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Carnivàle/Los Moscos

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Los Moscos
Season 2, Episode 1
Airdate January 9, 2005
Production Number 201
Written by Daniel Knauf
Directed by Jeremy Podeswa
← 1x12
The Day That Was the Day
2x02 →
Alamogordo, NM
CarnivàleSeason Two

Los Moscos is the first episode of the second season of Carnivàle, and the thirteenth episode overall.





Plot Overview

Episode 13 begins immediately where 12 left off: Jonesy, Apollonia and Sofie are caught in a burning trailer, Ben has just killed Lodz, Ruthie has just been resurrected, and Justin is in the middle of delivering a sermon.

We see a man, Wilfred Talbot Smith, in a room filled with occult signs and objects listening to Justin‘s sermon on the radio. He is piecing together an old manuscript, from which he reads "For that you know he is true by his words, the Usher will declare 'Thou shalt be strong." At that same moment, Justin reiterates "Thou shalt be strong."

Jonesy and Sofie emerge from the trailer, and the carnies stop Jonesy from going back for Apollonia. Sofie is forced to listen to the dying screams of her mother, and when they finally end Sofie collapses. When Sofie has recovered somewhat, Jonesy visits her in bed. Upset by Sofie's revenge, Jonesy severs ties with the younger woman. Sofie is distraught and flees the carnival, prompting Samson to organize a search party.

Ben is furious at Management's manipulation and prepares to leave until Management reveals Ben's task: preventing the Trinity detonation of the atom bomb. He also reveals that he was the Russian soldier from Ben's dreams. Management instructs Samson to dispose of Lodz's body, and that if the cop returns looking for Ben, Samson is to give them Apollonia's bones and say Ben died in the fire. Management also prohibits Ben from entering the trailer again, ordering Samson to be his messenger instead. Ben and Samson roll Lodz's body down a ravine, and Ben gets rid of his bloody shirt.

Justin and Iris come across the twisted tree that Justin has seen in his dreams, and Justin declares that he will build his New Canaan here. Dolan informs Justin of the police report placing a car like the one Justin owns at the Dignity Ministry the night of the fire. Seemingly unconcerned, Justin explains that he and Dolan will be the ones to find the culprit and bring them to the police. Iris is disturbed by this turn of events.

Ben returns to the Templar Hall in Loving, NM looking for information about Scudder. He forces the Commodore to reveal that Scudder came through 12 years ago, and stole documents from the library. Scudder befriended the chaplain, Father Kerrigan, who is currently locked in an asylum outside of Alamogordo, NM.

Justin, meanwhile, is confronted by Smith concerning his status as the Usher. When Smith realizes that Justin has yet to assume the mantle, he explains that Justin (the prince) must kill Scudder (the prophet) in order to become the prophet, and the Usher as well. He hands Justin a copy of the Gospel of Mathias, from the Templar Order in Loving, and once belonging to Scudder himself.


Arc Advancement


  • When Ruthie sits up to gasp for air, Justin collapses in pain in front of his congregation, stricken by Ben's use of his powers. This is not the first time this will happen, though it does not seem to work both ways.
  • When Justin is delivering his radio sermon, the radio is sending out 10000 watts, rather than the typical 5000, implying that Justin is in fact delivering two messages. We cut to a prison where Justin's message is being broadcast, and a prisoner named Varlyn Stroud hears amidst Justin's words "Varlyn Stroud, you will be my apostle. My archangel."


  • Aware of Norman's intention to turn him into the Church, Justin causes Norman to have a massive stroke, prompting the Bishop to dismiss Norman's suspicions of Justin as delusions. Norman has been rendered essentially comatose: he is completely immobile but still aware of his surroundings, much like Apollonia.
  • Management explains his identity: He is the Russian soldier (Lucius Belyakov) Ben saw in his dreams, and the Avatar of Light for his generation. His counterpart was Scudder, just as Ben's is Justin. Management, however, knew Ben's name but not Justin's. To discover Justin's identity, they must retrieve Scudder.
  • Ruthie approaches Ben, grateful for how he helped her through the snakebite, and apparently unaware that she died. Ben is disturbed by the entire ordeal (how she was murdered, how he killed for her, and how the entire thing was merely a way to manipulate him) and most likely realizing that having someone close to him meant putting them in danger. He walks away from her, insisting she doesn't owe him anything.
  • Lila is suspicious of Lodz's disappearance. She questions Jonesy, who explains that Lodz was not in Apollonia's trailer during the fire. Later, she asks Samson who feigns ignorance.


  • The Gospel of Mathias turns out to contain the passages that Samson has been using as his season-opening voiceovers.

Dream Sequences and Visions

  • When Management grabs Ben's arm, he triggers a vision of the Trinity atom bomb test. Ben finds himself in a desert of white sand, the Alamogordo Test Range, with a siren wailing in the background. Then, the bomb detonates and Ben is standing in the heart of the shockwave. He sees Justin crouched nearby, the latter demanding "Ye offspring of serpents, who ordered ye to flee from the wrath to come?"
  • Justin has a vision of the twisted tree appearing on the Tattooed Man's back. During the vision, Justin finds himself in front of the Tattooed Man himself. The Tattooed Man slices open his palm to show Justin that he bleeds blue blood. Justin murmurs "He is the Usher."


The Show

Behind the Scenes

Allusions and References

Memorable Moments


  • Management: Run you coward, run as your father did.