9 November 2022
Blood Psalms episode 8 recap: The wedding night
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 the 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, as the five tribes “celebrate” the wedding of mad King Letsha of the Akachi.
Episode 7 in 10 points
- Hlengu, second son of Chief Xemantso of the Ku’ua, and his warriors mooned the Akachi soldiers who escorted Lala, wife of Ku’ua heir Qotha (and Hlengu’s secret lover), into the Akachi citadel for the wedding.
- Lala scolded her husband when she walked in on Qotha happily splashing about in a bathing pool filled with concubines, along with Chief Xemantso.
- At the temple of the god of magic, Heka, the Nymph urged Prince Teborah (son of Uchawi witch Queen Assili – chief advisor to King Letsha – and Assili’s husband, Uchawi scholar Ntuka) to keep his vow to topple Assili from power, giving him a necklace holding a purple sachet.
- Ntuka and Prince Teborah were on their way to the wedding when their carriage was attacked, set on fire, and overturned on the path.
- Akachi palace royal governess Madlamini told Princess Zazi that Umna the circus performer is one of a secret society (The Order Of The Golden Dawn) who’re fighting to keep Zazi alive. And while Umna was teaching Princess Zazi her wedding dance, Madlamini and Umna discussed their plan to switch places with Princess Zazi during the dance.
- Senator Jabari of the Great Nziwemabwe barged into the Akachi council room unannounced – with a fully armed escort from his Golden Army – to intimidate the Akachi.
- Akachi head priest Mfengetho revealed his hand in sowing the seeds of discontent in the Akachi army’s second in command, Lekoya, when he paid off Lekoya’s manipulative lover.
- The Akachi soldiers and citizens rioted in protest at King Letsha ordering the arrest, torture and beheading of Akachi army leader General Toka for deflowering and impregnating Princess Zazi.
- The only three prisoners who survived the full moon night – Kike the cursed Chini were-hyena who unwittingly killed all the other prisoners during his night of transformation, Onyo Lord Of The Netherworld, and a sick, old man – escaped the prison pits during the riot.
- Lekoya calmed the riot at the palace gates, and after Assili forced him to swallow a live snake, the crowd knelt to Lekoya when he charmed them. Meanwhile, Assili and Nkamanzu smirked over their abilities to sway Akachi politics.
An audience with the king
In the Akachi dungeons, naked King Letsha whipped the skin off General Toka’s back, while Sithenjwa lured away Letsha’s guardian goddess/panther Sekmet from the dungeon door. After Queen Assili halted Letsha’s cruelty, Senator Jabari got the audience with the King he’d been nagging about when a naked, blood-soaked Letsha came into the council chamber preceded by a growling panther. Letsha rebuked Jabari for throwing his weight around on the King’s wedding day, leaving Jabari with a mouth full of teeth.
A red wedding
Sithenjwa (sister of Letsha’s murdered with Queen Ndiya Zazi, and Toka’s exiled former lover, who’s now undercover in the Akachi palace as the consort of Senator Jabari) slipped into the dungeon and promised Toka that she’d save him. But while she was there, she dropped one of her earrings, which Commander Lekoya found when he arrived to take Toka out of the dungeon. Back in the palace guest quarters, Senator Jabari huffed over King Letsha and called him a “monkey king”. And when Sithenjwa asked an “innocent” question about General Toka, Jabari pounced to question her, secretly aware from his spying that Sithenjwa had had sex with General Toka during their first night in the palace.
In the Ku’ua camp Hlengu seemed serious for once as he claimed that something was wrong inside the Akachi citadel, a suspicion that was supported by circling carrion birds. But through Hlengu’s memories we saw him plotting with Lala to frame Qotha for killing Chief Xemantso inside the citadel. Hlengu saw this as his way of fulfilling the prophecy of the Ku’ua gaining dominion over the other tribes, unaware that Princess Zazi’s unborn child has a Ku’ua father, General Toka.
As Princess Zazi gathered her courage, Madlamini admitted that Zazi would not be able to return to the palace as long as Letsha and Assili were in power. She told Zazi that the Uchawi had lost their first Magi 18 years back, but did not explain that the Magi (the Uchawi’s most powerful magic user and rainmaker) was Zazi’s mother, Queen Ndiya Zazi, or that Letsha and Assili conspired to murder her. But Madlamini did reveal that Umna is her own daughter. Madlamini swears that once she is outside the citadel, Zazi’s ancestors will show her who she really is, and she will know why Madlamini calls her Star Child.
Outside the palace, Lekoya had the battered General Toka paraded through the waiting citizens and soldiers. Lekoya denounced Toka’s crime – defiling and impregnating the heir to the Akachi throne – and sneakily laid the blame for the drought, along with downfall of Kemet, even, on Toka’s shoulders as a “savage” Ku’ua. Lekoya sentenced Toka to be buried alive for his crimes, and as Toka’s coffin was carried away, a clearly conflicted Lekoya donned the general’s helmet. The soldiers threw Toka’s sarcophagus off a cliff into the sea, but a mermaid seemed to guide Toka and pull him until he reached the reed boat that Captain Ahadi was on when he and his men investigated the blue vortex created by Princess Zazi diverting the meteorite into the sea island. At the other end of the reed boat, Toka saw Ahadi, now an old man with a white beard, who welcomed him to The Land Of The Dead.
As the palace handmaidens pampered Letsha in preparation for his wedding, Umna, dressed identically to Princess Zazi, danced as the circus performers entertained the diplomatic guests (some more than others). Umna and Zazi danced together, mirroring each other’s movements and during the performance, one of the performers, Pee-Erot, smuggled away Princess Zazi, while Madlamini led away Umna. With the switch made, Umna and her performers smuggled Zazi out of the citadel in their carriage.
From the palace balcony, King Letsha greeted his guests, trying to bless them with rain. When none fell, he cut his own tongue out in front of his advisors, guests and bride-to-be. Choking on blood, Letsha saw himself surrounded by the living and the dead, as Senator Jabari and Sithenjwa tried to slip away, and Chief Xemantso called for a healer while Madlamini worked frantically to save Letsha’s life. The ghost of Letsha’s father, The Ancient Monarch, seemed more disappointed in him than ever, as Letsha saw the bride he murdered, Queen Ndiya Zazi, telling him that his tongue was not enough. She showed him her chest where he had her heart cut out, and she sprouted vampire teeth.