“The Crystal of Truth has brought you here to ask for your help.”
Despite the Skeksis’s attempts to stay ahead of the opposition, the Aughra brings together the unlikely band of protagonists to spread word of the impending danger to Thra but an unexpected tragedy once again puts the heroes back against the wall.
Captured by the tenacious Hunter, Rian ends up with the Chamberlain (after the silk-tongued devil convinces the Hunter not to relieve the Gelfling of his head) on their way back to Ha’rar. On the ride, Chamberlain tries to sell Rian on recanting his accusation against the Skekis regarding Mira’s fate. The Chamberlain’s masterful persuasion does give Rian pause—the thought of war breaking out due to his actions is a heavy burden for the young Gelfling—but he knows that the Chamberlain can’t be trusted so, when the newly freed Gurjin and Naia arrive to help Rian escape, he takes the opportunity. As justified as the criticism of the unimpressive confrontation between Rian, his father, and Hunter was, the Drenchen siblings’ stagecoach-like rescue of Rian deserves just as much praise. It’s an unexpected tense and well-choreographed, with the breakneck speed of the coach brought to life better than some live-action movies. The Gelflings’ regrouping at camp where they end up dreamfasting (again!) is the first step towards bringing all the major protagonists together.
In Ha’rar, two separate narratives play out before coalescing with each other as well as Rian’s story. Finally able to convince her mother she’s not just some unfocused girl suffering from random flights of fancy, Brea takes the All-Maudra down to the secret chamber where she introduces her mother to Lore. While she prepares to dreamfast with her mother, Deet (and Hup!) is able to persuade Seladon to do the same with her. The convenience of the three separate groups simultaneously dreamfasting can be forgiven, as their arrival in the Dream Space seems to have been orchestrated by an enthusiastic Aughra. She confirms the peril Thra is facing; that the Skekis control of the Crystal has poisoned the lands and only by traveling to the Circle of the Suns can they obtain the key to overthrowing the Skeksis rule. Others are tasked with spreading word to the seven clans and everyone involved swears that they will answer Thra’s call. All but one…and that is a major hiccup for “She Knows All the Secrets”.
Too often in entertainment, a character makes a choice that, but for the necessity of the plot, makes absolutely zero sense. For a being that supposedly knows all these secrets, Aughra’s decision to cast Seladon out of the Dream Space and back to reality is a catastrophic error in judgment. Even if the blindly loyal elder Princess is not initially onboard with the Aughra’s preamble, it have made more sense for her to allow Seladon to see the truth, to show the Skeksis draining the Crystal and her fellow Gelflings. Even as inflexible as she seems to be, it would have been difficult for Seladon to reject such proof. Instead, by taking such definitive action, not only does Aughra further isolate an already unreliable character, she all but hand-delivers their plans to the Skeksis. Worse still, is that when the All-Maudra is cut down by the General’s blade, not only does the mentally fragile Seladon blame her sister and not the Skeksis that delivered the killing blow, she orders the arrest of Brea and the others, acquiescing to the Skeksis suggestion that they be taken away with the ‘volunteers’. Make no mistake, Seladon is responsible for her actions but the Aughra’s decision to boot Seladon from the dreamfast circle seems extremely shortsighted. Or maybe it’s farseeing on a Dr. Strange-type level. Considering the series takes place 50 years before the original movie where the Skeksis are finally defeated, maybe it’s a bit more of the latter.
After the previously disappointing episode, “She Knows All the Secrets” puts Age of Resistance back on track. Some of the transitions between scenes lacked the smoothness of prior episodes and was at times distracting, the narrative progression more than makes up for the stumbles and questionable character decisions. This is a solid entry as we reach the halfway point as the time for sneaking around is over and done with. All parties know their opposition’s game and that can only mean one thing: the battle for Thra has officially begun.
The Dark Crystal: Age of Resistance – “She Knows All the Secrets”
7 out of 10