The Nevers Wiki

"Ignition" is the third episode of season 1 of The Nevers television series. Written by Kevin Lau and directed by David Semel, it premiered on April 25, 2021 on HBO and HBO Max.


Penance creates an amplifier to spread Mary's hope-inspiring song across the city — but first, Mary must find her elusive voice. As danger mounts against her group, Amalia propositions an unlikely ally and sets out to expand the Orphanage's reach. Swann further entangles Augie and Mundi in his business affairs.[1]


Bonfire Annie intercepts the Beggar King's shipments. She sets a cart filled with opium ablaze and gives a warning that Limehouse belongs to her. Amalia and Penance intervene, and with help from the latter's latest invention, they manage to subdue Bonfire and prevent her from effectively using her turn. Unable to defend herself, Annie agrees to a parlay. Amalia seeks to recruit Bonfire, possibly have her join them at the Orphanage. Amalia recalls that Annie saved her back at the warehouse when Maladie attempted to take her life. Bonfire explains that she acted purely on instinct. Amalia then reveals that the Touched are dying; they're being attacked, locked up, and thrown into the street. Not everyone got a turn as formidable as Bonfire Annie's, who declines Amalia's offer. Admittedly, Bonfire still feels Mary's song and knows what a better world can bring, but she writes it off as a fantasy. She then slips away as Amalia and Penance turn their attention to the opium's smoke.

The following morning, Amalia smacks herself in the face while putting on her makeup. She then reports her latest encounter with Bonfire Annie to Horatio. He advises Amalia against bringing Penance along on her dangerous excursions and to be more cautious with who she extends invitations to, as Bonfire Annie is a killer. Horatio worries about Amalia, though she isn't nearly as concerned for her own well-being. Horatio tells her that every night he sits at dinner across from his wife, knowing something that she doesn't, something that will pull her heart out. The only comfort he can give is the knowledge that he walked away from it, to which Amalia replies that he didn't get very far and apologizes for being his mistake. Harriet listens to the exchange from above the stairs.

Mary plays the piano whilst Myrtle, Lucy, and the others sing along. Penance joins them with blueprints for her latest invention. Penance is in the process of constructing a device, the brightener, that will amplify Mary's voice across the city, reaching more Touched than the first time she sang. They've already set Candlemas Park as the site, given that it's the center of the city. Now, all that remains is for them to test it out.

Mary reports to Amalia that she's struggling to get her song back. Mary asks if there's been any word of Maladie or Bonfire, who she is aware that Amalia attempted to recruit. Mary accuses Amalia of keeping secrets and reveals that she's skeptical of the Orphanage; no one seems to know exactly what its purpose is. Amalia shares with Mary that, three years ago, she was declared insane after she woke up knowing things that she shouldn't, which she explains is her reason for keeping secrets. Mary admits that maybe the reason she is struggling to sing is that she isn't so sure the Orphanage is the best place for the Touched.

Hugo is having sex with Dominique as an audition for the Ferryman's Club. She climaxes and exclaims: "Nine, forty-two, and eleven seconds!" Hugo was under the impression that she would fill the room with purple lights and is displeased when she just tells the time instead, having confused her with another one on the long line of auditioning Touched girls.

Augie enters the room and expresses his reluctance with his name being involved with the club. Augie fears that his sister will find out and worries how she will respond to Hugo employing the Touched. Hugo pleads with Augie to stay on board, at least for the time being, as he can't run the club on his own. He then calls over his assistant Roma, asking about the Touched girl who supposedly turns purple before whispering to her to quickly file the contracts.

Lord Massen leaves home to tend to matters of the union. However, as far as Mrs. Beechum is concerned, unions are just organized laziness. The Massen Estate is in the process of installing a telephone, but Lord Massen can't help but notice all the strange men working through his property. Mrs. Beechum then reveals that the under-butler heard Massen talking about a widow he met, a friend of Miss Bidlow. Lord Massen instructs Mrs. Beechum to fire the under-butler and commands her to give up her romantic yen for a mistress. As he leaves in his carriage, Lord Massen passes through two tombstones with the names Gwendolyn and Lillie Massen.

The Beggar King tells his henchmen he has known Bonfire Annie since she was a kid following her father around when he collected for the Top Hat Lads. Now she's got a turn and has taken over the docks, this reflects poorly on him, especially after people saw his men run away from Annie, Amalia, and Penance. As punishment, Declan has Odium restraining one of the men as he carves into his flesh with a blade, slicing away at his Beggar King brand.

Arriving at his desk, Inspector Mundi finds a card requesting his presence at the bar The Dun Cow.

One of the men working to install phone lines at the Massen Estate heads down into the basement, where he listens to a distant chattering sound to a steel door. Inside, something is trying to escape. Mrs. Beechum appears behind him, claiming that rabid dogs reside behind the door and that it would be in his best interest to steer clear.

While out shopping with Penance, Myrtle comes across a flier with Amalia's face printed on it. They notice the address listed is not that of the Orphanage.

The Colonel approaches Horatio outside his home and uses his turn to lead him to a carriage. Inside sits a wounded Maladie. The Colonel and Clara stand guard outside the carriage as Maladie asks Horatio to heal her. Should he agree, Horatio asks for reassurance that she doesn't kill him to get back at Amalia. Maladie notices he must be close to Amalia, but she doesn't remember him well. He then agrees to heal her wound, though he must first remove the bullet fragment.

