‘His Dark Materials’ 1×03 Review: “The Spies”

His Dark Materials “The Spies” saw our Lyra growing up way to fast and Mrs. Coulter spiralling into a quiet and brutal anger that honestly is quite frightening and deadly. Combine that with a Gypsy community that is being persecuted and wronged just because they are the other and you’ve got an episode full of action, intrigue, and the kind of drama that draws you in and never lets you go.

The Young Woman Lyra is Becoming


Lyra was unceremoniously gifted with so much knowledge in “The Spies.” Knowledge that was previously kept from her because they thought she was too much of a child. But that time is over. It’s long past. Lyra is not that girl from Jordan college anymore. Not the one who used to run around with Roger and not the one who desperately wanted to go up North with Lord Asriel aka her pops.

This Lyra, the one giving empowered speeches that bring the masses together, well, she’s a young woman. And oh did she deal with things better than I would’ve. Because she’s being forced to grow up now and not later. Not a moment where she can pause to breathe and take it all in. And despite it all, she survives and thrives to live another day because of how adaptable, kind, and smart she is. 

That’s why I have no doubt that Lyra will succeed against Mrs. Coulter and those that work with her when it comes to the Gobblers. Not all children will be saved. We’d be foolish to think that. But things aren’t going to fall into Mrs. Coulter’s hands as easily because she has Lyra, a young woman of insurmountable strength, that the former can not understand or truly fight against. And I can’t wait.

Ruth Wilson is What Great Acting is Made Of


Ruth Wilson, girl. What are you doing? How are you doing this? And is there some secret you need to share about the amazing acting you are gifted us with on His Dark Materials. Because seriously, my jaw has hit the floor with you and I don’t think that will change anytime soon, you absolute queen. And yes, I know that Mrs. Coulter is evil and all that jazz but Ruth Wilson brings so much life to her that I can’t help but stanning her.

Also, can we talk about the anger that Mrs. Coulter displayed in this episode? Sometimes it was straight forward anger. She tore up Lyra’s room because of her betrayal and disappearance. Then there were the moments of quiet and restrained anger where Mrs. Coulter looked like she was about to pop but held it all together with an iron grip that I’ve never experienced before. And in those moments, oh lord, she was frightening.

Mrs. Coulter especially gave me the creeps and heebie jeebies when she was attacking Benjamin. (Moment of silence for our fallen gypsian who would rather die than give information about his people or their mission to save their missing children.) There was something…so animalistic how she went after him. It was as if her daemon was influencing her, their connection open and more complicated than your typical human and daemon. And I can’t unsee it.

So far, and without a doubt, Lyra is right to be scared of Mrs. Coulter. She’s THE most dangerous woman Lyra will ever know. And once Mrs. Coulter realizes it’s her daughter, I believe she doesn’t know because of that preview for next week’s episode. It’s going to get even uglier. She’s going to push, tooth and nail, to get back what is hers or what she believes is hers. Until then, we’ll just sit in awe at Ruth Wilson’s acting.

The Gypsies and The Real World Connotations


The Gobblers, the assholes they are, thought they could prey on the Gypsies. They are seen as less than to the “good” and “common folk” on this world. And who in their right mind would miss a Gypsy child, right? Wrong. They aren’t savages who run away from home, never to be seen again. These children are missed, these children are loved, and these children will get the justice they deserve.

Honestly, what is happening to the Gypsian children, it frightens me. It reminds me of our world and what the United States is doing to people of color. At the border you have families being torn apart, mothers not knowing where their children will end or if they’ll ever be reunited. Throughout the US you have women and children of color that disappear by the dozens and aren’t reported in the same manner that blue eyed blonde haired Becky would be. And it’s sickening.

We are not expendable or just collateral damage for what a white person wishes to do to us. We are families, communities, and the future of our people. We are loved, we are missed, and we will not be forgotten, no matter how much people want the narrative to remain out of our control. We have it. And we’ll fight with every fire of our being to make sure we don’t lose that.

And that’s why I believe the Gypsies will win. That’s how I know we’ll win no matter how much it takes.

Favorite Scene from His Dark Materials “The Spies”:

The animalistic manner that Mrs. Coulter attacked Benjamin was horrifyingly scary!


His Dark Materials airs at 9/8c on HBO.

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