REVIEW: ‘The Bastard Son And The Devil Himself’ Delivers A Harsh Tale Of Hate And Pain

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The Bastard Son And The Devil Himself - But Why Tho

The Bastard Son And The Devil Himself is a British fantasy drama streaming on Netflix. Nathan Bryne is a witch. Born in a world where two types of witches, Fairborn and Blood, fight each other in a clandestine war kept secret from the rest of us. But Nathan isn’t just anyone. He is the son of The Wolf. A monstrous Blood Witch who slaughters Fairborn. But is Nathan doomed to become his father? And will the Fairborn around him who have already passed judgment even give him the chance to find out?

The biggest overriding theme of The Bastard Son And The Devil Himself looks at generational conflict and how every side of one believes it is right, when quite likely, every side is wrong. In the show’s initial episodes, we get only the Fairborn’s side of the world. We hear stories about the monstrous things the Bloods do to their kind and how they must be stopped. Due to the viewer’s lack of knowledge, at first glance, this seems to be true. As the series goes on, we discover that the truth is far more complicated.

This complexity drives many of the narrative’s cast as they seek to right past wrongs, avenge the sins that have been perpetrated against them, or cover up their past crimes, lest others discover a new piece of their history. The show uses these complicated motivations and the events they lead to not only to create drama, but to showcase just how varied the responses can be when people are faced with harsh truths.

These harsh truths and dreadful lies form an intricate web that Nathan stands at the heart of. With everyone around him Fairborn, few are even kind enough to leave him alone. Rather, he has every insult and provocation heaped on him, despite the fact that he has never met his infamous father or ever lived among Bloods in his life. When his Giving Day approaches, the day a witch receives their powers, events escalate that send David on a journey that will soon see him trekking across Europe in the hopes of finding answers.

One of my favorite things about The Bastard Son And The Devil Himself is how streamlined its narrative is. Unlike many dramas, this show never bothers to split its narrative up, following numerous convoluted side plots that eventually come back around but ultimately feel largely like a waste of time. Rather, the plot keeps a tight eye on Nathan, his small group of friends he comes to trust, and his pursuers. No unnecessary side plots bogging things down.

The acting delivers the story’s harshest elements and most tender moments with equal skill. While main character Nathan (Jay Lycurgo) creates an excellent anchor for the story, the two scene stealers in this series are his masochistic sister Jessica (Isobel Jesper Jones) and his long-time overseer Ceelia (Karen Connell). These two supporting characters bring tons of presence to every scene they are in, as both spend the series slowly revealing who they truly are.

As a series with magic near its core, The Bastard Son And The Devil Himself has its fair share of special effects. And while not every fireball and lightning bolt looks as spell-binding as I might like, there are some truly impressive visual moments. Most notably is a particularly brutal power I won’t spoil, but makes you look at the human body in a whole new light.

The Bastard Son And The Devil Himself delivers a harsh, unrelenting story about a boy who has been pulled into a multi-generational conflict whether he wants any part of it or not. It showcases just how ugly people can become, as well as reminding us that not every person is as bad as they may seem at first glance.

The Bastard Son And The Devil Himself is streaming now on Netflix.


The Bastard Son And The Devil Himself
  • 9/10
    Rating - 9/10
9/10

TL;DR

The Bastard Son And The Devil Himself delivers a harsh, unrelenting story about a boy who has been pulled into a multi-generational conflict whether he wants any part of it or not. It showcases just how ugly people can become, as well as reminding us that not every person is as bad as they may seem at first glance.

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