A lot of times, it is not a worthless person who disappoints you but a person whom you believed to be a flagbearer of change and in whose potential you had placed your trust. When you do not have any sort of expectations from a person, it doesn’t affect you when they go rogue but the problem is when someone raises the bar and then stoops low to new depths. In “Carnival Row” Season 2, people were not happy with the administration of the Burgue, and even the Pact administration was as oppressive as its allies. In both places, there was widespread discrimination, and the non-human species had to live in deplorable conditions. The conditions in the Row were worsening with every passing day. There was an outbreak of disease in addition to a scarcity of food, medicine, and other supplies. The Burguish administration was playing all sorts of politics, but no measure was taken to improve the situation or provide help to those in need. The Fae, Faun, and other folk were treated as untouchables, and in addition to not providing them with the basic necessities of life, they were also oppressed in every manner possible. The people quietly bore the exploitations, but soon, their patience gave way, and a rebellion was born that made it its mission to bring down every oppressive regime on the face of the earth.
In “Carnival Row” Season 2, a revolutionary group called New Dawn emerged which expelled the forces of the Pact from the Port of Ragusa and took complete control of the place. Their leader was a woman named Leonora, who seemed calm and composed from the outside but was an active volcano from within. She was the kind of woman who never let the other person know what was going on inside her mind. Instead, she played her cards quite well and made a move when nobody expected her to. Leonora was proud of what she had created, and she believed that a society should be devoid of any prejudice and discrimination. She believed that a handful of people shouldn’t hold all the wealth, but instead, it should be equally divided among the masses. Everybody at Ragusa worked for a living, and nobody was given the luxury of sitting at home and enjoying a privileged life.
In the second episode of the series, “Carnival Row” Season 2, we witnessed that if wealthy men and women like Agreus and Imogen arrived at their shores, then New Dawn soldiers were instructed to confiscate all their material belongings, which were later used for the welfare of the people and for other causes. It was said that Leonora had to serve a sentence just because she ate the leftovers of her master, and while she was in prison, she got a revelation of sorts when she saw a green weed growing amidst rocky terrain. That day she took a vow to work for the cause of the weak and powerless and give them deliverance from their angst, hopelessness, and despair. When Imogen met Leonora for the very first time, she was so impressed with her that she came back to Agreus and told him that they should stay at Ragusa itself. Leonora knew how to manipulate a person, which is why she told Imogen that Raugsa was the only place where she could stay with Agreus without any fear or hassle. Leonora knew that Imogen was tired of running away from the authorities, and she just wanted to settle down with Agreus. As soon as Imogen came and told Agreus about what Leonora had said, he knew exactly what the New Dawn chief was trying to do. Agreus was probably the only person who wasn’t fooled by her, and he always saw through her intentions. When Kastor, on the anniversary of the revolution, told them about how Leonora conceived the idea to build her community, Agreus knew that it was one big piece of propaganda. Somehow the followers made Leonara look like the Buddha, who had found enlightenment and now had come back to lead the way of those who had gone astray.
Leonora might have proclaimed herself to be a true communist, but in reality, she was no better than a dictator. The way she got those people massacred when Agreus arrived on his ship, spoke a thousand words about the kind of approach she generally resorted to. Probably she wasn’t so corrupt economically and wasn’t using the wealth created by her subjects for her own use, but she did commit gross human rights violations, as a result of which, in a place where people ought to feel independent, they felt caged. We call Leonara a dictator because she didn’t hesitate to take the lives of innocent people for her own cause. She made the Black Ravens her allies by telling them her plans for a future without discrimination, but in reality, they were just transferring the reins from one oppressive regime to another.
Why Did Leonara Send The Sparas To The Burgue?
Philo and Millworthy were probably the first ones to figure out that the Sparas was sent by Leonora. Philo was right in assessing that the main motive of the Sparas was to create conflict between the Fae Folk and humans. Leonora wanted to take advantage of that conflict and attempt a coup, but she was unsuccessful in doing so. The Sparas had the power to shape-shift and take any form, which is why it was quite difficult for Philo and others to find out who the Sparas was. Towards the end of the second season of the series, “Carnival Row,” Imogen noticed that the diplomat from the Pact, Mikulas Vir, was acting strange, and she told Millworthy that she suspected that he was hiding something.
Meanwhile, Philo got to know that the Sparas had shape-shifted to Mikulas Vir as Tourmaline used her powers to figure out its real identity. Leonora’s original plan might have been to let the Sparas attack the parliament and kill the ministers while she killed all the coppers of the city in the Row itself. With this dual attack, she might have thought that she could have taken over the entire city, but her plans were spoiled when the Sparas was drawn out of parliament by Tourmaline. Philo and Vignette came running behind the Sparas, knowing that he couldn’t be killed without their combined efforts.
The Sparas had caused widespread destruction in the Row, and moreover, he had killed Philo’s friend, Berwick, without any rhyme or reason. Berwick was a good man, and Philo couldn’t get over that loss. Philo wanted to take revenge on the Sparas for more than one reason, which is why he shot him multiple times. At that point in time in the series “Carnival Row,” Philo didn’t care if he lived or died, and all he wanted was to take down the invincible Sparas. The Sparas finally fell to the floor, and it wasn’t a possibility that Leonora would have entertained up until then. Leonora realized that she wouldn’t be able to take over the Burgue as her biggest strength, the Sparas, had been killed, and she knew that it was in her best interests to tell her forces to surrender. But Leonora was an egoistic person who was never going to surrender herself, as it was against her pride.
At the end of “Carnival Row,” Agreus came looking for her, as he wanted to see her getting handcuffed and taken by the authorities. But before that could happen, Leonora took her own life while Agreus was standing with a gun pointed at her. Leonora’s last words were that the seed had already been sown as she saw people turning against each other and wanting freedom from the oppressive regime. We don’t know whether the people of “Carnival Row” will wage a rebellion against the government in the future or not, but as of then, the situation came under control, and things went back to normal.