‘The Bastard Executioner’ Season 1 Episode 8 Recap and Review: Broken Things/Pethau Toredig

Bastard Executioner Lee Jones, Timothy V Murphy Season 1
Timothy V. Murphy as Father Ruskin and Lee Jones as Wilkin Brattle in ‘The Bastard Executioner’ (Photo by Ollie Upton / FX)

Did anyone else tune in last week, forgetting that we didn’t have a new episode of The Bastard Executioner? I’ll thank the writers and network not to skip another week in between episodes ever again. The truth that now lies between Wil and Love has me completely enthralled, and I so thought this new episode was finally going to literally and figuratively thrust them together.

Apparently not. I’m reminded of the saying, “The longer the wait, the sweeter the kiss.” How I love/hate you, Kurt Sutter.

Moving past my WiLove ‘ship disappointment, I do wonder how on earth they are going to resolve the little problem of Love not actually being pregnant. It seemed possible to fix as they’ve moved Wil and Love closer together, but not getting down to dirty deeds, that window of opportunity keeps inching closer to impossible.

The eighth episode of The Bastard Executioner picks up the morning after Wil (Lee Jones) finally sleeps with his “wife” Jessamy (Sarah Sweeney), who seems to want more “devotion” from him and is slightly disappointed when all he does is kiss her hand. She thinks she wasn’t good enough in bed, but he assures her that he was most satisfied. He takes his executioner’s sword and heads out to oversee a sad task: burying Calo (Kyle Rees). The remaining four villagers bury their friend with the other slaves while a priest reads rites in Latin.

Meanwhile, Isabel (Sarah White) is making a new pad for Lady Love (Flora Spencer-Longhurst), who is supposedly three months along with the deceased Baron’s child. They must continue the charade as a surprise visit from a neighboring shire looms. Isabel asks her mistress if Gawain Maddox and the Lady are having an affair; she feels she needs to know in order to protect her. Love dismisses Isabel and proceeds to destroy her chambers, crying out in despair and frustration at her current situation.

Milus (Stephen Moyer) and the visiting Baron briefly discuss the missing Sir Gaveston and it’s revealed that he is the reason for the surprise visit.

Wil apologizes to his brothers, saying he never thought his deception would result in Calo’s death. His friends tell him he has nothing to be sorry for and that they all had a part.

Father Ruskin (Timothy V. Murphy) and Annora (Katey Sagal) sit in a cave by the fire, and Father Ruskin is confused by what he has read. Annora tells him the book was written by Jesus, son of Joseph, which shakes the Father’s faith, who believes that Jesus is the son of God. He listens to Annora as she explains who the Archdeacon Robinus is after: the Seraphim, chosen to carry and protect the words of the Nazarene. She calls them the Knights of the Rosebud, descendants of the ones who carried and tortured Jesus but were forgiven by Jesus when he rose and exited the tomb.

Meanwhile, Robinus (Trevor Sellers) and his men descend on Annora’s cave dwelling. Father Ruskin says he does not understand his role, as he is just a priest. She says she doesn’t need a scholar or prophet, but instead, a warrior. The Archdeacon’s men enter the cave, swords drawn. They find a boiling pot of water and the ceiling full of dead snakes, but no Annora. As one of the men makes his way slowly through the snake curtain, they suddenly come to life and bite him, filling him full of deadly venom. When he screams, the other men run to his aid only to find him dead on the ground. As they back away, one of the men finds a letter and goes to take it. It is a trap, and triggers arrows to shoot and kill, as well as a bag of liquid to drop into the boiling water, dousing them all liquid fire.

Annora and Father Ruskin exit the cave, revealing a new cave on the coast, where Annora and the Dark Mute are now hiding. She asks the Father to not reveal to anyone other than Wil where they are. The Dark Mute (Kurt Sutter) tells her that Robinus and his men know the priest had visited them and Annora replies that this is his test of faith. Father Ruskin heads back to Ventris to tell Wil to meet Annora at the new cave.

