His Dark Materials Season 2 Finale Review – Please Make Season 3

Last night saw His Dark Materials Season 2 finale air on the BBC in the U.K. For those in the U.S. you have another week to wait for that Season 2 finale, so beware SPOILERS past the jump.

If you are interested in what I thought without SPOILERS here you go.

I am loving this adaptation of His Dark Materials, and Season 2 ha been awesome. Overall as a fan of the books I have on occasion been against changes made and on occasion for changes made. For the finale I think there is a bit of both, some changed details were amazing, yet some of the content just worked better in the book. I can’t get into specifics so suffice to say despite some critique, I still found the His Dark Materials Season 2 finale to be a thoroughly good drama. My only worry, still no green light for Season 3, that we know of? If His Dark Materials ends now, and we don’t get the payoff from all this build up, it’ll be a damn crime.

Beware, SPOILERS for His Dark Materials Season 2 Finale Lie Below!




His Dark Materials Season 2 finale

If you have seen the episode of been following along with my reviews you pretty much know from last week where all the main players are. In roughly the same place for the first time this season. Lee and Joparri are looking for Will, whilst Will and Lyra search for Joparri, aka Will’s father John Parry. The Witches are protecting Lyra who is determined to help Will. However the Magisterium are after Lyra to kill her, and anyone else that get sin their way, and Coulter is also searching for Lyra. This week Coulter finally learns that the name the Witches have for Lyra is Eve. She is determined to find Lyra and hide her away so that she does not fall as the original Eve did in the Bible story.


This week Coulter strengthens her hold on the Specters and uses them to get the information she needs about Lyra and the prophecy. I absolutely loved seeing the Specters feed this week, it was close up and suitably horrific, brilliant stuff and I’ve warmed to this interpretation. With knowledge (how ironic) Coulter is faced with a problem, how can she stop Lyra (eve) from falling to temptation? As an agent of the Magisterium, or perhaps more accurately a product of their brainwashing, Coulter wants to prevent ‘original sin’. The Magisterium would just kill Lyra, Coulter knows this, you can’t be tempted when dead after all. However, Coulter’s motherly instincts force her down a different path and she uses the Specters to find her way to Lyra and kidnap her. As always Coulter (Ruth Wilson) is the best thing in this show, so I loved her added story this week.

RELATED: His Dark Materials Season 2: Malice Review – Specters And Angels

I also have praise for the scenes between Will and Lyra. The pair’s relationship continues to develop and I though Amir Wilson did great in some of the more emotionally heavy scenes in the end. Wilson is going to have a career more like that of co-star Dafne Keen after this I am sure. I do have one small gripe about Will and Lyra. When Pan talks to Will in the book, Lyra does not show that she has been listening. In the show they just blurt that but right out and it seems heavy handed.

Equally heavy handed was Pan asking Lyra is she was changing because of Will? Come on writing team, we don’t need that telegraphed so bluntly. Of course this is part of why Lyra, and will are changing, but the characters don’t need to understand this yet, do the audience? Actually scratch that, after reading comments last night maybe some of the audience do need that bluntness.

I heard some fans complaining they don’t know who the bad guys are yet, really? Are there audience members out there who still don’t get the God, (yes that God) is the bad guy in all of this? Was the mention of requiring the one weapon in the Universe that can kill The Authority not enough? Or is it that some fans don’t realize that The authority is who we in this world would call God?

Editing and Other Issues

His Dark Materials Season 2 finale

There was some editing issues in the climax of this episode. The emotion felt for Lee Scoresby when he died in the books was much more profound than on the show. The Alamo Gulch scene was shot well, and it was emotional hearing Miranda deliver the line “don’t you go before me!” However it was also cut ack and forth far too much with what was happening between Will and Lyra. The pacing, tone, and emotion of these scenes were off. So the cuts between them had a negative impact on the audience emotional state.

I’m also not sure the idea to change the death of Joparri in the show was a good idea? On the pro side, I liked the random trooper shooting him better than the weird Witch rejection plot from the books. However, when I think about it, this also means that Lee did not actually do what he died to do, i.e. stop the Magisterium getting to Joparri. So maybe, not the best idea after all? I also am not quite sure I liked the extra time Will and his dad got to spend time together. In the book, the moment of recognition between John and Will comes too late. It’s quite heartbreaking that John dies before they can have a reunion. Why are we removing, or changing such a dramatic and heartbreaking moment for the show?

The End

His Dark Materials Season 2 finale

A scene was added at the end of the episode, showing Asriel off recruiting some Angels to his cause. I want to start by saying I loved this scene, but it also made me sad. You see His Dark Materials Season 2 should have been eight episodes long. However, due to COVID the planned Asriel centric Episode 8 was scrapped. Now I feel like that episode will never be made and that we fans are therefore missing out.

As a result of the lack of an eighth episode, the climax here seems rushed. We do not see Mary Malone leaving Cittigazze and entering a new world, which felt like it was coming. We also did not see how Will reacts to discovering a dead Witch and no Lyra? In the books, this was the point will first meets Baruch and Balthamel, the Angels his dad mentioned. The Angels are essentially homosexual Angel lovers and therefore on the side of rebellion, and Asriel. I just feel like the Asriel episode may have ended with Will meeting the Angels and Mary leaving Citigazze?

Overall, yes I had some issues this week, bit they didn’t do much to dampen my love for this adaptation. Let us know what you thought of His Dark Materials Season 2 finale?


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