Carnival Row Finale Recap and Ending, Explained

Image Credit: Julie Vrabelova/Amazon Prime Video

Based on ‘A Killing on Carnival Row,’ a spec script developed by series co-creator Travis Beacham for an unproduced film, ‘Carnival Row’ is an Amazon Prime Video series that explores themes such as fantasy, steampunk, romance, war, racism, classism, and political intrigue. In the world of ‘Carnival Row,’ human wars have found their way to the fae lands, leading to a mass exodus of faeries, fauns, and others to the human nations.

In season 2 episode 9, titled ‘Battle Lines,’ Rycroft “Philo” Philostrate (Orlando Bloom) and Vignette Stonemoss (Cara Delevingne) find themselves on opposite sides of the battle lines as New Dawn arrives in The Burgue and sows seeds of revolution. Meanwhile, Agreus Astrayon (David Gyasi) and Imogen Spurnrose (Tamzin Merchant) try to rebel against the revolutionaries with disastrous consequences. In episode 10, titled ‘Carnival Row,’ it all comes down to the choices made by the residents of the eponymous neighborhood. Here is everything you might want to know about the ending of ‘Carnival Row.’ SPOILERS AHEAD.

Carnival Row Season 2 Episodes 9 and 10 Recap

As episode 9 begins, Tourmaline (Karla Crome) finds herself trapped behind her mirror and speaking to Aoife Tsigani, the Haruspex before her, who tells her that death is not the end of the road, assuring her successor that her story has just begun.

As Philo tries to find out the identity of the Sparas, he figures out that Tourmaline’s vision can help him in this regard, but Darius (Ariyon Bakare) opposes this idea, knowing that the Sparas will become aware of Tourmaline if she actively uses her magic on it, effectively making what she saw earlier in her vision self-fulfilling.

Meanwhile, after Runyan Millworthy (Simon McBurney) leads a raid at Imogen’s home, Agreus is sent as an envoy to meet Lenora (Joanne Whalley) in Carnival Row to deliver a message from Kastor. Agreus doesn’t realize until it is too late that the message he is delivering is about his and Imogen’s insubordination. Later that day, a package arrives for Imogen. When she opens it, she is horrified to find a part of one of Agreus’ horns in there.

On Leonora’s instructions, Vignette, Kaine, and Phaedra attack a police bar with Molotov cocktails. What Vignette wasn’t told beforehand was they were supposed to throw the explosives into the bar while the patrons were still there. Several officers are killed. Constable Thatch is the only one to survive and subsequently becomes a leader of a rabid mob seeking revenge.

In episode 10, the said mob captures Philo and strings him up, but he is cut free by one of the mounted police officers chasing after the mob. Realizing that Leonora wanted to incite the human mob and has no qualms about sacrificing fae lives for what she considers the greater good, Vignette becomes disillusioned. Elsewhere, with the threat on Agreus’ life looming over her, Imogen prepares to give a speech in front of the Burguish parliament as a representative of the New Dawn.

Carnival Row Season 2 Episode 10 Ending: Who is the Sparas?

The prevalent mystery in this season has been the identity of the murderer who targets both faes and humans. It is later revealed that the murderer is a Sparas, a shapeshifting fae who can pass off as a human. Although it initially seems that the attacks are random, it soon becomes apparent that someone is trying to incite the humans and faes against each other. The Sparas is part of the New Dawn, and the attacks and the following chaos have ensured that the revolutionary organization will have considerable support even before they arrive in The Burgue.

With the Sparas tooth that Philo retrieves from Berwick’s body, Tourmaline finds out the Sparas is Mikulas Vir (Andrew Buchan), a military officer that came to The Burgue as part of the Pact delegation. Meanwhile, at Balefire Hall, Imogen figures out that Vir is New Dawn by watching his and Kastor’s mannerisms. Not long after she informs Millworthy of this, Philo arrives with his own information. Realizing that he has been found out, Vir transforms and goes on a killing spree but fails to gain entry into the parliament and slaughter the leaders of the Burgue as planned.

The Sparas realizes Tourmaline is in his head and flies toward Carnival Row with Philo pursuing him. He eventually manages to kill the monster but loses Darius in the process. By dragging the Sparas’ body through the neighborhood, Philo stops the violent clash between the rabid mob and New Dawn. Thatch shoots Philo and is, in turn, shot by Sergeant Dombey. Philo survives his injuries; Thatch doesn’t.

Does Vignette End up with Philo or Tourmaline?

Although the narrative predominantly revolves around the star-crossed romance between Vignette and Philo, season 2 ironically establishes that their destinies were always bound to take them on different paths. At heart, Philo is a police officer and an exceptional one at that. While his nation nears a revolution and a civil war, Philo almost doggedly tries to solve a murder mystery. It just so happens that by solving the mystery, he saves his country.

Things drastically change after that. A significant portion of the fae population returns to Tirnanoc; among them, are Vignette and Tourmaline. In one of the final scenes of the series, the two women get married, with Mima Sawsaan officiating the ceremony.

Why Does Philo Refuse to Be the Chancellor? What Will He Do Now?

After killing the Sparas, stopping the revolution, and preserving the Burguish way of life, Philo is hailed as a hero. When it is discovered that he is Absalom Breakspear’s firstborn son, a considerable number of wealthy and influential people want him to be the next Chancellor. However, while addressing the parliament, Philo rejects the idea. The Burgue has begun to change in a positive direction, but he refuses to be the poster child for the Burguish nobility to hide behind. He causes quite a commotion when he declares that the first fae Chancellor should be a full faerie or faun or someone else, not him.

In the final scene of the show, Philo converses with Millworthy, who has left the corridors of power behind and is once more a traveling performer. They reflect on what the future holds for them. Philo can always rejoin the police force, especially now that his relationship with Dombey has improved significantly. He can also go to Tirnanoc and reunite with Vignette. After all, the faeries are polyamorous, and Vignette told him that he could come to her.

Do Imogen and Agreus End up Together?

Yes, Imogen and Agreus end up together in ‘Carnival Row.’ In the season finale, Agreus frees himself and fights his way out of New Dawn’s hideout. While Philo’s actions thwart New Dawn’s plans, Agreus waits silently, knowing that this is the route his target will take. Soon enough, Leonora and Phaedra appear as they hurry toward the docks to leave The Burgue. Agreus makes his presence known, and when Phaedra tries to attack him, he kills her with one shot. Although he tries to hand Leonora over to the Burguish authorities, she refuses to be taken alive and dies by suicide.

After Philo’s address to the parliament, it is revealed that Agreus has reattached his severed horn with gold, further ascertaining his place in the Burguish high society. In their final scene, Agreus and Imogen share a kiss in public as they introduce electricity to the Burgue.

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