“The Lost Boy” Review

I found His Dark Materials Season One ” The Lost Boy” to be the most emotional episode to date. We finally learn what horrific torture the Gobblers are inflicting on the children they capture. “ The Lost Boy” introduces a new character named Will Parry who is from our modern Oxford, England. The significant storylines follow Lyra Belacqua in the Artic and Will in contemporary Oxford.

Lyra, along with the Gyptians, travels further North to The Station, where Billy, Roger, and the other children are imprisoned. Kaisa, the Witch’s daemon, flies over the caravan leading them to their final destination. Lyra marches beside Lee Scrobesby who is reclined on his bound up hot air balloon being pulled by a cart. Lyra and Lee chat about how he refuses to walk since a wagon can haul him. The girl asks the aeronaut to reassure her that their group will beat the Gobblers. Lee admits that he doesn’t know if they will win or not. Lyra is disturbed by the uncertainty of their victory, and Lee comforts her.

John Faa calls Lyra over to him while the caravan of Gyptians rests. Faa asks her to read the alethiometer to see what sort of guard formation the Gobblers have at The Station. The golden compass tells Lyra that many armed men are surrounding a large metal fence that protects The Station from unwanted visitors. The alethiometer warns Lyra about something, but she can’t decipher what it is warning her about. John Faa comments that the golden compass is probably trying to warn her about everything.

After the caravan has stopped for the evening, Lyra seeks out Fader Coram. She tells the Fader that the alethiometer is telling her to go to a small fishing village to seek out a ghost. Lyra can feel that going to the fishing village is vital, but Fader Coram forbids her to go. He doesn’t think Lyra will be safe, and the Gyptians need her to help find the missing children. The girl runs off in a huff. A little bit later, when everybody has put up their camp for the night, Lyra runs over to Ma Costa, whose cooking. Lyra pleads her case.  She begs Ma Costa to trust the alethiometer that is telling her that she must seek out the fishing village to find the ghost. The older woman promises to consider Lyra’s request.

During the night, Ma Costa and Lyra lay under their blankets, eating and talking to Kaisa. The hawk daemon Kaisa tells the girl that she is right to want to seek out the ghost. Kaisa tells Lyra that her father was trying to use Dust to cross over to other worlds. The Mageristirum asked the armored bears to keep Lord Asriel locked up to stop him from crossing, but the King Iofur allows him to continue his research into Dust while he’s under house arrest.

Meanwhile, Fader Coram meets up with his ex-wife, the gorgeous young looking Witch Queen Serafina Pekkala. Fader, who is now a wrinkled older man, wonders how she has not aged at all. The Witch points out that since she is three hundred years old, Fader Coram still seems beautiful to her. Serafina is frustrated that he cares so much about finding the missing children but did not seem to want to seek out the truth about why their son died. Coram angrily points out that their son had died of disease while humans stole these children. He says that he must fight for these children even if he is weak from old age. Serafina promises that she will assist where she can, but the witches are not as united as they once were. She tells Coram that her daemon Kaisa will keep traveling with them. Whatever Kaisa sees the Witch will notice too. The ex-lovers share a kiss before Serafina flies off to her sister Witches. Fader Coram breaks down in tears after she leaves.

By morning, John Faa acquiesces to Lyra allowing her to search for the ghost in the fishing village as long she brings the armored bear Iorek Byrnison with her. Lyra promises Faa that she will return to the Gyptians by nightfall. She rides off to the village on Iorek’s back. Lyra laughs out load as she holds on tightly to the bear.

On the way to the village, Lyra and Iorek stop for lunch. The bear allows Lyra to lean on him for warmth. Iorek tells Lyra that he was initially from Svalbard, but was exiled after he killed another bear. Iorek Bynison would have been King if he was allowed to stay in his home. Like Lyra’s father, Lord Asriel, he lost all his wealth and land. Lyra asks who he killed. But Iorek says it’s more important to ask “why he killed” since bears don’t usually kill other bears. He was not of the right mind, he explains. Lyra tells him that her father Lord Asriel is being guarded by Svalbard bears. Iorek explains that her father will not be able to escape because bears cannot be lied to, but Lyra says he was able to convince her that he was her Uncle Lord Asriel. Iorek argues that Lyra is not a bear, but she says she is part bear.

It’s sunset by the time Lyra rides Iorek into the village. She and Pan find Billy without his daemon half-frozen lying in a hut. Lyra somehow drags Billy onto the back of Iorek. They ride back to the Gyptian camp. Ma Costa and his brother Tony carry Billy back to their tent. Lyra tries to run after the Costa family, but Lee stops her. He points out that while Ma Costa loves her, the family needs to be on their own. The Gyptians now know the Gobblers split the children from their daemons, leaving them soulless like ghosts.

Ma Costa cuddles Billy near a fire as Tony watches them. She sings to her youngest as he dies. Ma Costa tells Billy that it’s okay to be with his daemon. A little later, Lee wakes up a sleeping Lyra. He tells her that Billy has died. Lyra cries. The whole caravan comes out for the little boy’s funeral.

Billy’s dead body is wrapped in cloth lawn over a pyre. Ma Costa lights the pyre on fire. The Gyptians sing and cry as the pyre burns. Lee comforts Lyra.

That night, the Gobblers sneak into camp while most of the Gyptians sleep. The Gobblers kill the two adults who are keeping guard. As one of the Gyptian guards dies, his squirrel daemon disappears. Daemons disappear when their humans die. 

