While we are not technically into second half territory yet, this was the week where 86 flipped the mid-story switch. Everything from Lena’s committed determination to Shin’s finding of peace and even the promise of discovery anew was brought forth to chew upon, with the only uncertainty being just what happens next. This story is now firmly in the great unknown.
Starting things off (and quite rightly too) was Shin’s showdown with his brother, who to probably no real surprise succumbed to the combined efforts of Spearhead and Lena both. Honestly not much to take away from this: Shin did what had to be done, got some well-deserved closure, and was finally provided the opportunity to grieve for the only family he had left. Shin’s brother may have fallen apart at the seams and given into the fear and professed helplessness of the situation (unlike Shin himself), but he was still family for the kid – even in that form (or maybe even because of that form) no one deserves the requirements which fell upon Shin’s shoulders. War truly is an ugly business.
Such agony, however, does somewhat distract from probably the more important development this week in Lena’s actions. If to slightly toot my own horn I did see this coming eventually, just not right now – the girl has been building up for insubordination, but I was expecting it to happen later on after a few more confrontations. This moment for her does deserve major kudos though, and doubly so for coercing Henrietta into it; whatever one can say about Lena’s naivety (which still exists, albeit now in a decreasing state), she has shown the ability to learn, adapt, and now initiate necessary changes, going as far as to coopt operational – i.e. army level – forces for the sake of her objectives. What she does next will be very interesting to find out, because I seriously doubt both that Lena’s commanders will take her actions lying down (unless Henrietta sufficiently covered their tracks) and that Spearhead will get back in contact anytime soon. One way or another Lena is now a commander without a squad and it’s anyone’s guess just where she goes next.
All of that though leads to Spearhead themselves and what is probably the biggest tease of them all: just what will they discover in Legion territory? San Magnolia obviously has no idea whatsoever if Para-RAID’s operational range is anything to go by, and outside of more Legion even Spearhead itself has no damn clue. I think it’s a given, however, that they won’t find just Legion; there’s more to this world than San Magnolia and the enemy empire, more than the likes of the 86ers who survived the initial Legion onslaught. If survivors aren’t found I’ll be incredibly surprised, though the form they take (e.g. remnants or actual organized governments) is undeniably up in the air. And that of course precludes whatever Legion itself is doing in the area, because Shou as should be remembered was just one Shepard among many.
For all which 86 has so far revealed a great deal remains to be discovered, and with only two episodes to go rest assured the next big reveal will likely be the most explosive to date. After all, have to hype things up for that second season!