「英雄、立つ！」 (Eiyuu, Tatsu!)
“The Hero Rises!”
This was an episode of reversals. Of turn abouts. Of hopeless situations transformed into absolute victories, and I dunno. Is it just me, or did it all lack any bite? Meliodas coming back was one thing, but when Merlin suddenly reappears and reveals stunning powers that are powerful enough to take a Ten Commandment for her own personal guinea pig, it felt unearned. We didn’t see her struggle for any of this, or even work for it. She didn’t seem to earn it. She just disappeared, until she reappeared with her problems solved and more power than before. And the whole daughter of whoever? That’s neat I guess, she’s an alien or something, but it’s all just so out of left field. It feels like a total asspull.
In contrast, Meliodas’ actions are intriguing. He’s showing a positively demonic nature, which is perhaps fitting but nonetheless worrying. Meliodas has always been chipper, but not in this way. The way the story is revealing this in stages, whetting our appetite for the reveal as to what happened in the battle for Meliodas’ soul, is good. It really makes me want to see what happens next, something none of the rest of the episode accomplished.
Then there was the battle to finally free Dreyfus from Fraudrin’s control. I feel like this didn’t have the gravitas that such a big change of fortunes should entail. Compared to the battle against Demon Hendrickson in the original seasons, which was grinding and hard fought, they won the day because Hawk distracted the bad guy. What!? I’m not as down on Hawk as others, but he’s a comic relief character. His noble sacrifice in the first arc was done well, it had emotional heft, but this was not that. It was just lazy writing. For the long sought after rescue of Dreyfus’ soul to come about because of that…? Lame.
But without a doubt, the best part of the episode is owed to Elizabeth. “Touch me more.”, followed by Meliodas blushing and Elizabeth blushing?? Ohmergawd! I’ll take a big ol’ second helping of that one, please and thank you!
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.