only as The Wolf. Jessamy appears, having taken advice perhaps from a pre-Potter Alastor Moody about constant vigilance, and asks if there will be anyone fair where they are going. By fair, of course, she wonders if Wil is meeting with Lady Love in secret again after having spied the pair together in the chapel in last week’s episode. Toran tells her only men will be meeting them. The men leave the city, passing by the shackled trio of Berber (Danny Sapani), Ash (Darren Evans) and Calo (Kyle Rees) as they shovel horse manure.

Father Ruskin (Timothy V. Murphy) watches as Leon hangs the King’s proclamation, and Jessamy asks him to read it aloud. He announces to all those in hearing distance that the Baroness is with child, a gift from her now-deceased husband. Ventris has an heir.

On the South Forest Trail, Wil and Toran meet two Ventris soldiers. One of them offers to ride along with them to keep them safe as the place they are traveling has been under attack by the rebels. They try to sway him not to, but he will not hear of it. The other soldier leaves and the men attempt to restart their journey. The wagon shudders over a rock in the road and the soldier hears the clang of the hidden steel.

The soldier, Sir Huxley (Tim McDonnell), lifts the blanket and asks why they would be trading swords of the nobles. Toran and Wil release their own weapons and as Sir Huxley fights back, raising his own sword to kill Toran, Wil runs him through.

Isabel and Lady Love begin their hunt for berries, escorted by two knights. They head into the forest to follow a familiar trail …

Ed Sheeran Bastard Executioner Episode 6
Trevor Sellars as Robinus and Ed Sheeran as Cormac in ‘The Bastard Executioner’ (Photo by Ollie Upton / FX)

Sir Cormac (Ed Sheeran) and the Archdeacon of Windsor discuss the best way to sniff out the pagan rebels and decipher the images on the hides he is collecting. The Archdeacon will head to Ventris, which almost certainly spells trouble.

Annora and her Dark Mute (Kurt Sutter) look grimly over a pile of thorns that she has pulled from her body. She hands them to the Mute, telling him that they will begin their search at the castle. The Mute tells her he will ready his service and climbs through the hanging dead snakes to yet another hidden tunnel in the cave. He kneels in front of a locked cabinet bearing a cross.

Wil and Toran meet with The Wolf (Matthew Rhys), who says he is sorry the knight had to die and that they took such a risk bringing them the weapons. He states that he will provide them safety and Wil wants reassurance that the Baroness will not be a target of the rebellion attacks. The Wolf assures him that he has no intention of bringing the battle to the Baroness.

Meanwhile, Isabel and Lady Love are heading back from their adventure and are taken captive by men who carry them off with hoods over their heads. Later, Lady Love is meeting with The Wolf, who states that he heard she wanted to meet. He apologizes for the way he arranged the meeting after she tells him that she has to be suspicious after the way she was taken. Then, HUGE GASP!

The Wolf calls her SISTER. The pair of them trade insults about their paternity and Love reveals that her father always did love his secret son. She calls him Griffy, with affection, and tells him that she is glad they separated Isabel from her, as she would recognize him. She admits that no one knows of his connection to her, not even Isabel.

Love tells her brother, named Gruffodd y Blaidd, that her greatest wish is an independent Wales and they talk about the revolution. He admits that many of the attacks are not led or sanctioned by him, that half of the time he has never heard of the men who carry the acts out. “A revolution led with no leader is chaos,” says Love. He asks her for money to aid their cause, to bring the rebels under his control since they are basically looking for money to keep them safe. He knows she has items of worth hidden in the family crypt and asks for a gift, though he swears no ill will if she decides not to leave him anything. She wonders why, if he knew it was there, he didn’t just take it. He replies that he is no thief and has no claim to it.

Wil returns by supper time and Jessamy once again appears out of thin air. Wil sits her down for a truth party. He tells her that she must stop her pretending that he is her husband, and that Milus Corbett knows the truth of their relationship and uses it to control Wil to do his bidding. She refuses to let go of the dream-relationship she has created and he tells her how his whole village was slaughtered. Wil tells her that revenge for his slain wife and unborn child is what brought him here, to Ventris. He then admits that he killed Huxley and that they are all in danger, including her children. They must leave right away and he tells her to pack everything they can carry. She once again refuses to acknowledge the severity of their situation. Wil tries to scare her into reason, stating if she wants to protect “their” children, they must leave. She shakes her head and cries, leaving the room, but Luca says he will do the packing. The child asks his “father” if he will leave them once they reach safety. Wil replies that he will never be his father, but he will never leave him and calls him his son.

Lady Love and her handmaiden return to the path, where they are greeted by frantic knights. Meanwhile, the Reeve knocks on Jessamy’s door, looking for the punisher on the Chamberlain’s behalf. Jessamy smiles at him.

Wil meets with Berber, Calo and Ash separately, telling them they all must leave and forms a plan for escape.

Annora visits the city, where Father Ruskin is teaching. She hands him a pile of thorns as a warning, telling him that a darkness is coming. The good father drops the pile and tells her that she shouldn’t practice her paganism so openly. She says pagan hands helped write the pages in his Bible. She then pulls another thorn from her chest as he watches, and she heals instantly. She hands the bloody thorn to him, telling him that he will recognize the evil, a crown of thorns, when he sees it.

The Reeve brings news to Milus that the punisher is not back yet but that his wife would like a word, privately. Here comes trouble!

