Who better to do a recap on Carnival Row than someone who just recently watched it for the first time? It’s fresh. We might not be seasoned fans, but we’re a far cry from the vague, distant recollections of those who enjoyed it when it first came out.
For those of you that are curious about Carnival Row but want a spoiler-free synopsis, don’t look further than the next paragraph. Then for those of you that watched the first season and need a refresher. Then, some of you didn’t watch the first season, but you have no qualms about jumping into the middle of the story. You just need a little context.
Regardless, we got you. First up, a spoiler-free glimpse into Carnival Row.
Carnival Row is a fantasy TV series set in a Victorian-inspired world where humans coexist with mythical creatures such as faes, centaurs, and other magical beings. The series follows the story of Rycroft Philostrate (played by Orlando Bloom), a human detective investigating a series of gruesome murders in Burgue while also dealing with his complicated past with his former love, Vignette Stonemoss (played by Cara Delevingne), a fae refugee. During his investigation, the detective becomes the prime suspect and must find the real killer to clear his name.
Never watched it but want to dive into the second season as well-versed on the first season of Carnival Row?
The season opens with the arrival of a large number of faerie refugees in Burgue, driven from their homelands by a brutal war. Rycroft Philostrate is investigating a string of murders of faeries. His investigation leads him to uncover a plot involving a powerful and mysterious cult, the Black Raven, which seeks to control the faerie population.
Meanwhile, Vignette, believed to be dead, is revealed to be alive and living in Burgue. She becomes involved in a plot to overthrow the Burgish government with the help of a charismatic faerie leader named Piety Breakspear (played by Indira Varma) and her son, Jonah (played by Arty Froushan).
As the season progresses, the tensions between the humans and the magical creatures escalate, and the characters become embroiled in a web of intrigue, betrayal, and violence. Rycroft and Vignette must navigate their complicated past while working together to uncover the truth about the murders and the larger conspiracy threatening their city.
In the season finale, the true mastermind behind the murders and the Black Raven cult is revealed: the Chancellor of the Burgue, Absalom Breakspear (played by Jared Harris). Breakspear sacrifices himself to stop the Black Raven’s plan and save his city. A violent confrontation takes place between the Burgish army and the faeries, with Rycroft, Vignette, and other characters caught in the middle. Rycroft and Vignette must fight for their lives, and the future of their city as the fate of the Burgue hangs in the balance. The season ends with the future of the Burgue uncertain as tensions between the humans, and the magical creatures continue to simmer.
Phew. What a mouthful. You’re now ready to dive into Season 2 of Carnival Row! Now available to watch with VidAngel.