These cliffhangers are going to be the end of me. What a fantastic way to end the episode. I may be stressed, but I am definitely looking forward to the upcoming episodes. March finally makes her appearance to Fushi, but things are not going well at all. Single handedly, Kahaku has turned the tides of this war and it is definitely not in our favor. But more than that, I really cannot get over the fact that the next episode is “Death of a Deathless”. Fushi, I know I’ve been frustrated with you trying to shoulder the entire war on your shoulders, but PLEASE. PLEASE BE OKAY.
All around, this episode was absolutely phenomenal. Even without the final minute, this was already a pretty heavy episode as the war continues to put a strain on everyone. We start off with Hairo who makes a decision to let a thief go after hearing the man’s backstory. It still shows that he has humanity and can easily be impacted by the people around him. He wanted this man to have a second chance. But of course, not all humans turn immediately to goodness. Hairo learns this the hard way after coming to a shout by an elderly woman. Upon his arrival, it becomes clear that the thief broke into the house, started a fight, and now two people are dead… leaving the older woman alone. This does give us a small call back to Tasette, the woman who took care of him, but ultimately there is a bit of weight that is added as this would not have happened if he dealt with the thief previously. That being said… after he separates from them (ie. by having Fushi publicly execute him, which is a whole other can of worms) he is responsible for protecting the church that has become overrun by Nokkers. Since he’s “immortal”, he is constantly trying to run between defeating the Nokkers and protecting people from getting hurt. In short, he’s balancing a lot and can’t quickly or effectively reclaim the church. This, I expect, will have a great impact on his mental state especially since Kahaku directly comments on it when he brings everyone in for dinner.
Then we have Kai, who, for the most part, is on Kahaku duty. Arguably, I do agree with everyone that leaving someone who can come back to life in the hands of the most dangerous human/nokker combo is a good idea. And ultimately, when it comes to all the conversations with Kahaku, I really like how people try to talk to his left arm rather than him. Yes the Nokker is seen as “on their side”, but at the end of the day it is a Nokker. It still has full autonomy even while connected to Kahaku. And of course, Kahaku is a descendant of Hayase. So, Kai doesn’t really do much except for getting killed by Kahaku, but I think of all the immortal soldiers he has the most level head of the group. But again, Kahaku brings him to dinner and straight up tells Kai that he’s never been strong enough to participate in a war like this. Another blow.
Then, of course, we have Messar who has the absolute worst time in this episode. First the King dies and Alme finds out that they are actually siblings. This is just one devastating blow, but the king’s end was not unexpected. If it was not the Nokkers that got him, it was going to be the illness. It hurts, but not as much as what happens next. I wish we could have had a few more minutes with Alme. I would have loved to learn more about her. I would have loved to know what caused her to consider suicide. Was it just the shock of losing her father and finding out that Messar and her are siblings? Or was she never ready to take over the kingdom? Was it because she was infected by the Nokkers? There are so many possible reasons for wanting to jump, but I think Messar saving her only made her passing all the more impactful. He tries to convince her to stay alive, but (and this is something I’m unclear on), after pushing her face cover away he sees the mark of Nokker possession, and he is the one who ultimately kills her. Right there a double whammy. Next, Fushi arrives and he begs him to bring her back to life and of course, Fushi is only able to provide an empty shell. Then, he tries Bon and Bon confirms that she went to heaven because she would rather experience a dream than be stuck in this reality. Ooof…. Messar, is really going through it. And naturally, Kahaku does not make this any better with his comments.
God… Kahaku. Kahaku, Kahaku, Kahaku. There is so much to say about him in this episode, but I feel like he’s just making enemies no matter what he does. It’s clear that he does not care about anyone else besides Fushi. We’ve known this for a while, but I really wish he would play nicely with the people that Fushi trusts. I’m pretty sure he killed all three of them before the final scene. A doozy, but at that moment, I really thought that Fushi was just going to bring them back to life (And now I’m stressed that they aren’t going to be able to anymore thanks to *gestures broadly* all of this). Kahaku once again tries to show his undying love and loyalty to Fushi by telling him to speak his mind. And Fushi, who is still shouldering so much of this war, says that he just wants it all to end. And in the most Kahaku way possible, he touches Fushi’s face. AND BOY DO THINGS GO BADLY. The Nokker takes route and is able to destroy Fushi from the inside out. Kahaku is left to watch in terror, but I just don’t feel any sympathy for him because of everything that led up to this moment…
But March’s arrival was absolutely devastating. The nail in the coffin. I thought I would make it through the episode without my eyes watering, but then she appeared, fearless and ready to save Fushi. And hearing her shout “Mommy’s here” absolutely broke me. MARCH IM HAPPY YOU’RE BACK!! IM BEGGING YOU, PLEASE SAVE FUSHI.
Ah ha ha ha…. I am so stressed for the next episode. I fully expect to have a breakdown over this series between now and the end of the season.