「地下テニス大会 キャンベルトン」 (Chika Tenisu Taikai Kyanberuton)
“The Underground Tennis Tournament: The Campbelldon”
Obviously, it’s not a bad thing that Twilight has gained these “unnecessary emotions”-dare I utter its name. Fiona certainly dares-in her hear of hearts that is. It’s telling that the glimpses we catch of Twilight’s growing feelings for Yor and to a larger extent, the Forger family, are through the eyes of an outsider, the Frost Queen herself.
I love the little moments that reveal how far Twilight has come emotionally from the first episode. Noticing Fiona’s wounded hands, he concernedly cautions her about overdoing it, something I doubt the cold-hearted Twilight of yesteryear would have considered for the sake of the greater mission. I don’t think Twilight has recognized his softening emotions, but I think he perceives that something in him has changed. There have been times where he has begun questioning whether he has slipped out of his A game where Yor and Anya are concerned- but that questioning has gone no further. As irritating as Fiona is, it looks like she will be an essential catalyst for Loid and Yor to acknowledge their feelings to themselves, even if they don’t yet acknowledge it to each other. Sometimes you need a bit of competition to jolt one out of complacency.
Twilight and Nightfall’s joint mission centers around obtaining a painting that may hold a code to the Zacharias Dossier, files elaborating on human experiments conducted by the East. Could those be the same experiments that produced Anya’s mind-reading power? If Anya’s power is discovered that could put the kibosh on the happy Forger family life. Anya’s power no doubt would be hijacked for WISE’s use and very likely taken in for further experimentation to determine the nature of her power. I was kind of almost expecting Anya to try to prevent Loid from getting the documents if she heard about their human experimentation contents via mind-reading, perhaps sneaking in to find them for herself. Alas, that didn’t end up happening- though just as well, given her dodgeball record.
The “low-risk” way to obtain said painting is through…underground tennis… not what I was expecting. The winner’s prize-any art piece desired-a little too convenient, but let’s not undermine the challenges of winning at underground tennis. It seems rather immature for Frost to exercise wish-fulfillment through going undercover as a married tennis couple. She’s still going on about “becoming your wife for Strix”-Sylvia already nipped that one in the bud. That’s a long, cold one way street you’re going down, Fiona, and I don’t think anyone’s on your side for that one.
In a one-sided game, Team Phony (they just love to pick the obvious names like Forger, Phony, don’t they) creams the ex-pro competition. Even the jacked up Boric brothers (test subjects for the government’s doping project) are no match for the duo’s tennis prowess. It got a little silly in the end there with the jet-powered tennis rackets-I mean, really? Even with some underhanded serves like carbon monoxide poisoning and booby traps in the showdown against the organizer Campbell’s children, the Phony pair aren’t about to let up on their win. It ended on a cliff-hanger there, but I think we all know how it will turn out. We know what happens to the winners-but out of curiosity, what happens to the losers? I doubt they’d get off the hook so easily, allowed to simply walk away defeated, given how much money wealthy patrons would have lost on them.
Yor’s imposter syndrome rears its head again. While I do like that Yor’s not as perfect or confident as one would expect for a top assassin, the way it repeatedly portrays her wavering in a quaqmire of “I’m not good enough, someone else would be better” without taking steps to directly address it or to set boundaries for her husband and home where Fiona is involved strips Yor of agency. It makes her seem like a pitiable woman who needs to be constantly patted on the head and reassured. The problem is not that she has these insecurities-it’s how the writer goes about handling it. It undermines the powerful female role model she had become as a capable wife, mother, and woman whose strength is in not fitting in- transforming her into a damsel in distress who must be rescued, not by her own abilities, but by Loid’s kind words. There are some times when no-one else can rescue you, only you can do that for yourself through time and experience, especially when it comes to matters of the heart.