VERIFICATION: The Lights – Season 1 Episode 4, The Other Half
The other half Emery finds in a warehouse while Anna takes a bottle of laudanum and gets ready to go to work. That night Emery goes to the party to entertain the prospectors, and Anna goes with her colleagues. Fortunately, Emery is paired with Anna, as the girls are assigned partners. They both feel the spark, but Anna ends up with another man. Desperate, Anna runs back to her hotel room. Emery follows her, wants to talk to her, but the innkeeper sends him away. Mr. Mannering is currently questioning Anna about the night of Crosby’s death. She simply denies that she or Emery were involved. Lydia is interested in Crosby’s gold, but it is stamped Aurora, Emery’s claim. Anna has smoked with Sock before. Anna’s innkeeper pointed out to Emery that Anna had deceived him the first time they met by asking Emery to call Mr. … to call and ask Mannering if he knew of such a conspiracy… At a camp in Chinatown, an elderly man gives Anna soup and tells her to stop taking opium. After she falls asleep, he finds gold in her dress. Mr. Carver asked about Crosby in Search City. He meets Emery, who stupidly says she knows Crosby, making Carver furious with Anna. During the fight, Anna is thrown out of her own window and goes into labor. The baby is stillborn, and Anna buries it on a mountainside.
Lydia finds Anna on the beach. Anna tells Lydia that she knows how Crosby died and that she doesn’t want to be his friend. Lydia goes to Anna’s hotel room to look for gold, but finds nothing. She confronts Anna, but still finds out nothing. Anna is leaving her opium job for Mr. Manners. Emery has spoken to Crosby in the past about what happened to Anna. Emery urges Crosby to bring Carver to justice, but the latter refuses because doing so would endanger Anna. Later, Emery finally applied. Emery goes to Anna’s hotel and apologizes for what happened to her. However, she asks him not to go back to the hotel and goes to Chinatown to make a killing. After she falls asleep, an older man steals the gold from her dress. Lydia now asks the man investigating Crosby’s death to show her the cabin where he lived. She finds an empty bottle of laudanum and a note with Anna’s name on it. Mr. Lauderback is being questioned about the murders of Lydia and Anna. The man who stole the gold from Anna’s dress, Mr. Who, claimed it as part of Emery’s share. That upsets Emery, who doesn’t want to share the victory with Carver. When Emery wakes up in Crosby’s cabin, he can’t find him. Francis accuses Lydia of marrying Crosby. It later emerged that Anna’s purse had been found at the scene of the crime. Anna’s laudanum dealer confronted her at the hotel and accused her of setting him up. She threatens to shoot him, but ends up pointing the gun at herself.
The other half continues The Luminaries’ tendency to overload the story rather than develop the characters. The two timelines finally begin to intersect, and some vague details come together. I don’t know if Anna’s failed pregnancy serves a larger story. It was less than an episode relevant and ended, as one would expect, in tragedy. If Anna’s pregnancy was meant to elicit pity when the child dies, it’s unnecessary and doesn’t work. Anna has experienced many other personal tragedies in New Zealand. And I still don’t like her and I don’t care for her as a character because she’s nothing. Eve Hewson brings no personality or charisma to the role, and we know so little about Anna. She came to New Zealand as a naive young woman with big dreams and was swallowed up by criminals and charlatans. He seems like a nice character that viewers should encourage, but nothing happens in the show. The characters are not likeable or even interesting, and the story is hard to follow. I think they should have simplified the story and focused more on the human element and relationships. Even if the pregnancy and stillbirth were only inserted to make Carver even more despicable, it’s unnecessary and unfortunate. The bad characters are just as unreliable and almost as boring as the main characters. For a while I supported Eva Green as Lydia, but by then I was a little tired of her nonsense. It’s cold, intriguing, and always ten steps ahead of our unfortunate invention; you know how it goes. It’s a little frustrating that Emery and Anna fall for such obvious tricks and empty promises. On the other hand, I’m pissed that Anna didn’t take his wallet when she found it. If she did, Lydia couldn’t blame him for Crosby’s death.
I also think that these problems are exacerbated by the huge dispersion and intertwining of the plots. As much as I care about Emery or Anna or Lydia or Frances, I care about Lauderback or Shepard, the man investigating Crosby’s murder. This show is less voodunnit and more who cares? We’re now at two-thirds of the season, and so much is happening that almost nothing matters. With such a short season (which will probably be the only one), I don’t know why they’re covering the story so extensively. I think it would have been good if The Luminaries had focused more on Anna, to give the audience a chance to get to know her before she was hardened by her experiences in New Zealand. Let’s make sure there’s more spark between her and Emery so they feel more confident. Anna is also particularly mean to Emery in this episode, where Francis hurts her and kills her baby. I don’t understand these characters at all, let alone feel sorry for them or wish them well.
The lights continue the chaos behind the center. Too many characters and a confusing script don’t help.
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