Review: His Dark Materials, "The Intention Craft" and "Lyra and Her Death" | Season 3, Episodes 3 and 4
A heartbreaking moment tests the efforts of an adaptation often lacking intention and focus
Lyra and Will aren’t sure which way to go. Will’s father spent his dying breaths telling his son to take the knife to Asriel, and he’s reluctant to divert from this path. Lyra, meanwhile, is still trying to reconcile the events of her time under Coulter’s spell—she saw Roger in the land of the dead in her dream, but she also has memories of Coulter cradling her, which she’s convinced had to be part of the dream as well. They’re stuck at a crossroads, and in search of a compass to guide them.
Conveniently, Lyra has a literal magic compass, but it isn’t as helpful as it usually is. When she asks it whether she should travel to the land of the dead, it’s as confused as she’s ever seen it. Will, meanwhile, broke the knife because he couldn’t stay focused after Coulter brought up his mother, and when Iorek agrees to fix the knife he needs Will to find a sense of balance in his mind that he struggles to attain. On the cusp of adolescence, they’re unsure of where they fit into this world, not even fully aware of how much their lives are intertwined with the war happening around them.