Bastard Executioner Flora Spencer Longhurst Season 1 Episode 8
Flora Spencer-Longhurst as Baroness Lady Love Ventris (Photo by Ollie Upton / FX)

The visiting Earl of Warrick reveals that a number of Barons have joined together, calling themselves The Ordainers, who will push Parliament to hold King Edward I accountable for the political predicament they find themselves in. They offer Lady Love and Ventrishire a seat at their table, trading access to the sea and military support for ensuring that Ventrishire is never divided or given to another. Milus advises that part of the accordance will exile Gaveston from all of England, Wales, Scotland, and Ireland forever. He will be left without allies or safe haven. Lady Love and Milus are all too happy to throw their proverbial hats in the ring, which also provides them a reward in the form of some wealth, which they need. She adds that if she should deliver Gaveston herself, she would like a favor: that she be given authority to deal with the rebels, and if she cannot find a solution, she will relinquish her control of the rebels. They agree to her terms and she advises she will begin the hunt immediately.

Back at the cave, Robinus instructs a watcher to look for Father Ruskin, the Gray Woman, and the Templar. They burn the bodies of their dead at the mouth of the cave and the Archdeacon leaves, advising his man to send Sir Cormac to him once he returns.

Father Ruskin has returned to Ventris, telling Wil and Toran (Sam Spruell) that Annora would like to meet them at the new location, and Wil asks that the good Father finish Luca’s reading lesson and return him to his mother.

Back in the castle, Lady Love signs the agreement with the Earl, and plots with Milus to find Gaveston. Milus asks if she really believes she can create peace with the rebels, and she tells him she thinks she can. He then tells her he will draft letters regarding Gaveston, but that they may have a source within the castle.

As Wil and Toran ride along the coast to meet Annora, the travelers who survived the raiding party overlook the beach from high above, recognizing the pair as the men who slaughtered their women. The Dark Mute attempts to hide himself from Wil’s gaze but Annora tells him that it is time for them to see him as she does. Annora thanks Toran for traveling with Wilkin, calling him a kind skeptic. Annora walks with Wil alone, who tells her they had to bury Calo. Annora wishes he finds peace on his new journey, but Wil asks about his journey instead. He says he desires Love, but shouldn’t. Annora tells him he has a gift and touches his face, giving him a vision of a nun attempting to drown a baby. A Templar stabs the nun, and another nun pulls the baby to safety. Wil falls to his knees, saying he has seen pieces of the vision before, knowing that he was the infant. The Templar and the nun who saved him are Annora and the Dark Mute. She says that the greater one fights for the love they deserve, the stronger the bond. Wil admits that he told her who he was, and Annora tells him that the feeling he has for the Lady will only come to light when there are no more secrets.

Toran joins them, advising there are riders coming. The Dark Mute turns to find more attackers on the cave outcroppings. Toran pulls his bow to shoot one and the Mute tells Annora to go to the cave for safety. Wil and Toran fight the five horsemen who arrive while the Mute removes his cloak to reveal his chain mail and Templar robes. When all riders are dead and more are headed their direction, he tells Wil and Toran to keep Annora safe. They huddle in the mouth of the sea cave and the Mute pulls his sword, kneeling on the packed sand. He bows his head in prayer as six riders surround him. Two more come to the cave and Toran and Wil kill them. Annora has a vision of her mate, dripping in blood, and tells them to hurry to his side. They find the Mute still kneeling, the riders slain and in pieces all around him. The Mute finally speaks in their presence, telling them to bury them in the sand. Toran remarks that he thought he was without tongue. Wil looks unsurprised.


Milus sets a trap for the twins, Ramona and Clara (Sophie and Eloise Lovell-Anderson), telling them that he has sent men to collect Gaveston, whose hiding place has been revealed. The twins give an excuse to leave and then head to the stables where they plan to escape. Milus and the Reeve, Leon Tell (Alec Newman), have followed them and take them prisoner. He tells the Reeve to torture the information of Gaveston’s whereabouts from them using a torture device called The Cradle. Tell has no stomach for torture and Locke (Ross O’Hennessy) is requested to take over. Milus doesn’t really care which twin is tortured, randomly picking the one he feels is more of a slut than the other.

