Milus Musings: The Bastard Executioner Episode 10: “Blood and Quiescence/Crau a Chwsg”

TBX-MILUSMUSINGSbThis is going to be a difficult Milus Musings to write since we heard this morning that last night was the very last ever episode of The Bastard Executioner. It makes me sad to see the series ending, especially when the last few episodes were so “on point!” However, since the ratings weren’t good, I agree with it’s creator, Kurt Sutter that it’s better to end a show than continue when no one watches.  As he said in the ad he placed announcing the show’s demise, “The audience has spoken and unfortunately the word is, “meh.” So with due respect, we bring our mythology to an epic and fiery close. Read more about the announcement here.

Sutter also praised his cast and I agree that the cast in The Bastard Executioner was quite extraordinary, but for me, Stephen Moyer’s performance as Milus Corbett cannot be praised enough. We here at AllStephenMoyer.com know how wonderful an actor Stephen is, but it’s always nice to see others recognize his talent, too. So I enjoyed seeing all the new fans of Milus appear from the TBX fanbase!

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It’s even more disheartening that we will never see Milus’ again. I can certainly understand why Stephen Moyer accepted the part of Milus since he is so multi-layered and he must have been lots of fun to portray. For most of the season, Milus was the character that you loved to hate. While he wasn’t quite evil, he certainly wasn’t a “good guy.” However, in the last two episodes of the season, Milus became quite ‘human’ and someone you could really admire. While we loved him being bad in the earlier episodes; it was a lot of fun, seeing Milus’ transition into a good natured man. I have so many questions about this character and his past that I would have liked to learn about, but again sadly that will not now be possible.

As this is the final Musings, I’m going to let myself focus on Milus’ goodness and kindness. So, below is my “over the top” indulgence of my favorite TBX character, Milus Corbett, portrayed by Stephen Moyer, as only he could do; magnificently!

THE MEN AND THE WOLF, GRUFFUDD Y BLAIDD

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In his new demeanor, Milus has learned to trust in his men. While he is still questioning, several times he has had to look to Wilkin and wonder if the action he was about to see take place is a wise one. This was definitely apparent during the fight. The most important issue requiring his trust was when The Wolf, Gruffudd y Blaidd and his men showed up to volunteer to help the fight against the knights who were holding Father Ruskin and Luca. Milus wonders why a sworn enemy of the English would fight with them, but Toren gives him the answer saying, “His loyalty may be contrary, but his honor is no different then ours.” Note, we know that The Wolf is Lady Love’s half brother and is doing this for her, but Milus doesn’t know this.

Nonetheless, Milus accepts the help and when the battle is won, he says to The Wolf, “You risk much and lose many. Tell me Wolf, what do you gain from this fight?” The wolf replies, “We never fight for gain, sir; we fight to keep what is already ours.” Milus understands and nods with a look of gratitude.

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MILUS AND THE BARONESS LADY LOVE

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I thought it was beautiful to see the relationship between Milus and the Baroness Lady Love grow over the season. At first, Milus didn’t think much of her opinion, being a lady, but now I think Milus sees her wisdom and kindness. He might even have a romantic interest in her, but he knows that a relationship between them just cannot be. Being the Chamberlain is certainly a high status position within Ventrishire, and therefore, I think he could try with her, so why not make a move on Love? However, he won’t because of two reasons, firstly, he knows that she loves Wilkin and second, Milus just doesn’t think of himself as worthy.

While Milus can hold his own with anyone, he does have one weakness by letting his low birth hold him back. Nonetheless, the video below showed me that while the relationship between Milus and Love may not have been a romantic one, it nonetheless grew to be one of “respect and devotion.” As Milus is leaving to do battle, Lady Love reveals her fondness for him. Milus turns and replies to her saying, “I am fond of you as well, Lady Love.” That’s a statement which made by someone less talented, might have seemed very simple, but the way Stephen Moyer expressed the gesture was, for me truly the most beautiful scene in the entire series. Stephen delivered it with much affection and gratitude, yet still guarded. We saw this earlier, when Milus reached out to touch Lady Love’s hand, wanting to, but couldn’t bring himself to do so.

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Watch the scene below:

While they might not have a romantic attachment, its very apparent that Lady Love has come to rely on Milus’ counsel and shows her fondness again when she rushes to him and hugs him when he returns from battle.

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They then sit down to discuss the babe she is supposed to be carrying and both know is all a lie. With no child in her womb, something will need to be said in a few months time to the King and she asks Milus what they will do. While Milus still wants her to consider a marriage to Pryce, he tells her gently, “We’ll handle it with ‘grace,’ Love.” As he leaves her he casually mentions that the Punisher has gone to the Music chamber to see the healer which I assume is a sign that Milus knows she is anxious to see Wilkin. Perhaps she will be able to have a child with Wilkin and Ventrishire will be saved. Sadly again, we’ll never know if this happens.

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MILUS AND FRENCHIE

How can we forget the episode where Milus who had just been humiliated by Piers Gaveston came to his chamber and took out his anger on his manservant, Frenchie. He beat him so brutally that we all were worried Frenchie might have died from his wounds. Luckily, he didn’t and we saw him in the last episode where Milus, in passing, gently touches his cheek. Now, in Milus’ new state of grace, he continues his kindness toward the servant. In the last scene with Frenchie, Milus notices that the boy doesn’t have a coat as he is about to leave to drop off Jessamy at the insane asylum. Milus tells him that the journey will be a cold one, then gives Frenchie his own coat from off his back and softly touches his cheek. I doubt the old Milus would have been so gracious to anyone, let alone a manservant. It was another kindness I enjoyed seeing from Milus.

