Philo And Vignette In ‘Carnival Row’ Finale, Explained: How Did They Save The Burgue?


Throughout the second season of the series, “Carnival Row,” we saw that Vignette had doubts about Philo’s motives, who had a habit of playing it close to his chest and not revealing anything till the very last moment. Philo knew what he was doing, and he was also aware of the fact that the kind of equilibrium he was trying to achieve was not a very easy task. So, let’s find out why Vignette didn’t trust Philo at times and how they managed to save the Burgue from its downfall.

Spoilers Ahead

Why Wasn’t Vignette Able To Trust Philo?

Vignette and Philo were in a sort of relationship, but at the beginning of the second season of the series, “Carnival Row,” a lot of developments happened that led Vignette to become suspicious of Philo’s intentions. And not only Vignette but even the police and the government officials of the Burgue were not able to decipher what the man actually wanted. At one point in time, he was seen helping the downtrodden in the Row, but there were a lot of instances where he stood up against the Black Ravens and saved the police officers who had once been his colleagues. Probably Millworthy and Darius were the only two people who had faith in him from the very beginning, and they knew that he just wanted to save the people from their own doom. After the Black Ravens committed the audacious act of entering the Balefire hall and exposing the hypocrisy of the government, Dahlia, the head of the Ravens, and another member named Bolero were found dead back in the Row. They were brutally murdered, and their severed heads were placed on the fence so that everybody could see it.

Obviously, the chronology of the events had been such that anybody would have thought that it was Chancellor Jonah who had given the orders to get Dahlia killed. But Philo went against the popular opinion, as he had a very strong reason to believe that the act was not committed by a human. Tourmaline had gotten in touch with Philo, and she told him that she had inherited some powers from Aoife Tsigani and that she also got visions that turned out to be true in the near future. She had seen in one of her visions that Bolero and Dahlia were being killed by a creature at the top of a cathedral.

Philo confronted the ravens and told them that they shouldn’t go and kill Sargeant Dombey and other police officers, as they had no role to play in the murders of their members. Kaine got angry at Philo as he thought he was misleading them, and even Vignette held a similar opinion because he was once a police officer himself and they thought that he was just trying to save his colleagues. Also, Philo’s theory made no sense at all and sounded very outlandish. Vignette decided to attack Dombey and avenge the death of their leader. Philo came to know about the attack and went to inform Dombey about it, as he feared that killing a police officer would have ramifications for which the ravens were not prepared. The Ravens didn’t have enough resources and manpower to defend the Row in case the authorities waged war against them. Philo wanted to avoid the situation, but in the process, he lost the trust of the people in the Row and even Vignette, who at that point was so filled with vengeance that she couldn’t see the truth. Philo knew that Dombey was not a good man, and on multiple occasions, he had even tried to backstab him, but still, Philo was rational enough to not blame him for the crimes he hadn’t committed.

After Darius and Philo were able to save Dombey from the Black Ravens, Vignette’s doubt that he was helping the Burgue administration strengthened even more. He tried making her understand that the administration needed just an excuse to kill the Fae Folks, and he was trying his level best to not give them that, but Vignette didn’t believe him and stuck to her narrative that he was plotting behind their backs. When the Sparas actually came in front of everybody in the Bleakness Keep, Vignette realized that whatever Philo had been saying was actually the truth, and she was wrong in doubting his intentions. Philo came to save Vignette but was captured by the Burguish police and sent to jail. The problem with Philo was that a lot of times, he didn’t keep people in the loop and acted on his own accord. He did that mainly to protect the people he loved, but the consequence of keeping people in the dark was that they thought that he was plotting against them.

How Were Philo And Vignette Able To Save The Burgue?

After the arrival of the Sparas, Vignette had some clarity about Philo’s real intentions, but that trust was soon broken when she found out that the Burgue had no intention of letting the non-human species leave the Row and go to Tirnanoc. They pretended that they were facilitating mass deportations, but their real intention was to take control of Tirnanoc as the Pact had abandoned the place. Once again, Vignette sided with the ravens and decided to lead them to a rebellion against the Burgue with the help of Leonora, the leader of the New Dawn. Now Philo had no clue that the Burgue was going to betray the Fae folk, but because he was the one who was brokering the deal, the blame fell on him too. In reality, it was Millworthy who proposed this idea, as he knew that as long as there was no incentive for the Burgue, the government officials would veto the cause.

In the tenth episode of the series, “Carnival Row” Season 2, Philo realized that the only way to save the Burgue was to kill the Sparas, so he asked Tourmaline to use her powers and draw the beast into their trap. Though Vignette chose to trust Leonora, Philo knew from the very beginning that she was a shrewd woman who pretended to be the savior of people against an oppressive regime, but in reality, she was more dictatorial in her approach. Leonora made Vignette, Phaedra, and Kaine attack the police officers, which in turn triggered them to enter the Row and kill the residents. Leonora was ready to let innocents get killed as long as she was able to topple the Burguish government. But before she could do any of that, Philo, Darius, Tourmaline, and Vignette together killed the Sparas. The New Dawn militants surrendered, and Leonora took her own life because she didn’t want the Burguish policemen to catch hold of her and send her to prison.

Vignette felt guilty about the fact that time and again, she didn’t trust Philo, which led to the deaths of many innocent people. Philo, at the end of the second season of the series “Carnival Row,” once again proved that he was not power-hungry or greedy like others, when he declined the offer to become the Chancellor of the Burgue. Philo was the kind of man who didn’t compromise on his principles, no matter how alluring the offer might be. Though Philo and Vignette didn’t end up together, they had the utmost respect for each other and knew that they would have each other’s backs no matter what.

Notify of

Inline Feedbacks
View all comments
Sushrut Gopesh
Sushrut Gopesh
I came to Mumbai to bring characters to life. I like to dwell in the cinematic world and ponder over philosophical thoughts. I believe in the kind of cinema that not necessarily makes you laugh or cry but moves something inside you.

Must Read

DMT Guide

More Like This