Britannia (S01E07)

I have to say, I have been remiss in paying adequate attention to various peripheral characters because I was too enamored by Kerra’s journey towards becoming a regal Queen. But I hope to correct my mistakes in this review as fortunately even the series shifts gears and veers off the main storyline involving the trifecta of political sides- the Romans, Cantii and the the Regnae; to focus on another trifecta- The Roman guards Philo and Brutus, Cait and her father, Phelan and Ania. The common theme connecting them all is that they are all fleeing from someone. Philo and Brutus from the Romans or especially Aulus, Cait and her father from Divis; Phelan and Ania from the Cantii in general.

Phelan is caught up in a prophecy told to him by Ania, that she is supposedly the war goddess Brena and that she would be rescued by a ‘fair haired mortal’ from captivity which is Phelan apparently. Further she states that their children and grandchildren will rule Regnae. One would expect that the news of his line supposedly ruling over the enemy clan would make him happy especially since he lost out on being a king, but Phelan is skeptical cause her fortune telling seems awfully dependant on her getting pregnant (which she hints that she already is). For now this seems like those generic, erotic fanfic plots which depends on the lower class female protagonist getting pregnant by the rich prince.

On the other side, Cait and her father are fleeing from Divis, who is using all kinds of witchcraft and magic to sniff out the duo. There is a wonderful moment, where Cait draws her bow and hunts for a hare, which shows some excellent visual paralleling on how similar Cait and Kerra are. This motion is a callback to Kerra using her bow in episode 1 to hunt down the Regnae. But that is not the only piece of paralleling cause Kerra also stands in for Cait’s older sister and it’s not just the similarity of their fiery red hair but also the fact that both of them helped Cait escape from the Romans, just unfortunately one had to die for it. But all these experiences have made Cait stronger which even her blind father recognizes and so he decides to make her the leader of their two member gang. But danger isn’t far behind as Divis, probably summons Puika (a demon who was living inside him) and so he takes on the face of Cait’s sister and meets Cait on a bridge. There he tries to convince Cait to do what he says. But cait, even in her grief realizes that her sister is dead and so she rebukes puika. There is an ambiguous scene where it’s not really clear who is speaking to Cait on the bridge- it could be her dead sister’s soul who came, through Divis to say that the dead are singing her name or it could be puika controlling Divis and so that demon is just trying to mislead Cait. But, ambiguous or not, this scene also helps in reinforcing Cait’s probable destiny as someone who will defeat the Romans.

Apart from Aulus, the rest of the Roman legion barely impresses me but the conversation centered on these two certainly did. We see Philo who is still unable to speak to Brutus, who is being really patient with him. Slowly he says only two words : ‘such..horror’ and to me it reflects all that he has done and all that is left to come.

One of the most intelligent conversation about gods also takes place between them as Philo suggests that perhaps they worship certain gods because they are born in a specific country and that maybe something happens, like a boot snapping, because it was meant to happen and not cause a certain God is angry. Considering the context of this series, which is situated in a magical ancient Britain, someone questioning the existence of Gods is jarring and Brutus feels that too as he commands Philo not to speak anymore.

In a land of prophecies, magic and witchcraft; questioning the source of their very existence can lead someone to either enlightenment or madness.