‘Carnival Row’ Season 1: Recap And Ending: Everything You Need To Know Before Watching Season 2

Thanks to fictional literature and stunning cinematic expressions, many mystical fantasy worlds exist where myths and legends were born alongside human history. Likewise, Rene Echevarria and Travis Beacham’s “Carnival Row,” a similar speculative fantasy, premiered on Amazon Prime in 2019. “Carnival Row” is an American neo-noir fantasy series that tells the story of the mythical creature Fae who was forced to flee their homeland after it was taken over by their rivals, Pact.


Meanwhile, the Burgish soldier Rycroft Philostrate (Orlando Bloom) is investigating a number of unsolved crimes in the steampunk fantasy city of Burgue. However, he has a very shady past, including an unrequited love affair with a female Fae named Vignette. Vignette is of the belief that her lover perished in the war, but upon her arrival in the Burgue, she learns that Philo is still very much alive. During this time, an evil force is rising, and a frenzy over the struggle for political power is ravaging the lives of these mythical creatures. Therefore, let us see if Philo and Vignette can overcome all these obstacles and their differences to get back together.

Spoilers Ahead


How Did Vignette Find Out That Philo Was Alive?

The history of the Faes and Burgue was revealed right at the beginning of “Carnival Row” Season 1. Seven years ago, the Republic of the Burgue left the alliance, leaving the Fae at the mercy of their adversaries, the Pact. Now that their lands had been occupied by the Pact, the Faes had been brutally tortured by them. The show begins in a dark forest in the Fae lands, where Faes are fleeing for their lives from the clutches of the Pact and their ferocious beasts. We are introduced to Vignette Stonemoss (Cara Delevingne), a Fae who attempted to save her friend by killing the beast. But as her efforts were futile and the Pact were about to kill her, she spread her wings and flew towards the ship of the Spurnroses.

We see Vignette on the ship, lamenting the death of her lover, a Burgish soldier named Philo. But in the following scene, we see Philo still alive in the city of Burgue, where he is now working as a homicide investigator. Philo was looking into a serial killer who was preying on the Critch, the magical population of Burgue. Philo apprehended the murderer but executed him after he revealed information about a rising evil god. Meanwhile, a political conflict appeared to be brewing in the republican assembly of the Burgue, Balefire Hall, between Longerbane and Chancellor Absalom Breakspear (Jared Harris).


Except for Vignette, every Fae passenger died when the Spurnrose ship was wrecked during a massive sea storm. After arriving in the Burgue, she took a job at the Spurnroses’ house as Ezra’s sister, Imogen’s maid, to pay her debts. She ran into her old friend Tourmaline (Karla Crome), who was now working as a prostitute in the Burgue. Vignette received the shocking news from Tourmaline that her lover, Philo, was alive. On the same night, the Chancellor’s son Jonah (Arty Froushan) was kidnapped from a brothel and taken to a dark room with a hood over his face. Vignette, on the other hand, tracked down Philo and confronted him with her broken heart. She despised him for abandoning her and wanted to kill him, but she chose to walk away, leaving him with guilt.

What Happened To Imogen And Agreus?

The next day, Philo learned of another crime involving a Fae named Aisling, who had been horribly murdered, with her guts pulled out and her liver missing. Meanwhile, Imogen (Tamzin Merchant) and Ezra (Andrew Gower) discovered their new neighbor to be a wealthy skipjack, Agreus Astrayon (David Gyasi), a Puck-like mythical creature. Drunk Ezra attempted to rape Vignette, but she knocked him to the ground and fled their home. However, as she approached Tourmaline to hunt for a job, she refrained from allowing her to become a prostitute and instead provided information about the outlaw group known as Black Raven. Ezra told his sister, Imogen, that their family had gone into bankruptcy. Therefore, Imogen intended to utilize Agreus to help them out financially.


Agreus and Imogen came to an understanding that if she helped him integrate into their friend circle, he would assist her financially. Ezra was initially opposed to it, but as Imogen insisted, he was forced to accept because there were no other options. Imogen and Agreus started to develop feelings for one another, and they engaged in intimate conduct that Ezra, regrettably, witnessed. Agreus counterattacked Ezra’s attempt to murder him, defeating him in the process. Imogen and Agreus decided to leave the city in order to avoid being apprehended by the authorities. They couldn’t be together in the Burgue because of their social and physical contrasts, so the following day they boarded the Shawn and departed from the city.

What Was Philo’s Identity?

The history of Philo and Vignette’s love affair was revealed, and we are shown how in war-torn Faeland, Burgish soldier Philo met Vignette, with whom he fell in love. After spending a romantic night with Philo, Vignette discovered scars on his back. Philo revealed that he was half human and half Fae. He lamented that his wings were cut off in his early childhood. However, when the Pact attacked the Faes and forced the Burgish soldiers to flee, Philo let Vignette believe he was dead and left the area.

Who Was Darkasher? Who Was His Master?

