Blacktalon is an Age of Sigmar show, focusing on Stormcast Eternals. Its lead character is Neave Blacktalon. The third episode just got released, and I've eagerly watched it. This review contains spoilers, so don't read on if you haven't seen the episode yet.
A Daughters of Khaine war band has recently liberated a city of Sigmar, and are currently occupying it. They're formally allies of the humans, though, so the expectation is that a human diplomat will be around to render compensation, and to manage a transfer of power. The problem is, a lord commander guy has commanded the Blacktalon team to assassinate the leader of the war band.
Yes, the Blacktalons have been ordered to go against a treaty. This doesn't sit well with everyone, and there's much debate over what they should do. If they follow orders, they'll be putting their faith in their commander. If they disobey, they'll be upholding an important alliance.
I'm a fan of Daughters of Khaine from an aesthetics perspective. To me, they look and feel like something straight out of He-Man or She-Ra, and that's one of my favourite kinds of pulp fantasy. I can't play Daughters of Khaine because, so far, my only connection to Age of Sigmar on the tabletop is Cursed City but I can collect and paint them. Seeing them in action in this episode was a real treat. Admittedly, they don't do all that much aside from stand around and snarl and then fight, but it's still fun.
The other aelf, the Idoneth Soulscryer on Neave Blacktalon's team, does a lot of cool ethereal stealth in this episode, too. There's a lot of magic in this episode that's really fun to watch.
I feel like the theme of this episode is meant to be a philosophical question: What's the difference between murder and war? In the end, while the episode literally answers the question through narration, I don't think the episode demonstrates it. I suspect the better musing might have been whether it's important to follow orders unquestioningly. That does get answered by demonstration, and I think it's the stronger message.
I do find some of the delivery of plot points a little confusing in this series. The solution isn't actually shown onscreen, but suggested through a series of quick and abstract cuts. It's stylish, but it's the goal of the episode, the big "will they or won't they" question posed from the very start, and it's not shown to the viewer directly. One of the biggest threats (a blighted sky that blocks Sigmar's power to reforge a dead Stormcast Eternal) isn't fully explained or resolved.
But if you're comfortable with the stylistic choices of the show, and the sometimes vagaries of its storytelling technique, this was an excellent episode. I continue to very much enjoy the series, and look forward to episode 4!
All images in this post copyright Games Workshop.