THE UPSHOT
In an exciting second episode, Lyra finds that Mrs Coulter isn’t as pleasant as she had initially appeared. There’s proof that the Magisterium knows that other worlds exist as one of its operatives crosses into an alternate London looking for Lord Asriel.

Director: Otto Bathurst
Writers: Jack Thorne, Philip Pullman (books)
Cast: Dafne Keen, Ruth Wilson, Anne-Marie Duff, Clarke Peters, James McAvoy
Streaming on: Hotstar Premium

The strangest creatures in the world are adults

High up in Mrs Coulter’s lavish apartment, Lyra grows restless as she realises that her guardian isn’t serious about finding Roger, her buddy from Oxford who disappeared. In a moment of frustration, as she explores the mysterious embargoed areas of the apartment, Lyra exclaims that she doesn’t understand adults at all. Here’s the rub. Adults lie, casually commit cruelties, say one thing but do the opposite. Lyra’s journey from innocence to experience has begun in earnest with these painful realisations. Mrs Coulter, who promised to look for Roger, goes back on her word. In a moment of anger, her daimon, a mute monkey, overpowers Lyra’s daimon Pantalaimon. Lyra suffers physical pain as the two grapple. Even being far away her daimon is hurtful. Yet Mrs Coulter and her monkey can be in separate rooms painlessly, suggesting that adults can keep their consciences at bay.

Lyra learns the truth about Asriel

Meanwhile, Lyra finds that Mrs Coulter is involved in an experiment involving people and a strange contraption. She doesn’t understand it but finds it disturbing. She’s also heartbroken to learn that Lord Asriel, the man pretending to be her uncle, is actually her father, and doesn’t understand why he lied to her.

Asriel is a wanted man. His discovery of dust, a cosmic substance that collects around adult men and women, has put the Magisterium on his tail. It’s obvious that dust is a threat. To find him, Boreal, the Magisterium’s man, who appropriately has a snake for a daimon, crosses a portal into a parallel London.

For the episode one recap, see here.