The animal daemons in His Dark Materials are, of course, the physical manifestations of the characters’ inner selves and most have a good relationship with theirs (Lyra and Pan, for example). But Mrs Coulter at best tolerates her monkey and frequently maltreats it.
On Sunday’s episode she locked the monkey away, therefore metaphorically closing down communication with her inner self. Fans were destroyed.
The monkey crying actually made me well up ???? Marisa , why do you have to be so cruel to yourself? #HisDarkMaterials
— marisa coulter’s spouse ???? | hdm spoilers (@averycoulter96) December 6, 2020
It was a feeling shared by many in the His Dark Materials audience.
Another tweeted: “Poor baby monkey i can’t believe she just left him like that #hisdarkmaterials”.
“Oh so she’s NOT gonna carry the monkey in a little baby carrier. No that’s okay that’s fine. Alright. No I’m not crying I’m okay no that’s fine I’m fine #HisDarkMaterials”.
Damnit, just hug the monkey! The detachment Mrs C has from her soul is so starkly shown in this adaptation. Not just stretched (which doesn’t seem to harm the witches), but emotionally disconnected. With her backstory, it’s painting a terrible picture. #HisDarkMaterials
— Aeryn (@LetTheAeryn) December 6, 2020
More drama came when Lyra finally encountered her mother at Boreal’s home in Oxford, setting into conflict her daemon with Marisa’s monkey. The fight was brutal but Pan looked to have the upper hand until beginning to lose its hold.
Just when Marisa looked to be asserting control, Will used the knife to cut back to Cittagazze.
Many viewers were disturbed and upset by the fight.
lyra acting like marisa to hurt the monkey has actually broken my heart i hate it here #HisDarkMaterials
— freyaxiatel (@mistressoakdown) December 6, 2020
A viewer pointed out the monkey had finally been named: “I have little marks on my hands from clenching my fists there. Christ. Note: For people who aren’t watching with subtitles on, the golden monkey has been named Ozymandias.”
Another posted: “can we talk about how marisa was able to stand back up even as pan was still throwing the golden monkey around and biting him? she has…an extremely high pain tolerance”.
For all the intensity and evil, there’s always room for some humour to lighten the mood.
— Ada (@adafrobinson) December 6, 2020
His Dark Materials season two continues on BBC One on Sunday 13th December.