Ben Hawkins (Nick Stahl) sees a glimpse of a templar ring in a dream sequence [00:03:00] which he experiences again near the end of the episode [00:43:15]. Although not a masonic reference in itself, the show's creators note a perceived link to Freemasonry on their website:
In Season 2, Episode 4, the cross and Latin phrase "In hoc signo vinces" are identified with a small-town mission house. The watch fob identifies Ben to his cousins when he goes to meet his grandmother and learns about his grandfather.
Carnivale. Season 1, episode 1 "Milfay". First aired on 9/14/2003 (Production Code: 101). Created by Daniel Knauf; executive producers, Howard Klein and Daniel Knauf; co-executive producers, Dan Hassid, David Knoller, Dawn Prestwich & Nicole Yorkin and William Schmidt; consulting producer, Tracy Torme; consultant, John McLaughlin; producer, Bernie Caulfield, Directed by Rodrigo Garcia. Nick Stahl, Clancy Brown, Amy Madigan, Michael J Anderson, Tim DeKay, Clea Duvall, Patrick Bauchau, Debra Christofferson, Diane Salinger, Adrienne Barbeau, Toby Huss, Cynthia Ettinger, Carla Gallo, Brian Turk, Ralph Waite, John Carroll Lynch, Robert Knepper, John Savage, Bree Walker.
Some experts claim that the Freemasons continue the traditions and mysteries of the Knights Templar, whose Order was founded in the 11th century to protect Christian pilgrims visiting the Holy Land.