In this episode, we see tensions heightening, as our three ‘queens’ continue navigating their way through their latest troublesome situations.
Let’s discuss Tremontaine. (With spoilers!)
We’re almost at the halfway point in this season now, and the sense that we’re building to the next skirmish is getting stronger. This episode focuses on that, and upon the ways in which our three leading ladies are each handling their respective situations. Strength, confidence, and the ever-present awareness that they can’t let their enemies – or in some cases even their friends and allies – see them waver or appear weak, make up the connective tissue in these otherwise disparate storylines. Diane, Kaab and Tess are three women who live worlds apart, but they all share that same outlook.
If there’s a weak link there, however, it would still appear to be Tess. Kaab and Diane have had enough interaction so far that they’ve established an understanding of sorts between them, but Tess doesn’t have the same advantage. At this point this is perhaps both good and bad: it allows her the element of surprise, should she need it to deal with either of them later on. And Tess the Hand is progressing, becoming someone who could be capable of not only holding her own against them in terms of intelligence, but of surprising them in the act of doing so. Tess has only ever been a lover, a delicate flower – even to the point of earning a nickname to illustrate the point – to Kaab, and as far as Diane’s concerned she’d just be another low-born Riversider, if she merited consideration at all. But it still remains to be seen exactly what part in all of this Tess will be playing, because so far all we’ve seen of her development has been confined to Riverside.
To be fair, that’s in keeping with the general mentality of a born Riversider. The rest of the world only matters when it’s interfering with her business … But that begs the question, again: What’s going to happen that will bring Tess to the attention of anyone with power beyond the boundary of Riverside?
*Looks at the Salamander*
*Looks at the camera*
Elsewhere, Kaab is entirely caught up in finding a sure path through the minefield of her family troubles. The inspector for the Batab might be up to something that will, if he has his mysterious way, mean trouble for her, personally. If there is a grudge there and it comes up to bite her, it’ll threaten her already unstable standing in the family, and there seems to be no shortage of disapproving aunties who are expecting her to fail. Maybe even at least one who wants her to? And there’s the ever-present mystery of Ixsaabim’s murder to worry about. If she was killed by someone with political ambition in the Balam family, it stands to reason that, if Kaab proves more capable than anyone thought and that hand is forced again, it might be Kaab herself who ends up in danger.
And what, if anything, can or will Ahchuleb do about it?
I’m starting to suspect there’s something more going on with him than just being lost in grief over losing his wife. The scene Kaab witnesses between him and the inspector in the warehouse is pushing my suspicious buttons, and no mistake. Does he know something he isn’t admitting to? Or is someone putting pressure on him to neglect his duties somehow? I DO NOT LIKE THIS.
And then there’s Diane. Oh, Diane.
She realises this week that she was becoming overconfident regarding her victory over Davenant, following the intrusion and the theft of the ledger she was using to keep him in line. She is understandably furious, but before long she’s rationalising the matter internally. She’s got power and standing now that she didn’t have the last time she had to take him on; it stands to reason that she’s got less to worry about as a result. Right?
Diane, do not do this. Do not underestimate this creepy asshole.
And oh my God, he is such an asshole.
Davenant is every single self-centred, entitled, misogynistic fucker who ever looked at a woman he wanted and saw absolutely no reason he shouldn’t have her. Even now that she’s his societal equal, he still thinks of her as a prize to be to be won, someone to be owned and put in her place. I hate him. He actually makes my skin crawl.
And with Diane now realising the mistake she made, and Davenant’s next moves proving to her that she’s got to bring it even harder than ever now, I cannot wait to see what she’ll do to him. I’ve said it before, I’ll say it again: GET HIM, DIANE.