Within the finale of The Witcher’s third season — which additionally occurs to be the ultimate episode the place Henry Cavill will play the lead position — our hero, Geralt of Rivia, spends most of his time in mattress. This isn’t an exaggeration: after getting his ass totally kicked in a earlier episode, he’s caught recuperating in a forest, attempting his finest to get wholesome so he can proceed his quest. It’s a weird selection that sidelines Geralt in what ought to, in idea, be an vital second for the collection, the character, and the actor. As an alternative of sending Cavill out on a excessive notice, the season simply sort of… ends.
It didn’t should be this fashion. When it debuted means again in 2019, Netflix’s adaption of The Witcher proved to be a surprisingly devoted model of the story, one which was darkish and humorous on the similar time. Issues acquired off observe in season 2 when the present moved away from each the supply materials and its fundamental forged of characters, placing way more give attention to political squabbling and worldbuilding than the principle trio of Geralt (Cavill), Ciri (Freya Allan), and Yenn (Anya Chalotra).
Season 3, which was break up into two volumes, was an opportunity to make things better. The primary 5 episodes appeared to be a great setup for what promised to be an thrilling finale. Geralt was prepping for an enormous showdown with the brand new large unhealthy, Ciri was lastly changing into impartial, and Yenn had largely stopped making choices that made completely no sense. Quantity 2, which consists of solely three episodes, squanders virtually all of that potential.
The remainder of this put up consists of main spoilers for the primary three seasons of The Witcher.
Now, to be honest, there’s an epic showdown as promised. The primary new episode incorporates a huge warfare at Aretuza, the house base of the mages, the place the dominion of Redania and a gaggle of the final surviving elves seem to combat towards the magic customers for numerous causes: Redania’s spymaster desires to purge disloyal mages from their ranks, whereas the elves are preventing on behalf of the rival nation of Nilfgaard. The politics are advanced, however you don’t actually need to grasp them to comply with this huge battle during which many individuals die, together with one poor soul who actually explodes in bloody chunks.
Extra importantly, the battle units up one of the best a part of the ultimate episodes: the long-awaited combat between Geralt and a traitorous mage, Vilgefortz (Mahesh Jadu), who’s revealed to have been pulling the strings all alongside. He’s additionally a badass fighter, with a magical employees that may warp between his palms at will. Their combat is just not solely a strong piece of motion but additionally a uncommon probability to see Geralt truly lose to a a lot stronger foe. Like Wolverine, Geralt all the time appears to claw his option to victory irrespective of the percentages, however not this time.
And that’s the place all the things goes downhill in a short time.
The aftermath of the battle leaves all of our fundamental forged members adrift. Resulting from some magical teleportation attributable to her uncontrollable powers, Ciri finds herself in a desert the place she wanders alone together with her ideas earlier than ultimately being captured for the bounty on her head. This takes a complete episode. Geralt, in the meantime, was overwhelmed so badly that he needed to retreat to the forest house of the dryads for some magical therapeutic. This takes virtually a complete episode — the ultimate one, I’d add — during which he’s both mendacity in mattress or struggling to face up and maintain a sword. Yenn is flittering away within the background, tying up unfastened ends with the few surviving mages from Aretuza. None of them are doing something remotely fascinating, which is an issue once they’re the narrative and emotional core of your entire present.
Alongside the best way, there are a surprisingly giant variety of deaths, lots of which really feel sudden, as if the writers are pruning the forged for a considerably contemporary begin in season 4. The 2 precise optimistic issues the ultimate quantity does contain setting Ciri up for a way more lively position sooner or later and introducing a brand new companion for Geralt named Milva (Meng’er Zhang), an archer who helps nurse him again to well being and refuses to take any of his shit. Whereas Geralt tries to push ahead in his quest despite the fact that he can barely arise, Milva consistently bests him, reminding him that if she had been the enemy, “You’d be useless by now.”
And thus, like Geralt, the season simply sort of limps to a conclusion. There are a couple of small revelations that may affect the long run, nevertheless it’s startling how a lot these episodes get away from the strengths of the present. It’s not humorous, the motion is sparse, there are only a few monsters, and the core forged is given little to do. That is significantly surprising for Geralt; even because the present continued its downward spiral, Cavill’s flip because the witcher remained a spotlight. Plainly the present received’t be acknowledging the ceremonial passing of the white wig from Cavill to Liam Hemsworth, so we would find yourself with a Contemporary Prince scenario.
Perhaps a contemporary face will breathe some life into the present because it plods on for a minimum of a couple of extra seasons. However Cavill’s exit wasn’t solely anticlimactic — it made me much less than ever in following Geralt’s endless quest.
The complete third season of The Witcher is streaming now on Netflix.https://hactic.s3.us-west-2.amazonaws.com/index.html