Carnival Row Season 2 Episode 2 Recap – what’s the New Dawn? 

By Lori Meek
Published: February 17, 2023 (Last updated: last month)
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In the second episode, we get our first glimpse into the New Dawn movement threatening the Pact. Agreus just about survives his execution; Philo is determined to expose his lineage to the world, while Vignette wants to stop him at all costs.

We recap the Prime Video series Carnival Row Season 2 Episode 2, “New Dawn,” which contains spoilers.

In the second episode, we get our first glimpse into the New Dawn movement threatening the Pact. Agreus (David Gyasi) just about survives his execution, and Philo (Orlando Bloom) is determined to expose his lineage to the world. At the same time, Vignette (Cara Delevingne) wants to stop him at all costs. The fearless leader of the Ravens meets an untimely and gruesome end.

Carnival Row Season 2 Episode 2 Recap

Episode 2 starts where the previous one left off – Agreus and Imogen on his boat being led to shore by the Pact’s airship. Imogen is frightened at facing the Pact leaders as citizens of The Burgue (the two countries have been at war not too long ago). But Agreus is calm, collected, and sure he can throw money at whatever issue awaits them after docking. Upon reaching land at the city of Ragusa, reality begins to set in. Whoever’s running the show has no interest in negotiating with the wealthy Faun, and they immediately and violently separate the couple.  

What’s the New Dawn? 

We learn that New Dawn is a socialist and revolutionary movement slowly taking over Pact territories. When Imogen is taken to a house, she meets a Faun with a broken horn named Leonora (Joanne Whalley), who she initially mistakes for a servant. Leonora explains how The Pact used to be a terrible place where the upper class ruled before the New Dawn revolution brought freedom for humans and Fea.

On her way in, Imogen was shocked to walk past Fea and humans, happily cohabitating and even openly dating in this strange yet unique place. Unbeknownst to her, when Leonora makes an off-hand comment about Imogen’s relationship with Agreus, her passionate words defending their love save his life. Agreus was about to be executed by firing squad along with most of his crew, but he was the only one spared at the very last minute. 

The lovers finally reunite when they’re both taken to a former stately home, where they’re expected to live with several other families. Agreus decides not to tell Imogen about the death of his crew and lets her believe he’s trying to find a way to pay the ransom for all their freedoms. 

Philo’s determined to out himself

Back on the Row, Philo tells Vignette about his plan to out himself as Absalom Breakspear’s bastard son, much to her dismay. The two fight, but Philo is determined to see his plan through as he’s sure this is the only way to reopen the Row. 

We also find out why Philo took part in that underground fight last episode – He needed Boz’s help to safely transport his old friend, Darius (Ariyon Bakare), out of prison and onto the Row. Instead of acting grateful, Darius is angry at Philo for taking so long to rescue him. He reveals that they experimented on him once the Burgueish authorities learned that The Pact used Marroks as weapons. 

Tourmaline’s visions are increasingly worrying, so she seeks help from the witch, Mima (Jacqueline Boatswain), who tells her that when Aoife died, she transferred her dark powers onto her. Poor Tourmaline has no wish for said powers, especially after seeing yet another attack, this time against Dahlia and Tolero

What does the Pact ambassador want?

Upon The Pact’s ambassador’s arrival, he immediately asks to buy weapons from the Burgue so they can deal with the New Dawn threat. Millworthy gets friendly with one of the delegates, Major Vir (Andrew Buchan) confirms how desperate The Pact is for military assistance against this new threat. Not only are the New Dawn’s ideas spreading like wildfire, but they’re also uniting Fae and humans towards a common goal, which Pact leaders (like the Burgue leadership, too) see as “unnatural.”

The clever and manipulative Sophie convinces Jonah to supply the weapons to gain more political power. It’s also revealed that her hatred of Fae folk was little more than a political show, and she’s been hiding her Puck chambermaid and friend from the authorities. At a meeting with the city’s factory owners, Sophie invests more money into their businesses while promising to persuade the Chancellor to reopen the Row and get their cheap labor back to work once the arms deal with The Pact is signed. 

Oona’s last raid with the Ravens

Desperate to save her lover’s life, Vignette comes up with a different plan to show the Chancellor how damaging his measures are. She runs this plan by Dahlia and the rest of the Ravens, hoping to get her approval. Dhalia agrees with Vignette’s plan but decides to lead the raid herself. 

At the ballroom dinner, as Philo gets ready for his big announcement, he’s stopped by a group of Black Ravens crashing the party. They have a dying Oona with them, and Dahlia shows the elite guests how much the Fae folk suffers in the ghetto. When poor Oona tries to fly towards the Chancellor, Sergeant Dombey shoots her in the chest, leading to the rest of the Raven retreating. 

Carnival Row Season 2 Episode 2 Ending Explained

Upon returning from the ballroom dinner, Philo is annoyed but grateful to learn that the Ravens’ plan was Vignette’s idea. That same night, the pair is urgently awakened in the middle of the night by Kaine and Phaedra.

At the Row’s gate, someone displayed the decapitated heads of Dahlia and Tolero. With them dead, who’s going to lead The Black Ravens? More importantly, did the Chancellor order their murders in retaliation for the Ravens crashing his little party?

What did you think of Carnival Row Season 2 Episode 2? Comment below.

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