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Carnivàle

IMDB: 8.5

2003, 2 seasons to date

Drama / Fantasy / Mystery

By Daniel Knauf

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1934, America. The Dustbowl. A fugitive named Ben Hawkins finds refuge within a traveling carnival comprised of a tarot card reader and her catatonic/telekinetic mother, a blind mentalist, a bearded lady, and conjoined twins, amongst others. The carnival is owned by the mysterious and unseen Management, who has designs on the young Hawkins, for the boy is concealing an untapped gift: he can heal the lame and raise the dead--at a price. Ben also finds himself disturbed by cryptic and prophetic dreams, which he shares with a Methodist preacher in California, Brother Justin Crowe. Brother Justin, convinced by his dreams he is following God's will, has begun to practice his own extraordinary talents, although the preacher's plans increasingly lead to disturbing and tragic consequences. In this "last great age of magic," Ben Hawkins and Justin Crowe are moving toward a great conflict between Good and Evil, although it not yet clear on which sides these men will stand.

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Season 1

  • Tipton

    When the authorities of the cash-poor Oklahoma town of Tipton refuses to let the carnival set up show, Samson takes Jones' advice and temporally reinvents the troupe as a religious-revival show with Ben as the center act of a healer. In Mintern, Brother Justin's promise to the migrants of their new church upsets his regular congregation who despise the seedy people. Meanwhile, Ben and Sofie team up to continue to search for clues about his mysterious past when they meet with an ailing old woman outside Tipton who knew Henry Scudder, Ben's father.

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  • Black Blizzard

    On the road to Babylon, Texas, the carnival encounters a horrific dust storm, called a 'black blizzard.' Intrigued with clues about his past, Ben follows Lodz into an abandoned house where the seer tests Ben's powers. Meanwhile, a lonely Sofie socializes with a handsome café owner. Samson visits an old flame while Jones, facing a roustabout mutiny of the carnies, comes up empty in his effort to meet with the mysterious and godly Management which controls Carnivale. In Mintern, Brother Justin struggles with an ultimatum by Reverend Norman Balthus: give up his new ...

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Season 2

  • Ingram, TX

    When Carnivale sets up show in Ingram, Texas, Ben sets out to find some people who knew Scudder and stumbles into a bizarre moonshiners' camp, which proves both painful and revealing. Meanwhile, Stroud continues his quest to find Scudder by investigating the mining accident in the ghost town of Babylon. At Carnivale, Sofie still refuses to read Ben's future through the tarot cards, but the cards soon reveal something without Sofie's assistance. Ruthie's luck with her snake charming skills seem to be turning against her. Stumpy pitches Rita Sue and Libby to an underage...

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  • Old Cherry Blossom Road

    Still held captive in the moonshiners' camp, Ben meets his blind and elderly grandmother who reveals some family secrets and a mysterious face of death. Meanwhile, Lila confides in the rest of the riggers that she suspects Samson was responsible for Lodz' demise. Jonesy instructs Sofie to dig a large hole in the ground. In Mintern, Justin continues his mesmerizing evil sermons to his Temple of Jericho congregation, where he has a seizure when he has a vision of the threat that Ben poses to him. In Los Moscos, New Mexico, Stroud reports his progress to Justin who ...

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