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Those are some pretty big shoes to fill. I guess that makes him a bastard.

As the opening title cards lay out, The Bastard Executioner focuses on 14th century Wales, where the ruling English are attempting to control the Welsh push for independence. The premiere opens with a brutal start. Ventris meets Brattle’s group, and brings up the battle that he thought he died at years ago. However, he hallucinates Jesus and more.

Wilkin no longer carries a sword but instead favors the club as his weapon of choice.

The ever-present Annora tends to an unconscious Wilkin’s wound, then – when his comrades’ backs are turned to further discuss the alliance between the surviving villagers and the rebels – gets to work.

While Wilkin has taken up a happy, peaceful life, Baroness Lowry’s troubled relationship. “Your savior needs you to live the life of a different man”, she says, repeating the angel’s words. In fact, we see power and meaning in the graphic use of mature content, whether it’s language, sex, or violence on television.

We’re eventually introduced to a whopping cast of characters, including real life couple Katey Sagal and Kurt Sutter himsef as Annora of the Alders and the Dark Mute, respectively. The gents decide to head him off at the pass and Ash begs to go, too. For his reward, Ventris was upgraded to Baron over a section of England that is now called Ventrishire. He’s cruel and cold, and she’s full of faith, if not heirs. That intrigue and momentum is cemented by the episode’s end, as Wilkin and his sidekick infiltrate Castle Ventrils under the guise of Wilkin being a traveling executioner.

Wilkin and his ragtag men don’t look like much in the way of opponents – until dozens of armed men emerge from the tall grasses around them, all bearing the mark of the rebels. There’s a lot of frustration with the Baron’s taxes. They also met the young lad who talked to his sheep. Finding the village was easy for Ventri, since one man was allowed to live so that he can deliver a message to Ventri on the taxes. He overhears two soldiers thinking he’s dead but realizing they don’t want to make him a martyr to the Welsh. But he didn’t necessarily look thrilled about it. What happened to his body? It’s a he said-she said situation, but Corbett finds a way to get the truth out. She says they barely see each other. What if a Welshman with nothing to lose became the accidental headman to an English lord? She believes it’s his destiny – whether he wants it to be or not. This is not a kind man on the job or off. His son is as much the subject of his rage as his victims. After Petra pointed out that Ventris’s ranks were only fit to attack women and children, Ventris slit the boy’s throat anyway and told Milus to have everyone killed and the village burned. Stabbed right in the gut by an unseen traitor – and then unceremoniously piled atop her lifeless comrades.