Oh boy. Have I got some things to say for this one.
So, to be honest, the title of this episode didn’t elicit the fear it truly deserved until Dave placed his head next to the German Shephard’s and the scene kind of… lingered there for a second, letting the implications really set in. And my heart sank all the way to the floor. The rest of the episode was spent in nail-biting suspense, as it seemed for a moment that this series had actually taken the time to repeatedly develop Belo’s friends only to kill them off now. It would’ve have been an effective way to raise the stakes, since none of the humanoid monsters are overly concerned with the Dark Council and have been reacting to their antics rather than actively pursuing them. On that note, they may not even be aware that there’s a group of villains aiming to capture them for experimentation. That’d be fairly hard to believe, though. Unless Bem, Bela, and Belo weren’t made in a lab, someone must have had a hand in their creation. The Dark Council are eager to capture them for further experimentation, but is the doctor we keep seeing a part of it or is he merely some kind of medical Mephistopheles granting powers for a price?
There were several philosophical questions posed this time around that were, coincidentally, also posed in Pokemon: The Movie. Are beings that are created through artificial means inherently inferior to their ‘real’ counterparts? Bela empathized with the canine-hybrid in the mall, as a sliver of her discontentment with masking her true self to fit in with human society slipping through and manifesting in her leaving Belo to his own devices later on. Usually, when one of them is missing or acting suspiciously, Belo or Bela would make a point of keeping an eye on them, but this time Belo was left on his own to live out what had to be one of the worst days of his life. Just when it looked as though he was ready to stop avoiding his human friends, Dave was kidnapped, and a wolfman wearing his clothes forced Belo to choose between saving him and protecting Daryl. Seeing Belo fail to talk down his ‘friend,’ be forced to kill him, and then end up filled with bullet holes by the very person he’d saved really made me feel for him. As far as development goes, Belo’s received the most, having gone from skeptical of helping humans, to buying into the idea, to rejecting it after rejection, to very nearly giving it up entirely. Right now, he’s at something of a happy medium. Bem pulled him from the brink he stopped him from murdering this episode’s villain, and as a result, Belo was able to reconcile with his friends. I’m sure he’s not fully on board with Bem’s plan, but there are at least three human children he knows he can trust, which means he’s in a better place than when he was.
In conclusion, this episode definitely played with my heart strings and I couldn’t be happier about it.