Deet makes bombs while Rian reads through Brea's journal, discovering a prophecy that he and Deet would be together. However, due to the Darkening infecting Deet's hands from when she cured a Nurloc, Deet becomes pained when Rian tries to hold her hand and comfort her, and quickly withdraws.
Bitterly remembering their time as urSkeks as a time of suffering, and not knowing what awaits them in the afterlife, Emperor skekSo and and General skekVar agree that they must stay alive. SkekSo however went even further, and at great personal injury to himself, he gathers the Darkening into a crystal for use as a weapon against the Gelfling if the coming battle goes badly for them. He insists on clinging to life, no matter the cost.
In the halls of the Castle of the Crystal, the Gruenaks beg skekSil to honor their bargain to release the Gruenaks in exchange for them helping skekSil regain his position as skekSo's counselor, which skekSil had succeeded in doing. SkekSil however, reneges on his end of the bargain, and refuses to release the Gruenaks. At the same time, skekTek the Scientist, who personally enhanced all the Skeksis' armor, begs skekSo to join the battle as well. Unfortunately for skekTek, skekSo and skekVar only mock him and insist he stay behind in the Chamber of Life to build the Skeksis' new army, much to skekTek's anger.
At Stone-in-the-Wood, the remnants of the Stonewood Clan and the rest of the Skeksis' former prisoners arrive and prepare themselves for battle even as the Skeksis gird themselves for war and sally forth to Stone-in-the-Wood. Behind in the castle, skekTek attempts without success to revive dead Arathim, and after being blasted in the face with fluid from the creature, skekTek became fed up and departed with a stashed vial of essence to enjoy some "genuine frivolity". As he departs and leaves the Gruenaks the task of cleaning up, the Gruenaks find a knife they could use to cut the stitches from their mouths.
In the Circle of the Suns, skekGra and urGoh continue ministering to urVa, but urGoh tells Hup that it was only because a "force" binds him to Thra, which urVa confirmed to be Aughra. Meanwhile in the castle, skekTek sits upon the Emperor's throne and orders music and food from the Skeksis' Podling servants, indulging in essence. Disappointed by the food, skekTek crushes the limb of an elder Podling servant, and the other Podlings flee in fear; not of skekTek, but of skekMal, who had begun to move of his own volition despite being seemingly dead. Rousing from sleep, skekMal suddenly bursts free of the strings that held him up, seemingly in perfect health again, and learns Rian's location from skekTek. SkekMal then departs to join the coming battle, and urVa becomes aware of it.
The gathered Skeksis arrive in Stone-in-the-Wood, and Rian challenges Emperor skekSo to single combat. However, on skekSil's advice, skekSo allows his eager General skekVar to fight as his champion instead. Initially the martial skekVar holds the advantage, crushing blows destroying the scenery around Rian and a kick sending Rian sprawling. SkekVar drives Rian back, and despite flipping him bodily aside with his sword, Rian somehow reorients himself from his sprawling position on the ground, flips through the air over skekVar's sword as he struck at him, and drives the Dual Glaive completely through skekVar's armored flank. The Glaive then begins draining skekVar, weakening him, and skekVar tells Rian to finish it and kill him. However Rian declines, saying "I'm no killer" as he draws the Glaive out of skekVar's flesh. Utterly defeated and gravely wounded, skekVar retreats as his fellow Skeksis shame his failure.
The Skeksis then activate their enhanced armor and prepare to attack, but the Gelfling women take to the air and drop Deet's "smoke bombs" around the Skeksis, none actually hitting directly, which blasted dirt through the air in violent concussions wherever they landed, fouling up some Skeksis eyes. The Gelfling men then charge in amidst the Skeksis' confusion, Rian dueling skekZok as skekEkt panicked. Suddenly brave, skekOk strides forward screaming "I will not be bullied!", launching several blades from his enhanced armor at an airborne Seladon. At the last moment, Maudra Fara pushes Seladon out of the way, and it slices through her own wings, leaving Fara to crash roughly into the ground as Seladon is spared.
SkekOk celebrates with the other Skeksis that he "got one", and finds where Fara crash landed. SkekOk prepares to kill her, but Fara's Fizzgig Baffi bit the end of skekOk's nose, distracting him long enough for Seladon to get Fara to safety. When skekOk finally does extricate himself from Baffi's jaws, he angrily screams "that's mine!" and "bring it back so I can kill it!", only for Baffi to bite him yet again. Although safe from skekOk, Fara's wounds are too serious, and she succumbs to them and dies. Baffi cries in Seladon's arms.
Back in the Chamber of Life, the Gruenaks just finished removing the sewing from one of their mouths, and they hug each other in relief. Unfortunately, skekTek arrives at that very moment, and attacks them. Although the Gruenaks initially have the upper hand, the one who can speak calling skekTek "bad", skekTek eventually tosses one aside and corners the one who can speak, throwing him into the shaft of fire beneath The Dark Crystal. Whimpering in fear, the last Gruenak cringes before skekTek as he mercilessly beats him to death. Victorious, skekTek suddenly has a sudden intuition about the Gruenaks' bodies.
