In a break with tradition (although I did something similar for Season Three), I’m going to talk about the final three episodes of Tremontaine at once. It’s been emotional, folks. And now it’s over… until I pick up Swordspoint for a reread, anyway. Be warned: there will be spoilers.
As the weather improves, the River is still running high. Up on the Hill, Diane is finding her latest affair unexpectedly satisfying; but in the City, Rafe is given cause for concern by his new lover. In Riverside, Kaab and Tess make peace, former lovers finally able to be just good friends.
With the Final Season just around the corner, I have finally managed to finish Season Three. It’s taken me an awfully long time to get back to Tremontaine, but Season Three more than stands up to a reread: if anything, it’s better second time around. Time for a look at the final four episodes before all our hearts are (probably) ripped to pieces this autumn…
I’ve fallen behind on Tremontaine, so it’s time to quickly catch up! In Into the Woods, a party of nobles celebrate midwinter at Diane’s hunting lodge in the woods, but the Land calls for blood during the White Days and someone will have to pay the price. Behind the Mask sees Kaab closing in on the rixinkun’s secrets, whilst Rafe suffers a disappointment. Will Micah ever master the peculiar game of Social Graces?
Rafe and Reza are men about town, while Kaab gains a startling insight into the Duchess and hunts down her wayward spy. We’re coming up to mid-season and inter-relationships are starting to get complicated, with hints of unexpected alliances as new friendships develop.
This week’s episode is a warning to guard our hearts. Diane’s former mantra – attachment is a weakness – may come back to haunt all our beloved characters. Their affections and their assumptions make them vulnerable. I AM WORRIED ABOUT EVERYONE, OKAY?
While Riverside revels in being released from its siege (and Tess tries to keep it from revelling in ways that would see the siege reinstated), the City – and Rafe – prepare to party through the Night of the Flames. But some fires have a sadder purpose, as the Kinwiinik release Ixsaabim’s spirit to rejoin her ancestors at last. How can Kaab satisfy everyone who is now watching her?
In Riverside, the only true loyalty is to Riverside. Tess and the Salamander give Shade an impossible choice in an attempt to end the stalemate. Meanwhile, Rafe’s plans for his school begin to take shape, while Kaab continues to grow into her new role.
Riverside is under attack by the City Guard, locked onto its island, cut off from the rest of the City until it is prepared to hand over the murderous Shade. And a frustrated swordsman is trapped there too, adding to the blood soaking its streets. Can Tess tame the heart-broken Reza? Can either find a way to break the siege?
It’s autumn at last, which means it’s time to return to the intoxicating world of Riverside and the City. Grab your chocolate, grab your loved one – with three women of immense character preparing to grasp power for themselves at last, can they all realise their ambitions? Or will they thwart one another’s dreams? That’s right folks, it’s Tremontaine time!
I seem to recall saying that if it wasn’t alright, it wasn’t the end, and Tremontaine would go on forever (or at least until it met up with Swordspoint). I stand by that: as we leave our well-loved, frustrating cast at the end of the second season, few would claim that they’re okay. Brace yourself.
The calm before the storm, the penultimate episode of Season Two is all about consequences. Esha has an opportunity for Diane, if Micah and Rafe will unlock it for her. Florian confronts Shade over his vicious, unnecessary murder. And Tess must see if she can find it within herself to forgive Kaab her many wrongs.
It is a week for fateful meetings as Diane returns to the City with but a day to neutralise Lord Davenant. Beset by her own turmoil, Kaab holds out an unexpected olive branch. But the shadow of Riverside is long and dark, and some problems can only be solved with blood…
If I thought Tessa Gratton had twisted my heart as far it could be turned, I was naive. Joel Derfner gives us surprises, silk-clad threats and a deep, shattering sadness as Diane makes Rafe an offer he can’t refuse.
The title of this week’s episode serves as a warning: we’re deep into the second half of the season now, and long-simmering matters of the heart are coming to the boil. This is a week for reflection, for regret, and for recognising that while passion may not be denied, it is no sure promise of happiness (Arthur. I’m looking at you, Arthur).