Milus meets with the Baroness, telling her that a rebel has admitted to the crime of killing Baron Pryce’s wife, and that he did so by direct order of The Wolf. Lady Love looks disturbed, knowing what her brother has told her. The murderer is to be sent to the Baroness for questioning and punishment. Before we can find out who the man is, the Archdeacon of Windsor is announced as a visitor.

Wil and Toran meet under the cover of night as they prepare to carry out their escape. He plans to pick a fight with Leon as the last man they will have their revenge on, which will provide them a diversion to get the rest of the men out of town. When Wil comes home to get Luca, Jessamy, and the infant, Luca rushes in and tells him he needs to leave. Leon Tell and a few other knights rush in, telling him the Chamberlain wants a word. Like now.

The Baroness introduces the Archdeacon to Father Ruskin, who offers the servant the Archdeacon room in the chapel.

Meanwhile, Lady Love has prepared a guest room for the Archdeacon, who tells her that he arrived in Ventris to take an examination of the accounts and to meet the congregation.

Milus tells a questioning Leon that the matter of which Jessamy brought to his attention is a marital one, not a criminal one, then meets with Toran and Wil alone. Sir Norton (Llew Davies) stands guard outside the punisher’s room while they meet. Milus tells the pair that he knows what happened and why Sir Huxley has not returned, thanks to Jessamy. She has requested that the Chamberlain detain her husband until he comes to his senses. He admits that he knows that they are here for revenge for the slaughter of their village and that he has a proposal – he offers Sir Norton to do with what they will to exact their revenge, and then they will come to work for him. He needs smart and able men who will serve him beyond manor law.

Before Wil can refuse him, Sir Norton is called in and Milus begins asking him questions about the village raid. Norton admits to being there, setting homes on fire and killing innocent villagers. Milus tells Wil to gather his friends, torture Norton or do what they will to him in order to quench their thirst for revenge, it will be his final offer. He then mentions that if Lady Love were to find out that Wil was not who he said he was, someone she has so come to admire and care for, it would be a shame. Milus then warns him that Jessamy was the reason he allowed Wil to take on the role of Gawaine Maddox, but that she is quite mad and Wil should be careful. Sir Norton is strung up and Toran tells Wil to go get their friends.

Lady Love goes to the crypt, unlocks a secret compartment in one of the stone coffins, and pulls something from it. She then opens a secret tunnel door and heads into it, meeting at the very end, her brother. She hands Griff a scroll, telling him of the word they received regarding the murder of Lady Pryce. He reviews the note and tells her that he has never heard of the man. Neither mentions his name, but somehow I think Wil’s real name will be bandied about in the near future.

The Baroness gives Griff a piece of jewelry laden with pearls, which he thanks her for. She says it will build a strong foundation for his army and that she comes to the table willingly. They must proceed with caution and counsel. She swears to find out the truth from the man who claims to have murdered in the name of The Wolf.

Father Ruskin wanders the church, coming across the open door of the servant for the Archdeacon. He carries a book with a cross and a crown of thorns, exactly like the warning from Annora.

Wil returns with their friends to find Toran already torturing Norton. Wil looks on, horrified, as Toran announces that Norton has already spilled some information: Sir Denley (James Rousseau) murdered Berber’s mother and the Baron Ventris slit Toran’s son’s throat. Toran convinces Wil to let him continue, because if he doesn’t know who killed his wife, madness will overtake him even further than where he already is. Wil agrees, but doesn’t like it. Norton then reveals that Sir Locke (Ross O’Hennessy) killed Eva (Charlotte Mills), Toran’s wife. Toran drops the instrument of torture and walks away as Norton begs Wil to end it. Wil obliges, stabbing him in the heart while Berber, Calo and Ash look on. Wil turns to them and tells them, “And so we have our vengeance.”

Back in Annora’s cave, she looks at the tree and star symbols on the huge hide, while the Dark Mute opens the cabinet. Inside, a wide array of weapons and the uniform of crusader hang like items on an altar.

Lady Love spies Wil sitting in a storage room, surrounded by food supplies. He tells her that he doesn’t think God can recognize him anymore. She asks why and he opens up, telling her that his heart is unfamiliar to him and his hands no longer hold warmth or truth as he knew it. Wil is tired and she observes that he is also sad. She takes his hand, stating that she is sure God sees the grace within. He calls her kind and beautiful, saying that she truly sees him and has from the moment she touched his wounded hand. Wil admits that he is drawn to her.

He then rises and apologizes, blaming his admission on his lack of sleep and too much drink. She tells him once more that she is not offended, and that she had a vision when she touched his wound: the birth of a baby boy. She suspects that Wil saw it, too. He denies the vision, and leaves quickly, leaving her alone.

The episode ends and a brief preview for next week plays, indicating that Wil is trying to find a way out from under Milus’ thumb. Based on the preview from last week and what actually happened during this week’s episode, I’m not going to even take a stab at what Kurt Sutter has in store for us next week.

Milus Corbett continues to intrigue me, and I’m interested to see if he will actually fully commit to the dark side or if he will surprise us all and don a white hat. The tiny glimpses we are given that indicate he has some good somewhere inside (way, way down deep, I’m sure!) keep me pulling at the delicate threads that Stephen Moyer weaves for this character.  I guess only time will tell where Milus will fall on the baddie scale! Check in with us next week for a recap of the latest episode of The Bastard Executioner.

Season 1 Recaps: Episode 1 & 2 / Episode 3 / Episode 4 / Episode 5

Aimee Krenz
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