14 October 2022

Blood Psalms episode 4 recap: War Or Peace?

Everything you need to know about Blood Psalms episode 4: night of the were-hyenas!

Blood Psalms opens at a time of upheaval in Ancient Africa, around 11 000 years ago. Five tribes – the Akachi, the Uchawi, the Ku’ua, the Chini, and Great Nziwemabwe – whose ancestors all fled the destruction of Atlantis together before our story begins – share a prophecy about the end of days. Signs are growing that the end is coming soon …

What happened in Episode 3 in 10 points

  1. A meteor from a meteor shower veered off course and headed directly for the Akachi citadel.
  2. Sithenjwa (sister of the murdered Queen Ndiya Zazi), returned incognito to the Akachi citadel 18 years after she’d fled it after trying to kill King Letsha – as the consort and mistress of Senator Abun Ra Jabari of Great Nziwemabwe (who’s unaware of her past).
  3. Sithenjwa (secretly one of the Chini) told Senator Jabari the legend that the Akachi citadel is built atop an energy vortex created by a dying dragon.
  4. Princess Zazi and her companion, Thozama, snuck out of the Akachi palace disguised as servants so that Zazi could visit her lover, Akachi General Toka – the father of Zazi’s unborn baby.
  5. Burutti of the Chini, who had snuck into the Akachi Citadel using stolen armour, saw the prison pits that the Akachi were torturing Chini prisoners in, as an Uchawi witch doctor prepared to sacrifice them to “the great serpent of the sky”.
  6. Princess Zazi, calling on the goddess Isis, used powers she wasn’t even aware that she had to push back the meteor and deflect it from the Akachi citadel.
  7. The deflected meteor broke a hole through the base of an offshore sandstone stack, creating an arch in the sea.
  8. General Took assigned Burutti to take Zazi back to her quarters. And Burutti and Zazi recognised one another immediately from their dreams.
  9. In the Chini caves, Mzinzi reported to Mother Superior that Burutti was missing, along with the Akachi armour this Chini had stolen.
  10. Compelled by the power of the full moon, the “afflicted” Chini began to transform into their were-hyena form … and Burutti’s eyes showed the start of her transformation.

What happens in Episode 4 of Blood Psalms?

Gods & men

As the night of the full moon continues, Queen Assili of the Uchawi makes a sacrifice to Seth (Egyptian god Seth/Set, the master of storms disorder and warfare – and a direct enemy of Isis and Horus). As Assili prays for Seth to grant her his powers, Nkamanzu, uncle of King Letsha, and Akachi high priest Mfengetho discuss the fact that the statue of the crocodile god Sobek (on the right tower of the citadel) has been struck down during the night. And the palace’s governess Madlamini (with absolutely no due respect) warns Nkamanzu and Mfengetho not to disturb King Letsha.

Queen Assili studies the still-burning arch over the sea created by the meteorite, and she interprets it as the “burning eye to open the portal”, which is the beginning of the prophesied end of days – unless Letsha sacrifices his daughter, Princess Zazi.

Mad King Letsha cowers naked in his chambers as he’s lectured by the ghost of his murdered father, The Ancient Monarch. A flashback shows us Letsha wandering off from his father as a child and encountering the god Sekmet, in the form of a great black panther. The Ancient Monarch warns the child Letsha that to reject his gods is to reject himself, but little Letsha announces that he wants none of it and runs off. While the adult Letsha is standing on his windowsill (possibly about to leap from it), Assili, Nkamanzu and Mfengetho have guards break into his chambers, and forcefully pull Letsha back from the window. While he’s gagged and bound, Assili drugs Letsha and whispers to him that he is a disgrace and an embarrassment to the throne.

Night of the hyenas

In Zazi’s chambers, Thozama, who’s back in her own clothes, frets over the still-missing Princess and she hides under the bed as Madlamini, clearly on the warpath, bursts into the chambers looking for Zazi. Meanwhile, Princess Zazi tries to help Burutti, who’s struggling with her were-hyena transformation.

