「偽りの果て」 (Itsuwari no Hate)
“The End of a Lie”
Can you say all according to expectations? No? Does Keikaku work better? Probably not, particularly if you’re one adopted father finding out the hard way about temporary powerups. Oh yes Eminence in Shadow wrapped up its latest arc in the usual shadowy (heh) fashion with a largely predictable outcome, but as should be well-known by now this series has more than few twists hidden up its sleeve. It might take a few episodes to get them, but you can start guessing where things are heading.
Considering how much it’s been slapped in everyone’s face over the past few weeks, lo and behold Sherry’s step-father was in fact the big baddie. While I’m a tad disappointed his inevitable fight with Cid was basically a stroll through the park without any of the fireworks, it’s nice seeing the willingness of the series to let Cid’s identity not be some sacred thing. It’s perfectly in character for the aspiring mastermind to slyly reveal his true self in the last moment, and to do it right when Mr. Antagonist recognizes his utter defeat. Of course it still doesn’t take away the fact this was just another enemy of the week sort of deal, but hey, at least it wasn’t dragged out for another episode.
Mind you it can also be said that this arc wasn’t as much about its antagonistic face as much as foundation it builds up for later arcs, particularly in regards to Sherry herself. This cliffhanger after all could be taken one of two ways: either Sherry is out for revenge against Shadow, or she discerned enough from overhearing to want revenge against Cid. While I suspect this will pan out being the former (based on everything so far) the latter cannot be discounted; it would be right up Cid’s overactive chuuni alley to have a potential friend turned enemy he must suddenly deal with – especially one capable of blunting his powers. In either case that development will come after Shadow Garden gets a taste of the limelight and what is likely to be some pair dancing with the good guys (gals?) in the room.
We might still be lacking a proper enemy for Cid to sink his imaginative teeth into, but I think wrangling a princess or three (among others) will do the trick to tide us over for a bit.