Jonathan Strange & Mr Norrell: All the Mirrors of the World   Books Included 
June 7, 2015 11:52 PM - Season 1, Episode 4 - Subscribe

Returned from war, Jonathan Strange joins Mr Norrell to try to cure England's mad king, George III, but is frustrated at Norrell's refusal to discuss the magic and legends of old times. Meanwhile, unbeknown to the magicians, the Gentleman embarks on a scheme to capture Arabella.
posted by infinitewindow (7 comments total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
Edward Petherbridge! Good heavens, I haven't seen him on screen in years.

I thought this episode was a bit more taut than some of the previous outings, although they're obviously paring the plot down as far as it can go to get it into seven hours. I particularly liked the sad but gentlemanly farewell tea. In some ways, Ariyon Bakare has the hardest job as Stephen Black, as the character's unhappiness/anger is almost always completely contained, but he's conveying that tension quite nicely. Also liking the Segundus/Honeyfoot double act--they're probably the only genuinely sweet characters in the series. Drawlight and Lascelles maybe need a bit more screen time for the end of their plot arc to land, though.
posted by thomas j wise at 12:15 PM on June 8, 2015 [1 favorite]

I liked Norrell's little bit where he look's at Strange's medals and then looks down at his lone medal.
posted by absalom at 1:07 PM on June 8, 2015 [4 favorites]

This was the first episode where I thought it would have been much better as a 20-40 episode series, something that allowed the show to sprawl and breathe and develop, because I wanted longer scenes and little asides of everyone involved.
posted by dorothyisunderwood at 4:17 AM on June 9, 2015

Yeah, this was the first episode that held my attention all the way through. Segundus and Honeyfoot are delightful (especially Honeyfoot's blunderbuss being filled with walnuts).

Looks like I'll be watching the remaining few episodes much closer to when they air.
posted by minsies at 12:26 PM on June 10, 2015 [1 favorite]

This definitely kicked shit up a notch - much more dramatic, even when considered against the notionally more interesting action of the Peninsular war. I even liked the CGI of the King's Roads behind the mirrors; probably the first bit of CGI on the show that I felt looked pretty respectable.
posted by adrianhon at 3:47 PM on June 10, 2015

Less Gentleman = better episode.

I kind of miss the wordplay where Stephen would suggest being nice to Strange and the Gentleman would take it in the most malicious sense possible. But one thing I do like is that it's now quite clear that the Gentleman sees Stephen as a capable, credible threat to his reign and is trying to win him as an ally—something that was not clear to me in the novel (which is likely my failing rather than Susanna Clarke's).
posted by infinitewindow at 8:57 AM on June 13, 2015

I'm not sure if the gentleman actually saw Stephen Black as a threat in the book; the character was so different it's hard to compare. In general I find him badly done in the show -- he looks wrong, he acts wrong, he throws off the balance.

But the show is going more and more away from the book, and in interesting ways.
posted by jeather at 5:51 PM on June 22, 2015

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