Beware: strong women of intent and intelligence. Will Ixkaab Balam and the Duchess Tremontaine forge an understanding, or will their histories and loyalties demand blood? Even Vincent can’t watch as Kaab and Tess finally confront the secrets that divide them. Does Kaab care enough for Tess to open her heart and share her family’s interests? Does the forger have the patience to forgive her lover?

We’re deep in spoiler territory now, and on a split timeline again. This week’s episode is split evenly between a fateful encounter with a highwayman on the road to the City, and with a merciless encounter between two women determined to protect their own. 

When the Duchess agrees to admit Ixkaab Balam, she’s uncertain what to expect. But Kaab has no intentions of observing etiquette, armed as she is with the certain knowledge of Diane’s origins. 

Between the manoeuvering and the slow reveal of Diane’s history with Rupert Hawke, a sharp truth slips out: the Duchess loved the Duke once, when he defended her from his mother and prized her as his wife. There’s a suggestion of regret, perhaps even self-deception, as she summons an old family retainer to take William to Highcombe. Would she have ever considered such steps if he hadn’t abandoned her for Rafe? Could he have found such delight in Rafe if the marriage hadn’t withered?

My heart hurts for these characters I’ve come to love. And in the end, when Kaab lays out her offer – silence for silence – I can only scream nooooo at the wiggle room. Kaab has left herself wide open to Diane’s next action. How will the Duchess handle Rafe and Micah now William is off the scene?

Kermit the Frog quivering

This is my favourite Malinda Lo episode and you’ll have to excuse me – I can’t wait to charge on to the final episode.