The Order is a 2019 horror/drama Netflix original series featuring western esoteric traditions and myths, most notably werewolves.
In modern times, in Belgrave University, there lies a branch of the Hermetic Order of the Blue Rose, a cult that practices magic. Jack Morton (Jake Manley), a freshman, seeks to join this order to take down its head, the Grand Magus Edward Coventry (Max Martini). Not long after being accepted, Jack is forcefully inducted into another secret organization: the Knights of Saint Christopher, a pack of vigilante werewolves dedicated to protecting the world from evil magics by any means necessary - especially the violent ones. As the Knights' inside man, Jack struggles between two conflicting desires; protecting the innocent from the sociopaths among mages - especially Coventry - and learning how to channel magic for the forces of good with his love interest Alyssa. Unfortunately for him, he doesn't have enough time to sort out his issues - The Order has found something fundamentally wrong, and they're pulling out the stops to unleash it.
The series presents the viewers with ethical dilemmas along the way, showing situations that put 'good' at odds with 'nice', making the characters seem flawed, their choices questionable, but still maintaining the audience's sympathy for the characters, since there is no clear right choice much of the time.
No relation to the comic series of the same name.
This series provides examples of:
- Accidental Truth: Randall covers for Jack with Hamish and Lilith by saying that he killed Professor Clarke because he was weaponized by dark magic. This turns out to be exactly what happened, and Hamish and Lilith are less then pleased when they find out Randall was basically guessing (though he was pretty confident his guess was correct).
- Adult Fear: Jurgen Sawyer takes Edward's son as a hostage.
- A God Am I: The vade maecum gives those willing to pay the price power like no one has ever seen. It triggers this in its only known user, Edward Coventry.
- Ambition Is Evil: Coventry personified; he actually has humanity, but throughout the first season he casually sacrifices any morals he has in his quest to become a Niffin.
- Amnesiac Villain Joins the Heroes: If the werewolves are the heroes, then Lilith is an instance of this.
- And I Must Scream: Jack's mother was driven to suicide from an obsession spell cast on her by Coventry - and it never stopped after she died. When Jack and Pete use necromancy to talk to her from the afterlife, she still obsesses about Coventry over her own father and son.
- Archnemesis Dad: Edward to Jack, who is trying to set some ancient evil magic up while Jack is trying to stop him and get revenge for the death of his mother.
- Artistic License: The Introduction to Ethics (presumably, a first year arts course) only has twenty five people? Belgrave isn't a small university, so such introductory courses should have hundreds of people in a section, not twenty-five.
- Beware the Nice Ones: Hamish is the quietest, most soft-spoken member of the Knights, often smiling and pleasant and dressed in a very dapper suit. When he finally has enough of Jack's bullshit, he performs a Neck Lift and delivers a spine-chilling "The Reason You Suck" Speech. Tellingly, Randall and Lilith back away immediately.Jack: Look, just let me talk to them first. You owe me that much.
Hamish: (grabs Jack by the throat and shoves him against the wall) Everything bad that has happened up until now is because you haven't listened to a word we've said. We don't owe you anything. You understand?
- Big Bad: Edward Coventry, a man who date raped Jack's mother with magic which drove her to obsessive suicide, and who is perfectly willing to sacrifice anyone, even his sons, if it means he gets the power of the ''Vade Maecum''.
- Big Good: A duumvirate of Hamish and Vera take this position, especially towards the end, in which the Knights work together with Vera and Alyssa. While Hamish is the leader of the knights and keeps them with their goals, Vera is the Token Good Teammate among the magus despite her snarkiness and is not on board with blind subservience to Edward and his ill-defined goals.
- Bitter Sweet Ending: Coventry is dead and the vade maecum is destroyed. But The Order is still strong and they've erased the memories of the all the Knights including Jack. Now there's nobody who can stand stand up to them or keep magicians from doing whatever they want to people.
- Blood Knight: Lilith. Her first response to practically any danger is to kill them all and ask questions never. Jack nicknames her Killith, which she doesn't hate.
