by Theron Martin,
How would you rate episode 122 of
Black Clover ?
Last episode was the beginning of a mess involving the Magic Parliament asserting authority and Damnatio attempting to force Asta into a situation where either he had to be the fall guy for the damage done to the Clover Kingdom or else the blame was going to be laid on the formerly-possessed Magic Knights, starting with innocent Marie. This episode spends almost the entirety of its run sorting that out - for now, anyway, as Asta and the Black Bulls who defend him are tasked with "proving" Asta's innocence by collecting information on the devils.
Nearly every step of the course of events here is easy to anticipate. As a long-time outsider himself, Yami was naturally going to figure out pretty quickly what the summons to the Royal Parliament was really up to and wasn't going to stand for it. That the rest of the Black Bulls would also show up to back up Asta was also a given; at one point or another he's unwittingly won over and/or inspired all of them, and he's equally unwittlingly been instrumental in fostering the team spirit that the squad now has. Further, all of them are either commoners or past or present rejects from their families, so they would have little love for an "august" body like the Parliament even without factoring in Asta. They're also likely one of the strongest and most capable of the Magic Knights squads at this point, with Vanessa's Rouge and Asta's antimagic as potent aces in the hole, so even Damnatio's funky magic wasn't going to shut them down.
Yami formally inviting Secré into the Black Bulls was one of the episode's key moments but was also a given. Even if the opener and closer hadn't telegraphed this move, it made too much logical sense; she'd been there in bird form the whole time anyway, her horns, out-of-time background, and status as a reject make her the kind of outsider that Yami likes to collect, and her powers and personality will fit in well. The Next Episode preview suggest that she's going to get a more detailed background exploration over the next couple of episodes, and I'm actually looking forward to that.
Late events in the episode may not have been perfectly predictable but aren't surprises, either. Fuegoleon and Nozel stepping in to stop a potential conflict are wholly logical choices, as they have the family standing to make an impression on the Parliament while also having enough respect for members of the Black Bulls to not be prejudiced against them. (They also know better than any of the nobles present what really happened.) The Black Bulls being sent on an information-gathering quest to "clear Asta's name" is also a sensible ploy by Julius, as it kills two birds with one stone. The minor surprise is the brief scene towards the end of the episode which shows that Damnatio and Julius are apparently on amicable (or at least not outright hostile) terms.
Thanks to the whole rescue seen being a bit overplayed (both on the serious and goofy sides), this episode trends more towards the series' average peformance level than the last two. Still, Clover Clips is back for the first time in a while and the story has successfully transitioned for its next arc.
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