2003–2005 American television series

Carnivàle (2003–2005), is an American dramatic TV series, set in the mid-1930s Depression era. In Milfay, Oklahoma, young Ben Hawkins, on the run from the law and having just buried his mother, joins a travelling circus, whose members have mysterious agendas, and whose circuit seems to include some unknown purpose involving Ben himself. Half a continent away in Mintern, California, Brother Justin Crowe, fighting to do the Lord's work, discovers dark secrets about his past and his own dramatic destiny. Why do these two unrelated men dream of each other? What conflicts await them? And who is running the grand show?

Season 1


Milfay [1.01]

Samson: Before the beginning, after the Great War between Heaven and Hell, God created the Earth and gave dominion over it to the crafty ape he called Man; and to each generation was born a creature of light and a creature of darkness; and great armies clashed by night in the ancient war between Good and Evil. There was magic then, nobility, and unimaginable cruelty; and so it was until the day that a false sun exploded over Trinity, and Man forever traded away wonder for reason.

Lila: Fine looking boy…
Lodz: You have a singularly prurient mind, Lila.
Lila: And what would you know about it?
Lodz: More than I care to, believe me.

Brother Justin Crowe: Latter day versions of the vile plagues that rained on Egypt, the fires that consumed Sodom and Gomorrah, scourges of the Old Testament, yes, but even now brothers and sisters, even now, droughts and pestilence fester in the very heart of this great land. Titanic sandstorms, the likes of which man has not seen since the days of the prophets. And I ask myself, what are these things? What are they if not evidence of God's fury? What are they if not harbingers of the Apocalypse? And yet And yet as I walked to church today, these troubled thoughts were soothed by a balmy wind. And as I looked out upon the endless acres of rich, untilled earth, I realized brothers and sisters, that this is truly the Promised Land, and that we are indeed blessed. But let us not forget the less fortunate. Let us not forget that they too were once blessed. And let us not forget that the Lord giveth, and the Lord taketh away.

Brother Justin Crowe: [to Eleanor, a thieving parishioner] I see you in my sermons. And you pray so hard, you break my heart. But my words, they wash over you like water over a stone. We all, each of us, carry within us the seeds of our own salvation, and our own damnation.

Samson: Let's shake some dust!

After the Ball Is Over [1.02]

Waitress: Every prophet in his house.

Tipton [1.03]

Brother Justin Crowe: Yes, that old time religion, brothers and sisters, rising like a phoenix from the ashes of sin and degradation. Where there was a den of flesh and debasement, there is now a glorious, shining temple dedicated to the Lord God Almighty! Amen. Now there were those who laughed when we started our great mission, men of the cloth, respectable learned men, who said the migrants had lost their faith. He said that the migrants believed that God has abandoned them. And so they in turn have abandoned God. Well to them I say, who has more faith in God than those who have borne witness to His Fury? Who has more faith in God than the brother who has seen his land blow away in a raging tempest? Who has more faith in God than the sister who has buried her children in the hardscrabble left behind? Who has more faith in God than the families that wander the wilderness in search of the Promised Land? From Kansas to Colorado! From New Mexico to Oklahoma!

Samson: Lyle, I'm tellin' you, this operation is a hundred percent legit.
Lyle: I never heard an honest man use the word "legit".

Black Blizzard [1.04]


Babylon [1.05]


Pick a Number [1.06]


The River [1.07]


Lonnigan, Texas [1.08]


Insomnia [1.09]


Hot and Bothered [1.10]


Day of the Dead [1.11]

Catalina: Your wife, she's one sexy mujerzuela.
Stumpy: Heh. You go sleep with her then.

The Day That Was the Day [1.12]

Management: Yes, but to restore a life you must take a life.

Management: You must act as a man, not a boy. A boy mends the broken bones of his playmates, and resurrects little kittens for his own amusement. This is different, this is a woman's life. A human life. To restore it you must take life… with deliberation. You must choose the life you take — that is the way of our kind.

