Hup lingers in the Rascal Hole, singing a Podling funerary dirge, much to the annoyance of his guards. Deet returns to Stone-in-the-Wood after nightfall, having eaten glow moss to make herself glow. Entering the Maudra's residence, Deet flies around the room and frightens the guards away, thus allowing her to free Hup from imprisonment. Meanwhile, Brea enters the concealed chamber beneath the Ha'rar throne, noticing seven symbols for each Gelfling clan spaced around it. Figuring it to be a puzzle, she begins activating the symbols in order, according to their social rank, but the combinations she chooses consistently fail to give results.
At a feast in the Castle of the Crystal, thrown for the return of skekEkt the Ornamentalist, the Skeksis long for essence to rejuvenate themselves. SkekVar suggests that they take as much Gelfling essence as they want, while SkekSil urges moderation, suggesting they only take what they need to survive but a few of the Skeksis disagree. SkekVar then starts an argument with skekSil regarding Rian and skekSil accuses skekVar of being afraid of the Gelfling and they begin arguing more intensely. During the argument, skekSo notices his finger beginning to fall off and, becoming desperate, stops the argument, berates and dismisses skekSil, and names skekVar his new counselor, hoping that skekVar will capture Rian and produce immediate batches of essence to save himself. As skekSil becomes angry at skekVar, skekVar slaps skekSil down and steps on his hand. He then announces to the other Skeksis that he'll promise to do what skekSo ordered him to do.
As Aughra heads to the Castle, an arrow lands in front of her and she recognizes it from someone she knows. She then notices a trail of arrows and decides to follow the trail.
Meanwhile, skekTek continues working in the Chamber of Life until skekSo arrives. Impressed to see the machine fully repaired, skekSo asks how many Gelfling will be needed in order for the Skeksis to achieve immortality. When skekTek hesitates, skekSo threatens to kill his favorite pet, convincing skekTek to hazard a guess of 50 Gelfling each trine.
SkekSil, angered by his loss of status, begins sounding the horn to call skekMal the Hunter to capture Rian and get his status back. The horn awakens the Skeksis who were asleep at the dinner table.
Deet and Hup continue on through the woods, with Hup saving Deet from nearly walking into a patch of Gobbles. Meanwhile, Aughra lags into the trail of arrows but keeps going when more arrows are fired, eventually arriving at the Sanctuary Tree and greeting the one who shot the arrows, urVa the Archer. UrVa gives Aughra cryptic advice, saying she cannot hear the song of Thra not because it stopped, but because she turned her gaze to the stars. He then shoots an arrow in the sky, saying it will indicate someone who can help, only for it to bury itself in the ground pointing down. UrVa disappears, and Aughra interprets the arrow's destination to mean that Thra itself will teach her.
In the Castle of the Crystal, skekMal arrives to question skekSil's summons. SkekSil tries to have skekMal hunt Rian, but he is insulted by such easy prey as a Gelfling. SkekSil explains that Rian bested himself and skekTek, surviving a Skeksis and slandering the rest. Convinced that Rian is above average prey, skekMal uses skekSil's scrap of Rian's shirt for scent, and goes after him. Below however, skekVar begins torturing Gurjin for information, using the Crystal to drain his essence incrementally and make him cooperative. This is halted by skekSo however, who sends orders skekVar to leave for Ha'rar in the morning.
Within the secret room in Ha'rar, Brea continues with the puzzle in vain until she spontaneously realizes that the puzzle was designed to work only if one acted as if all clans were actually equal, calling the puzzle a "lie" and leaving the activator on the rocks in the center of the room. The puzzle then successfully activates completely, causing a sound to increase in pitch until the rocks in the center of the room rise to form a being that moves of its own accord.
Approaching Brea, the being begins to "talk" by placing a stone on his rotating arm, playing out a recorded voice that identifies itself as "Lore". It tells Brea that it shall show her how to free Gelfling from the Skeksis if she travels to the Circle of the Suns, Lore having imprinted upon her and being assigned to protect and guide her on her journey there. Unfortunately, however, they are interrupted by Seladon and two guards.
Back in the forest, Rian takes shelter from a storm in a Podling hut, but is quickly surrounded by Naia and Kylan, Naia being Gurjin's sister and intending to capture Rian to secure her brother's release. Tavra also arrives attempting to capture Rian, but when Kylan urges for civility, Rian brings forth the remainder of Mira's essence as proof, asking to dreamfast. As they dreamfast, Ordon enters the room and joins them, and they all realize the Skeksis' lies. Moreover, their group dreamfast somehow creates a dream etching on the table they are sat around, forming the same symbol Brea had seen, which Tavra recognizes. They then split up, Naia, Kylan, and Tavra heading to free Gurjin while Rian and Ordon head to Ha'rar to warn the All-Maudra.
As Ordon and Rian travel through the stormy night, Ordon warns Rian that the Skeksis will hunt them personally to keep their secrets safe. Sure enough, skekMal arrives and attacks them. As Ordon and Rian flee, they pass Deet and Hup, who run to help, despite Hup's hesitance. Ordon and Rian formulate a plan to defeat skekMal. Rian speeds ahead, acting as bait, falling down a hill and nearly landing in the same Gobbles that Deet encountered.
SkekMal advances on Rian, dueling with him until Ordon ambushes the Hunter, breaking his mask. SkekMal, seemingly unhurt, draws additional swords with his other two arms and begins dueling father and son simultaneously. SkekMal throws the pair to the ground and prepares to slice Rian, until Ordon heroically pushes skekMal and himself into the Gobbles, which began to consume them both. Rian attempts jumping into the Gobbles' pit after his father, only for Deet and Hup to hold him back. Ordon's sacrifice is, however, in vain, as skekMal survives, bursting out of the Gobbles' nest, capturing Rian, and leaving a horrified Deet and Hup behind.
In order of appearance:
Additional Voices: Warrick Brownlow-Pike, Stewart Clarke, Kevin Clash, Alice Dinnean, Barbara Drennan, Louise Gold, Isabella Laughland, Sarah Beck Mather, Mark Restuccia, Irfan Shamji, Katherine Smee, Helena Smee, Neil Sterenberg and Victor Yerrid.
- ↑ Henson, J. & Oz, F. (dir.); Henson, J., Kurtz, G. & Lazer, D. (prod.); Henson, J. & Odell, D. (writ.) (December 17, 1982). The Dark Crystal