Nothing Is Simple Anymore is the second episode of The Dark Crystal: Age of Resistance, season one. It was released on Netflix with the rest of the season on August 30, 2019.
Aughra's Podling caretaker is shocked to discover Aughra awake, the last Podling to do so having been his grandfather, whom Aughra mistakes him for. Dismayed at how long she has slept, she explains that astral projecting is difficult even for her and that she must only have woken due to some calamity on Thra. She orders the Podling to fetch her scrolls so she can identify the problem. Meanwhile, Deet travels through the wood and eventually befriends a fizzgig before going to sleep.
At the Castle of the Crystal, security is on high alert. SkekSo the Emperor worries that the Gelfling will question the situation, and although skekVar argues strenuously to simply subdue dissent, skekSil suggests framing Rian for Mira's murder, which he accepts, dismissing skekVar and demanding more essence from skekTek. SkekTek has no more however, as the machine was damaged, prompting the Emperor to demand haste. With skekSo growing visibly weary, skekSil has the Podling band begin to play music for him.
In the halls, Tolyn interrogates Gurjin about colluding with Rian, his friend, but Gurjin denies this. Tolyn departs, and Rian grabs Gurjin from behind and began conferring with him once they are safely away. Dreamfasting to prove Rian's story over that of the Skeksis', Gurjin pledges to join Rian in his escape.
Deet, still asleep in the forest, is awoken by a Silk Spitter. Blinded by the bright light, Deet has difficulty escaping until a Podling swings at the Spitter, causing it to entomb him in webbing. Deet then throws the Podling at the Spitter, knocking it onto its back and sending it retreating. The Podling introduces himself as Hup and states that he intends to go to Ha'rar to become the first Podling paladin, so they decided to travel together.
In the Ha'rar library, the Librarian eventually acquiesces to accompanying Brea to visit the Sifa Clan for help in deciphering the symbol she saw. Elder Cadia, a self-styled soothsayer, welcomes Brea but insists that the Librarian leave, saying that a Sifan does not forgive or forget. When asked about the symbol, Cadia replies that her answer cannot be found in the world, and has Onica bring powdered nulroot, ostensibly to enter the Dream Space but in actuality to wipe Brea's memory. As Brea offers payment, she deliberately spills her money and swaps the drinks when Cadia recovers them, causing his memory to be wiped instead. Upon being told this, Cadia becomes enraged and grabs Brea, vowing to "make [her] forget", but Onica knocks him unconscious. Onica reveals that, to Cadia, the symbol means the end of all things and that Thra is dying. Even so, she says she will help Brea if she brings her Mayrin's brightest jewel by night the next day. Cadia awakes with absolutely no memory, and Brea realizes the trouble she is in.
Once more in the castle, Rian and Gurjin evade skekAyuk and skekZok, seeking to get proof of the Skeksis' crimes in case Rian dies. Arriving in the crystal chamber, they climb down the volcanic shaft to skekTek's laboratory to steal the remainder of Mira's essence to use as proof. SkekTek however, places the essence in a cabinet guarded by a locksnake. Rian and Gurjin are unable to open it, and have to hide when skekSil arrives, eating the locksnake and stealing the essence for himself. Just as skekSil is about to drink however, skekTek returns and accosts skekSil. As the two Skeksis bicker, Rian and Gurjin snatch the vial and flee. The two are then surrounded, with skekSil grabbing Gurjin. Gurjin stabs skekSil, allowing Rian to run past them and escape by jumping out of the castle. SkekSil, however, manages to grabs a piece of his clothing as he passes.
In the forest, Hup clarifies to Deet that the "star" she had been following is actually a moon and, after showing her the right way, she kisses him. In Ha'rar however, All-Maudra Mayrin judges her daughter for wiping Cadia's memory, deciding on sending her to the Order of Lesser Service as a punishment, as suggested by Seladon, denying Brea's requests because she stole the farmer's necklace back from Mayrin. SkekOk and skekLach to the castle, disappointed with the tithing, while Ordon learns of his son's supposed act of murder.
SkekSo holds court, with skekTek blaming skekSil for Rian's escape and most agreeing that he ought to be punished. When questioned, skekSil initially agrees that he is to blame and deserving of punishment, but his story differs from reality when he claims that, had he arrived sooner, he could have stopped the Gelfling from stealing the vial. Despite skekTek's protests, skekSil weaves a tale wherein he tried to protect the vial until skekTek attacked him and knocked it free of his grasp, providing the Gelfling an opportunity to snatch it and flee. SkekSil's quick tongue convinces the court and skekSo decide to punish the scientist, with skekSil suggesting the peeper beetle as punishment.
As skekSil begins fighting with skekVar for a closer spot to the emperor, Ordon arrives, requesting an audience with the Emperor. He asks for mercy for his son, claiming him to be innocent, until skekSo replies that Gurjin has confessed to everything, with skekSil further claiming that Rian and Gurjin conspired to steal from the Skeksis and killed Mira when she discovered their alleged plot. Ordon however asks to be given leave to hunt Rian so they can dreamfast, but the Skeksis forbid him from doing so, claiming Rian to be sick with an infectious disease which could spread via dreamfasting. Eager to absolve his son of blame, Ordon accepts this and departs after being promised that the Skeksis will heal Rian.
As Ordon departs, skekVar accuses skekSil of wasting time, to which skekSil assures him that Ordon is in a better position to capture Rian than they are. Meanwhile, Aughra decides to visit the Skeksis, who she still trusts, in order to discover what has happened to Thra. After celebrating, the Skeksis then bring forth skekTek, chanting in unison, until the peeper beetle gouges out his right eye.
In order of appearance:
|Aughra||Donna Kimball||Kevin Clash|
|Deet||Nathalie Emmanuel||Beccy Henderson|
|SkekAyuk the Gourmand||Harvey Fierstein||Louise Gold|
|Rian||Taron Egerton||Neil Sterenberg|
|SkekSo the Emperor||Jason Isaacs||Dave Chapman|
|SkekVar the General||Benedict Wong||Kevin Clash|
|SkekSil the Chamberlain||Simon Pegg||Warrick Brownlow-Pike|
|SkekTek the Scientist||Mark Hamill||Olly Taylor|
|Gurjin||Harris Dickinson||Dave Chapman|
|Hup||Victor Yerrid||Victor Yerrid|
|Brea||Anya Taylor-Joy||Alice Dinnean|
|Onica||Natalie Dormer||Louise Gold|
|Cadia||Eddie Izzard||Olly Taylor|
|SkekZok the Ritual Master||Keegan-Michael Key||Victor Yerrid|
|All-Maudra Mayrin||Helena Bonham Carter||Louise Gold|
|Tavra||Caitriona Balfe||Neil Sterenberg|
|Seladon||Gugu Mbatha-Raw||Helena Smee|
|SkekOk the Scroll Keeper||Neil Sterenberg||Neil Sterenberg|
|SkekLach the Collector||Awkwafina||Helena Smee|
|Ordon||Mark Strong||Dave Chapman|
- The title of this episode is a line spoken by Jen when he dreams of speaking to the deceased UrSu in The Dark Crystal.