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MILUS AND ISABEL

On a lighter note in the episode, and in Milus’ last scene, we see him make a pass at Lady Love’s servant, Isabel. Could it be that these two will get together? I’d like to think that maybe they do. Isabel’s common sense and intelligence would be a good influence on Milus, don’t you think?

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Click here to see more in the 1.1o Photo Gallery.

FINAL MUSINGS

Most of the story is tied up neatly in this last episode such as,

  • The Battle – with the help from the Dark Mute, who sacrifices himself, and the Wolf and his men who fight valiantly, the battle is a victory.tbx110-94
  • Father Ruskin and Luca are saved and Wilkin has his son back.
  • Poor Jessamy is sent to an asylum because she had again attempted to kill Love when she discovers Luca’s disappearance, but there is no mention of her baby daughter. I assume that the babe will remain with Love and Isabel and will be brought up in the castle.
  • Toren and Loche fight it out over the death in episode 1 of Toren’s family. When Loche wins, he spares Toren, and they therefore decide to bury their feud.
  • Reeve makes peace with Wilkin by explaining that he didn’t kill his wife and hands him the cross he took from her neck saying I wear it so I will remember. Also, Wilkin sees a vision of his dead wife Petra who tells him that her death wasn’t caused by Reeve. So, these two men are also now at peace with one another.tbx110-42
  • It seems that only one member of the opposition got away in the battle, Sir Cormac, played by Ed Sheeran. I wonder what mischief he could cause it there were to be future episodes? Since most of the knights fighting for the church are now dead, he will have to re-group and find reinforcements. With the power of the Church, I’m sure that can be done.tbx110-82

Overall, while I admit that I found some of the earlier episodes to be a bit confusing and slow (something I rarely ever complain about because I love history and detail), the last few were fast paced and Mr. Sutter has tied up all the lose ends very neatly in a nice bow for his audience. It’s sad that the show is not to have a Season 2 because I really think that these last few episodes gave us a glimpse of what future episodes might have been like. Unfortunately, in the TV world, if you don’t get good ratings right off the bat, its just to expensive to carry on and I respect Sutter’s decision.

I will miss TBX, but especially because of Stephen Moyer’s portrayal of Milus Corbett, which in any other show, and in my opinion, would have warranted an Emmy nod.

Stephen is a great actor who deserves more praise! And, I know he will find a new amazing project and may even have offers already waiting. He will pick another show or film to do and continue to make us “ooohh and ahhh” all over again. Personally, I can’t wait.

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Our final glimpse of Milus Corbett.

29 Comments

  1. Oh my … I appreciated the finale. I thought it very well done. It was good to see a softer, gentler side to Milus, perhaps influenced by his respect and fondness for Lady Love. She valued his abilities and appreciated his devotion to her and the shire. I was glad to see a happy ending for Fr. Ruskin and Luca. Milus had to align himself with Wilkin, Toran, and men of low birth who had joined the rescue mission because of friendship for Wilkin and their desire to rescue the priest and the boy. He (Milus) also had to accept The Wolf’s participation and that of his men. He proved to be amenable to all of this, and to make the mission the objective. I was sorry to lose The Dark Mute. He sacrificed himself in order to give an edge to Milus, Wilkin & Co.

    So many things were tied up for us … Jessamy was sent to an asylum where she would (hopefully) get some help; Milus showed his tenderness toward Frenchie; Toran and Sir Locke made peace with each other, as did Wilkin and the Reeve. Milus proposed a solution to Love’s baby dilemma … that the unborn child who was indeed so special be called to its maker within a month or two.

    Stephen’s Milus was amazing. His portrayal of the chamberlain was consistently first rate. I really wanted to see what might have developed between him and Isobel.

    Lots of potential here for further episodes. Sadly, that was not to be. Lynn, you have done a terrific job with the Musings. Thanks so much for giving us these succinct, informative episodic Milus-centric summaries.

    I will miss seeing Stephen on my small screen. I hope he returns soon with another project. I will eagerly await developments.

  2. I have very much appreciated the Milus Musings. I am so sad that there will not be a season 2 of TBX. I thought the entire cast gave amazing performances, but Stephen as Milus stood out above the rest. I’m sad to think that Stephen will not get to continue playing this character that he truly loved. I absolutely agree that he deserves an Emmy nod. I love the way Milus changed over the season. He is starting to realize that aggression and violence are not always the best way to get things accomplished. Lady Love taught him that. I think he is a little bit in love with her. The scene where Milus can’t bring himself to touch Lady Love’s hand was phenomenal, and it was amazing the words that Milus came up with to explain the loss of Lady Love’s “baby”. So beautifully acted by Stephen. Milus seems to have a new respect for Wilkin, too. I love the idea of Milus and Isobel together, and, oh, that look Milus gives her! I wish we could have seen more of the two of them together. So many unanswered questions, I so wish TBX wasn’t over.

  3. Perfect final Milus Musings Lynn! Sad it ends but as you said there will be another excellent project for Stephen.
    I truly enjoyed TBX and of course Milus was my main focus.

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