At the end of the last episode I was certain that the Player who took down the Queen and some civilians was just a Mu clone. And Oh man I was wrong. It really was Mu at the end of last week’s episode, but it was a manipulated drugged up Mu. I’ll be honest, it took me a bit to get into this episode because there was quite a bit of set up for the big “plot twist” at the end. However, I do like that they had the events of this episode occur during the same time as the last episode. I like that they attempted to show us two sides of the same situation. I mean it’s a bad situation for Nir, but it’s also a pretty bad situation for Mu and Echo as well. And I’m interested to see how that will all come together in the next episode as they meet up once again.
I’ll admit that something didn’t sit right with me as soon as they met Tommy. I think it was clear from the moment he stepped off the plane that he would not be the most trustworthy. It’s further shown by him calling her Princess. I would get it if Jimi was some sort of royalty in Londinum but… he wasn’t so it seemed like Mu was being glorified beyond comfort. It was just fishy right out of the gate. But I do like the ways in which they attempted to lead us into a false sense of security. I think it was cool how they gave us an answer to where Jimi was and that it might be possible to get him back. Whether or not their promises were true… is a different story, but I did enjoy their explanation of prior events to Mu.
The Echo/Mu dynamic this week felt really awkward to me. Over the course of the whole anime it’s been made pretty obvious through dialogue with other characters that the two of them have feelings for the other, or at least really care for each other… but it’s kind of hard to see it based on their actions towards each other particularly Mu to Echo. I wouldn’t go as far to say that Mu seems to hate Echo, but if anything, she seems pretty peeved at anything that he says or does. Even at the beginning of this episode she just seemed really irritated. That can absolutely be due to the information that she had gotten at the end of Episode 6, but her irritation towards him and his actions is just everywhere. Perhaps I’m reading a little too much into it, but it just doesn’t sit quite right with me. Though, probably after their time in Londinium my thoughts on this will change.
The final act of the “play” was where I think this episode really shined. I enjoyed the way they handled the betrayal despite it being something that I thought was predictable. It did a really good job of letting us know what might have happened to Jimi and just how bad this situation can get. Since after the meeting with Denka they’ve really let us know that perhaps all the chaos and danger that the Earless brings is not a black and white situation. Earless can co-exist with everyone, but something is making them behave the way that they are – maybe not directly but perhaps out of anger. What I really enjoyed was the moment where Mu talks about being “and Earless who was selected to become a Player” and if that’s true, that’s super interesting! I say this because it contradicts Nir’s comment that all Players become Earless, but it also still fits in line if all Earless become Players and eventually return to being Earless. I think it’s a pretty cool cycle if that is the case. It might end up being a situation where Players are selected to “liberate” the Earless, but somewhere in their transition they lose that goal and are unable to find it again. I have a feeling that won’t be the case, but I stand by that I would be pretty excited if that were the case.
Overall, I think this was a fine episode. I wasn’t all that invested in the beginning and middle segments because I felt it was very dialogue heavy, but I understand that it was needed to advance the story. I did like how they were able to connect with the last episode. We’ve had a chance to sit with what Nir went through and now that we know what’s happening with Mu, I think the conflict that comes out of it would be a lot more effective than if we were to only get one side of the story. So, I’m definitely interested to see how the conflict between the two Players plays out next week!