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Recap / The Dark Crystal Age of Resistance S1E10: "A Single Piece Was Lost"

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Rian and Deet are joined by Brea's group while waiting for the other clans' arrival. skekSo calls upon the Darkening before leading the Skesis to battle, ordering skekTek to remain at the Castle to work on a new army. Once the Skeksis arrive, skekSil sets up skekVar to fail in his duel with Rian and covertly kills him as the battle commences. skekMal is revealed to be alive as he shatters the Dual Glaive, only to be killed for good when urVa the Archer jumps off from the Circle of Suns, causing Aughra to return from skekMal's body. When the other clans eventually arrive, skekSo unleashes the Darkening, which Deet absorbs and redirects against the Skeksis, making skekLach's head explode and forcing the others to retreat. As Brea finds the lost shard of the Crystal in the Dual Glaive's broken hilt, Deet leaves the group in fear of her power. While events in Stone-in-the-Wood unfold, skekTek kills the rebelling Gruenaks in a moment of frustrated rage, throwing one down the shaft of the Crystal and beating the other to death. An inspired skekTek then grafts a dead Gruenak's guts with the Arathim corpse. The Skeksis are then introduced to their newly animated soldiers, the Garthim.

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Tropes featured in this episode include:

  • Book-Ends: The first episode of Season 1 ends with Chamberlain narrating that there's no hope for the Gelflings and that the hero is going to be branded a villain, as the characters are shown being kickstarted into their stories. As the last episode ends, it shows the heroes, how they ended up, some sequel hooks, as Aughra narrates however frail it may be, there will be hope for the Gelflings.
  • The Cavalry: The six other Gelfling clans eventually answer Rian's call and come to help the Stonewoods when the latter seem to be on the way to lose the battle against the Skeksis.
  • Call-Back: It was hinted that the sword was a hiding place for the Shard back in the Wanderer and the Heretic's puppet show. If you look carefully at the puppet Gelfling holding the Dual Glaive, you can see a piece of crystal hidden in the pommel of the sword.
  • Cool Sword:
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    • The Dual Glaive, although it's merely a hiding place for the shard of the Crystal.
    • The huge shiny and ornately decorated sabers that would be used for the Trial by Stone at the time of The Dark Crystal are seen being used for war by the Skeksis here.
  • Duel to the Death: Between Rian and skekVar before the battle proper begins. Rian wins, but the General manages to withdraw, badly wounded.
  • Exact Words: Technically, the Chamberlain doesn't lie when he informs the others of skekVar's death. Yes, the General did perish at Stone-In-The-Wood. And yes, the Chamberlain is glad that he was with the General during skekVar's final moments. Just not for the reasons the other Skeksis believe.
  • Godzilla Threshold: When it appears the Skeksis will lose the battle, the Emperor unleashes the Darkening on the Gelflings with his scepter.
  • Heroic Sacrifice:
    • UrVa the Archer sacrifices his life to rid Thra of skekMal the Hunter, who can't be stopped on the battlefield.
    • Maudra Fara puts herself between Seladon and the blades thrown by skekOk. She loses a wing and crashes, sustaining fatal injuries in the process.
    • When the Emperor unleashes the Darkening, Deet stands between him and the rest of the Gelflings, absorbs it into herself and uses it to kill skekLach the Collector. She survives, but is corrupted by its power, becoming a Walking Wasteland that withers life around her and forcing her to leave her friends to protect them.
  • Hoist by His Own Petard: The Emperor surely didn't expect Deet to absorb the Darkening and redirect it against the Skeksis.
  • Hope Spot:
    • The poor Gruenaks finding a sharp object and cutting the threads sewing their mouths shut with it. Then their rebellion against skekTek is short-lived, as he ends up killing them both.
    • A villainous one when the Hunter arrives on the battlefield. The Skeksis gain a second wind at his resurrection, but it falters when urVa dives off the Circle of the Suns, taking skekMal with him, and allowing Aughra to be reborn.
    • The episode is this for the franchise as a whole; the Gelflings win their battle against the Skeksis and they recover the missing shard of the Crystal, but the war has just begun. The Scientist skekTek has completed the creation of the Garthim, which will ultimately allow them to all but wipe out the Gelflings and render that victory moot. And since a number of Garthim will be made and the Arathim seemingly no longer exist in the film, that means the Arathim Ascendancy will be wiped out as well, and turned into more Garthim.
  • Oh, Crap!: The Skeksis suffer a series of these that leads them to flee the battlefield in a panic.
    • At first the battle is going their way; the defenders of Stone-in-the-Wood simply lack the numbers to defeat them. However then the other six clans arrive on the field, turning the tide of battle.
    • The Hunter's arrival helps turn things back in the Skeksis favor, but this is short lived as urVa sacrifices himself to destroy him. Watching skekMal crumble into dust in front of them disturbs and disheartens the remaining Skeksis, and pushes the Emperor across the Godzilla Threshold. It doesn't help that when the Hunter dies, Aughrah is resurrected in his place.
    • The last straw is when Deet absorbs the power of the Darkening and sends it back at them, obliterating skekLach and forcing the Skekis to retreat.
  • Oh, No... Not Again!: When Aughra is reborn skekOk laments it with "Not her again!"
  • Origins Episode: We see the creation of the fearsome Garthim, which had a prominent role in the 1982 film. The Skeksis Scientist skekTek combines an Arathim carcass, Gruenak organs and additional armor to create the monstrous soulless soldiers that will turn the tide of the war in favor of the Skeksis and wipe out the Gelflings.
  • Shadow Discretion Shot: The Scientist's brutal beating of the Gruenak to death is shown only in shadow, and from his cowering pet in the cage.
  • Shock and Awe: When it's unleashed by skekSo, then absorbed and redirected by Deet, the Darkening takes the form of purple lightnings.
  • Taking You with Me: urVa the Archer jumps from the top of the Circle of the Sun in order to kill his Skeksis counterpart skekMal the Hunter, who's about to kill Rian during the battle of Stone-in-the-Wood.
  • Tempting Fate: After being hit by the Darkening and nothing seemingly happening for a few seconds, skekLach boasts "That wasn't so bad!". Cue his pustules then his head exploding.
  • Trauma Button: When the Gruenaks rebel, they put a cage on skekTek's head. This brings back the memory of the bone cage forced on his head when his eye was gouged out by a peeper beetle.
  • Wham Shot: The episode ends with skekTek unveiling the first of the Garthim. Additionally, the lost shard of the Crystal lying on the ground after skekMal breaks the Dual Glaive, revealing it was hidden in the sword's pommel all along.
  • Your Head Asplode: What happens to skekLach, and by extension his counterpart urSen.

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