Another solid, enjoyable episode. Lots of disparate threads coming together in this story, touching upon many subjects that have previously been mentioned/hinted at, from Harry's past and his reputation and standing with the High Council, to his relationships with both Murphy and Bob, Murphy's reluctance to acknowledge the reality of magic and Harry's world, Bob's own dark past and the ambiguous nature of Ancient Mai.
The core of the episode is, as ever, Harry and the view we get of him this week is a melancholy one; a man who is truly alone, mistrusted by his peers, misunderstood by his friend, his family gone and his only long-lasting relationship with an intangible ghost. A man with a good heart who has made mistakes in the past and who will forever be judged by his past actions, his motives doubted. The reality of the High Council's attitude to Harry is a sobering one - the Council's "usual suspect", new Wardens are taught to suspect and doubt him, regarding him as an example of a what a wizard should not be.
The twist in the tale regarding Murphy in this episode is a telling one.. his friendship with her is marred because he cannot share with her the truth of the world he inhabits. He is forced to lie to her and those lies are a constant barrier between them. In this episode Murphy is finally exposed to the truth about Harry and everything he has had to lie to her about... the one small spark of brightness in the portrayal of Harry's relationships in this episode being that finally he can be honest with Murphy and regain the friendship that they shared... and then finally, brutally, we find that it was never Murphy and at the end of the episode Harry is as alone as ever, his friendship with Murphy still shaky, her understanding of him as limited as ever. The plot was an interesting one, playing out almost as a whodunnit as Harry and Bob sought to find the traitor amongst them even as Harry and Morgan searched for a way out of the trap. The encroaching darkness, coupled with the fact that the entire episode takes place within Harry's apartment lends the events a tense, claustrophobic atmosphere.
Some delightful touches in the episode include, as ever, the wonderful banter between Harry and Bob and the touching scenes where Bob risks his - life? death? soul? - to help Harry.. and Harry's obvious concern and affection for him and his fear of losing him. Paul Blackthorne's portrayal both of Harry's distress over the possible loss of Bob and his visceral, painful reaction to seeing his long-dead father are poignant and exquisitely drawn. The special effects were for the most part good, though the dragon could perhaps have used a little more work, but for the most part the denouement of the mystery and the resolution take second place to this episode's depiction of Harry's relationships with the people around him. The editing was used to good effect in this episode with the usual voiceover technique given the added element of being combined with scattered "flashbacks" to help tell the story from Harry's viewpoint. Overall, a very enjoyable, well thought out addition to the Season.