The Bastard Executioner Season 1 Episode 8
The Bernadette Maneuver/Cynllwyn Bernadette
On the road to the Deddington monastery, Milus, Wilkin, Toran, and the rest of the men camp out while on their way to capture Piers Gaveston. Milus tries to convince the men that they are on a brave mission, and that one days songs might be sung of their bravery, but Toran and Wilkin glibly shut him down.
Ash tends to the animals. The surviving twin flirts with him, telling him that he looks like an angel, in order to try to have him loosen the ties binding her hands and feet. He agrees, asking her to promise not to run away. She promises, and he cuts her loose. When his back is turned she quickly slips out of her binds and runs off. Ash quietly follows without alerting any of the others.
Lady Love visits Jessamy, who wonders where she is being confined. Jessamy is restrained to the bed. Love tries to explain the truth of Wilkin's identity to a still-in-denial Jessamy. Love loses her temper when she cannot get through to Jessamy. She threatens the woman with execution for having assaulted the Baroness, and asks that threat to settle in with her and aid in her decision.
Annora awakens and tells the Dark Mute that Robinus and his men have captured the priest and an innocent -- the boy.
Robinus hands captive Luca a bowl of food. Robinus calls off Absolon from his torture of the priest, saying the priest's faith fortifies him. He tells Absolon to clean Ruskin's wounds and then Robinus will begin his own work on the priest.
Ash runs up to Wilkin, Milus, and the others and tells them that the twin maiden escaped due to loose binds. Milus is enraged and asks who tied the loose binds. The Reeve admits that he did. Milus commands the men to make haste in their journey towards Gaveston's presumed location, before she can warn her half-brother that they're coming for him.
At the Deddington Monastery, Wilkin scopes out the place and reports back to Milus how many knights are standing guard. The Reeve reports back on a different entrance. Wilkin suggests that they need to draw the guards out somehow to get a sense of their true numbers. Ash wanders up with a doe that he's named Bernadette, and the men poke fun at his apparent inclination towards bestiality.
Ash approaches the guards with the doe, offering her up to them for food in order to get a sense of how many men there are.
Lady Love brings Jessamy food. Jessamy asks after where her children are, and Love tells her that the baby is with Isabel and Luca is with the priest. Jessamy points out that she cannot eat with bound hands and the Baroness proceeds to spoon feed her. Jessamy asks Lady Love to clarify the choice she offered, to either accept God's truth and admit Wilkin did not betray her because he is not her husband, or be prosecuted for assaulting the Baroness.
Wilkin, pretending Ash is his half-witted brother, stages a fight in front of the guards to distract them as the rest of their group surrounds and attacks. The Ventrishire men manage to slaughter the Deddington Monastery guards and enter the building, searching for Gaveston. They encounter more men, who attempt to fight them off. Finally most of the monastery inhabitants are slaughtered and Milus takes a surviving one with a knife to the throat, asking where Gaveston is. The man refuses to give Gaveston's location up. Milus threatens the man and he finally gives up Gaveston's location.
The men swarm the room where Piers is dining. Milus hits him and jokes that they are there to rescue him.
Robinus tells Ruskin that he admires his strength. He gives the priest his version of historical events, saying that the Seraphim protect heretical texts that would cause chaos among believers. Ruskin counters that he has read the texts and that they are not heretical, but rather that they would only cause chaos within the Pope's chambers. Robinus tries to convince Ruskin that the populace is better off not knowing the truth and that the Rosula has a divine purpose -- to stop the Seraphim and destroy the texts before they destroy their faith. He asks for Ruskin's assistance in doing so, insisting that the fates of countless souls rest in his hands.
Milus speaks to the man who was shielding Gaveston, Lord Pembroke, having corralled Pembroke and his mistress. He attempts to convince Pembroke to willingly give them Gaveston and sign a document declaration allegiance to the Barons who have organized against King Edward. Pembroke at first refuses, insisting that he promised the king he would keep Gaveston from harm. Milus offers up that they would tell the story that bandits seized his goods and stole the noble prisoner, but Pembroke counters that the king would not believe such a story. Milus orders Wilkin to torture the mistress in front of Lord Pembroke so that the man can witness his lover's pain.
Wilkin and Toran resist following Milus' order, insisting that the mistress is not a guilty person to be tortured. The Reeve interrupts, saying he dispatched a man to report back to the Earl of Warwick on their progress. Milus thanks him and then kicks him out. He offers to Toran and Wilkin that if they torture the mistress such that Pembroke agrees to Milus' plan, Milus will allow Toran and Wilkin to complete their vengeance -- by looking the other way when the two men kill Locke and the Reeve (the last two suspects in the slaughter of their village). Toran and Wilkin are aghast and Milus leaves them to consider the offer.
Back at Ventrishire, Jessamy asks the Baroness whether she loves Wilkin. The Baroness refuses to answer, on the grounds that an answer wouldn't aid Jessamy's decision. Jessamy points out that Wilkin is but a commoner and the Baroness insists that that is something for her and Wilkin to decide on. Jessamy asks if she can see her children in the morning and Lady Love agrees.
Ash hands Toran a tool from the carriage for use in the torturing. A pair of chopped off bloody hands that Ash is concealing are glimpsed, but not by Toran.