Breakspear waited for the ransom letter after learning that his son had been taken, but he was unaware that his wife Piety (Indira Varma) had actually carried out the kidnapping as part of her plan to assassinate Longerbane. In order for Breakspear to apprehend Longerbane and execute him, she planned to make it appear as though he had kidnapped their son. In the end, her plan worked out, as she killed Longerbane and told her husband where Jonah was imprisoned. Mima, a mysterious being, demanded to see Aisling’s body in the meantime. She touched Aisling’s flesh and began to feel dark energy. The serial killer monster emerged when Philo entered a sewer to investigate, but he quickly vanished.

Philo was told by Mima that these creatures were known as Darkashers and that a human was primarily responsible for arousing them. Later, he learned from another mystic, called Haruspex, that these creatures couldn’t be killed until the human who was controlling them was put to death. An orphanage keeper was also killed by the Darkasher shortly after Aisling. During the investigation, Philo discovered that the orphanage master and Aisling knew each other, so he returned to the orphanage and discovered that Aisling was his mother, proving that Philo was of mixed blood. He told Porsha, his landlady with whom he had a sexual relationship, about his past. Porsha couldn’t stand the truth and drove Philo away from her house.


Dumbey, the chief investigator, had already developed suspicions about Philo, so he directed an officer, Berwick, to keep an eye on him. In the meantime, Porsha told Dumbey that Philo was hiding the fact that he was half-blood. As a result, Dumbey locked Philo up for hiding his identity and withholding information about the case. However, Philo discovered Vignette, who had also been detained for creating chaos in a Burgue library. Due to their shared terrible experiences, the two of them reconciled. Meanwhile, in hindsight, the monster was about to prey on the Haruspex as she’d gotten to know too much about the Darkasher. She drank a magical potion that gave her the strength to endure so that she could ultimately tell Philo who the Darkasher’s owner was.

In the meantime, Chancellor Breakspear released Philo from jail and took him somewhere private before disclosing that Philo was his son. Because Aisling was a Fae, Breakspear had been compelled to leave her, but he was unaware that she was pregnant at the time. He pledged to free Vignette from prison, but on his way back, a Puck sent by Piety attempted to kill him. The Darkasher brutally killed Haruspex, but her soul was still on the prowl for Philo. When Philo approached her, she told him that Piety, the wife of the Chancellor, was actually the master of the Darkasher. She also let Philo know that he was a child of prophecy and that Piety was aware of his existence.


What Happened To Piety? Was Breakspear Alive?

Breakspear survived the assault only to be brutally killed by Piety, who extracted his liver and used it in a magical ritual to find Philo. She even released Vignette from prison and imprisoned her in order to lure Philo into her trap. However, Philo followed the Darkasher into the sewer where he had previously seen it. Though the Darkasher did not die despite repeated attacks, Piety emerged from the darkness and confronted Philo. Fortunately, Vignette was able to free herself and stab Piety from behind, killing her. As a result, the monster died as well.

How Did Sophie Influence Jonah, And Why? Did Vignette And Philo Get Back? 

After Longerbane passed away, his daughter Sophie (Caroline Ford) inherited her father’s stance against the Chancellor. When she and Jonah finally met, they got too close. Jonah later learned from Piety that she didn’t want Longerbane to survive because Sophie was Piety’s daughter with him. Hearing the news, Jonah freaked out as he had already engaged in an intimate relationship with his sister, so he confronted Sophie, who manipulated Jonah to be with her as their powerful bloodline would cause immense disruption and give them a chance to gain power. After the Chancellor’s death, Jonah took over the Chancellorship of the city. He found out that Sophie was the one who had informed Piety of Philo’s existence.


While Jonah was accusing her of everything that had happened, Sophie again deceived him by claiming that it was she who had given him a chance to control the city. We saw Philo and Vignette liberated in the final episode of “Carnival Row” Season 1, but because of the newly imposed law by the new chancellor Jonah, no one was allowed to leave the city until his father’s murderer was identified. The fact that Jonah and Sophie are working together to bring order to the city suggests that Sophie was the one who lured Jonah into doing things that would be against the best interests of the Burgue in “Carnival Row” Season 2. Jonah had just fallen into Sophie’s trap. Philo eventually came clean in public about his heritage, claiming that he was a half-Fae in order to be with Vignette forever.

Expectations From “Carnival Row” Season 2

Considering the new “Carnival Row” season 2 trailer, we may infer that the forthcoming season will be a living hell for the creatures of the Burgue. The fact that the new regulations are punishing the Pucks shows that Sophie is the brains behind the mayhem and that she intended for the Critch to fear her. In the meantime, it appears that a new generation of Faes is taking revenge for the wrong that has been done. We can predict that “Carnival Row” season 2 will be enormous, filled with love and dread as well as many newly introduced terrible creatures. After overcoming their differences to be together, it remains to be seen if Philo and Vignette can end the tyranny prevailing in the city. To find that out, let’s wait for season 2 of “Carnival Row,” which will only be available on Amazon Prime.


Poulami Nanda
Poulami Nanda
Poulami Nanda hails from a medical background, yet her journey is to cross the boundaries of medicine and survive in the cinematic world. The surrealistic beauty of cinema and art has attracted her from a very young age. She loves to write poems, songs, and stories, but her dream is to write films someday. She has also worked as a painter, but nothing attracts her more than cinema. Through her writings, she wants to explore the world of cinema more and more and take her readers on the same ride.

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