5 questions we have after The Luminaries Season 1, Episode 1

The Luminaries Season 1, Episode 1 - Courtesy of Starz/Kirsty Griffin
The Luminaries Season 1, Episode 1 - Courtesy of Starz/Kirsty Griffin /

The Luminaries Season 1, Episode 1, “Fingerprint,” begins with an ominous flashforward to nine months into the future from our starting point of 1865. In the present, a murder has occurred with three strange bedfellows discovered near the corpse. In the past, Anna Wetherell (Eve Hewson) and Emery Staines (Himesh Patel) meet on their final day of voyage to the West Coast of New Zealand’s South Island, where they hope to find gold.

Caution: The following article contains spoilers from The Luminaries Season 1, Episode 1.

Anna and Emery enjoy a brief romantic encounter just before their ship docks on the shores of the New World. Emery invites Anna to join him later that evening for a drink at his hotel dining room, but he only tells her the name of his hotel by giving her a slip of paper. Unbeknownst to him, Anna doesn’t know how to read.

While Emery settles in quickly to his room at the Majestic Hotel, Anna’s arrival is far from smooth sailing. Not long after arriving, her purse is snatched by a random child, only to be saved by a seemingly kind fortune teller named Lydia Wells (Eva Green).

Yet Lydia doesn’t have Anna’s best intentions at heart. Not only does she surreptitiously pocket Anna’s change purse, preventing her from being able to afford a room at a boardinghouse, but she also intentionally sends Anna to a seedy hotel called the Matterhorn when asked to read the slip of paper from Emery.

Instead of sharing a drink with a handsome man, Anna has to fend off the lechs hanging out at the Matterhorn until realizing that Emery isn’t coming. She assumes he’s changed his mind, or something has come up, unaware that Emery is across town at the Majestic. Out of money and with no place else to go, Anna takes refuge at Lydia’s, as the woman told her where she’s set up shop — conveniently right next to the Matterhorn.

The five most pressing questions from The Luminaries Season 1, Episode 1

More. The Luminaries Season 1 spoiler-free review. light

5. What is the connection between Emery & Anna?

We know there is something special between Anna and Emery beyond a romantic connection based on the show’s synopsis alone. Beyond that, they share a birthday, and as Lydia foretells, could potentially be “astral twins.”

Further suggesting their connection is that in the future, when the body is found, multiple people comment that Anna smells like opium. Anna claims she didn’t go near the stuff. Quick glimpses of the night in question show that Emery did smoke opium that evening. It seems that their actions can affect each other.

4. Who was the man that tried to kill Francis?

For reasons we don’t yet know, Lydia pays Francis Carver (Marton Csokas) to track down Emery. Similar to how Lydia takes Anna under her wing, Francis tries to recruit Emery, even offering him a potential prospecting contract so they can split whatever gold he finds in return for free room and board.

Emery doesn’t appear to be interested in anything Francis has to offer him, but before he can leave their initial meeting, a Chinese man enters the bar and pulls out a gun to kill Francis. Francis takes him into another room and starts to beat his would-be killer until the barkeep fires off a few rounds of his own to make them disperse. So, what’s the deal with Francis? Why is someone trying to kill him?

The Luminaries Season 1
The Luminaries Season 1, Episode 1 – Courtesy of Starz /

3. Why is Lydia so interested in Anna?

Not only does Lydia intentionally lead Anna astray by giving her the wrong name of the hotel to meet with Emery, but she also steals her change purse. Lydia’s schemes all seem to be part of a ruse to get Anna to turn to her in her time of need. It works, mostly, although Anna does find her change purse tucked inside Lydia’s coat pocket.

She doesn’t draw attention to her discovery, opting instead to learn from the mystical fortune-telling woman who teaches her about natal charts and the fates. Lydia also puts Anna to work in her tavern and offers to let her stay in her husband’s bedroom while he’s off prospecting for gold.

2. Where did the gold in Anna’s dress come from?

Nine months into the future, Anna is much worse for the wear than when we first met her. She’s taken to prostitution and later found unconscious at a murder scene alongside another unconscious man named Te Rau Tauwhare (Richard Te Are) and a politician named Alistair Lauderback (Benedict Hardie). Lauderback brings Anna back to town while she’s still unconscious, and the local jailer George Shepard (Callan Mulvey) immediately puts her behind bars.

Just when it seems all hope might be lost for her, she remembers finding gold sewn into the seam of her dress the night before. Anna manages to procure enough gold from her gown to pay her bail, and she’s set free. Later, she takes a seam ripper to her dress and finds handfuls of gold powder stashed inside.

1. What happened to Crosbie Wells?

Perhaps the biggest question of the episode revolves around what happened to Lydia’s husband, Crosbie Wells (Ewen Leslie). It is his corpse discovered in the opening moments of The Luminaries Season 1, Episode 1.

The hour gives us a nice pair of bookends, with the episode opening nine months into the future, centering on the murder investigation into Crosbie’s death and ending with a scene of Crosbie’s arrival as he bursts through the doors of the Wells’s tavern with tons of gold dust spilling out of his pockets. It looks like he was successful at prospecting.

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What did you think about The Luminaries Season 1, Episode 1? What questions do you have about the series? Let us know your thoughts in the comments below.

New episodes of The Luminaries Season 1 air Sunday nights at 9:30 p.m. ET on Starz.