His Dark Materials: 2.03 Theft
What is this stuff? It's disgusting.
Then stop eating it.
As much as I'm enjoying Lyra's search for the mysteries of Dust, her first taste of popcorn, as she and Will hid out in a cinema, has to be the best reason yet for her journey into 'our world.' It was a wonderful moment of humour in between the bigger events unfolding around her. And there was plenty going on in this episode; Mary began to communicate with her dark matter machine, Will and Lyra fell foul of Boreal with his own agenda, Lee Scoresby's hunt for Stanislaus Grummen saw him fall foul of local authorities, while an encounter with Mrs Coulter provided offered a surprise or two.
Lyra's decision to return to Mary's lab saw her encounter a detective out to find Will, all part of Boreal's plan to steal the alethiometer from her. Having been ahead of everyone so far, the episode ended with Lyra forced to accept Boreal's demands to steal the 'subtle knife' from the tower in the Cittàgazze. With Will closer to adulthood then she, there's plenty of danger ahead and I'm excited to see what the trip inside brings. I'm also intrigued by Boreal's motivations; he clearly isn't as loyal to Mrs Coulter as we are led to believe.
After sitting out much of the second series, Lee Scoresby's search for Stanislaus Grummen provided the focal point of the episode. From the amusing, drunken tale at a bar, to a dangerous trip to an observatory, it was clear that the Magisterium's reach is growing. The violent stand-off and Lee's arrest took The Theft in an increasingly darker path and an interesting encounter with Mrs Coulter in a jail cell.
The scene between Scoresby and Coulter was fascinating. They definitely shared a moment, bonding over the abusive parents that have shaped their whole lives. It has enabled them to survive, to handle pain. Beneath the bold, confident masks they wear, we saw a vulnerable side as Scoresby opened up about his father, and Coulter, letting her l've for Lyra shine through. She has an interesting duality; ruthless villain and loving mother. Letting him escape, recognising that he might protect Lyra, overrode her usual ruthless nature.
The Theft kept a lot of plates spinning, delving deeper into Mary's investigations into dark matter, added some additional depth to Scoresby and Coulter's characters and saw Boreal step up his game. Plus a welcome - if brief return - of Iorek Byrnison. Armoured bears immediately elevate any episode. The tease of the journey into the mysterious tower at the heart of the Cittàgazze promises plenty of excitement going into next week's installment.