WHAT THE FUCK HERMES. REALLY MAN? REALLY? WHAT THE ACTUAL FUCK. COME ON!!!!!! I KNEW YOU WERE SHADY, BUT COME ON MAN. REALLY? ARE YOU KIDDING ME RIGHT NOW? Bloody bastard just had to fucking ruin what was shaping up to be a nice way to end this chaotic chapter! Thank god Hestia’s clumsy self made a mess of the journal to discover it was a fake, but who knows what Hermes is about to pull at this point? He wants them to die like now, so just how much time do they really have right now to act? Doesn’t feel like they have a lot of time, because he could have very well enabled Loki’s Familia to do the clean up, but instead he had taken measures to put the Xenos into his hands. It makes you wonder what kind of grudge or whatever he has against them to make the mission of killing them something so personal to him.
Luckily Wiene isn’t part of this particular group, and it could be thanks to Asterius that they may be able to avoid this crisis altogether. He provided them the key to Knossos, directing them to take a door that nobody knew about leading back to the dungeon. Hopefully that means they will be able to make a safe return without Hermes or any members of his Familia getting in the way. But in turn this begs the question of what will happen to Fel’s group? Since Lyd, Gros and Rei (and others) are all in that group, it would be utterly tragic if they were to be killed off at this point, especially since we actually didn’t get to see much of them. But with next week being the final episode of the season (I can’t believe how fast time has flown by!), who knows what will happen… I just hope they will be okay. This also sucks because Bell and the others have this false sense of security that they have completed their task. I can’t imagine the grief they will feel if Lyd and the others all end up dead.
But apart from the painful and frustrating end to this episode, up until that point, things were actually working out better than expected. I am so glad I was not overthinking the possibility of Tiona being merciful. I didn’t want to be fixed on certain expectations, so I tried my best to keep it at bay and remain skeptical of the possibilities. So when Tiona chose to let Wiene go, I actually shouted, “TIONAAAAAAAAAA IM SORRY FOR DOUBTING YOU!!!!!” Seriously, bless this girl. She sensed there was something different about Wiene and actually took the time to observe her actions to try and figure her out. It allowed her to witness Wiene saving a child from falling debris, and with that she made up her mind to confront her and let her go. I am also so incredibly proud of Wiene for not giving up being kind to Humans despite the traumatic experience she was put through. In the matter of fact, she did that two times today, and both times ending up playing a crucial role in changing her opponent’s belief about her as a monster.
The second time however was the most excruciating, yet dauntless attempt to prove to Ais that she was not a threat. When Ais told her Wiene claws hurt people, her wings frighten people, and her red stone will end up killing many people, Wiene didn’t hesitate to snap off her claws and tore out her wing, vowing that if she were to ever lose herself again, she will disappear like she’s supposed to. The whole scene was so brutal to watch, that I had to cover my eyes and take my headphones off because it made me squeamish. But her pain was not in vain, as her actions spoke louder than words, and she was able to explain her grief and what Bell had saved her from. That was what Ais needed to hear and see, addressing her doubts and challenging her beliefs to the core.
And I really appreciate Ais showing us the emotional side of her, because it’s something we don’t usually get to see. Frustration, anger, horror, shaken, confusion and disbelief. Wiene succeeded changing her mind about killing her, and in turn this showed us that Ais is not an unflinching, unfeeling warrior. She even provided Wiene a healing potion to address her wounds and let them go.
But for me, the best part of the episode was when Ais and Bell were dueling each other. I love a good fight, and even though this one was relatively brief, it was still beautiful and quite satisfying to watch. I don’t know how to describe it, but it makes me proud to watch Bell stick to his beliefs and not hesitate to fight back when he knows he has to, even when it’s against someone he would rather not fight against. I especially loved the point he made, how they as Humans aren’t any different than Monsters because they kill too. I also loved how Ais tried to give Bell as many chances as she could so she wouldn’t have to come down to hurting him, because she didn’t want to be fighting him either.
The other bit I really enjoyed was the underlining theme of family looking out for each other. Hestia explained it all perfectly to Wiene. While she mostly referred to Bell’s convictions, I think we can all agree this applies to rest of them as well. This objective was more than just protecting a Wiene and the Xenos, it’s about protecting family. Haruhime stepped up to protect Wiene, Aisha comes in as her big sister to take care of Bete. Welf got unexpected back-up by Tsubaki from Hephaestus Familia (and I really would like to see more of her, because she is absolutely hilarious. The way she off-handily commented, “See? He’s alive.” AKA “HE’S FINEEEEE” had me in stitches!).
Overall apart from the frustrating ending, this was a great episode. It was nice to see Bell end up at the place where he fought to protect Hestia in the first season. Although Bell feels like he is still as weak as he was when he first started out, we all know that he has gone through tremendous growth as a character. He made some incredibly difficult decisions this season, many of them coming along with dire consequences such as being ostracized by his community, and yet he hasn’t shied away from taking pursuing the path of thorns and needles. Today he fought in his own way, first to create a diversion and run away with Wiene in attempt to protect her, the second time he sent her to safety and fought to buy as much time as he could. He should be proud of himself, hold his head high because it’s something to be commended for.
But with Hermes making himself to be another threat to worry about, it sure doesn’t look like Bell will be able to catch his breath just yet.