「籠の鳥」 (Kago no Tori)
“The Caged Bird”
I dare say things are getting a bit fluid in Eminence in Shadow’s close. Enhanced emotions; critical interventions; the fruitless endeavour of somehow, someway indicating how flat isn’t justice (spoiler alert: it is): it’s all coming together in one lovely package. And the only downside? It’s nary a couple weeks away from that season finale. The winter blues always hits when you least expect it.
If the last couple of weeks were all about Cid unknowingly setting up for yet another Shadow Garden-Cult of Diabolos showdown, this episode was finally firing the plot engine up. Well, both plot engines. In typical Eminence in Shadow fashion the key of this arc – i.e. magical ring of mass destruction – got nabbed by some nifty threadwork because the man of the moment simply saw an opportunity to earn a few extra bucks. Epsilon showing why Gamma can be considered one of the saner members of the numbered bunch? Just another day in secret organization land, particularly when paired with Number 559 truly going all out on the fangirling. Whatever the conventionality at work, this show still finds ways to make it funny.
As for Cid’s entire premise for these various events – i.e. breaking up Rose’s marriage – that had a little more meat to it than simple comedy. The true irony of this arc is that Cid isn’t even wrong regarding Rose: she killed her father because he was no longer himself and to save her kingdom; marrying the guy who was responsible for corrupting the king, regardless of coercion, makes the whole effort wasted. Rose may still have the best intentions in mind, but it doesn’t take away the fact she hasn’t thought of alternatives and considered both the consequences of what she’s resigned to do and the ulterior motives behind them. Perv Asshat is pretty hilariously (in a sad way) screwing her mother after all, and the (former) queen looks to be the one instigating the affair, so there’s plenty of material Rose could use if willing to put some thought into her actions. Of course that could still be the case (part of why Cid got curtly kicked out with cookies in hand for example), but it would be a deviation from the mindset Rose has shown to date.
Not like we’ll have long to find out either way. Once one lascivious queenslayer discovers his prized jewelry box contains nothing but air, matters in the Kingdom of Oriana are set to get a little exciting.