The battle in Stone-in-the-Wood continues to rage, Brea dueling skekOk, Seladon dueling skekEkt, Deet dueling skekAyuk, and Rian taking on skekZok and skekSo. During the chaos, no one notices skekSil slip away to follow the wounded skekVar. Thinking skekSil his friend, skekVar asks for skekSil's help as he helped him once before, but at that moment skekSil takes his vengeance, driving a blade into skekVar, twisting it once, and then withdrawing. Wailing in agony, skekVar died and collapsed into dust, his urRu counterpart urMa the Peacemaker dying with him.
At this point, skekMal arrives at the battle, sprinting through it and dexterously snatching up Rian. SkekMal takes the Dual Glaive and effortlessly shatters it, holding Rian before him and preparing to claim his tongue as a trophy. Meanwhile, urVa rouses himself and walks out of the Circle of the Suns to its cliff edge, saying "the hunt must end" even as skekMal gloats that he had conquered death itself, returning more powerful than ever, and that "nothing can stop the hunt".
Now, we shall see what lies at the dream's end.The Archer's last words, before killing himself
Archer then flings himself from the cliff, and skekMal is shocked, dropping Rian as he sees the onrushing ground through urVa's eyes. UrVa disintegrates in his plummet, dying, and as his Skeksis counterpart, skekMal dies with him. As he does, Aughra's essence is released, and she is reborn from skekMal's destroyed body as the Skeksis complain in despair. Even so, skekSo whips the Skeksis into another frenzy, intending to continue the assault once more, only for several arrows shot by the arriving Sifa Clan to land in front of them and bring them to a halt. In the next moments, the Drenchen Clan, Spriton Clan, Grottan Clan, Dousan Clan, and the Vapra Clan all arrive to bolster the beleaguered Stonewood, even the Arathim arrive to face the Skeksis.
Demoralized and surrounded, skekSil urges skekSo to retreat, but skekSo refuses to submit. In desperation, he pulls out his crystal scepter and unleashes the Darkening upon the Gelfling in a wave of pure, magical destruction. Even as it begins to kill Gelfling indiscriminately, Deet jumps before it and draws all of the Darkening into herself, before launching it back at the Skeksis in an equally destructive wave, landing squarely on skekLach. For a moment, skekLach seems totally unharmed, but then his pustules burst and he explodes in a shower of gore, dying along with his urRu counterpart, urSen the Monk. Terrified, skekZok, skekAyuk, and skekEkt sounded a retreat and the Skeksis were routed before the amassed Gelfling. SkekSo initially did not flee, but skekSil convinced him to withdraw with his fellows.
Deet, consumed and Darkened by the powers she absorbed, leaves the area in shame just as the other Gelfling began celebrating their victory. Brea discovered the Shard of the Division among the remains of the Dual Glaive while Rian went after Deet, but Deet walled him away using the Darkening and vanished into the Endless Forest. Meanwhile, skekTek manages to successfully use the Dark Crystal to fuse Gruenak sinews with Arathim tissue to create a mindless, soldier automaton; the Garthim, just as the defeated Skeksis returned to the castle.
In order of appearance:
Additional Puppeteers: Derek Arnold, Don Austen, Laura Bacon, William Banyard, Amber Beattie, Daisie Beattie, Sue Beattie, Mikey Brett, Lynn Robertson Bruce, Sarah Burgess, Carl Chadd, Tim Cherry-Jones, Sheila Clark, Marcus Clarke, Patrick Comerford, Aiden Cook, Richard Coombs, Leah Cross, Fred Davis, Daniel Dewhirst, Callum Dixon, Ronnie Le Drew, Phil Eason, Josh Elwell, Iestyn Evans, Cecily Fay, Julia Frost, Lesa Gillespie, Joe Greco, Claire Roi Harvey, Richard Hay, Andy Heath, Sarah Jane Honeywell, Mark Jefferis, Nick Kellington, Chris Kendall, Steven Kynman, Matthew Lyons, Mark Mander, Lewis McCabe, Laurence Moran, Steve Nallon, Wim Oppenheimer, Angie Passmore, Kerris Peeling, Colin Purves, Hugh Purves, Andy Robb, Trovy Simpson, Andrew Spooner, Yvonne Stone, David Taylor, Chris Thatcher, Dilpreet Kaur Walia, Mark Whitaker, Victoria Willing, Michael Windsor, Phill Woodfine and Fran Wright.
- The title of this episode is a line spoken by the narrator when he explains the backstory of Thra in the prologue of The Dark Crystal.
- ↑ Henson, J. & Oz, F. (dir.); Henson, J., Kurtz, G. & Lazer, D. (prod.); Henson, J. & Odell, D. (writ.) (December 17, 1982). The Dark Crystal