Warning: spoilers ahead for His Dark Materials season 2 episode 3.
As the main character of His Dark Materials, Lyra Belacqua (Dafne Keen) is courageous, determined and kind, not to mention wise beyond her years.
However, she is also stubborn, an innate attribute found among many protagonists in tales of action and adventure, and one that plays to her disadvantage in the third episode of His Dark Materials season 2 on BBC One.
Having visited Mary Malone (Simone Kirby) in Oxford and witnessed the wonders of the academic’s ‘Cave’ computer, which is able to help people communicate with Dust – or dark matter as Mary knows it – Lyra decides to travel back to the laboratory from the city of Cittàgazze to find out more about the physicist’s research.
In doing so, she goes directly against the guidance of her treasured Alethiometer, which informs her that she should be paying closer attention to helping Will Parry (Amir Wilson) find his father, an explorer who went missing over a decade previously during an expedition.
It’s clear that Lyra is subconsciously aware of where she should be focusing her attention, as her daemon Pantalaimon (voiced by Kit Connor) stresses that she’s going against the Alethiometer’s advice.
But she decides to go ahead with her plan anyway, resulting in her placing herself and Will in greater danger.
While Lyra’s full name is Lyra Belacqua, in the first season of His Dark Materials, she is dubbed Lyra Silvertongue by armoured bear Iorek Byrnison, in tribute to her smooth-talking skills.
When Lyra arrives at Mary’s office, they are met by a man called Inspector Walters, who was previously seen sneakily watching Will and his mother at their home.
Overly confident of her ability to talk her way out of any situation, Lyra happily answers the questions Walters has regarding her interest in Mary’s work, convincingly introducing herself as Lizzie.
However, when he asks her a question about Will, Lyra slips up, revealing to the cunning man that she and Will know one another.
A chase ensues, Lyra sprinting out of Walters’ grasp as she dashes around the streets of Oxford, Pan helping to guide her by transforming into a bird and shouting directions from above.
As she slows down to catch her breath, a car pulls up in front of her out of nowhere, with Charles Latrom (Ariyon Bakare) – the man Lyra briefly spoke to at a natural history museum in Oxford – in the driver’s seat.
Charles – who the audience knows is actually the menacing Lord Boreal from Lyra’s world – gives her a lift and drops her off, but not before stealing the Alethiometer, much to her dismay.
Throughout season 1 of His Dark Materials, Lyra builds herself a strong network of allies, from the Gyptians to Iorek and aeronaut Lee Scoresby (Lin-Manuel Miranda).
In the latest episode of the show, Lee proves just how loyal an ally he truly is to the young girl while being interrogated by her mother, the sinister Mrs Coulter (Ruth Wilson).
The meeting between Lee and Mrs Coulter was created specifically for the show, as the pair never meet in the original book trilogy written by Philip Pullman.
However, as soon as audiences witness the pristinely-dressed Mrs Coulter square up against Lee, his face bloodied and swollen and his spirit unwavering, it’s clear that this moment is the highlight of the 50-minute episode.
Mrs Coulter, typically able to convince anyone to do her bidding, finds herself unable to squeeze Lyra’s whereabouts from Lee’s lips, no matter how much she and her golden monkey daemon hurt Lee and his hare daemon, Hester (voiced Cristela Alonzo).
Eventually, after Lee has revealed just how much he cares for Lyra, stating that his life is worth ‘one-tenth’ of hers, Mrs Coulter decides to let Lee go, asking that if he finds Lyra, he will do everything in his power to protect her from those who would do her harm.
But they may be too late, as Lyra and Will venture to Charles/Lord Boreal’s house in an effort to retrieve the Alethiometer.
The devious Lord Boreal – who reveals he knows exactly who Lyra and Will are – tells them that in order to get the Alethiometer back, they must in turn obtain another valuable item for him, the Subtle Knife, which resides in the Torre degli Angeli in Cittàgazze.
And so, with Lyra and Will making their way to the Tower of Angels in Cittàgazze, next week’s episode will undoubtedly spell even more danger for the duo.
His Dark Materials returns on Sunday at 8.10pm on BBC One.
Credit: Original article published here.