A Different Focus:
It was a bold move for this penultimate episode to not include Nic or Worick, and instead focus on the secondary characters. But did it pay off? Overall, I think it did. Funnily enough, before watching this episode I’d seen a few comments where people said this was the weakest of the season. After the last two weeks, I was seriously worried that GANGSTA was slipping into obscurity after proving to be one of the best summer shows. So when I did watch it, I was pleasantly surprised that it wasn’t near as a bad as I anticipated. It wasn’t one of the strongest episodes, but for me, at least, it was an improvement on borefest of last week.
Similar to episode 9, this one was all about the action. I’m still not too sold on the Hunters as villains or characters, since they seem a little too OTT when compared to the relatively understated cast, but if there’s one thing this episode did well with these new faces, it’s that it made them feel dangerous. From start to finish, this episode was a bloodbath. Tags here dropping like flies, smokescreens were sent through the city, and even the big dogs had to get involved. These Hunters are certainly strong, and this episode cements them as a force to be reckoned with. There’s no greater example of that than with Doug. I would have put him near the bottom of my favourites list, but it was still devastating to watch him be ambushed and then stumble through the streets of Ergastulum until he was eventually found, bloody and ruined. His haggard breathes were all that was needed to convey the pain he was going through. And just like that, he died. I wouldn’t have predicted his demise going into this episode, but he serves as an example for how powerful these new foes are, and that they should not be taken lightly.
It was also a treat to see Gina and Ginger back on our screens. I already knew these two were a canon lesbian couple, but them sharing a bed was a subtle hint to the fact without taking too much time to focus on it. However, these women truly shine when on the battlefield. We know that Ginger is technically the strongest Tag we’ve seen thus far (going by rank), so it makes complete sense that she’d deflect a blow so easily – the same blow that had killed several Tags before her. It’s a shame that we didn’t see them fighting proper, but there’s always the finale for that. For now, Gina acknowledges that something deadly has arrived in Ergastulum, and by the looks of it, she won’t be able to take it down by herself.
Alex & Emilio:
Of the main trio, the only one we saw this week was Alex, and it was only for a few short minutes. Still, her finally remembering Emilio after looking at the baby, Louis, was an especially poignant moment. Her memories came flooding back, and just like that the tears followed. After everything Alex has suffered, I hope she meets with her brother next week and they have some sort of resolution. I can’t imagine it’ll be sunshine and rainbows, but if any two characters deserve to see each other again, it would be them.
As for the other sibling duo, Delico and Erica’s reunion is being set up through several scenes, especially when Delico encountered a damaged child who assumed he was on the same side as his murderous sister. Delico may not be the most emotive, but I’m positive that after hearing what Erica is up to, he’s going to do everything in his power to take her down next week, no holds barred.
Where to End?:
While Nic and Worick were missing this week, I felt their absence didn’t make for a bad episode. In fact, this was an improvement in my opinion. More happened, and what did happen felt vital to the story. I’m sure the main duo will be back next week – because it’s the final episode of this adaptation, after all – but other than that I can’t make a confident prediction on what will go down. I’ve not read the manga, so I don’t know whether this is playing out exactly like the same way, but with only one episode left I’m more worried that we’re going to end right in the middle of the action without much resolved.
Overview – What’s Next?:
As I said, a better episode that I was expecting. If GANGSTA can deliver a solid finale with enough resolution to the characters and the current Hunter story, then I’ll be happy. However, I just can’t see how this is all going to round off in a satisfying way. It still feels like the story has barely begun, and we’re destined to finish this adaptation at a stage where we’d expect a second season to quickly follow. However, Manglobe rarely produce sequels, and I don’t see GANGSTA being an exception to that rule. It’s a tricky situation, but I’ll hold off until the last episode airs to see what it has to offer, and whether or not it manages to surprise me.