Carnival Row Series Finale Review: The Battle for Carnival Row
It all comes down to the final battle, spearheaded by Vignette, Leonora, the Black Raven, and the New Dawn.
But first, Leonora and all sides planned their attack methods on Carnival Row Season 2 Episode 9.
Many secrets were revealed during the series’s penultimate episode, and many were exposed partly due to Tourmaline’s powers.
We learned something new about her powers: she can prevent Darius from transforming.
This excited Darius, as transforming is not something he can control (or, at least, can’t easily manage).
Tourmaline’s powers transformed throughout the season, and even though the magic she inherited was dark, we’re happy she could find some good use for it.
She embraced the dark side of her magic while still trying her best not to let it affect her soul.
At the end of the penultimate episode, she purposefully triggered her power to see through the Sparas’ eyes, where she discovered its identity.
The Sparas turned out to be Major Vir, the Pact soldier who had been in cahoots with Millworthy about their government’s alliances throughout the season.
She quickly notified Philo of the identity as Major Vir entered the Parliament to hear Imogen’s case for The New Dawn.
Philo raced to save the members of Parliament on Carnival Row Season 2 Episode 10 while he was still being persecuted for his fae side.
The unfair persecution based on Philo’s fae blood almost cost him his life, which also would have caused the deaths of everyone in Parliament.
Luckily, he managed to get inside Parliament before Vir transformed and warned Millworthy, who previously got convinced by Imogen that Vir was New Dawn (which she was partially correct).
After Philo’s warning, Major Vir transformed into the Sparas, but Philo managed to save most of the parliament members.
Tourmaline used her powers to get inside the Sparas again and assisted Philo by controlling the creature through their connection.
The writers seamlessly blended the storylines during the final two installments involving Imogen and Agreus.
The creature got pissed at Tourmaline and left Parliament to attack the woman, which is what she saw in her vision.
Imogen never got to make her plea to Parliament, and she didn’t want to in the first place: so they sent Agrues to the Row.
Sadly Kastor betrayed them, and instead of a warning note about the Buruge, he sent a message to Leonora about how Imogen didn’t want to give her speech.
So Leonora captured Agreus and sent a piece of his horn to Imogen as a threat.
Thankfully, Leonora’s plan ultimately failed, as Philo stopped the Sparas from killing all of Parliament.
The Sparas attacked Tourmaline, but she wasn’t alone. Darius, fully transformed, came to her rescue, as did Philo from Parliament, and Vignette, bailing on Leonora’s plan.
Vignette seemingly sacrificed Kaine in the process; it seemed unlikely for him to recover from his wounds.
The three managed to save Tourmaline and kill the Sparas, but not without their losses.
Darius became mortally wounded and died shortly after that in the arms of Tourmaline and Philo.
Philo ended the ensuing battle between the New Dawn and Black Raven alliance against the Burgue, entered the battlefield with the dead Sparas, and announced Parliament was safe.
Leonora retreated, having chosen to live to fight another day. Except, she didn’t., Agreus caught her and planned on getting her arrested.
Instead of being arrested, Leonora slit her throat, ending her life before anyone else could.
Thatch, one of the officers who hated Philo, shot Philo in the back, even after Philo saved them. Dombey then shot Thatch and killed him.
Dombey’s pseudo-redemption throughout the entire season was also pleasant to see.
He didn’t redeem himself fully, as he still held animosity toward the Fae, but he gained some sympathy thanks to Philo.
The Row ended as a free land. No gates, no barbed wire. Everyone lived in harmony.
While we don’t know how long that will last, we are happy that the Row managed to be liberated and that Fae and humans can live peacefully.
It’s too bad we won’t know where things would go from there because the world is full of stories they could tell.
Finales that end with “a few years later,” or in this case, “many moons later,” don’t often provide any satisfaction, but Carnival Row managed to pull it off.
They gave ample time to show where each of the main characters was in their respective journeys and gave satisfying yet open-ended endings for them all.
Tourmaline and Vignette married in Tirnanoc, Millworthy stepped down from politics to put on theatrical shows depicting the war, and Philo refused to run for Chancellor.
Imogen and Agreus continued their happy relationship and went into business together. They opened an electric company and displayed working lightbulbs for everyone to see.
These plot threads opened the door for more stories from these characters while wrapping up all current conflicts in a neat little bow.
We wish that one of our favorite characters, Darius, didn’t have to die, but the battle wouldn’t have seemed realistic if we didn’t lose a main character.
We loved the friendship that blossomed with Tourmaline throughout the season, and we were happy that Darius got to enjoy his life a bit before he perished.
Philo has many options with what he could do with his journey, as the show left it entirely open-ended with his final conversation with Millworthy.
We wish we could get more from these brilliant characters and the epic world surrounding the Row, but we are glad the show got to go out on a high note.
The show got to end on its terms and left a satisfactory feeling (even with all of the deaths).
So Fanatics, what did you think of the final two episodes of Carnival Row?
Are you satisfied with the ending? Would you have watched more if given the opportunity?
Let us know in the comments below. We will miss Carnival Row immensely! Season 2 of Carnival Row is now streaming on Amazon Prime.
Michael Stack is a staff writer for TV Fanatic. Follow him on Twitter.