「LAND OF CONFUSION」
An Empty Episode:
I really wish I didn’t have to say this, but this episode was a complete let down. The changing of time slots and somewhat inconsistent airing of the episodes has slotted GANGSTA at the most awkward time of the week for me. I was actually relieved that last week was a recap, in order to get everything in order for the following week. I was prepared to thoroughly enjoy this episode, like I have for every one before it… but throughout I was bored and by the end I thought: “Is that it?”. I even re-watched parts of it to try and read between the lines, but still this episode felt empty. I’m sure it is adapting content from the source material, but that doesn’t change the fact this this episode felt like filler. In a way, this seemed more like episode 9.5 than the one we got last week.
I didn’t hate this episode by any means, but when my expectations for a series like this aren’t met, its like a kick in the gut. I want to get over this episode and hopefully enjoy the last two to come, since a Manglobe sequel is very unlikely. Sadly, I just can’t get excited for what happened here, as well as what’s happening in the story right now.
Current “Hunter Arc”:
I claimed that the last episode was more action and less subtlety, which I stand by. The action wasn’t pretty, but it was the most packed episode to date, and there was enough shock revelations to remind me why I liked this series so much. However, this episode had none of that. Looking back, last episode might have been the beginning of a shift in the story that I’m not particularly interested in.
Apart from Emilio and Erica, these ‘hunters’ just aren’t doing it for me. The set-up for the, hasn’t inspired me that much, and their arrival on the scene (this week and last) doesn’t have me near as pumped as I should be. I do suspect, however, that most people are still happy with what’s going on and have little to complain about (other than the D-grade art and animation), so my opinion isn’t likely to be the most popular one. It’s unfortunate that these last two episodes are going to focus so heavily of these villains; I just hope it doesn’t leave a bad aftertaste in my mouth when I look back at the series as a whole.
The Little Character Moments:
I’ll try and balance out the negatives with some highlights. For me, all the good parts of this episode were the short, heartfelt scenes with the characters interacting with other, showing little hints of the story to come, like GANGSTA always does. I liked Connie and Marco’s embrace – it was a rather touching scene, followed by an amusing one where their wedding/engagement ring was compared to mind control or manipulation. Seeing Alex and Emilio as kids at the start of the episode was painful, especially knowing what Alex went through after selling herself off. And then there was the focus on Worick’s notebook was smart and subtle, but not enough to save the episode as a whole. These were just snippets lost amongst the tides of this boring, uneventful episode.
Overview – What’s Next?:
It feels strange to write a post as negative as this one. And honestly, I never would have guessed it would come from GANGSTA. Up until episode nine, I’ve considered this one of the best of the season – a true gem with impeccable storytelling and brilliant main characters. Sadly, this current arc is losing me. I really don’t want this to be where my love for this series ends. There’s still two episodes to prove otherwise, so I really hope things turn around for the better.