Ben Hawkins: I ain't here to play games with someone hiding behind some curtain.
Lodz: Best keep a civil tongue in your head, boy.

Management: Another step and I will kill you where you stand… then what will become of your friend, I wonder.

Ben Hawkins: Who are you?
Management: Someone who understands the life you've led, the questions you have, the torments… Someone who understands what it is to make such a choice. One life for another.

Management: You have made this choice before.
Ben Hawkins: What do you know about that?
Management: I know that you are capable of making such a choice. Capable of saying "this one deserves to live, this one deserves to die".
Ben Hawkins: No, that ain't my place.
Management: If that is true, my friend, then why is such a choice possible? Why are you not like other men, left behind to bury your dead, gnash your teeth and cry out to God, "Why her, Lord, why not another?" The answer is self-evident. It is your place, Ben Hawkins; it cannot be escaped. It can only be accepted… Her life for another's. It is the only way… You may go now.

Stumpy: It's a hell of marriage we got here.
Rita Sue: I wouldn't trade it.
Stumpy: Wouldn't be any takers.

Brother Justin: So, I hear you think I burned down my church.

Tommy Dolan: Do you need an audience, Brother Justin?
Brother Justin: What I need will take some time to accomplish. But the first step is getting out my message.

[After being shown a vision of the past]

Norman Balthus: My greatest evil? Saving your life? Giving you refuge? Protecting and nurturing you?
Brother Justin: No, this can't be.
Norman Balthus: By your own words, the sin l must embrace, the evil that l have brought into the world...
Brother Justin: [Visibly shocked] ls me!
Norman Balthus: lt's not too late, son. Pray with me now. Beg the Lord God to have pity upon you. Pray with me, pray that the demon leave you.
Brother Justin: There is no demon in me! The demon is me.

Tommy Dolan: Deal?
Brother Justin: I'm reminded of the phrase "making a deal with the devil".
Tommy Dolan: Oh, come on, now. I'm not that bad.
Brother Justin: No, no, you're not.

Season 2


Los Moscos [2.01]

Samson: On the heels of the skirmish men foolishly called the War to End All Wars, the Dark One sought to elude his destiny, live as a mortal. So he fled across the ocean, to an empire called America. But by his mere presence, a cancer corrupted the spirit of the land. People were rendered mute by fools who spoke many words but said nothing. For whom oppression and cowardice were virtues, and freedom… an obscenity. And into this dark heartland, the prophet stalked his enemy, till, diminished by his wounds, he turned to the next in the ancient line of Light. And so it was that the fate of mankind came to rest on the trembling shoulders of the most reluctant of saviors.

Outskirts, Damascus, NE [2.08]

[In a vision, Ben observes a younger, unmaimed Belyakov before the Tree.]
Lucius Belyakov: Behold the Usher! A dark heart dwells where branches meet. Anointed dagger, plunge thee deep.

Cheyenne, WY [2.10]

[Brother Justin chuckles over Sophie's embarrassment when she curses during her chores.]
Brother Justin: Vulgarity is not a sin against God, but against Polite Society. Between you and me, I don't give a shit about Polite Society.

New Canaan, CA [2.12]

Samson: When it comes to livin', dyin' is the easy part!

Brother Justin: You must choose. Them or me! Tell me!
Sophie: Go to hell!
Brother Justin: Go? Why? I plan on bringing it here.

[Samson, Jonesy, and Ben argue about finding Sophie in Justin's camp.]
Jonesy: What if she's dead?
Ben Hawkins: If she's dead… then God help 'em all in this valley. Every single last one of 'em.

[Justin dismisses Stroud's concerns as they leave for the carnival ride set-up.]
Brother Justin: Pain is an unavoidable side effect.

Lincoln Highway [2.21]

[Discussing the Bible]
Brother Justin: Once you get past the striking repetition, it's really quite banal. [laughs] Blessed are the meek. Can you imagine?



See also

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