I would be remiss to say I’m not slightly disappointed 86 decided for transitory reminiscing over major developments this week, but if there was a moment for it this would be it. Only one episode remains before the suffering that is a season’s break, and given the hints emerging during the course of this one, best be sure 86 intends on leaving off a cliffhanger. One way or another, major change approaches.
While the members of Spearhead are largely nondescript filler for the main character that is Shin, it’s nice seeing the touches the series gives to the life of the squad. Small moments like riverside fishing, quintessential bath time, or quiet recollection highlight well how attached and close they all are – and how quickly they understand how it can all be taken away. The discovery of a wounded Legion machine shows this best; sadness and emotion, yet understanding and acceptance. Life and personal circumstances are often never fair, but you make the most of it because there’s nothing to be gained from wallowing in fear and melancholy. No matter how ubiquitous anime-wise some of these scenes might be, they serve their function well reinforcing the stark uncertainty of Spearhead’s existence.
Probably the more important moment, however, dealt with Fido. Honestly never expected the guy/robot/weird evolution of the Boston Dynamics dog to get his own screen time; he was just another background piece to add flavour to 86’s world. Yet he serves as the centerpiece for one hell of a flashback which not only fleshes out the life of Spearhead (I especially liked the fading of the chalkboard, very succinct indication of the squad’s change in mentality), but also adds some further mystery to Shin himself. I doubt for example few will miss the implications of that family photo, or the answer it suggests for how Shin is able to understand Fido so well. For all we learned vis a vis Henrietta and Shou, there’s still apparently a good deal left to discern regarding Shin’s past and how it factors into both Legion and its combatting – after all, there’s a reason Fido wound up in that situation without Shin even knowing who he was.
The answer for that may not be in the cards anytime soon of course, but given the foreshadowing this episode I fully expect something big will help fill in the time during next week’s finale. Spearhead may be all alone in the great unknown for the moment, but rest assured Legion aren’t the only thing they’ll inevitably stumble across.