「雨女だったっけ？」 (Ame Onna Dattakke?)
“Did You Say You Were a Rain-bringer?”
This week’s episode continues the slow, inexorable march to whatever conclusion we’ll get. I was struck by how much of the episode was so nakedly centered around the idea of love. That paid dividends in some areas (Alec, the star scenes), but it also resulted in the characters openly musing about love for a good chunk of the episode, which just screamed “We want to reveal what they think about love and we don’t have a better way to do it!!” (by the writers). Which, not ideal. The old stand-by is “Show, don’t tell,” and in truth that advice can be problematic for several subtle reasons (it assumes a shared story vernacular, for instance). Sometimes telling is not only wholly appropriate, it’s the best method. The old advice is still a good guideline, though, and I wish the writers here had taken it to heart more. The first half of the episode was pretty forgettable as a result.
The most interesting character was, once again, Alec, and most of the reason was in subtext. Her interactions with Charles shimmer with unrequited love, and the whole fortune scene was a rough go. (Rough in a good way. I’m weak to imbuing hokey folklore with barely-concealed meaning. Loved it, even if it’s bad news for Yamashita Ken and Alec.) It was even deeper in the subtext where her torment truly lies, such as when she was clearly eavesdropping on Mitsuyoshi & Teresa’s conversation, which poses her with a dilemma: What should Alec do if she has realized that Teresa is crushing on Tada, and if pushing the two of them together would make her friend happy and open up a chance for Alec with her own crush (Charles), but that course of action would run counter to her honor, pride, and duty, and would also feel like cheating? What should she do then? Because that’s the question ahead of her, and it looks like she may be getting to the heart of the matter next week. Dang cliffhangers!
As for Mitsuyoshi and Teresa themselves, the two of them practically sing with chemistry. It’s rough. (Once again, in a good way.) The more this series goes on, the more I suspect that the central couple may be doomed by duty to never come together, though, in a reality where a biracial American divorcee just married a British prince, the whole “duty” thing smacks of forced drama. (I have a feeling it doesn’t to Japanese viewers quite so much, but I felt compelled to mention it.) But there’s just so much chemistry between them, they fit together like puzzle pieces and a lot of their personal philosophies seem to align perfectly. That’s really important! (And they’re both saying “I sincerely appreciate it” now, HNG!) They sparkle when they’re together, which is why they were looking at each other instead of the stars, and why Teresa couldn’t take her eyes away. It’s going to be rough if they don’t get together, but take heart. Even if they don’t find a soulmate, I have a feeling they’ll each stand at the end of Teresa’s time in Japan with someone who has positively changed their lives. The fortune said as much for Teresa. And if that’s Mitsuyoshi’s back luck, well. That doesn’t seem so bad, does it?
- I liked Charles’ “What is love?” line. That’s a ballsy thing to say, in front of your future wife (and also Teresa, ufufu~).
My SECOND novel, Freelance Heroics, is available now! (Now in print!) (Also available: Firesign #1 Wage Slave Rebellion.) Sign up for my email list for updates. At stephenwgee.com, the latest post: Forbidden Island, coast to coast.