by Andy Pfeiffer,
How would you rate episode 4 of
Cop Craft ?
Last week, I wondered where Cop Craft would go after cramming an entire season into one episode. We were left on a cliffhanger as the Fairy Nuke was set to explode any second, with the evil wizard mastermind standing between the weapon and our heroic buddy cops. Unsurprisingly, this episode does pick up right where it left off, and in what I now suspect is going to be Cop Craft's trademark, immediately moves on from the situation as if it were nothing.
I was thinking that maybe the rush job of last episode was to set up for a big climactic ticking clock wizard battle, where Kei and Tilarna would have to use both their skills to take down Zelada and deactivate the bomb in the nick of time. I did not anticipate being wrong about every single part of that, so well played, Cop Craft. Instead, we get a slapdash continuation where Kei is nicked by a fireball, Zelada takes a bullet and a slice, and then the wizard peaces out. Okay, at least he's being given more respect than the villain from last episode and might have more of a lasting story, so that still gives the story room to disarm the nuke and devote time to hunting him down—except the nuke doesn't get disarmed in any way I've seen before.
We know Tilarna is here specifically because the fairy powering the nuke is special, and this bomb is so much bigger than previous ones because it uses a whole living fairy rather than dead parts, because fairy bombs in Cop Craft describes its power levels the same way Whole Foods markets rotisserie chicken. Anyway, this is apparently a design flaw if the fuel Fairy is aware of its situation, because after Tilarna gives some exposition with flashback images about how this specific fairy is her friend, the fairy chooses to disintegrate itself rather than explode. This also heals Kei from his terrible wizard sunburn. This is also only in the first third of the episode.
We then cut to a scene you would expect after any unlikely buddy cops solve a case together. With the case and their temporary partnership over, it's of course time to become real partners! Shout out to Tilarna for lazing on the couch to watch some basketball, but this really would've landed better after actually busting the drug ring, or a more extended sequence of nuke stopping. It's a good scene, but Cop Craft's dedication to completely ignoring the basics of pacing for its genre make everything somewhat mystifying.
Now partners, Tilarna and Kei meet their new but still racist boss in the episode's second half. After getting told off for excessive force, they discover a coffin with the words “Moon. Blood. Forbidden,” written on it and immediately decide to pry the sucker open. Yes folks, the stupidest magical police force ever has just found themselves in vampire land. After an especially good scene in the morgue with Kei's ex Cecil, we are treated to an unnecessary display of Tilarna's flavor of police brutality, which is treated as necessary for her to realize that the ancient cursed coffin might be bad. A few moments later, we've got a dead morgue assistant, a naked vampire lady, and Tilarna ready to fight her in the next episode.
I'd probably be harsher on this episode for continuing the pacing problems of the last, but I don't know if it's the restraint of only putting two halves of two different episodes into one or the fact that the production quality is back to acceptable levels, but I ended up pleasantly surprised by episode four. There's definitely a part of me that hopes the next episode is fully focused on the vampires; if Cop Craft wants to switch to a monster of the week format, that sounds pretty fun by me. The other part of me fears that this new plot will be quickly resolved as we're thrown into yet another blender of fantasy concepts. Maybe the next episode will suddenly introduce werewolves and mummies and throw all of its ideas out at once, only to move onto street racing or aerial hijacking storylines. At the end of the day, the strongest thing Cop Craft has going for it is its unpredictability, and that's still enough to keep me watching.
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