‘His Dark Materials’ Season 3, Episodes 3 & 4: Recap And Ending, Explained – Where Are Will And Lyra Headed?

Episode 2 of “His Dark Materials” ended with Asriel finding Father Gomez and Marisa Coulter unconscious. Lyra, Pan and Will have escaped. “His Dark Materials” Episodes 3 and 4 deal with what Asriel has in mind for Coulter. On the other hand, with the knife broken, it waits to be seen in which direction our trio heads. Will Lyra go to the Land of the Dead to search for Roger? Or will Will decide to go to Asriel?


Spoilers Ahead

An Illegitimate Affair

Asriel has taken Coulter prisoner. When she asks Asriel if Lyra is safe, he tells her that he has one of his best soldiers with Lyra (Agent Salmakia). Ruta Skadi wants Coulter dead, but Asriel intends to know all that Coulter has on her mind before she is convicted of her crimes. Commander Ogunwe, Ruta Skadi, and Asriel decide to use Coulter’s knowledge for the war. Meanwhile, Agent Salmakia contacts Asriel and makes him aware of a boy with a knife who is traveling with Lyra. Coulter says that she has seen him but lies that she knows no knife. She agrees to do anything as long as Asriel protects Lyra. Asriel later comes to know from Roke, whom Salmakia contacted, that Coulter has indeed seen the knife in the boy’s hand. He confronts her and tells her that he has abandoned his search for Lyra. He cannot believe that the offspring of him and Coulter, an illegitimate affair, can be Eve, the Mother of All Sin. He sacrificed his whole life to break the prevalent faith regarding Authority and its concept, including that of Eve, so he would not be swayed by the theory that his daughter is one of the main components, if not the main component, of its faith. Asriel wants Coulter to join him in his war and shows her the angel he has captured, Alarbus. Coulter is astonished. Meanwhile, Commander Ogunwe and Ruta Skadi watch as Xaphania’s rebel angels arrive. Asriel turns on the machine to sever Alarbus from his soul and blast him back to Metatron so that he can deliver Asriel’s message. Alarbus ultimately vanishes into thin air. Asriel turns to his wife, but she has left the room. She makes her way inside the Intention Craft along with her daemon and escapes, but not before Agent Roke manages to get onto the aircraft under Asriel’s orders.


The Blacksmith’s Job

Will and Lyra are all on their own in a barren land. Will gives Lyra her alethiometer. They decide to find Iorek, as he is the only one who can fix the knife. Agent Salmakia sets out on her way back to the Republic. Will and Lyra arrive at Fairisle Chapel and find Iorek. However, he hesitates about fixing the knife, as Lyra intends to use it to go to the Land of the Dead and find her friend Roger. But when the alethiometer agrees with Lyra’s decision, Iorek can’t help it. It will take Will’s willpower for the pieces to join, after which Iorek will be able to merge them all. The Subtle Knife is finally fixed. Iorek bids Lyra and Will goodbye after telling them that they will always be welcome in his kingdom, Svalbard. On their way into the woods, Balthamos comes to see Will. Lyra sees an angel for the first time. Will tells him that he has decided to go to the Land of the Dead and help Lyra get her friend back before heading to Asriel. Balthamos accepts his decision and leaves. Will cuts into the world where the Land of the Dead lies, and he, Lyra, and Pan walk in. Lyra realizes that they are in the right place because she has been there in her dreams.

A New Weapon

Father Gomez is back at the Magisterium and tells MacPhail about the dark forces that seem to be with Lyra and Will. MacPhail is further bent on killing Lyra. He thus calls for Coulter’s assistant, Dr. Cooper, to ask about the energy produced from the severing process. MacPhail wants to use the energy to build a weapon.



