“The Skeksis will fall. The Darkening will end.”
The pieces continue to be moved across the chessboard of Thra as Rian and Deet begin their search for the Glaive in the Caves of Grot, Seladon realizes the folly of her ways, and the ever cunning Chamberlain looking to reintegrate himself back into his Emperor’s good graces.
With no time to waste, Rian and Deet (thanks to the Heretic and Wanderer) make their way to Grot using the expedient pathways of the Breath of Thra. The interaction between these two is always a delight, though the plot often interferes with anything more than a few morsels for them to share. This doesn’t change in “Prophets Don’t Know Everything”.
As soon as they arrive in Grot, they’re attacked by the Arathim, as the creatures enslave Deet’s clan without mercy. But as the Skeksis planned, the Arathim are beset upon by the Darkening-infected Nurlocs and it’s only through Rian and Deet’s intervention that the Arathim find a way out of the caves. For their willingness to help—and Rian sussing out the Skeksis’ plan of betrayal—the two Gelfling formulate an alliance with the Arathim to take on their mutual foe.
Of course, nothing is ever that simple. As the Arathim and Grottans escape the caves via the Sanctuary Tree, the Darkening-infected Nurlocs return, eating at its helpless roots. Before the Tree breathes its last, it transfers its power to Deet. This power gives her the ability to heal those infected by the Darkening but, as with all things, there is a cost. The Darkening being energy, it cannot be destroyed, only transferred. When Deet heals an attacking Nurloc, that energy passes into her. And if her visions of the future are at all accurate, Deet of the Grottan clan will not live to see a happy ending.
Still observing the desolation of the Stonewood village, Mother Aughra has an unexpected run-in with the arrogant and brilliantly foolish Seladon. The newest All-Maudra’s dismissive nature only reinforces our dislike of her character and the pleasure I took when she gets her comeuppance—the Skeksis throw aside all pretense of benevolence—admittedly a bit selfish in its glee (maybe I can learn from Mother Aughra and be a bit more empathetic to Seladon). Imprisoned with her fellow Gelfling, Seladon refuses to take responsibility for anything that has happened, blaming her mother and Brea for their predicament. She is so out of touch with any semblance of integrity or personal accountability that whatever fate the Skeksis bestow upon her will only be too kind (yeah…I still need to work on that empathy thing).
On the Skeksis front, the Chamberlain schemes to regain his place as advisor to the Emperor. This necessitates the General being removed from his post, and what better way to do this than through essence. Convincing two Gruenaks to aid him (really, what choice did they have?), the Chamberlain has the General’s ration of essence replaced with a placebo. Thus, as he and the other Skeksis are rejuvenated from the essence, the General will continue to weaken. It’s a fair play from the only Skeksis is continuously entertaining. Whether his plan will be helped or hindered by the arrival of the mortally wounded Hunter—who the Emperor demands must live, no matter how much essence they have to use to make it so—remains to be seen.
Though the Gelfling are still behind the eight-ball, the new alliance with the Arathim has created a bit more balance in the struggle for Thra. While “Prophets” doesn’t give any real answers, working more as a setup for the final two episodes, it offers plenty of hints that sacrifices will need to be made in order to reclaim the Crystal and, through that, Thra from the Skeksis. It does a fine job with this but by once again spending too much time on the Skeksis and their baudy rancor, “Prophets” doesn’t quite reach its potential.
The Dark Crystal: Age of Resistance – “Prophets Don’t Know Everything”