‘See’ Episode 7 ‘The Lavender Road’ sees Haniwa reject step-dad Baba Voss in favor of her ‘real father’ Jerlamarel
Spoilers ahead for 'See' Episode 7 'The Lavender Road'
'See' has defied a common trope by making Haniwa (Nesta Cooper), the sighted girl protagonist, the aggressive, forceful one -- mirroring her step-father Baba Voss and his fierce warrior spirit, while Kofun (Archie Madekwe), the boy, takes after his mother's gentle, cautious but equally formidable nature.
The inversion of gender tropes is commendable. However, in the last few episodes as Haniwa and Maghra (Hera Hilmar) becoming increasingly unlikable, the show is falling into another age-old trope; that of crafting narratives where audiences can't help but blame the women for things going wrong.
It's inexplicable that Maghra hid the truth that could have prevented so many deaths at the hands of Tamacti Jun (Christian Camargo). She could have just shaken that Kane dynasty's ring rattle in the witchfinder's face a little earlier.
She is described as "kind-hearted" and yet, she stays mum as the Alkenny tribe is destroyed because of her even though the tribe (and Baba Voss) sheltered, fed and clothed her when she was pregnant and abandoned by Jerlamarel (Joshua Henry). And now, there is Haniwa's behavior in episode 7.
Haniwa has undoubtedly put her family in danger but her actions could have been portrayed as from coming from a place of positivity. For instance, her biggest error in judgment has been trusting Boots (Franz Drameh). Her championing of Boots is based on the fact that he is Jerlamarel's sighted son -- another of the quote-unquote superior race of the sighted like her and Kofun.
Instead, the show could have shown her actions as a sign of her extroverted, trusting nature or even compassion. After all, it makes for a compelling narrative when characters do the wrong thing while attempting to do what is right.
Haniwa is also shown to be headstrong and impulsive -- traits ascribed to brave men who lead -- but with Haniwa, the show portrays these same traits as the source of endless trials, tribulation, and tragedy.
If that wasn't enough, in this week's episode 7, she is repeatedly shown to be a terrible, selfish brat, outrightly rejecting the now-wounded Baba Voss (Jason Momoa). "He doesn't share our world, how could he?", she says to Kofun in Baba Voss's earshot.
She continually spouts slights against the sightless, not sparing Baba Voss, Paris (Alfre Woodard) or Bow Lion (Yadira Guevara Pip). It is so bad that Paris snarks back hoping it will be dark soon so that Haniwa can "stop seeing".
Paris also tells the twins to remember to build a world where there are "no gods" and reminding them that Jerlamarel was not a god either. When Bow Lion gets hurt in the mountain pass, thanks to the sightless archers that Jerlamarel has posted to guard the entrance to his "kingdom", Haniwa shows very little concern.
She says Paris and Baba Voss will take her to some tribe for treatment and that her injury shouldn't delay or in any way inconvenience her and Kofun's passage into Jerlamarel's kingdom. And that's just stone-cold selfish behavior.
Kofun is a little more wary of meeting Jerlamarel, especially after they encounter the brutal monument of rotting human bodies with the knotted rope message --- "A new world lies beyond/ A new god resides within/ Enter and be seen/ Enter and be judged/ Enter and find death".
As he stands back, he has disgust and fear written all over his face, and he says, "Jerlamarel...He's lost his f**king mind!" He also tells Haniwa she needs to "manage her expectations" because Maghra never wanted them to meet Jerlamarel and she had never talked about him without sounding sad or warning them against meeting him.
Given that Jerlamarel thought it fit to call himself a "new god" and talked about "judging" those who entered his kingdom, Kofun might have hit the nail on the head. But Haniwa is strangely and unreasonably excited to meet her "real father", willing to forget the love and protection Baba Voss has provided through the years.
One can only hope that the women on the show will be better written as we go along since the show has been renewed for a second season. 'See' airs Fridays on Apple TV+.