- Blood Magic: The magic of the Order requires a cost, typically paid with the caster's own blood. This is portrayed as the "good" version, with darker magic being "cost free," because it kills its targets and that is the cost in and of itself. Notably, if you don't pay the cost yourself, someone else pays it for you, with a minor spell used "free" causing the target to have an immediately minor, but painful, accident. Some really serious magic requires Human Sacrifice, and the Order doesn't seem to be all that bothered by this.
- Broken Pedestal: The Order goes through this in Jack's and Alyssa's eyes, and in the audiences'. They don't care about anyone but themselves and are perfectly willing to let kids kill adults or sacrifice innocent people for their spells.
- Catchphrase: "This is the part where you..." (used by Vera).
- Cast from Hit Points: Most spells require some sort of sacrifice. In the case of the smaller spells, this means some blood from the caster. Higher level spells require greater cost. However, that cost needn't necessarily be from one's own hit points.
- Child Soldiers: As the series goes on, it's increasingly clear that Jack is basically this, having been raised by his grandfather toward the single-minded goal of infiltrating the Order to take down Edward Coventry. As Jack gets deeper into the various conspiracies around him and they keep pulling him in different directions, he starts to realize that he's never been more than someone else's pawn, and starts getting mighty sick and tired of it.
- Conspiracy Theorist: Jack's grandfather. Except he is right, of course.
- Damsel out of Distress: Lilith is kidnapped by the order at one point, and is tortured for information by Gabrielle and a councilwoman. Eventually she manages to cut herself with a knife when Gabrielle tries to attack her, uses the blood for a spell to knock them out and get free from chains and runs back to the house. Subverted in that it turns out that it was part of Kepler's plan to track the house down by following her.
- Dead Person Conversation: the Necrophone enables you to talk to the dead.
- Dope Slap: Jack suggesting there's such a thing as "good" magic around Lilith earns him one.
- The Dulcinea Effect: Jack meets Alyssa. After a few days together, Jack seems about ready to put his mission on the line and give everything up for the chance of them getting together.
- Et Tu, Brute?: The one who betrays Jack at the end of the season? Supposedly reformed love interest, Alyssa Drake.
- Alyssa and the Order clearly told Jack that they would have no choice if Jack rejected them. Instead, he tries to Take a Third Option , which both sides told him wasn't possible.
- Fantastic Racism: The Order, and magicians in general, sum up their view of muggles as oblivious cattle for their spells. If a magician murders a human, accidentally or otherwise, the Order will simply cover up the incident with mass-brainwashing and pretend it never happened. The Knights, on their end, view every member of the Order as pond scum for this reason.
- Foreshadowing: When Edward gets all four parts of the Vaede Maecum, Alyssa wonders why the book doesn't have a cover. Then it turns out that the cover is a fifth part of the book, and it's Silverback's pelt.
- Five-Man Band: The Knights are probably supposed to be this, but they don't have enough recruits at the moment. They also appear to be missing Alpha's pelt, presumably the one who's supposed to be the leader.
- The Leader: Tundra. Apparently filling in while Alpha is missing.
- The Lancer: Timber. Described as a lone wolf, and Lilith is certainly the most aggressive at challenging Tundra's decisions.
- The Smart Guy: Greybeard. Presumably, Tundra is intended to slot here when Alpha is around.
- The Big Guy: Silverback, described as the most powerful.
- The Chick: Midnight, The Reckless One. The current Knights call himnote "Cannon Fodder." Alpha calls him the one to make the Heroic Sacrifice.
- Sixth Ranger: Greybeard is probably meant for this slot.
- From Nobody to Nightmare: Gabrielle Dupres. She starts off as just another Spoiled Brat using magic to take advantage of people. She ends up with a lot of influence in the Order. Perhaps slightly subverted in that Vera makes it clear at the end of the season that she's on her second, and last, chance, after having backed Coventry to the hilt.
- Genuine Human Hide: Fun fact about Belgrave University: it's library has the world's largest collection of books bound in human skin. The freshmen are appropriately squicked when this is revealed during their campus tour.
