Pillars of the Earth recap: dirty, sexy clergy, episode 5

Pillars of the Earth recap: dirty, sexy clergy, episode 5

Alfred (Liam Garrigan), Aliena (Hayley Atwell), Jack (Eddie Redmayne) (Images: Starz)

A lot went down in what was without a doubt the most riveting Pillars episode to date. We definitely didn’t see Tom Builder’s sudden murder coming, although, come to think of it, we probably should have—characters always die right before they’re about to reveal some big truth.

On the plus side, his death sets the spotlight onto his rivaling “sons” Alfred (the real one) and Jack (the mistress’s spawn). The boys represent the age-old talent versus ambition debate, and come up on different sides of just about every coin. Alfred is competent, Jack is brilliant; Alfred had his father’s blood, Jack had his gifts; Alfred has Aliena’s hand in marriage, Jack has her heart. In fact, the only thing these guys have in common is the love of the same woman and strangely modern haircuts (Alfred’s is bordering on a Bieber bob). It’s pretty much a medieval, gender-bending Betty and Veronica situation, so the big question is: who should Archie—er, Aliena—end up with? And who will she end up with? And is the answer the same?

Before either of the eligible bachelors came courting—“eligible” being a relative term when one of the guys is a monk—Aliena’s heart belonged to her father, the Earl of Shiring. Before he died she swore to him that she “wouldn’t rest” until her brother had reclaimed the family throne. Marrying Alfred can help her achieve that goal. Advantage: Alfred

There’s no question that her heart belongs to Jack, and there is also no question that the guy was not meant to be a monk. The only question is, will Jack be able to escape his prison cell in time to be the guy who objects at the wedding? We say yes. Advantage: Jack

There is also a plot to propel here, and Lord knows that cathedral isn’t going up any time soon. So we predict that Aliena will marry Alfred because it’s best for her family, but that she and Jack will continue loving each other. They’ll finally be together after Alfred is crushed by his own stone ceiling, which never should have gone up in the first place. Small side note: has Prior Philip lost his mind leaving do-now-think-later Alfred in charge of his legacy?  Long term advantage: Jack