‘Carnival Row’ Season 2 Is Almost Here: Let’s Refresh Our Memories

‘Carnival Row’ Season 2 Is Almost Here: Let’s Refresh Our Memories

'Carnival Row' Season 2 Is Almost Here: Let's Refresh Our Memories

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The world of Prime Video’s Carnival Row is dense with lore, politics and the complexities that come with conflicting social groups. The fantasy show, starring Orlando Bloom and Cara Delevingne, was released in 2019. It is set in a town called the Burgue, where an influx of humans named fae (including fairies and fauns) are thrown to the fringes of society in what is ultimately a story about living under the shadow of xenophobia. Carnival Row refers to a section of town inhabited primarily by fae.

Season 1 introduced Detective Burgue Rycroft Philostrate (Bloom) and refugee Fae Vignette Stonemoss. They had met and fallen in love seven years earlier during a war that brought Rycroft (who goes by the name Philo) to Vignette’s homeland of Tirnanoc as a soldier. They reunite as Philo investigates a series of murders that will eventually reveal a secret about his past. All the while, anti-fae sentiment continues to rise.

The first two episodes of Season 2 hit Prime Video on February 17. Here’s what to remember from Season 1 of Carnival Row.

Power struggle at the Burgue

At the Burgue, the political machinations are complicated and shady. Blackmail, lies, deals and murder combine to place Jonah Breakspear (son of Chancellor Absalom Breaskspear) and Sophie Longerbane (daughter of a political rival) in the highest positions of power after their fathers are killed by their mother. Yes, they are half-siblings. Moreover, they have a romantic relationship. Jonah and Sophie take a hardline anti-fae common stance, with ultimate aspirations to control the Burgue.

Imogen and Agreus’ taboo romance

Season 1 included the story of Agreus, a wealthy faun (a fae with ram-like horns, pejoratively known as “puck”) moving through an affluent section of Burgue. His neighbors, siblings Imogen and Ezra Spurnrose, have financial problems and want to manipulate Agreus into a business partnership in exchange for an introduction into high society. Agreus and Imogen fall in love. Ezra catches them in bed and Agreus attacks him. At the end of the season, Agreus and Imogen escape on a boat, but Ezra isn’t going to let them.

Philo learns a secret

Season 1 makes two main revelations about Philo. First, he’s actually half-fairy (or pix, as the anti-fae say). His mother had his underdeveloped wings clipped in hopes that he would pass as human and have more opportunities in life. Two, Absalom Breakspear (Jared Harris) is his biological father. Breakspear, as mentioned earlier, is the Chancellor of the Burgue at the start of the season.

A prophecy

Turns out the murders Philo has been investigating all season aren’t random. They are connected to him. Piety Breakspear, wife of Absalom and mother of Jonah, was told of a prophecy that the chancellor’s son would be prosperous and powerful. The problem is that it probably refers to Philo. So, Piety embarks on a veritable murder spree using dark magic to clear the way for Jonah.

Vignette and the Black Crow

In season 1, Vignette becomes involved in a secret vigilante group of her fellow fairies, called Black Raven. She roots herself more in the group and is even sent to commit murder.

Philo and Vignette fix things

When Philo and Vignette find themselves in Burgue, the meeting is not really happy. Back in Tirnanoc, Philo asked a friend of Vignette to tell him he was dead, wanting to spare him what would happen if they tried to have a relationship. When Vignette discovers that Philo is alive, she is pissed. As the season progresses, they continue to cross paths, saving each other from various bad spells, and they finally get back together. Just as they decided to flee the Burgue.

Carnival Row, sequestered

At the end of the season, just as Philo and Vignette are about to blow up the city, the police show up at Carnival Row. Jonah, as chancellor, gave the order to cut off Carnival Row and get out, trapping the fae inside. In a crucial moment, Philo literally decides which side he is on. He decides to recognize his Faerie side and stay with Vignette in the newly separated Carnival Row.


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