Queen of Swords

Season 1 Episode 16

The Hanged Man

Aired Saturday 10:30 PM Apr 21, 2001 on
out of 10
User Rating
3 votes

By TV.com Users

Episode Summary

The Hanged Man
Krane, the Captain's nemesis, decides to raid the town after Montoya heads for Monterey, leaving the Queen of Swords to save the day by enlisting some unlikely allies.

Who was the Episode MVP ?

No results found.
No results found.
No results found.
  • A solid episode, that wasn't what it was billed to be, and could've been so much more.

    Please Note: This review contains spoilers


    Ah...The Hanged Man. From what I've gathered, this episode seems to have divided fans somewhat. Some fans think it's an absolutely outstanding episode (with good reason) and others think it's a bad episode that's worth avoiding (with good reason).

    Me, personally? I'm somewhere in the middle over this.

    When I purchased the Queen of Swords on DVD, I was both keenly anticipating and dreading getting round to The Hanged Man. The premise is certainly very dark indeed, and the episode gets off to a nightmarish start what with Grisham encountering just about his worst fear come back to haunt him, and Marta recieving a frankly terrifying premonition of the Queen falling to 'The Hanged Man'. Now, obviously that wasn't really gonna happen. It's episode 16 out of 22 at this point. Who was gonna finish the series if our heroine didn't make it for the remaining 6 episodes, eh?

    Still, the result creates a chilling start and it makes you fear for Tessa like never before, so already the episode gets thumbs-up early on. But after such hype, the episode mostly fails to deliver.

    The violence here was quite intense at times, and Guest Star Anthony De Longis was indeed over the top with his maniacal acting. It became far too creepy and sinister for its own good, and the episode would've benefited if he'd toned it down. The script's dialogue was cringingly bad at times, also. Not much, but little things like part of the Queen's speech to the Don's wives, Vera's comment of "after we save our men," and the Queen capturing the Hanged Man saying, "Now for a little bondage" (that line really made me cringe) felt so out of context with what the show is about, particularly the 'bondage' line, as that felt really out-of-character for the Queen and not in the least bit funny, unlike the majority of her quips, which are hillarious.

    The character Marisa was also a stupid one, she actually thought the Hanged Man was gonna play ball if she came clean? I could understand why she refused to trust the Queen (even though she's regarded as the hero of Santa Helena, it makes sense that some people may be frightened of her), but still, the Queen's a safer bet to ensure the Dons' safety. Really, Marisa served more as a plot device than anything else.

    Despite these criticisms, though, there were some truly outstanding moments here that saved the episode from being tripe. The first is obviously the incredible stunt featuring the horses and the wagons. It really does have to be seen to be believed and it's perhaps the greatest stunt in the whole series. Certainly got infinite replay value and full praise must be given to all those involved.

    Another high positive was the relationship between Tessa and Marta, again. Marta really becomes more scared for Tessa's safety, maybe more than any other episode. After pleading with her not to become the Queen to stop Krane, Marta risks her own life to kill him, stopping the Queen's first attempt to save the Dons.

    It creates such a classic scene later on between Tessie and Paulina, and they both really put a lot of emotion into the argument. Tessa's chastising of Marta - "You warned me to stay clear of the Hanged Man, then you throw yourself in his arms!" & "Well if I'm arrogant, it's because I learned it from you!" - and Marta's defence - "You're not the only one allowed to risk her life for someone she loves!" - what dialogue and emotion! Both Tessie and Paulina conveyed all that with such conviction and it's testament to how their characters' relationship is much more daughter and mother than mistress and servant.

    Despite what I said about De Longis, the character Krane "the Hanged Man" is a fascinating one. His sadism and ruthlessness make him a frightening villain. And I loved how he still sports the horrific scarring of the noose that nearly killed him. I thought the scene where he made the Dons' wives surrender by threatening to hang their husbands, whilst they were mounted on horses. That was really evil and sick.

    The episode also gave Grisham some very good development and tells us a litte more about his dessertion and 'killing' his commanding officer. It also portrays the ruthless murderer in a different light, giving him real reason to be a coward. And the irony of him becoming a real hero at the end was something of a victory for the Queen, which she took pleasure in mocking him for.

    Speaking of victories, the Queen really came out of this looking strong. Her victory over the Hanged Man was utterly credible and made us all realise how she doesn't fall that easily. How she was able to take him down was inspired and I loved how she left Krane with his head in a noose and made him balance on a barrel, saying "You just hang around...and in the meantime, stay out of trouble." What a way to cement a victory! If only the whole episode had this quality throughout! It could've been classic!

    Anything else? Good to see more of that goodness in Vera's heart, her starting to trust the Queen and actually help save the day, bad to see no Doctor Helm (where on Earth did he keep disappearing to? He only appeared in ten episodes out of the whole series!).

    Overall, there were some really great moments in The Hanged Man. But what was really maddening about it all was its inconsistency. There were some really classic moments that were squandered by god-awful dialogue, over-the-top violence and ideas that weren't executed as well as they were conceived. Which is a real shame, because again, The Hanged Man had moments that made for essential viewing.

    An episode that had great moments, but could've been so much more, ending up average.

    Final rating: 6.5/10moreless
Anthony Lemke

Anthony Lemke

Captain Marcus Grisham

Tessie Santiago

Tessie Santiago

María Teresa 'Tessa' Alvarado/the Queen of Swords

Elsa Pataky

Elsa Pataky

Senora Vera Hidalgo

Paulina Gálvez

Paulina Gálvez


Valentine Pelka

Valentine Pelka

Colonel Luís Montoya

Tacho González

Tacho González

Don Gaspar Hidalgo

Trivia, Notes, Quotes and Allusions