Inspector Mundi arrives at the bar and sits at a table for two hours before the barmaid brings over a note from Hugo that says: "This is what it feels like when you waste my time." Mundi is then led into the back, where Hugo awaits. He is disgruntled with Mundi, who failed to come up with anything of use despite Hugo arranging the raid of the Orphanage. He was hoping that Mundi would at least convince a couple of the girls two come work for him at the Ferryman's Club. Hugo then asks about Mary's turn, which Mundi reveals is a song only the Touched can hear. On the subject of Mary, Hugo revisits the fact that she left him on their wedding day due to Hugo and Mundi's affair, which Mundi insists was a blind, drunken mistake. Back on the subject of the Ferryman's Club, Hugo notes that this massive venture depends on a measurable level of change. Moreover, he doesn't believe that Amalia has any interest in giving the Touched a safe haven.

Outside Maladie's carriage, Clara remarks to Colonel that her toes itch, both the ones that she still has and the ones that she doesn't. Inside, Horatio proceeds to heal Maladie, who picks up the bloody bullet fragment and says that it was the only atonement Amalia offered, to which Horatio retorts that Maladie is blaming Amalia for something she couldn't control.

Maladie's henchman, Winemar Kroos, is sitting in a cell as his bullets drip from his right arms. A prison guard reveals that he's been released and leads him outside.

Penance shows Amalia the flier targeting the Touched and using Amalia's image to do so. Amalia decides to investigate, taking Lucy along with her. They arrive at the address on the flier and break down the door. Inside, Amalia knocks out an older woman before being attacked by one of the masked men. She removes his mask to discover that he's missing the lower half of his jaw, with electric cables inside the neck, and his head has undergone multiple surgeries and incisions. With Lucy's help and the electroshock umbrella, Amalia manages to kill the man. Amalia then discovers a logbook on the table detailing all the Touched that they've abducted. She instructs Lucy to take the man and the older woman back to the Orphanage while she goes to visit Miss Bidlow.

Mary has called Frank over and she asks if Maladie has been captured, but he denies it. Mary admits that the Orphanage is strange and that being there has made it difficult for her to find her voice. Frank offers to find her a place, even a room in his home. He tells her that he would never try anything, which she knows to be true, both as a gentleman and due to his secret. Mary grabs Frank's hand and tells him that she will never hate him, especially not in the manner in which he hates himself. He then asks a favor of her: the next time she sings, he'd like to be there, even though only the Touched can hear it.

The council meets to discuss their investments and the new players. They all have papers of an investment proposal on "containment and public protection in the matter of the deliberate afflictions."

In the Bidlow Estate, Amalia informs Lavinia of the fliers around town and the house where the Touched were being led. Lavinia wants to have the fliers taken down, but Amalia already intends to have someone watch the house in case anyone turns up. As for what Miss Bidlow can offer, Amalia needs to know who owns the building. Lavinia then asks about Mary, who is still struggling to find her voice.

The older woman awakens tied to a chair in the Orphanage. Lucy scares her then proceeds to interrogate her with help from Désirée's turn. They learn that she works for a well-spoken, tall man with a fur coat, but she doesn't have a name to offer. They chose her to act as their frontwoman after hearing about her daughter, whose turn was transforming any liquid into water. She continues describing it was such a burden for her that she drowned her pregnant daughter in a hot bathtub. In a fit of rage, Lucy removes her gloves and charges towards the woman, but Mary and Penance restrain her. When the woman begins ranting and raving about the Touched being abominations, Harriet uses the electroshock umbrella to knock her out. Lucy leaves and Penance shares with Mary that Lucy's touch came suddenly; she didn't know she was Touched until she lifted her baby boy from his bassinet and all his bones broke before he could even make a sound at just six months old. Harriet suggests calling the police but Désirée doubts the police would trust the word of the Touched, so Myrtle suggests Mundi. Mary then reveals that she's ready and tells Désirée to inform Inspector Mundi that she will be singing in the park.

Amalia flips through the logbook of all the Touched who were taken and experimented on. She touches her fingers while holding Elisabetta Cassini's withered work gloves. While crossing a bridge, the carriage is struck with enough force to thrown Amalia into the river below. She looks around and spots Odium charging towards her, walking on the water. She tries to swim away but is forced to come up for air, during which time Odium strikes her. He then proceeds to attack Amalia from above with a thick hooked metal chain. She jumps on him and uses the chain to strangle Odium, holding him from underwater. She leaves as he lays unconscious over the water.

Amalia arrives at the park and Penance greets her. Many of the Touched are in attendance as well as Mundi. Mary sings her song, which is amplified by Penance's device. It catches the attention of all Touched present, though Mundi hears nothing. Suddenly, Mary is shot several times by Winemar. Mundi goes after the man and kills him. Amalia rushes over to Mary and holds her dead body.

The Touched of the Orphanage return home, where they find Bonfire Annie awaiting their arrival. She creates a fireball that illuminates the dozens of other Touched who heard Mary's song.


Main cast

Supporting cast



  • In its original American broadcast, the episode was seen by an estimated 448 thousand household viewers, receiving a Nielsen rating of 0.06 among adults aged 18–49.[2]

Cultural references

  • Mary plays and sings with the others in the Orphanage "The Band Played On," a popular song written in 1895.



Behind the scenes