The previous episode was anticlimactic in the best way. This episode was anticlimactic in the worst way. What were the creators thinking here?
The setup was for the mystery was great, until the end, when the author and his lover are lying on the floor getting murdered over and over again as Huey and Dalian watch from the sidelines without much concern. (For a sensitive young maiden, Dalian sure seems inured to slaughter.) Here I’m expecting Huey or Dalian to do something to end this impasse. Then one of the shots happens to decapitate the dead man. He proceeds to pick up his head. At this, the woman goes ballistic and shoots him even more but the shots have no effect. He begins to glow, as does his lover. They merge into a gelatinous mass of light, and smother their murderer to death. They disappear.
Now while this is happening, Dalian and Huey are standing in the jail cell. As the corpse picks up its head and begins glowing green, they stand there and watch, nodding sagely that it’s evolution. They seem unimpressed by the transformation into an energy being with two souls. After all, the two people have died thousands of times, so there’s plenty of time for evolution to work its magic! Of course they have developed an immunity to death! It’s science! After the organism passes away, Huey prays for its soul, Dalian says “Amen”, they grab the conclusion of the BL novel for Dalian and go on their merry way.
This episode just made me ask: what is the point of our main characters? They were worse than useless in this final scene. Couldn’t they at least feign some concern or surprise upon witnessing a massive killing spree and a decapitated man transforming into an energy being? If not, why are they even there? In the last episode, our main characters didn’t do much to solve the mysteries either: but at least they weren’t indifferent. They were worried about the children, and were certainly not pleased about being robbed. In this episode, they’re just passerby who don’t even care about a mass murder right in front of them.
Aside from that I actually liked the episode though, so who knows, I think this was just a one-off thing with a conclusion not to my liking. The two main characters do need to start getting more involved though. I was hoping for some longer non-episodic story line… or at least something involving Huey and Dalian.
This week’s Phantom Book is Ras Alhague by Asclepius. As far as I can tell a book by this title doesn’t exist. Asclepius is the Greek god of healing and medicine. There are several stories about Asclepius’ death: in all of them, he is killed for bringing someone back from the dead. The rod with a snake around it (see the book’s cover) is Asclepius’ symbol. The snake is believed to symbolize rebirth and rejuvenation, through the shedding of its skin, and also the snake’s venom may bear some comparison to medicine. This snake leads to the title of the book, Ras Alhague, which means “the head of the serpent” in Arabic. This is also the name of the star which is, well, the head of the serpent, in Asclepius’ constellation Ophiuchus.
A blog note: I’m travelling again and will be gone next week. I won’t be quite as busy or travel nearly as far as my last trip (just across the country), so I may still be able to update: it all depends on my hotel’s internet connection. I do have at least three posts scheduled for my absence either way. So Stein’s; Gate and Iroha posts may be delayed until next weekend, and next Thursday’s shows will be delayed a day or two as well.