This recap of the Apple TV+ Show Season 3, Episode 1, “Heavy Hangs the Head,” contains spoilers.
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Apple TV+’s sci-fi epic returns for a third season, with the show’s premiere kicking off with an action-packed tone. The first episode, “Heavy Hangs the Head”, reintroduces us to this post-apocalyptic world, where almost all of society has lost its sight. Those who can see are hunted down and burned alive like witches, while the blind reign supreme. In this week’s episode, two tribes are at war and a new invention seems set to change humanity forever.
See recap of season 3, episode 1 – the premiere explained
The title card tells us that it’s been 256 days since the Battle of Greenhill Gap and that Wren is fighting with the Trivantians against the Ganites. Wren has the power of sight, but still fears death if discovered, so she keeps it a secret. She watches the enemy army attack, firing an arrow at their squadron. There is a rope attached to this arrow and the savages rush towards them, using the rope as a guide. It’s an electrifying debut, with a beautifully hazy battlefield aesthetic. The Trivantians are outnumbered and flee to their base, which happens to be an abandoned wreck.
It’s awe-inspiring to see the intricacies and vulnerability of blind fights, with the series also happily embracing the violence and gore of war. It’s a brutal opener that’s sure to get your pulse racing. Back at base, the men discuss their chances of survival. They are clearly losing the war against the Ganites and their lair is now compromised. Maniac Tormada (David Hewlett) arrives on the scene, posing as a lieutenant. He was Edo’s chief scientist, but has now taken over from its infamous fallen leader. This unhinged but cunning dictator has a truly iconic look about him. The show promises to be a delight, indulging in this medieval mythology. Tormada tells the soldiers that he has a secret weapon which he boasts will win them the war.
Meanwhile, Sibeth (Sylvia Hoeks) is hard at work. Her sister Maghra helps her give birth and then brings the silent baby to life. He is a little boy, the son of Kofun (Maghra’s son), who happens to be Sibeth’s nephew. Kofun refuses to hold the baby, stating that it is not his. Lord Harlan privately explains how the baby’s mother, Sibeth, is a deranged and murderous woman, and he will have to protect his son from her madness.
The Trivantians, led by Tormada, plan their next line of attack. Wren notices that one of Tormada’s men is also seen, it’s Oloman. She fears that her cover has now been blown. But we don’t have time to think about these ramifications, the enemy is rushing towards them. The soldiers are ready to attack, but Tormada tells them they don’t need to fight. When the Ganites enter the battlefield, they are shattered as rigged explosives detonate all around them. It is an invigorating spectacle. Tormada believes they are now an unstoppable force because of this almighty weapon. He wants to kill Baba, conquer Paya and then build his own empire. Tormada informs Wren of these plans and adds that he knows of his secret power, which he wishes to harness for his own purposes.
Meanwhile, Maghra’s other sighted brother, Haniwa, spots another sighted man at the market. He runs away when she waves to him. Later, this bearded man is burned alive by witch hunters and Haniwa makes his presence known to the crowd as they listen to this horrific act unfold. She orders that they stop this needless murder instantly. The townspeople attack Haniwa and her friend Charlotte instead. They fight back valiantly, leaping into action and nearly escaping an equally gruesome fate.
Jason Momoa finally honors us with his presence as Baba Voss. He lives in exile in the forest with his Ranger friend and Ranger’s partner Lu. Bow Lion makes a small appearance, trying to persuade him to return to civilization, but he adamantly refuses to go with her. Tormada appears as the first episode comes to an end. He wants sweet revenge for his master’s death. Baba is the one who killed Edo, which Tormada has not forgotten. He loved Edo and threatens to kill Baba’s entire family in retaliation. Lion and Baba prepare to attack, but Lion is blown up by the explosives moments later. The first ends with Baba flying through the air, knocked down by the powerful explosion.
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