- Golem: The setting has a Golem, of the biblical sort, who is curious about human nature, since Golems don't have human experiences.
- Good Is Not Soft: The Knights of St. Christopher, who represent the only known check on The Order or Magicians' appetites in general, are most definitely not soft on their targets. Which is ironic, since they're being werewolves gives them soft, fluffy fur.
- Gratuitous Latin: Many magical incantations are Latin phrases or words, for example, respondeo is Latin for 'reply'.
- Hermetic Magic: The Hermetic Order of the Blue Rose is a secret society that practices Hermetic magic.
- Insistent Terminology: According to Lilith, the Knights are not a "Brotherhood." They're a "Gender-Neutral Collective."
- Laser-Guided Amnesia: Used by the Order to conceal their inner workings from outsiders, washouts, and defectors.
- Lie Detector: The Glove of Truth, it'll cause intense pain whenever the person it is touching lies, described as "burning someone's soul" and often makes them bleed for the eyes.
- Mad Scientist: Dr. Hemmings attempts to artificially create werewolves by putting subjects through magical experiments in hopes of fueling their Superpowered Evil Side.
- Magical Library: Called "reliquaries" by the Order. The Order, of course, has one, and you need special permission to enter it unsupervised below a certain rank. The Knights also have one, calling it an "evidence locker," a place they store all the stuff they confiscate from practitioners they've killed. It also contains journals from previous Knights and basically instruction manuals for being a werewolf, which none of the current Knights bothered to read until Jack came along.
- Mind Rape: Alyssa delving into Sir Richard's dream realm prompts him to use this on her to repeatedly kick her out. Aside from the first Jump Scare, we don't see what happens, but she comments that he's got "one twisted imagination."Alyssa: No, don't shoot!
Holy fucking shitballs!
- Missing Mom: Jack's story is kicked off by his and his grandfather's desire to get Revenge on the man they believe is responsible for Jack's mother committing suicide.
- Morality Kitchen Sink: The show slides all over this even in its first few episodes, with Jack trying to cling to semblance of Black and White Morality (killing is wrong) and most of the supernatural people around him being far more blase about deaths, deserved or not. At their best, the Order and Knights are Good Is Not Nice. Exemplified when Jack's Ethics professor puts moral dilemmas in the simplest possible terms: don't act now based on what might eventually come of it later, ask yourself if, right now, a given action is wrong or right.
- Mundane Utility: The series provides a very good reason why you shouldn't use magic for this. All magic has a cost, either from your own body (usually blood) or someone else. When the Acolytes start using glamour spells to pawn off pieces of paper as hundred-dollar bills and completed essays without paying the price, the person they hand the glamoured paper to immediately suffers a minor-but-painful accident. Later, when they start trying to get out of school work by doing spells with such vague goals as "have no more English tests ever," the result is attempts to murder the English professor.
- My Significance Sense Is Tingling: The werewolves hear a high-pitched ringing noise whenever magic is being performed. For really big and powerful spells, the ringing is sharper and lasts much longer than usual. Though it doesn't seem to happen every time. . . Vera and Edward routinely open and close the doors of the temple with magic, and many other spells pass without the werewolves being any the wiser, indicating it may need to be specific kinds of spells. Also, as Jack learns to use magic himself it stops causing a ringing (for him and for other werewolves), and when Alyssa uses a tracking spell to find Randall the werewolves are a bit intrigued that they didn't hear ringing, but don't really pause to question why.
- Mystery Cult: The Order of the Blue Rose - they are secretive (see above), although they do teach their new members about magic soon after they join.
- Nepotism: A high-ranking member of the order attempts to place her son in the Order.
- No Nudity Taboo: Since Shapeshifting Excludes Clothing, the werewolves are pretty casual about nudity. They tease Jack when he goes into a separate room to disrobe before changing, and Lilith at one point stops an Order van while in wolf form, knocking out everyone but Jack within, then has a conversation with him in her nude human form before running off. Where necessary, the show protects the werewolves' human modesty with Scenery Censor.
