One snowy night, a man holding a gun runs from three other men through London streets. He stops on a bridge to giggle about his new acquisition: A rare and beautiful ring with a large blue stone inside. Before he can indulge in his success, he’s attacked by a strangely dressed man using near invisible wires as a weapon. This doll-like man pulls the wires taut, spilling blood and causing the man to fall over the bridge into the ice-covered river, along with the ring he was holding. The three pursuers look on in shock and disappointment from across the waters.
Sometime later, on a clear but freezing day on top of the iced-over Thames River, London citizens are enjoying a very rare “Frost Fair,” where an ice-skating rink lined with many shops and tents has been constructed on the ice. Ciel and Sebastian have come to look around, and even Elizabeth is in attendance, teasing her maid ‘Paula’ by jumping too hard on the ice, but also searching for a suitable birthday present for Ciel. Also in the crowd are the three men who are searching for the ring that was lost to them deep inside the river.
Ciel spots an expensive toy that reminds him of one that he played with as a child along with Elizabeth. It’s a wooden arc set, filled with various animals. He writes it off as fake, thinking the real one couldn’t possibly turn up in a place like this. He soon runs into the young police officer that he’s met once or twice before, who wants to ask him for some advice regarding a certain problem disturbing the peace.
They step into a Chinese restaurant and the officer tells Ciel why Scotland Yard is at the Snow Festival today. The body of a man was found frozen in the ice under the river during preparations for the fair. In addition, he was the culprit who stole the famous “Blue Diamond” ring, called “Hope’s Fragment.” Lao speaks up revealing his seemingly intimate knowledge on the subject, but as usual he’s just pretending to be in the know. (This restaurant is actually his, hence the sexy waitresses in skimpy Chinese dresses.) Since Lao is seemingly clueless about the history of the ring, Ciel fills him in on the back-story involving Marie Antoinette and how the original diamond was cut in two. Ciel’s family ring bears one half, and Hope’s Fragment is home to the other. Since the police officer is looking for it after the robbery, Ciel offers his help.
Outside, Elizabeth and Paula are still looking for presents. Paula finds some cute handheld rings with bells on them (they look like Lau’s sexy girl’s anklets to me), but Elizabeth isn’t impressed. She passes the creepy doll-like gentleman winding a music box, who turns his neck 180 degrees to watch the two girls walk by.
Ciel is less than amused (but surprised) to find that the Undertaker has set up a tent on the fair premises as well. The police officer mistakes the misleading tent flap for a real door, and leaves Lao, Ciel, and Sebastian standing outside. After an ice-shattering laugh from the Undertaker, they all enter the tent quite suspiciously, and Sebastian even seems a bit touchy that someone else was able to make the Undertaker laugh so hard (even though he swears he was just talking normally). Ciel demands that he spills the info about the ring, so he takes them outside and shows everyone that it was under their noses in broad daylight the entire time, sitting on the hand of one of the ice sculptures. The police rush to take the ring, but are stopped by the fair administration. They aren’t allowed to disturb the ring until after the fair’s ice sculpture contest, because it is the prize being offered to the winner. Among the contest’s judges is none other than Count Druitt – who Ciel clearly remembers with some nostalgia from episode 4’s brief encounter.
To get around this slight setback, Ciel decides to go with the flow instead of fighting (this illogical police cockblockage) and enter the contest as well. The three grumpy (and proud, Irish) villains looking for the ring also enter, and so the contest begins. Elizabeth isn’t paying attention to the contest though – She’s too busy feeling guilty for breaking Ciel’s ring in a selfish fit several weeks before, so she wants his birthday present to be perfect. She spots something that grabs her attention and rushes off to buy it.
The contest time limit comes to an end, and the ice sculptures are revealed to the judges one by one. The Scotland Yard team created a statue in the image of their police chief, but it doesn’t suit the taste of the judges as much as their own feelings. Lao’s team created an X-rated version of his sexy companion, which received null points from everyone except Count Druitt, who gave it the highest possible rating. Sebastian created a life-size version of the arc, which folded apart to reveal the inside was full of life-like animals and creatures onboard the large ship. All the judges, including the Count, were stunned and gave it (and Sebastian) extremely high praise.
The three Irish guys realize they can’t possibly win with their short-statured Celtic god, so they interrupt the contest to take the ring by force with dynamite and a gun. The young police officer shows a lot of heart (and naïveté) by telling Ciel to run away, but he stands his ground with faith in Sebastian. The thief soon finds Sebastian’s ice skates are too much to handle, and starts throwing dynamite everywhere. While he performs triple-lutzes to take out all the bad guys, they soon find themselves (and the entire fair) under icy water after using one too many explosions. Ciel and Sebastian emerge triumphantly from the danger by piloting the floating arc. Unfortunately, in all the commotion the ring sank to the bottom of the ice-filled water again. While the officer stares in amazement at Ciel, Ciel thinks that someone as naïve but kindhearted as the young policeman might not always be such a bad thing.
Sometime later, Elizabeth crashes the toy arc she bought at the Snow Festival onto the floor, breaking it in half because her father told her it was a fake. Paula’s jingle bells fail to cheer her up, so Elizabeth sends her away thoroughly depressed. As she sulks to the ground, she notices a blue diamond ring inside a piece of the arc and holds it up in surprise. Elsewhere, the strange doll-man bows before an unseen master, claiming a job well done.
This episode leaves the family puppy at home (and of course unresolved, story-wise) and we enjoy a whole day at the fair with another filler episode. While that is depressing in itself, it was at least a little entertaining, and I did laugh at a few points. It’s hard not to sulk a little when your expectations are first raised, then dropped drastically, but not impossible. I did enjoy all the side character interaction, and bringing back Count Druitt – even though I have no idea what he’s doing out in public and not behind bars. So much for the contribution to society theory.
The new “bad” guy with the killer wire and crick in his neck *seems* to be working with some decent cause in mind, but then again maybe not. Whoever his boss is may or may not be a good person, but he seemed to orchestrate the ring ending up in Elizabeth’s hands instead of the thieves’. She’s clearly intending on giving the ring to Ciel (to apologize for the idiocy in episode 3), so we’ll have to wait until Thursday to find out what their real intentions were all along. Maybe they’ll wrap all the loose strings up in the next couple of episodes, since that’s all the time that we have left this season anyway.
Next week’s preview is more of the same, with some more returnees from both the distant and the not so distant past. Now if only they’d bring back private-tutor Sebastian, then I’d be satisfied and call it a day.