Was it my imagination or did Bem, Bela, and Belo look crisper and more delightfully alien this episode than usual? They do say that absence makes the heart grow fonder.
Now that the first three episodes are completed, the main trio are beginning to feel like a cohesive whole. I say ‘beginning to’ because it’s still Bem who actively seeks out the monster, while Belo questions the point of his crusade and Bela goes to school in Upper. One of her classmates has a fascination with the crime-ridden Outside that could easily get him into trouble someday, but seeing him speak so effusively about his interests was really endearing. Maybe soon his research skills will come in handy.
The structure of the episode was very similar to the rest. People are killed by the monster of the week, then Bem, Bela, or Belo confront it. Although I’d heard that this episode was delayed due to rewrites, there was no telling what was preserved from the original episode and what was changed. Still, there’s always the chance that when BEM comes out on DVD or Bluray that the scrapped or censored footage will be available in Special Features. This time, the villain of the week was a lightning-based monster, and it’s clear now that these monsters have been created from humans thanks to dangerous experimentation done by a doctor called Professor. Shock looked and acted like a host club reject, but that was part of his charm. I’m definitely warming up to the campy villain/brooding hero dynamic, though one gets the impression that there are darker forces at work. Someone is hunting Bem, Bela, and Belo. “Monster, your destiny is mine,” indeed.
There was an increased sense of camaraderie between the main trio. They’ve always felt very comfortable with each other, but seeing Bem disappear Batman-style on Bela brought a smile to my face. Due to his past rejection, Belo has been avoiding his human friends, Bela still has hers and Sonia is warming up to the idea that not all monsters are evil, yet at the end of the day, the human-monsters only really have each other. With that said, it’s clear that Bem will keep trying to save humans even if they never accept him, which elevates his desires to a truly heroic level in my books. This time, he proactively baited the villain, drawing it away from humans and battling it mostly on his own terms. Even when he was being ganged up on by a second monster and protecting Sonia, it never really felt like he was in any danger. Still, I cheered when Bela and Belo showed up on the scene. There was great contrast between how seamlessly the main trio work together and protect each other with Shock and Starch, who didn’t cooperate and even started to attack each other during the fight, in spite of them being ostensibly on the same side. Follow that up with a classic oneliner, “This is your electricity. Take it back,” and you’ve got an impressive return on your hands.