Carnival Row Season 2 Episode 9 Recap – who is the Sparas?

By Lori Meek
Published: March 17, 2023 (Last updated: 1 weeks ago)
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The penultimate episode sets the scene for what’s promising to be an explosive finale. Philo comes up with a dangerous plan to stop the Sparas, while Vignette decides to fully embrace the New Dawn, even if their methods go against her moral code.

We recap the Prime Video series Carnival Row Season 2 Episode 9, “Battle Lines,” which contains spoilers.

The penultimate episode sets the scene for what’s promising to be an explosive finale. Philo (Orlando Bloom) comes up with a dangerous plan to stop the Sparas, while Vignette (Cara Delevingne) decides to fully embrace the New Dawn, even if their methods go against her moral code. Kastor (George Georgiou) finds a way to force Imogen’s (Tamzin Merchant) hand to present the New Dawn’s so-called peace terms in Parliament. And we finally find out who Sparas is in his human form. 

Carnival Row Season 2 Episode 9 Recap

The episode starts with Tourmaline taking a frightful midnight trip inside her mirror. On the other side, she has an enlightening conversation with none other than the dead Haruspex, Aoife. Upon returning from inside the mirror, the glass breaks, and one of the shards hurts Darius, who’s about to transform into his Marrok self. However, Tourmaline’s powers got a boost during her otherworldly chat, and with just one touch, she stops Darius’s transformation. 

How does Philo plan to stop the Sparas?

At the magic shop, Philo tries to get a hold of Vignette but instead tells Darius about his plan to stop the Sparas. Unsurprisingly, Darius isn’t keen on killing Fae folk and begs Philo not to ask Tourmaline for help as her descent into black magic is becoming increasingly dangerous.

As far as Tourmaline is concerned, she’s already accepted the Sparas attacking her as fact and wants to help. When Philo proposes a crazy plan involving Tourmaline using her powers to summon the creature to her while Philo and Darius get ready to greet it with a machine gun, she doesn’t hesitate to say “Yes.” All Philo needs to do now is find a machine gun and retrieve a tooth left behind by the Sparas. 

Does Vignette join the New Dawn?

Meanwhile, Vignette seems to have completely drunk Leonora’s Kool-Aid. While Vignette asks some pertinent questions, like why the Sparas murdered the late Black Ravens leader, Dahlia, Leonora avoids giving an honest answer and convinces her that the New Dawn’s revolution is the only real chance at freedom any Fae has in The Burgue. We also learn that the New Dawn reps did most of their recruiting inside the walls of Bleakness Keep, and all the prisoners the Sparas released on the night it killed Jonah were already an army of Fae ready to start a revolution.

Vignette fully embraces Leonora and the New Dawn. Once again, she and Philo are fighting on opposite sides. 

Unsurprisingly, when Tourmaline learns about Vignette joining the New Dawn, she’s less than impressed. Vignette already knows the Sparas will attack Tourmaline, and she still chooses to join their cause. As they can’t seem to agree, the two part ways. It’s quite hard watching Vignette falling for Leonora’s propaganda and turning her back on all her friends in this episode. 

On his quest for a machine gun, Philo approaches Dombey. The copper hesitates to give him such a powerful weapon because a Pix had a vision. But he eventually relents. As a side note, Dombey’s redemption arc is quite touching and feels natural for the character. 

The two head to the morgue so Philo can grab one of the Sparas’ teeth from Berwick’s dead body. At the morgue, Dombey once again blames Philo for poor Berwick’s death, but the two former enemies seem to reach a sort of tacit agreement and camaraderie eventually. It doesn’t help that a few other coppers enter the room and catch Dombey working with a Critch, leading to more resentment within the precinct. 

Can Imogen and Agreus save The Burgue?

Back in the upper side of The Burgue, Imogen is having second thoughts about speaking to Parliament on behalf of the New Dawn after reading the news about their attack on the ships in episode 7. Kastor reminds her of the fields of corpses she left her brother in back in Ragusa and that The Burgue’s upper class will face the same fate if a peace treaty is not signed. While Imogen is debating whether to let The Burgue burn, Agreus is a bit apathetic to the situation. After all, if it weren’t for Imogen, he’d be locked on the Row with the rest of the Critch. 

Millworthy goes to arrest the three comrades as he rightly suspects the New Dawn was behind the ship attacks. Imogen points out how truly dangerous the New Dawn is, while Agreus suggests they send a message to their leadership asking to halt any plans for further attacks, at least until after Imogen addresses Parliament. Kastor agrees and writes a note for Agreus to take to Carnival Row, where the New Dawn comrades are hiding. 

In a touching scene, Imogen and Agreus make up before he heads toward the Row. She apologizes for her harsh words to him, and he confirms how ashamed he is of his bounty hunter past.

READ: Carnival Row Season 2 Review 

After arriving at the meeting spot, Agreus meets with none other than Vignette, while Kaine is there to stop the man following the Puck from seeing where the New Dawn is hiding. Watching Agreus and Vignette share a scene is interesting. While both of them are Fae, each sees the world differently. Agreus found success and wealth while working within a system stacked against him, while Vignette wants freedom and equality for all their kind. They both represent two sides of the same coin. 

Did Leonora lie about wanting Peace with the Burgue?

When the Faun arrives at the factory, he sees none other than Leonora, who, after mocking his fancy clothes, takes him as her captive. It soon becomes clear that Leonora never wanted peace with The Burgue; she’s determined to start a war and a revolution.

That night, Imogen is anxiously awaiting for Agreus to come back. Instead, she receives a box. Inside the box, there’s one of Agreus’s horns. Kastor warns her that if she refuses to address Parliament on the New Dawn’s behalf, the next package will contain her lover’s head. 

Millworthy is in hot water with his two fellow MPs. The man he tasked with following Agreus to the New Dawn leadership failed the task, and now Parliament only has two choices; Burn down the Row and risk starting a full-on war, or let Imogen speak to Parliament. As there’s an election coming soon, the two party leaders choose the latter. 

After hearing about Vignette joining the New Dawn, Philo tries stopping her while she’s on her way to complete a mission with Kaine and Phaedra. The former lovers exchange words, but Philo fails to convince Vignette she’s on the wrong side. She seems convinced her actions will lead to a better life in The Burgue for Fae and humans alike. Vignette is angry and willing to do whatever it takes to see fundamental changes in the world.

Carnival Row Season 2 Episode 9 Ending Explained

And by whatever it takes, I mean murder – the one thing Vignette always swore she’d never do. When Vignette and her fellow Ravens get to a pub frequented by coppers, she thinks the plan is to lure all of them out and burn down the building. Kaine and Phaedra quickly clarify that they will throw Molotov cocktails at the building while all the drunk coppers are still inside, burning them alive. Only one survives the engulfing massacre. While Vignette refused to throw the homemade bombs, she didn’t do anything to stop her now-comrades. 

Who is the Sparas?

After Dombey delivers their machine gun, Philo, Darious, and Tourmaline get to work setting up the Sparas trap. She then uses magic to connect to the creature’s mind. What she sees is shocking, to say the least – The Sparas is Major Vir. And the episode ends with him heading into Parliament on the day Imogen’s supposed to do her speech. 

What did you think of Carnival Row Season 2 Episode 9? Comment below.

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