「イかれたレン」 (Ikareta Ren)
Boy, as much as I love SAOA:GGO, I had a few issues with this week’s episode.
I’m not sure where to start, but after re-watching the episode a few times to really digest what happens, I’m confidant when I say that out of everything we’ve seen so far, this episode felt really weak in what it sought to do. However, I can guess why things played out in the way that they did and it makes me that much more excited for next week’s finale.
Starting with the biggest elephant in the room, I was so disappointed with how the story handled LLENN throughout the beginning of the episode. As someone who’s grown from a tall timid girl to a tiny powerhouse able to take out entire teams with her quick thinking, I was really confused when she unexpectedly started doubting herself. If I’m not mistaken, it was only one episode ago where LLENN was ready to dive straight in and take out a wounded Pito for being unlucky and getting hit straight in the eye from sniper fire. Toss in how the remaining members of SHINC plus Fuka went in head on to try and take on two snipers (which still makes no sense to me) and it felt like everything that led to this moment was being thrown into the trash. That said, if I play Devil’s Advocate with myself, there’s one reality where I can see all of this making some sense. A reality where (even though I don’t agree with myself) Fuka and SHINC realized that LLENN would lose all confidence in herself and threw themselves straight into the line of fire to re-spark the flame that fuels a do-or-die LLENN.
Luckily, all of that didn’t last for too long and we got to see a badass skirmish between LLENN and Pito. A skirmish that in all other realities should have ended a lot sooner with how much damage both their cars were taking, but was fun as hell to watch. However, since we’re talking about some of the flaws of this week’s episode, there’s no denying that watching LLENN just about give up after nearly getting taken out was a big downer moment. However, in true bad guy fashion, we got a lot of monologuing from Pito and M which gave a healed up Fuka just enough time to pick up her best friend.
All of which lead to a gigantic cliffhanger where Pito an LLENN were staring each other down in an intense one on one. A great moment to stop things before the finale, but boy was getting there difficult. At this point though, I don’t think there’s much left except for LLENN to struggle it out and hopefully punch Pito so hard that she knocks out her insane world view. In any case, I’ll catch you guys next week where we can all be sad until the next season of SAO comes out.