Wilkin and Toran restrain Pembroke's mistress in preparation for her torture. Before Pembroke enters the room accompanied by Milus, the Reeve, and Locke, Wilkin whispers to the mistress that he will only pretend to hurt her but she needs to convince Pembroke that she is really in pain.
Milus enters with Pembroke, laying out a declaration in front of him saying that he is giving up Gaveston to the barons of his own accord. Pembroke refuses, saying he will never sign such a thing. Wilkin pretends to harm the woman, who gives a convincing enough performance that Pembroke gives in and signs the declaration. After Pembroke and the mistress leave, Milus notices that there is no blood where she sat and comments on it to Wilkin and Toran, who both say nothing. Milus leaves them, taking the declaration. Toran and Wilkin discuss the past, when they were farmers with relatively small problems. Toran admits that he is more himself now than he was before.
Ruskin and Absolon discuss Ruskin's service as a soldier. Robinus enters, dismissing Absolon, and asking how he can ease Ruskin's spiritual distress. He asks the priest to reveal where the Seraphim is. Ruskin asks Robinus to release Luca, as he doesn't know Annora. Robinus agrees that he will return the boy once Ruskin leads him to the Seraphim. Ruskin agrees.
By the sea, Annora suddenly announces to the Dark Mute that they must flee and that a darker journey lies ahead.
Milus has the guards watching Gaveston release the man's binds and requests that they leave the two men alone. He pours Gaveston wine. Gaveston criticizes Milus' decision to blindly follow the Barons, while Milus implies that he may not be doing that. Gaveston asks him to clarify and Milus gleefully turns the tables from their last encounter, insinuating that he will talk only after receiving oral sex from Gaveston. Instead of allowing Gaveston to finish, he chokes him and then hits him, mocking the other man by saying that Gaveston no longer has the power to arouse. He leaves, telling the guards to bind Gaveston again.
Lady Love anxiously questions a man about the whereabouts of Father Ruskin and Luca. The man doesn't know. Love denies the man's offer to alert the guards, saying that she'll wait until the end of the day before doing so and that they'll hope the two are off on a sudden and joyful adventure. Love returns to Jessamy, who is with the baby and asks after Luca. Love lies and tells Jessamy that Luca is off fishing with the priest. Jessamy agrees to accept the Baroness' truth if Love can provide proof of her promise to take care of her and her children. Love gives Jessamy her word, saying that it is all she can provide in this circumstance. Jessamy apologizes to Lady Love, and Love commends Jessamy for having made a good choice in agreeing to accept Love's offer.
Milus delivers a bound Gaveston, and Pembroke's declaration swearing allegiance to the Barons, to the arriving Earl of Warwick. Milus is given the decree for the reward funds, in exchange for Gaveston. The men hold brief court, outlining the numerous charges against Gaveston. He is found guilty by Warwick and Milus (acting on behalf of Lady Love). Neither man wants to take on the responsibility of actually executing Gaveston, fearing the King's wrath for doing so. Gaveston mocks Corbett for being too cowardly to do it. As Corbett is about to attack him, Wilkin intercedes, offering to perform the execution (citing the fact that if word does get back to the king, Lady Love will need her Chamberlain around). Wilkin, assisted by Toran, executes Gaveston by beheading.
Ruskin cryptically asks Absolon whether his master told him what he did in the service and escapes from his chain, using a chicken bone. He kills Absolon, remarking that he was an assassin. He goes to find Luca, slaughtering all the men who get in his way. The two escape the cave, but are intercepted by Robinus and a huge group of his men. They take away Ruskin's sword and surround the two prisoners.
As Milus, Wilkin, and the rest of the men ride back to Ventrishire, Ash looks down an embankment and spots the dead and mutilated corpse of the twin maiden, with her head cut off and appendages replaced by animal hooves. He smiles down at the body.
Milus reports back to Lady Love with the reward money; she remarks that it will help the shire get into better standing. She voices her concern over the priest and Luca being missing for two days. Milus tells her that he'll gather men to look for them. Milus suggests that Lady Love be the one to tell "Master Gawain" that the boy is missing, since she is able to calm him.
On his way out, Milus passes by the French servant that he brutally beat earlier in the season and gently strokes the young man's face before continuing on his way.
Lady Love retrieves Wilkin, who is watching over Jessamy. They exit the room and discuss the fact that Gaveston will no longer be a problem. Lady Love tells Wilkin of the agreement that she made with Jessamy to provide for the woman and her children. She admits that Ruskin and Luca have been gone for two days. She voices her concern that learning Luca is missing will shatter Jessamy's fragile state of mind. Wilkin tells her that the priest was with Annora (though admits he doesn't know why) and reassures her that they will find the priest and Luca. He kisses Lady Love and walks off.
Toran, drinking in a corner, darkly watches Locke embracing his family and the Reeve drinking alone.
Wilkin, in a slightly frantic state, returns to his home to find Annora. She admits that the priest and the boy were taken because of her. Wilkin flips out, demanding to know where the two have been taken. Annora begs him not to shout at her with such hatred. Wilkin tells her that all his sins of late have been on her head and calls her the devil. As he goes to leave, she cries out after him and addresses him as her son, which stops Wilkin in his tracks.