Berber (Danny Sapani) walks in on the scribe master (Scroobius Pip) he works for, who is praying. He tells the scribe that he has nothing to fear, as he will not tell anyone that he is Jewish.

Milus returns, finding one twin dead and the other crying in the corner. Tell advises Milus that the dead twin revealed Gaveston is hiding in a monastery in Devington. The body is tossed into the water below the castle.

Milus reveals to Lady Love the whereabouts of Gaveston and that half a legion, Gawain Maddox, and a trapper familiar with the marshes there should retrieve the man. Lady Love and Tell do not believe Maddox should go, but Milus makes a compelling argument for his skill, in case something happens. He then tells the Lady that while he is happy she is committed to their subjects, he is concerned about her spending time with Maddox. She responds that she indeed does spend time with him, in all the places that are open to all of her people – the gardens and the chapel during prayer. He warns her that while she is growing stronger as the Lady of Ventris, he believes that a hint of scandal could topple any strength she has gained.

Tell asks why Milus gives Maddox more trust than he does the Reeve, saying it is an insult to the honored knights who have earned their place in Ventris. Milus says nothing.

Wil returns to find a catatonic twin in his torture chamber and asks what horror has caused it. She doesn’t answer. Jessamy shows up, asking where he has been. Toran tells her that there was a skirmish with bandits. Luca (Evan Griffiths) leads Jessamy away and Wil follows. They meet Isabel in the hallway as she brings a letter for Wil from her mistress. Jessamy dismisses Isabel and then asks what service Lady Love could possibly need. He tells her it is brutal work and she should start supper.

He meets Love in the catacombs beneath the castle. They decide that because they are alone, they can use their true names. She tells him that she needs him to go with the Chamberlain to capture Gaveston and that it is a dangerous mission. She says she is compelled to return the trust he gave to her by telling him that she is not with child and that it was a ruse to keep Ventris in her hands. Wil jokes, saying giving birth to a pillow serves no one. She advises him that people are noticing the time they spend together. She is worried but feels safe when she is with him. He admits to her that his mind finds peace when they are together and they kiss once more.

In walks Jessamy, calling Love a noble whore. As she runs to attack Love, Wil stops her, accidentally tearing her dress and revealing the scars all over her back from the abuse of her real husband. The woman cries out that this is what she deserves. Wil picks up the crying baby from the floor and Father Ruskin gives Jessamy an Irish tonic to keep her calm. She lies down inside Isabel’s quarters and Father Ruskin says he will keep Luca until Wil returns from his journey with Milus. Isabel holds the infant while Love looks on, concerned at what they now face. Isabel asks Love if she is in love with Wil. Love says perhaps.

In the chapel, Father Ruskin retrieves Luca. The scribe master provides Berber a magnifying rock to help with smaller writing, showing that there is a bit of trust there now that he knows his secret. Ash (Darren Evans) joins Wil on his journey so that he can help in the marshes. Wil tells Luca he is to stay with the priest and they take the surviving twin, bound on horseback, with them to the marshes. As they ride away, Father Ruskin and Luca enter his home and are captured, hoods placed over their heads by the Archdeacon’s men.

I would like to once again bring up the fact that Love is still without child and Wil is headed out to the marshes, for God only knows how long and we have no idea what will happen when they reach their destination. The foreshadowing of the baby from the vision shared by Love and Wil seems to be moving further away rather than closer to fruition. The frustration meter is high over in my neck of the woods, but I’m sure this is all in Sutter’s plan to keep me hanging on for every episode.
Well played, sir. Well played.

Season 1 Recaps: Episode 1 & 2 / Episode 3 / Episode 4 / Episode 5 / Episode 6 / Episode 7

Aimee Krenz
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