「今は、もう、ない……」 (“Ima wa, mou, nai……)
“I Don’t Have One Now…”
Though I feel like this story could have benefited from going faster and doing more, I really like where it’s at right now. It turns out that the title has been correct, so far, but in a way that allows for pleasing wrinkles; Tada-kun may not fall in love, but that doesn’t stop anyone else from falling in love with him. And who can blame Teresa? Mitsuyoshi is kind, considerate, perceptive, hard-working, genuine, and friendly. Dude’s a catch! Not that Charles isn’t as well, natch, but the heart wants what it wants, and if I were Charles I would take real comfort in losing to such a good guy (well after the fact, once he’s had time to heal, and only if Teresa and Mitsuyoshi do end up together—which would be the best case for all, lest Charles marry a woman who does not really love him). I can say that honestly, because I’ve been there before. It’s far better to see the woman you love marry a good man (or all various options on woman, man, and other) than it is to see them choose some reprobate. And it’s far better for the person you loved, too. It really would be for the best.
But there’s work to be done before that future arrives, and it’s realization is deeply uncertain. And once again, Alec is the most enigmatic and fascinating character on hand. She cries in the opening scene, which we later find out if after Teresa said she would still become queen. At first (before the latter scene) I wondered if Alec was actually this series’ antagonist, but Teresa’s continued determination to become queen (and marry Charles) adds a different inflection. Is Alec instead crying for her friend’s sacrificed love? They’ve been friends for a long time. That’d be my guess. But we don’t know, and that makes me wonder.
The meat of the episode was all about the inexorable pull that Mitsuyoshi holds over Teresa, without him even knowing it. The attraction is real, in both the emotional and physical sense; she’s unable to help herself. I get it, I really do. Love is hard enough with just finding someone you want to smooch who wants to smooch you back, and who you get along decently well with and share most of the same values, goals, and sexy time preferences. That’s difficult enough! Adding on these extra hurdles is cruel, and I very much sympathize with Teresa. She feels like she can’t even really find out whether this boy is the one for her, because she isn’t allowed. That sucks.
The entire friend group continues to shine, just in how they interact. Jiichan-san even got some good moments this episode. But the secret star was once again Nyanko Big. We do not deserve a cat as stellar as Nyanko Big, though the Tada family does, so I’m glad he’s there. He comforts Teresa when she needs it. He’s truly great. But Teresa’s ominous words at the end…
Alec: “Teresa, are you finished?”
I don’t know about that, and I don’t know that she believes that, on any level aside from the most immediate and literal. I don’t think she can help her attraction, and I have a feeling next episode will expound on that.
- As a minor aviation nerd, I was enjoying how they were showing the various airlines. SkyFrance was good (for Air France), but LuftHandler (Lufthansa) really gave me a chortle.
- The entire caterpillar situation was pretty ridiculous, though. He just picked up a bug. Don’t clap .-.
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: Risk Tolerance in the Creative Life.