How would you rate episode 15 of
Community score: 4.4
This is a personal preference, but when it comes to stories about average Joe's going up against talented geniuses, I'm never a big fan of when the average Joe we've been following turned out to be a genius all along. In many ways, that devalues the overall setup because instead of overcoming overwhelming odds, the story becomes a matter of discovering something you've had all along. Some people think those two messages are synonymous, but they're not. In the end, the final message for this episode could have been more straightforward, although I absolutely loved some of the setup and the visual metaphors.
This is the episode where Isagi finally realizes his formula for success. He knows his special skills and how they work best on the courts by bouncing off other people, but now he needs to realize how to utilize those skills in a one-on-one situation. Everything about Isagi's thought process was represented beautifully here, and I like the continued puzzle piece motif. At first, it seemed to be a simple matter of finding the missing piece to complete the picture, but now it's about tearing yourself apart and rebuilding yourself with different parts, constantly evolving into something different. Isagi isn't just good at observing people. He's also good at understanding what makes them unique. While the idea of a copy ability is a little cliché at this point, I think the show earns that answer, given everything that has come before. Nagi calling Isagi a “striker” really brought it home.
The final message that Naruhaya leaves us with is the tricky part. I do feel bad for him, though this episode would have been stronger if we got his flashback last episode instead of right before we're supposed to sympathize with him. This is also arguably one of the first times that Isagi won a match and didn't feel great about crushing another person's dreams because this was a friend he respected. I appreciated his dialogue about how they're both skilled but need that "it" factor that leads them into the realm of geniuses, but Isagi overcame that. He had to tear himself apart as an average Joe and rebuild himself as a genius. If that is the message, then I wish that was more at the forefront instead of making it sound like Isagi was a genius all along. Aside from that, I loved this episode, and now that we have an exciting new team dynamic with the introduction of Baro. I'm curious how this team will adjust to their next challenges.
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