EPISODE DESCRIPTION: Wilkin Brattle, a warrior knight for King Edward I, becomes a farmer, but he can’t shake his past in the premiere of this drama set in the Middle Ages.
A lot happens in this episode. Wilkin, his team, and the world they live in is laid out in detail. Wilkin is stripped of almost everything he loves and despite his efforts to try and not kill anymore, the pilot by him becoming the titular Executioner. Of course some of the events were telegraphed pretty highly. It was obvious that Petra was not going to make it out alive. She was the best thing in Wilkin’s life, the one connection that kept him from going on a murderous rampage, and said everything except, “I’m two days from retirement.” Though for a second there it did feel like she’d get to run away and Wilkin would question most of the season whether she was alive or not. No such luck though.
The show has the usual Kurt Sutter charm to it. A mixture of just the right amounts of emotional attachment and brutal violence to make someone really feel for the character’s pain. The fate of Petra and the villagers was pretty shocking but nothing out of the ordinary for a veteran Sons of Anarchy fan. The dispatchment of Baron Ventris was a bit of a surprise. It felt like he was going to be the final boss to end the season with but nope he met his end as well. The take away from this is don’t get attached to that many as the season keeps going. Their fate it not guaranteed.
By the look and feel of the episode, this show is going be a bit different from Sons of Anarchy. Other than the its set in medieval times instead of modern day, one of the most stand out differences is that death will not mean the characters will never appear again. No there isn’t a Lazarus pit or any other mythical object to revive the dead, but there are ample visions. These visions of people who have left the mortal plane will serve to torture Wilkin as he struggles with his new position of being an Executioner. This is evident by the fact that Petra visits him at the end of the show, all in white, and holding her and Wilkin’s baby.
There are a few problem that stood out in the pilot. With everyone talking softly and forcing Welsh accidents, it makes it very easy for a person to miss dialogue. Might be one of those shows with a requirement to leave the closed caption turned on to ensure the viewer doesn’t miss anything. It was easy to miss a character’s name and other story details but not so much that a viewer will lose focus on what’s taking place.
The show is off to a good start and is just the right amount of action to keep Game of Thrones fans entertained until the show’s next season. So sharpen your sword, dear readers. The season of the Executioner has begun.