See series finale review, “I See You”
As we dive into the final episode of See on Apple TV+, it’s best to keep in mind what to expect. It’s time for the final showdowns, story resolutions, moments of greatest peril, and perhaps the ultimate sacrifice by a major character or two. See has always been a simple story about good versus evil, and we’d expect the good guys to triumph in the end.
At the end of Episode 7, Baba Voss and Ranger have gone on the offensive, intending to take out Sibeth and Tormada and thus decapitate the leadership of the combined Witchfinder and rogue Trivantian army. Meanwhile, Tamacti Jun and Maghra have led the underground escape out of besieged Pennsa, hoping to find a more defensible position.
See recap: “I See You”
Maghra and Tamacti Jun realize Baba Voss has slipped away but must continue to lead the villagers away from Pennsa in the smugglers’ tunnel. Baba Voss and Ranger sneak into Sibeth’s camp, dispatching guards along the way. Sibeth and Tormada realize Pennsa is empty and they’ve been duped. Bombs fall on Pennsa again, this time collapsing the tunnel and trapping Kofun.
Their way out blocked, Maghra and the rest decide it is better to fight it out on the surface rather than cower underground. Discovered, Baba Voss and Ranger brawl their way through the enemy encampment. Maghra presents herself to Sibeth and stabs her. Major antagonist number one down.
Tamacti Jun, Haniwa, Kofun and Wren arrive to rescue Maghra from Tormada’s men. Both Baba Voss and Ranger are felled by bombs, and Tormada is blown up and stabbed in the eye. Major antagonist number two down. Badly wounded, Baba Voss rises to attack the rest of the enemy army, eventually setting off the bomb stack to obliterate all of them. Pennsa rebuilds. The surviving characters find their peace.
See review, “I See You”
Like most Jason Momoa projects, See is a show with a big heart. The heroes are big and the villains are big and there’s no mistaking which side anyone is on. See‘s finale embraces both the show’s strengths and weaknesses, and the result is entertaining.
As a finale, “I See You” is a perfect distillation of the entire See series: a somewhat jumbled train of sequences with both successful and unsuccessful scenes mixed in. The moment where Tamacti Jun steels Maghra’s spine to continue leading her people our of Pennsa is stellar, but the sequence that follows doesn’t work welll the villagers’ song in the tunnel is meant to be haunting (one would think they’d be better off staying quiet), intercut as it with Baba Voss and Ranger cutting their way through enemy guards, but it feels tone deaf and out of place.
Why are Maghra and her villagers still underneath Pennsa by the time Sibeth and Tormada bomb the town again? How slowly are they walking? Pennsa isn’t that big. Surely they’d had time to cover a lot more distance. And when the bombs strike overhead, they stop even though leaving the town would mean safety. Once again, the See writers take the lazy path and get the scene they want (Kofun peril) at the cost of logic and believability.
In the first scene with Tormada and Sibeth in their tent, Tormada is given a minute to provide some of his backstory and motivation, and though his story is rather pat, one senses the beginnings of development in his character. It reminds us how rare that has been in See; there should have been much more of it.
Who is that lady Ayura with the superhero ears that appears with Sibeth and Tormada? She can hear people walking underground (but not the singing)? She can hear two raiders in the camp, and knows they’re not Witchfinder or Trivantian, and even senses that one is a big guy? How convenient it is to have such a character. It’s sure a quick and easy way to supply Sibeth and Tormada with a boatload of intel they would not have gotten otherwise.
See excels in its cinematography and action sequences, and “I See You” is no exception. We get ratcheting trebuchets, explosions and hand-to-hand fighting. The battle choreography is first rate and interesting due to the sightless dynamic. The action scenes are even good enough the buoy the incredibly corny buddy-buddy dialogue between Baba Voss and Ranger.
Yet despite the exhilaration of the fights, there is an unfortunate hollowness. As in many See episodes, Baba Voss faces off with a “boss” (the Trivantian Trebuchet Commander), essentially a large, tough bad guy with little use beyond being an obstacle to overcome to get to the next round. Characters like these are a dime a dozen in See. Here in the finale it would have been nice for Baba Voss to engage with a developed character we know, someone he has a history with, so the fight could have a layer of dramatic meaning beyond the fisticuffs themselves.
The scene where Maghra crosses the no-man’s-land between Pennsa and the firing trebuchets is superb. See glimpses its potential here, generating a dramatic moment ruled by sound; Maghra ducks the thunder of the trebuchet missiles and sounds her finger rings to signal her arrival to Sibeth. Sibeth orders the ceasefire, and they approach one another in silence. I wish See had many more scenes like this.
The no-man’s-land scene between Maghra and Sibeth is one of See‘s best moments; their final embrace is undeniably powerful. One wonders if it had been presented with a black screen so the audience only hears the voices (as the characters do) if it could have been even more effective.
Tormada’s men are about to kill Maghra when, of course, Tamacti Jun, Haniwa, Kofun and Wren come to the rescue. It works, and the shot of the gong guy taking an arrow is hilarious. Amidst the lively action sequence, Baba Voss is apparently mortally wounded while Ranger kills Tormada with a knife to the eyeball. Why did the villagers stay in Pennsa? Bad decision.
We’re only halfway through “I See You” at this point, so blown-up-Baba ain’t dead; it’s just a flesh wound. Tearing shrapnel out of his scarred and musclebound torso, Baba Voss takes on the entirety of the remaining enemy army. His ultimate sacrifice atop the bomb stack is effective; the protector makes certain the men and devices hellbent on the destruction of his children are erased from existence.
Surprisingly, the second half of the finale happens after Baba Voss’ death, leaving the viewer with a very long, drawn out resolution involving each surviving character. In a way, it’s too much wrapping up; you repeatedly sense the episode is ending and then it doesn’t. “I See You” could have easily concluded with the little green plant growing on Baba Voss’ grave at 30 minutes in, but why would See stop overdoing everything when that’s been its modus operandi all along?
Episode rating:: B-
Series rating: C+
To stay up to date on everything fantasy, science fiction, and WiC, follow our all-encompassing Facebook page and sign up for our exclusive newsletter.
Get HBO, Starz, Showtime and MORE for FREE with a no-risk, 7-day free trial of Amazon Channels