Thoughtful & Abstract: The Bastard Executioner

The following entries were written simultaneously by Shawn and Kim as a summary of the one and only season of The Bastard Executioner. Any repeated observations are strictly because their twisted minds think alike.

Kim: I’m pretty sad that Kurt Sutter pulled the plug on The Bastard Executioner just as I felt it was starting to really get going. I get it though. It was plagued by a pretty complex storyline that really couldn’t be done in an hour(ish) a week, plus, a shitty time slot. I know I had to DVR on Tuesdays and would get around to watching on whatever weekend I had free. In honor of what was a fun show to watch, here are my top-10 departing thoughts.

10.) Dubbed “The Bastard Sexecutioner” early on by you, Shawn, I watched all 10 episodes waiting to see Lee Jones sans pants. It paid off. It reminded me so much of the Charlie Hunnam sex scenes from Sons of Anarchy and made me ache for either of these shows to return to the airwaves. In my lady parts. I don’t need to continue, do I?

9.) The best part of this show (aside from Jones and Moyer getting it on with a number of people) was the one piece I wish there was more of – the religious theology upon which this Empire was built. It was an ambitious endeavor from Sutter. It may have been too intricate for those who had no knowledge of English history, Templars and the like. Also, Timothy V. Murphy is awesome in anything he does. I’d kind of like him to come over and talk to my kid about why it’s important to do your homework early, instead of waiting until the last minute. Pretty sure he could get through to him.

8.) Ash had really horrible teeth. I was more mortified when he opened his mouth than I was when Gaveston’s half-head winked at me. I will be using stills from this show as a parenting tool to convince my child to brush his teeth well, not rinse half of the toothpaste down the sink before getting the job done.

7.) Every time the healer was on, I had to turn on subtitles. I got frustrated having to rewind three times to understand what she said. I can’t be alone in this. It reminded me of watching Green Street Hooligans, which starred Charlie Hunnam, whom I’ve already discussed. Six degrees? I only needed two.

6.) The final sex scene with Jones – I’m sorry. I thought perhaps he transformed into a merman at the end there. I don’t think I’ve ever been with a guy that moved quite like that. Charlie Hunnam moved similarly. It didn’t seem natural. Maybe I watch too much porn and have unrealistic expectations.

5.) Ed Sheeran would have made a wonderful gimp. Get him a rubber suit next time.

4.) Every reference to “Longshanks” made me laugh. Possibly because I heard “Lamb Shanks”. Maybe not coincidentally, every time I watched this show, I had to be eating something.

3.) So, am I right that Wilkin is Jesus’ relative? It would explain the hair. I still have no idea why the healer pushed him into this life. I’m never going to know now, and that just hurts. Kind of like I’ll never know how far Chibbs would take SAMCRO. I’m still bitter. Suck it.

2.) For all of my minor complaints, I really did enjoy this show immensely. I love the way Sutter writes and the fact that he’s completely unapologetic when laying out a story for people to consume is the beauty of his work. You either get it or you don’t. I got it. I’ll miss it. Bring me something new, Mr. Sutter, and put some really hot dude in it again. Please. Pretty please.

1.) Lee Jones has an amazing ass and I could have looked at it for a few more seasons. He made me want to be a mermaid. By the by, I wouldn’t highly suggest Googling “Lee Jones’ Ass Bastard” if you’re looking for a screenshot from the finale. You’re not going to find what you’re looking for.

In closing, hwyl fawr, Bastard! You were forced into a life you didn’t really want by a weird witch and some real assholes, and yet, you never truly acted like a bastard. Trust me. I would know.

Shawn: I thought I would be writing a piece on the end of the first season of The Bastard Executioner and what my hopes and expectations for Season Two were going to be. But this turns out to be more of a retrospective / autopsy on the series we barely got to know.

10.) My initial reaction to the previews was mixed at best. I thought it was either A.) Medieval Sons of Anarchy or B.) Games of Sons of Thrones of Anarchy. Ultimately, it had elements of both but was pleasantly headed in a different direction by the end. Even I had a hard time explaining what the show was about in less than four minutes if pressed.

9.) The Jaxecutioner. It would have been easy just to plug in Charlie Hunnam as Wilkin. Instead we got another attractive male in Lee Jones (I know he’s become a favorite of yours, Kim) that was a sensitive bad guy just like on Sons. Like Jax, he has multiple women, an over-involved mother and the ability to kick some ass before showing off his naked butt.

8.) Gemma Witch. Bad accent and all. I love Katey Sagal but half the time I didn’t understand what she was saying and about 90% of the time I had no idea why she was saying it. Having watched Sons of Anarchy, I pretty much knew she had to be Wilkin’s mom.

7.) Vampire Bill Chamberlain. Milus was maybe the most confusing character of the whole show. And that’s saying quite a bit (see above). He was the bad guy for most of the show. And maybe bisexual? I never trusted him – maybe it was that he always looked so short against the rest of the cast. Then they spent the last two episodes working so hard to make us actually like him. By the last episode, I was a big Vampire Milus fan. He was actually one of Jaxecutioner’s best allies and it would have been interesting to see them work together in a send season.

6.) Lady Love Your Butt. The Baroness was the one thing I really understood from the very beginning. The story of her “pregnancy” was probably the easiest thing to latch onto and how that was going to play out seemed to drive the show more than any other story. The best favor they did for us viewers was that shot of the top of her butt at the end of the final episode. The clothing of 14th Century Wales wasn’t conducive to my TV crushes.

5.) Crazy White Female. No one was happier to upgrade at the husband position than Jessamy. I actually loved her character because I just couldn’t determine the level of her denial. Poor thing and her son – Luca (the cutest male on the show in my opinion). I had too hard of a time not singing – “my name is Luka /and I live on the second floor” – every time someone talked about him. I was worried that he would become a Carl of the show over time though.

4.) Sir Ginger Sheeran. Won’t you stay with me? Nope. You ran away down the beach, buddy. You were such a bad ass up to then. Remember, us gingers have no souls.

3.) I can’t be the only one that thought half of what Gemma Witch said was just a Crosby, Still and Nash lyric. “We have all been here before,” “Traveling twice the speed of sound it’s easy to get burned,” “You, who are on the road, must have a code, that you can live by,” and “Our house is a very, very fine house with two cats in the yard”. I guess Gemma Witch is a religious apostle of some sort? That fits the themes of Jax as Jesus from the previous show.

2.) I came out of the first couple episodes hoping for a fun exploration of the themes from The Return of Martin Guerre. Then there was a point when The Bastard pretty much put a “Hello, My Name Is Wilkin / Not Sir Gawain” sticker on his tunic and went around confessing to everyone. You are the Executioner not the Confessor – stop telling everyone who you are.

1.) That all said – I liked the show quite a bit. There was potential here. Ultimately there were too many things against it. The timeslot sucked and FX continuing to let episodes go to 1:15 and 1:30 and beyond just tires me out (looking at you, Fargo and AHS). And people didn’t know what to make of the show. It wasn’t Game of Thrones and it wasn’t Sons. I think Kurt is to be praised for seeing what the reactions actually were and that’s what the final view of the show years down the road will probably be.


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Shawn Bourdo

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