Oof, my poor heart. As expected, this week’s episode was pretty brutal and bloody to watch. Both Bell and Wiene were put through a lot of pain. Dix not only ripped Wiene’s stone off her forehead (which was absolutely brutal to watch), but he applied a curse to drive her into madness, taking her affections and desperation to find Bell and creating a hallucinations of him to send her on a rampage to the surface. Bell had hoped to reach and rescue her before she got there, but once again he was a little too late, with Loki’s Familia who pinned her down just seconds after he arrives to the scene.
And now Bell finds himself in the exact situation that puts his convictions to the test. But frankly, no matter what choice Bell makes, he is already bound to lose. Even if he were to let Loki Familia, or be the one to “clean-up” and finish Wiene, then he would be living in guilt for the rest of his life, and lose the trust from the Xenos. So Bell made the impossibly difficult decision that brands him as a fool (as Hermes puts it) that will lead him and his Familia to being ostracized by the people of Orario. But it was not an easy decision for him to make. Heck, even now Bell is already undergoing a mental meltdown. More than anything, it’s not the public’s eyes that hurts him right now, but the fact that he and Ais are on different sides of this battle. And it is an incredibly sad situation since we know how much Ais means to Bell because she has been his aspiration, friend and his crush as well.
Next Bell needs to somehow (I presume) put Wiene’s stone back on her forehead after it had been brutally tripped off by Dix. Honestly I had thought with Wiene pinned down, this was a prime opportunity to put it back on her, but instead he just puts himself between her and Loki’s Familia, begging them not to kill her. That being said, he still might take advantage of this position to put do it- provided he acts fast enough. It will also be interesting to see how quickly Lyd, Gros and Rei arrive to town, and whether (though it’s very likely) the collective whole of Hestia’s Familia (and possibly including the Goddess herself) jumping in between with Bell. Needless to say the tension next week will be ridiculous. Ouranos kind of needs to step in at this point, because this has officially gotten out of hand– I somehow doubt he will though. I can’t imagine the Guild will either, because the can’t afford to face the backlash from the public either.
We also learned about how Dix’s plans with the Xenos has evolved from trade. Dix loathes the Daedalus’ Labyrinth, because unless he proceeds to carry out the task, it will drive him mad. But that all changed when he discovered a way to gain a twisted form of relief and pleasure that could sate the madness that comes with Daedalus’ Blood Binding. He gets off their cries and misery when he tortures and kills them because the Xenos are the monsters born from the dungeon that drove Daedalus into insanity. So in a way, I suppose you could say this is Dix’s vengeance against the dungeon itself, which led to this form of “salvation”.
Apart from the number of heartbreaking moments, there were also some uplifting ones that made me smile. As cheesy as it was, I wasn’t even mad about Lyd and the others overcoming Dix’s curse through the power of friendship. Bell’s unwavering determination to protect the Xenos, and his disgust at the reasons for Dix’s pleasure for bringing harm is enough to justify (for me anyways) snapping them out of it. I was also kind of happy to see Lyd was able to be the one to back Bell up instead of the not so little Rookie, who took care of business at Livira, (who, if I may add, single-handily kicked everyone’s ass, without killing them). There was no way Bell was going to beat Dix (Level 5) as a Level 3, regardless of his stats being affected by the curse he had used on the Xenos. On top of that, Dix cleverly released them from the curse on his own so he could survive the Argonaut punch, which required him to go back to his original status. Which means, much to my displeasure, Dix was able to retreat and live another day thanks to his shrewd tactics.
It was also good to see Bell was determined to save Wiene by simply having faith that despite the madness, she would recognize him. He took a lot of hefty blows, and was pretty bloodied up (on top of what was already a brutal fight against Dix). Honestly it sure felt almost like a miracle in itself that he was able to still walk, let alone run. But it was a touching moment when his words got through to her enough to make her question everything (which was enough to have stopped her from outright attacking him). Unfortunately that moment was short-lived no thanks to Dix’s interference.
We also finally got a glimpse at the not-so-little Rookie,and I’m starting to wonder if he will end up being the one to defeat Dix. He is clearly strong enough to single-handily deal with Ganesha Familia, so if there’s anyone right now who is fit to do it, it’s probably him. (Though let’s be real, it’s probably going to be Bell, haha. I don’t mind either way though!) I would also argue he is probably the best one to do it right now because Bell has his hands full with far more difficult matters with not just his position in this battle, but with Wiene and the other Xenos rushing to his aid.
And finally, it was quite funny to see Fels reaction of, “HEY I NEED TO HEAL YOU!” to watching Bell rush off to fight another battle with, “Seriously?”, I am really loving Fels’ character so far, he has been a great addition to the cast so I hope we continue to see more of him as this arc goes on.
I’m looking forward to how things are going to unfold from here on out! Until then, see you next week!