In this episode, some goodbyes are finally, properly said, while everyone’s looking to their future – or at least just their present, for now. And I am not OK.
Let’s discuss Tremontaine.
This may be a shorter review than most of my Tremontaine ramblings, at least in terms of this episode’s content; it’s a relatively low-key effort this time, but that’s certainly not to say it isn’t a good episode. It’s one that moved me deeply, and I think it’s the best result from this particular pair of writers yet. Damn it, I’m going to miss this.
The flooding has calmed, and real efforts to repair the damage and move forward are properly in progress – literally, and figuratively. Micah finds a new home with her family for an orphaned cow (bless her, and her priorities), while Diane and Octavian continue to pull political strings and try to convince Basil Halliday to stand for the newly vacant seat of the Crescent Chancellor (hooray!).
Meanwhile, Kaab is once again coming full circle in her own story, as she finally learns to stop impeding the progress of knowledge and let go of the idea that she can stop Rafe’s scientific discoveries from getting out into the world, even if the book he wrote doesn’t get published. This leads to a genuinely touching reconciliation between her and Rafe. I was really pleased to see this; these two are far better as friends than enemies, and I was so nervous about the prospect of Kaab deciding she had to kill her old friend. So glad we’re all past that now!
And in Riverside, a funeral service is finally held for Tess, and I won’t lie – a tiny little part of me wanted her to turn up alive in some dramatic fashion. I was just not ready to say goodbye to her! But this scene, in which just about everyone in Riverside who knew Tess turns out not just to say goodbye but to celebrate her, was the perfect ending to that story. Damn it, will this whole saga ever NOT make me cry over something?
… Apparently the answer is no, because if that remembrance wasn’t enough to do it, our visit with the ‘former’ Duke William in Binkiinha certainly got it done.
After spending the last year or so since his departure recovering from his “illness”, William is doing far better than he had been – but he’s still not sleeping well. His dreams and visions are plaguing him, and there’s apparently one particular cause.
*Looks at Rafe*
This is the most overt example of mysticism used yet in the series, save for … whatever it was that the Salamander did right before they and Tess opened the Riverside sluices. But I can accept it by this point and just go with it, because the purpose it serves is so poetic and timely that my sad little romantic heart can’t help appreciating it.
William is being held back in his recovery by his need to reach Rafe, to give him a message that’s been a long time coming, especially considering their lack of a proper goodbye before William set sail from the Land. And Rafe, in his own way, is holding himself back from enjoying the present, if not considering the future, where Reza is concerned. His past entanglement with William is making him wary, together with all of his hard-won better sense when it comes to getting involved with someone who’s only going to end up leaving. (THE HEARTBREAK, I CAN’T STAND IT.)
The dream scene in which Will finally gets through to Rafe was deftly and beautifully handled, and like Rafe I didn’t really understand what Will was trying to tell him until THAT déjà vu moment, later on with Reza.
And wasn’t that just a beautiful moment for him and Rafe?
Will is finally saying his goodbye to Rafe by giving his blessing to Rafe’s future, whatever it might hold, with Reza – and I am completely (not) OK with it.
A mess. I am a mess now. But this was perfect, and my heart is full, and Rafe still needs to leave with him when Reza goes home. I don’t know if he will or even if it will work out for them in Chartil but HE NEEDS TO GO.
What Am I Going To Do?
So. A good many futures are still unwritten – our angsty lovers, Kaab’s next direction, Charlotte’s educational/professional future. Some are creeping toward fulfillment, even as they tantalise those readers like myself who are familiar with Ellen Kushner’s novels, by holding out for what I hope/presume will be quite a dramatic ending to this series.
But there’s a definite sense now of everything beginning to come full circle, for a cluster of new journeys to begin. How all of these pieces will fit together in the end, I still have no idea. I still don’t feel quite ready for the complete puzzle, so to speak.
But I suspect that, in the best way, there will still be some questions to answer even when it’s all said and done. It’s a trick that the best writers know how to use well, and I’ve got a feeling it’s about to be used on me.
I may not be ready for it, but I’m here for it all the same. Do your worst, dear writers. Just let me have my chocolate and my tissues ready first.