Meanwhile, Lyra sleeps curled up in her tent. Pan hears a noise outside the tent and wakes her up. Lyra leaves the shelter to find out what her daemon heard. She is knocked out by the Gobblers. The screen goes black.

She wakes up as she is dragged inside The Station. There is a P.O.V. shot of Lyra, slowly waking up as she is plopped down in front of a female doctor. The screen is blurry as she comes too. All the Gobblers speak some Nordic language so she can’t understand them. Then the female doctor tests Pan to see if she can still change. The doctor switches to speaking in English. She tells a nearby nurse to prepare Lyra for treatment because she is on the verge of the change. When Lyra becomes a teenager, Pan will settle on one animal. Once this happens the Gobblers won’t be able to split her from her daemon.

The doctor asks Lyra who she is. Lyra says her name is Lizzie. The doctor tells the nurse to get “Lizzie” changed, so the nurse takes Lyra to another room. She tells Lyra that she needs to examine her to see if she is healthy. She asks Lyra who she accompanied her to the arctic. She says she came with her father to trade for furs. Lyra takes off all her clothes. The nurse opens up a cupboard. Lyra spots the same type of clothing that she found Billy wearing in the shed which confirms for Lyra that she is in The Station.

Will Parry’s storyline in “Lost Boy” starts with him walking to school in his uniform. A voice-over informs the audience that Lyra can’t know what she needs to do or she will fail. Lyra’s path will be dangerous, but she won’t be alone. Lyra will be with Will Parry from our universe. A cutaway reveals Lord Boreal in a car with a pale-skinned man watching an apartment. Elaine Parry comes out of the apartment. Lord Boreal asks the pale man if social services observe the Parry family. The pale man says, “no, they are all alone”. At that moment, Will pops out of the door to hand his Mom a coffee. The pale man notes that the teenager seems like a good kid.

John Parry, Will’s father, has been missing for a long time. The Daemon world knows him as Dr. Stanislaus Grumman. Other than Lord Boreal, John Parry is the only other man to cross universes. So Lord Boreal wants to learn everything about Parry.

Later, Elaine Parry heads out of her home with her purse. She plans to go food shopping. Lord Boreal intercepts Elaine as she walks down her driveway. He lies saying he served with John in the Royal Marines. He freaks out Elaine, who says she needs to get to the store. Lord Boreal questions where John is right now. Elaine tells him that John died many years ago. Then the Lord asks her what happened to him. Elaine explains that John never came home. Lord Boreal offers to help her family in any way he can. After he hands Elaine a card, she runs off.

Will Parry boxes with a classmate named Toby. Their coach watches the two boys box giving them notes. Elaine bursts into the gym in a panic. She tells Will that a man was asking about his father. Elaine notices that Will is boxing, and apologizes for bothering him. The coach tries to tell Elaine to sit, but she becomes agitated and runs off. Elaine Parry has some kind of mental illness.

Toby teases Will about  having a crazy mother. Will attacks the other boy for going after his Mom, so he coach pulls the boys apart. He orders Will to find his mother. Will finds her right outside, counting stones on a bench. She mumbles to him about the man who was trying to find Joh Parry. Will doesn’t believe her but tries to calm her down. He tells Elaine that it’s time for them to go home and gently pulls her away from the stones she’s been counting.

Will returns to the gym to collect his clothes before they head home. The coach asks him if they need some help. He is worried that Elaine needs some more assistance with her mental illness than Will can handle. Will tells the coach not to worry about their family.

Later that night, Will makes his Mom an omelet for dinner. Elaine tells Will that he looks like his father. He doesn’t believe his mother. She tells him that he is unique, like John–that one day, he is going to leave her to help save the world. Will insists that he is not exceptional. Then Elaine notices there is something wrong with the home. She freaks out. He tries to calm her down, but Elaine thinks somebody was in their home. Maybe Elaine has something to worry about with Lord Boreal around?

Meanwhile, Thomas and Lord Boreal are in a dark room with lots of computers. Thomas tells Lord Boreal that John Parry left enough money in his bank account to take care of his family for a long time. The Lord notes that Parry must have known that he would be gone for years. Thomas tells him that in Parry’s home there are probably more clues about how he can cross over. He tells Lord Boreal that he is excited to solve this puzzle.

What we learn about The Station in ” The Lost Boy”, Gobbler’s experiments on the children, reminds me of the historical events of World War II. The tests in The Station remind me of the Holocaust. Especially the way that Billy’s head is shaven when Lyra finds him half dead, half-frozen like the bodies found in the WWII concentration camps.  Like the Jews who were forced into the gas chambers, Lyra is forced to take off her clothes. While the Gobblers are not directly killing the children, separating their daemons does cause them to die. The doctors experiment on children just like Dr. Mengele did in Auschwitz. In both cases, these sorts of horrific experiments claim to kill the children for “scientific progress.” The historical reference seems pretty clear.

This episode ended with a lot of fear-inducing cliffhangers. What will happen to Lyra now that she has been captured? What type of danger are the Parry’s in now that Lord Boreal knows about them?

Published by Paloma Bennett

I have a Master of Arts in Cinema Critical Studies from San Fransisco State University. I am a Lesbian Feminist Pop-Culture Geek from California who loves film, television, book, comic books and podcasts. I work a the Paley Center at the moment, but I am interested in becoming a professional television and film reviewer.

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