In the palace courtyard, Akachi army second-in-command Lekoya approaches General Toka to report that order has been restored in the citadel, but that three cavalry members led by Captain Ahadi are still on their mission from Queen Assili to inspect the site of the meteorite crash. Lekoya reveals that the king is staying locked in his chambers and that he has set a garrison to watch over the Ku’ua camp all night. A horn sounds, blown by a sentinel on the seaward wall, interrupting their discussion with a warning that the Chini are out in the plains, and Toka orders Lekoya to make sure the Akachi’s wedding guests are safe inside the citadel … aside from the Ku’ua, who can look after themselves.

Out on the plains as the night fills with the hyena calls of the Chini, Kuthala, the most powerful of the Ku’ua warriors, pledges her services to Lala, wife of the Ku’ua heir, Qotha. Qotha pleads with his brother Hlengu to take all the Ku’ua and join their father, Chief Xemantso, behind the Akachi citadel walls. In front of the warriors, Qotha practically stamps his feet and whines that daddy left him in charge of the army, and that Hlengu (who walks with a severe limp) belongs with the weak and elderly. In direct defiance of Qotha, Hlengu rouses the warriors before heading off into the darkness himself in search of Chini to fight. Up on the citadel walls, the sentinels who see Hlengu walk into the darkness and mist, refer to the Chini as “undead”. And that might be bad news for some Akachi soldiers who’re out beyond the walls burying some Chini corpses and saying a prayer to Anubis (the jackal-headed Egyptian god of the dead) for them. As one soldier prays, an arm breaks out of the grave to choke him, while a were-hyena pounces on the other soldier.

Princess Zazi loads the still-transforming Burutti into a carriage and makes for the gates of the citadel only to be surrounded from both sides by Akachi warriors. Zazi holds back the warriors using her new powers, but when General Toka attacks the transformed Burutti despite Zazi’s pleas, the were-hyena breaks through the wall and runs off into the plains.

Undiplomatic relations

Back in the palace, Queen Assili orders her daughter Thozama to go and offer herself to the king, who’s still in a drugged stupor in his chambers. When Thozama points out that the king is only interested in men now, Assili tells her to figure something out and make it work because the night is perfect for the rebirth of the god Seth and if he accepts their offering, he will return in the form of Thozama’s baby. But Thozama cheeks back at her mother that nothing that Thozama does will matter at all if Assili cannot bring the rains, and she accidentally lets slip that Zazi is pregnant, after which Assili throttles the name of the father out of her, too.

In another of the Akachi passages into the citadel, the Great Nziwemabwe Golden Army escort pulls the ambassador’s carriage, since the elephant has had a meltdown and run off, while Sethenjwa prays to Isis to ask for success in her mission. Akachi high priest Mfengetho tells Nkamanzu that the Uchawi druids believe the meteorite strike to be the first sign of the prophecy about the end of days, but Nkamanzu is more concerned about the real purpose of the Great Nziwemabwe ambassador’s visit, although he believes that, thanks to the drought, Great Nziwemabwe won’t be able to back up their threats to destroy the Akachi.

Diplomatic relations with Great Nziwemabwe are going poorly, as the Akachi warriors mock the Golden Army until General Toka calls them to order. General Toka welcomes Senator Jabari, tells him that the Akachi soldiers are searching for his missing elephant, and reminds him that he is at the Akachi palace in his capacity as a wedding guest of the king. But Jabari mocks the idea of weddings and announces that they have far more important things to discuss … and he quips that he has come to the Akachi “slum” to demand the Northern Territories back from the Akachi. Sithenjwa chooses this moment to appear, stunning Toka to silence.

In a flashback, Toka remembers Sithenjwa following his horse, bound and chained after her attempt to kill King Letsha on the night of Princess Zazi’s birth. Sithenjwa pleads with General Toka, calling him “my love”. As Toka exiles Sithenjwa instead of executing her, we find out that Toka is the father of Sithenjwa’s child.

Catch up on Blood Psalms

Confused about who’s who and what they do? Swot up on the Blood Psalms story, major characters and tribes and houses on Showmax Stories. And read the Episode 1 recap, the Episode 2 recap, and the Episode 3 recap.

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