The Widow has a war council with her most trusted advisors: Lydia, Nathaniel and Gaius Chau with the amazing cheekbones
Am I the only one who thinks this is a massive red flag? I mean we know Lydia is not exactly all Team!Widow here and is waiting for her to die so she can take over. Nathaniel is at least as enthralled with Lydia as he is the Widow and only joined recently with a lot of curious motives (especially now he’s not going to kill Sunny). And Gaius is the recently captured brother of the Widow’s enemy. And these are the Widow’s most trusted advisors.
Perhaps that’s ominous foreshadowing all on it’s own.
The Widow has a daring plan to win the war and end the Stalemate - Nathaniel disagrees because it’s super risky. Lydia disagrees because it’s basically Chau’s tactics of just throwing more and more bodies at the meat grinder. But Gaius of the incredible cheek bones supports the Widow
We’re distracted from that because we have another issues: a revolt. Wren (she who Bajie liked and helped) and the old boy commander from that outpost lead a revolt against The Widow. They and quite a few other people have become rather disillusioned with The Widow, her whole war and the general fact that they’re dying in much the same way they would Serving any other Baron. They no longer believe in her lofty ideals and use gas to capture her and Nathaniel and lock them in MK’s cage
They demand The Widow write a peace treaty with Chau to end this war - despite Gaius and Widow both warning them that Chau is totally a not nice person. They both try to distract and buy time
While Lydia is busy plotting and freeing herself as other loyalists are rounded up before she ingratiates herself with Wren by claiming that she can sell the armistice since Chau knows Lydia serves the Widow so will know the treaty is real. Meanwhile the Widow and Gaius are having romantic moments and the Widow is all angsting because maybe she is no better than the other Barons? For her Cogs and Soldiers there’s doesn’t seem to be a huge amount of difference
As she sets off on her peace mission she’s ambushed by Nathaniel and Tilda but promises she was loyal and totally has a coded message to help them sneak in and plot a rescue (also she takes Nathaniel aside and checks if maybe this coup might be a good idea, but Nathaniel is all peskily loyal and honourable. So she’s going to shelve that betrayal thing)
Instead they have an awesome fight scene rescue and the rebels are defeated
And executed - but not before Wren has one final wish: be the leader you promised you’d be. So how much do we think the Widow needs a redemption arc? It’ll be interesting to see how that pans out.
Over to Sunny who continues his fraught stay with the River King who assures him he’s totally trustworthy, honest. While still looking for Pilgrim, at the moment he’s focused on his memories as a child on Lily’s boats and a symbol he carved while on the boat.. The River King remembers the voyage - and how everyone on board was slaughtered (including, he assumed, the child Sunny) - except the Captain who was badly injured. Visiting him he learns about “devils wearing red and black” and that they were looking for Sunny. He also learns he had a sister.
He goes back to confront the River King and consult his ledgers - only to find, shocking no-one, that the River King has betrayed Sunny again - to those devils in red and black. They are the Black Lotus and we have a nifty fight scenes with a whole lot of ladder action. Of course Sunny wins - and the River King offers another deal. Sunny kills him - because there’s a limit to how many chances you get
He and Bajie sail off on Lily’s boat - and Bajie and Lily have many many many many high chemistry wonderful relationship moments. Every scene screams connection but at the same time there’s just too much time and wrongness between them for it to ever happen again. It’s a really well acted relationship
While Widow has been dealing with her own rebellion, another may be brewing with Pilgrim. He holds the funeral for Castor and is clearly deeply sad about his loss. He’s also furious with Cressida for causing his death - and viewing Castor as a disposable tool to be thrown away for the cause
Nyx is also less sure of Pilgrim - she prepared Castor’s body and saw the marks on his neck. She’s put two and two together and reached “disposable weapon just like me” as a conclusion. Surprisingly the person singing Pilgrim’s praise is MK… who also wants to teach Nyx to be a better Dark One
Which… until very very recently not only could MK not control his gift but even lost it for a while… but he’s tutoring Nyx?