- Not Cheating Unless You Get Caught: The house rules, as enforced by Randall. Possibly also an example of I'll Pretend I Didn't Hear That.Randall: Okay, house rules. If I catch you breaking them, I gotta report you, so...Jack: Don't break any rules.Randall: Don't let me catch you, that's right.
- Ninja Pirate Zombie Robot: Werewolves can learn and use the Order's magic. Jack hadn't progressed far enough into the Order to learn anything before becoming a werewolf, but Alyssa still teaches him some spells and they work just fine for him. Lilith also retains her magical abilities, once she gets her memories of her time in the Order back. Alyssa also notes that Jack's spells are more powerful than hers, and hypothesizes his werewolf nature empowers his magic.
- Our Werewolves Are Different: The werewolves don't transmit their abilities through bites. The ones we've seen consider themselves a knightly order whose purpose is to hunt down those who use magic to hurt people. The become werewolves through bonding with the hide of a werewolf. There are five and a sixth is revealed late in the first season: Tundra, Greybeard, Timber, Midnight, Silverback, and Alpha, presumably the "true" leader, and the hides are attracted to "champions" who share their personality traits. If a werewolf is killed, the pelt returns to a special box, where it waits for a new champion to bond with.
- Running Gag: The snarky chalk sign outside The Blade And Chalice, the campus bar and restaurant.Today's Specical
Buy Two Drinks
+ Drink Them
- Sequel Hook:
- In the first season finale, Vera has a book in her desk drawer with a cover very similar to that of the Vade Maecum.
- Where is Alpha, and what happened to his pelt? How does this tie in with the "dumb luck" that resulted in Jurgen Sawyer being trapped in the Vade Maecum?
- Silverback is free of the Vade Maecum and needs a new champion, since Jack is now bonded to Midnight.
- Vera reclaims all the "confiscated" magical books and artifacts from the Knights, as well as everything from Edward's house.
- How much of the Knights' memories did the Order take? And the Knights had figured out how to reverse that process; do they still possess that capability and will they figure out to use it?
- Shapeshifting Excludes Clothing: The werewolves. This results in them tearing through their clothes if they change unexpectedly, disrobing if they plan to change, and lounging around in bathrobes after they've changed. Lilith's is a very nice short silvery affair.
- Shown Their Work
- The ethics lectures discuss actual ethics concepts, and covers a wide range of ethical theories.
- Golems have the word אמת written on their forehead, an allusion to the original tales. Additionally, a golem can be killed by removing that word. And the word is written from right to left.
- Taking Up the Mantle: The pelts of the Knights pass down the powers and some memories of those who wore them before and each comes with a specific characteristic and powers and qualities.
- Targeted Human Sacrifice: The Vade Maecum requires the sacrifice of the caster's firstborn son.
- They Fight Crime!: Discussed.Randall: You said Benson was in danger, right?
Randall: So you were worried about her?
Jack: Of course I was.
Randall: Well, there you go. You're worried, Silverback hates magic. Together, you fight crime.
- Too Soon: In-Universe. Lilith asks Alyssa why she was kicked out of the Order, and Alyssa responds "You know how Tragedy Plus Time Equals Comedy?" Lilith astutely observes that not enough time has passed for it to be comedy yet. When Alyssa offers to tell her after enough time has passed, Lilith decides she'd rather not know.
- Trial by Combat: If you consider beer pong to be "combat," then sure, this is exactly how the werewolves settle internal disputes.
- Truth Serum: The Statue of Veritas can force the target to speak the truth as long as a substance it releases is ingested. It lasts for only a few hours and can cause some odd effects to the one who ingested.
- Unfortunately, there's a way around this - by enchanting the listener to think the target is saying something else.
- Wake Up, Go to School, Save the World: All the main characters are balancing their membership in assorted secret orders, solving (or causing) supernatural catastrophes with their lives as college students. Jack gets a double-whammy of this, being in both the Order and the Knights, spying on one organization for the other, and working on his own secret mission to get close to Coventry and get revenge for his mother's death.