Coulter returns to the Magisterium using the Intention Craft. She tells MacPhail that the subtle knife is broken and that she can control it. She also tells him about the angel that Asriel killed. MacPhail is enraged at her and how she assisted in the escape of the girl who is supposed to bring the Magisterium’s downfall. Coulter tells him that it was he who spoiled her plan to hold Lyra. For Eve to sin, she needs to be provoked by a serpent [Dr. Malone] that is out there somewhere. The attack by the Magisterium is what has led to Lyra’s escape and thereby increased the chances of her falling into the hands of the serpent. She yet again assures MacPhail of her allegiance to the Magisterium and manages to woo him. While Coulter is in her room, Roke reveals himself to her and though unhappy at this uninvited guest, decides to listen to what he has to say. According to Roke, Father Gomez seems very interested in a particular room at the Magisterium. Coulter looks for the room and finds her assistant, Dr. Cooper, who is building a bomb. She is ultimately taken away by Magisterium guards. Later on, her pendant is stolen by Gomez while she is asleep. However, unbeknownst to him, Coulter tells Agent Roke to follow Gomez. Roke finds out that inside the pendant is a lock of Lyra’s hair that will lead the bomb to Lyra in whichever world she is and kill her. Fortunately, with no one else around, Roke manages to sting Dr. Cooper and bring the lock of hair back to Coulter. With destruction on her mind, she burns the lock of Lyra’s hair and decides to make her way to the Intention craft. Unfortunately, she is caught by MacPhail’s guards. She then declares that she wants to stand trial for killing Cardinal Sturrock, for whose death she conspired with MacPhail, but no one believes her. She is ultimately put in a cellar. MacPhail intends to use the energy from Coulter’s interception to activate the bomb and kill Lyra. To Coulter’s shock, he still has some of Lyra’s hair left for the bomb.

The Serpent

Dr. Malone finally decides to leave the camp and resume her journey in search of Lyra. She finds herself frustrated at not being able to find Lyra and decides to rest under a tree for the night. The next morning, she comes across an animal that offers her food and water. She decides to follow it.


The Point Of No Return

Will, Lyra and Pan find themselves inside a building that leads to the Land of the Dead. Being alive, they are caught and sent from one holding area to another until they meet an elderly lady. She tells them that the only way to cross the river that Lyra saw in her dream and has the Land on the other side is with Death. Lyra calls her Death (a woman) and asks her to help reach the other side. Death agrees to help her reach there but leaving the Land of the Dead will be up to her. When Lyra, Pan, and Will arrive at the boat, its boatman tells Lyra that she has to leave Pan behind before she can cross the river. She tries to make him understand that if they separate, both will die. According to the boatman, that’s the whole point. The Land of the Dead is the point of no return. Lyra then turns to Pan and tries to make him understand why she needs to go alone and that she will find him once she comes back. Meanwhile, Will tries to convince the boatman to let Lyra take her daemon. The boatman remains unmoved. Ultimately, Lyra leaves on the boat with Will. Pan is left behind. Episode 4 ends with Lyra screaming in pain as the distance between her and Pan increases and the boat heads toward the Land of the Dead.

‘His Dark Materials’ Episode 4: Ending Explained – Will Lyra Find Roger? Will Coulter Be Able to Stop MacPhail?

Lyra and Will are heading into the unknown. Nobody knows what’s there, and she might be able to keep her promise of a return to Pan. Will has the Subtle Knife, so it might come in handy if a situation arises. Meanwhile, we have to wait to find out if Coulter is able to ruin MacPhail’s plan to use the bomb to kill Lyra or if she is indeed killed by him. Her demon is already in his possession. Back at the Republic of Heaven, Asriel is probably waiting for Roke’s return, who will surely tell him what MacPhail intends to do to his wife. This can indeed be the spark that will ignite the Great War.


See more: ‘His Dark Materials’ Season 3, Episode 2: Recap And Ending, Explained- Does The Magisterium Find Lyra?

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Shubhabrata Dutta
Shubhabrata Dutta
Shubhabrata’s greatest regret is the fact that he won’t be able to watch every movie and show ever made. And when he isn’t watching a movie or a show, he is busy thinking about them and how they are made; all while taking care of his hobbies. These include the usual suspects i.e. songs, long walks, books and PC games.

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