Carnivàle is an American television series set in the United States during the Great Depression and Dust Bowl. In tracing the lives of two disparate groups of people, its overarching story depicts the battle between good and evil and the struggle between free will and destiny; the storyline mixes Christian theology with gnosticism and Masonic lore, particularly that of the Knights Templar.
The Dust Bowl circus troupe deals with the fallout from a fatal fire and, in California, Brother Justin reaches new converts on the radio. Lila wonders what happened to Lodz. Ben takes off to find Scudder.
The troupe sends out search parties when a distraught Sofie goes missing. Justin and Iris welcome a new housekeeper. Samson accuses Stumpy of skimming. Ben visits an old acquaintance of Scudder's in New Mexico.
Dolan continues his quest to get to the bottom of the Ministry arson. Gabriel gets into the act with Ruthie, who experiences another supernatural vision. Ben happens upon some distant relatives.
Lila hasn't given up trying to find out what happened to the missing Lodz. Iris begs her brother not to harbor so many secrets. Jones finds new work for Sofie. Balthus sees another display of Justin's power.
After a conversation with Ruthie, Sofie reaches out to Ben; Stumpy wagers on an important fight. Dolan puts pressure on Justin, who sees things in a new light after receiving a mysterious gift. Stroud's quest to find Ben continues.
Samson runs into an old acquaintance when the troupe crosses paths with another carnival. Rita Sue's business decisions give Stumpy fits. Justin and Iris struggle with a tough sermon. Libby's honor is in need of defense.
Stroud is closing in on Ben, who pays a visit to a run-down hotel. Justin and Iris pacify a bishop with a good meal. Sabina shares her secrets with Libby; the troupe is concerned about Sofie. Jones gets a favor from Libby.
A local politician receives Iris and Justin's support. Ruthie tries to hide from her visions. Rita Sue takes charge of Stumpy's debt. Smith sees trouble for Justin. Sofie gets new work. Libby has shocking news for her parents.
Ruthie's latest vision leaves evidence behind. Lila hasn't given up her search for the missing Lodz. Eleanor goes on a picnic with Iris. Justin's powers calm a chaotic gathering.
Justin has help avoiding a disaster. Iris locates another branch of her family tree. Stroud tries a strength-in-numbers approach. Libby is cowed by her mother's authority. Ruthie pays another late-night visit to Lila.
Lila voices her opposition to Samson's itinerary for the troupe. Justin's baptism of the faithful coincides with another tragedy and a startling event in the migrant camp. Libby pleads with Jones to reveal his secret. Sofie sees a familiar face.
Samson tries to stay a step ahead of impending chaos. Stroud does his best to protect Justin. Ben's powers face the ultimate test.