by James Beckett,
How would you rate episode 11 of
Fairy gone ?
“Uninvited Musical Corps” is an episode that delivers a lot of action, which is something Fairy Gone has been in short supply of for a long time now, but this week still sees the show making the same mistake as previous weeks, by assuming that the audience will care about what's happening through pure persistence. We've reached what is ostensibly the climax of the show's first cour – Duke Diese has used his forces to declare independence from Zesskia, while Beevee Liscar and Wolfran Row take their share of the Artificial Fairies to Rodencia. It's all-out war for the first time since Unification, which is a very big deal to the agents of Dorothea, but I simply can't be bothered to care.
It's a basic storytelling hole that Fairy Gone has been digging for itself since episode one, and it's now in so deep a pit that I struggle to see how the show will be able to climb back out again. There's been an overabundance of world-building and politicking in Fairy Gone, but little of it has managed to stick because none of the characters' stories and personal journeys have been successfully developed through all of that exposition. Duke Diese's plot to incite a civil war in Zesskia has been obviously telegraphed for weeks now, but our agents have mostly been resigned to mucking about with red herrings and ambushes that have little to do with their character arcs. As a result, the whole plot of Fairy Gone has come to feel like a bunch of vaguely connected story threads and character profiles, shaken around inside a sack for a while with only the glue of halfhearted action scenes and mid-2000s butt rock congealing them together.
For example, much time is spent on the other heads of state in Zesskia freaking out about the Duke's betrayal, but most of us called that development weeks ago, so it's time wasted on characters we don't know reacting to a twist that isn't really a twist. Then Nein gets her first big action sequence of the season when she's given permission to use Aliadra against the Duke's soldiers. It's a fine scene on its own, but it would be significantly more exciting if Nein was a character we were emotionally invested in, or if she'd been given an arc that made her finally jumping into battle a true moment of catharsis. Instead, it's just another box on the checklist of things that Fairy Gone has been marking off without passion for ten episodes now.
Back in Rodencia, the rest of Dorothea is tasked with taking on Beevee's crew, which amounts to them running around and commenting on the chaos unfolding around them, while Free uses Verosteal a couple times and poses for the camera. In general, this whole episode is bogged down by that same overbearing sense that Fairy Gone is begging the audience to think that it's cool. Nowhere is this more evident than the many scenes of Beevee casually walking down the street, whistling along with the soundtrack as he nonchalantly ignores all of the bullets flying at him. It's just so damned goofy to watch, and I don't think Fairy Gone is playing any of this for laughs. The whole second half of the episode is meant to convince me that Beevee is a total badass and a force to be reckoned with, but I was more distracted by the suggestion that the corny rock soundtrack exists within the universe of the show itself. It's hard to take Beevee seriously when all you can do is imagine him getting pumped up by singing old Evanescence and Three Days Grace songs in the shower before he goes to battle.
And that's all there is to this episode! Nein gets a fight scene. Free stabs some bad guys while the other Dorothea agents literally exclaim how cool he is. The villains offer a couple of monologues about their plans to install a completely new society that allows for the open use of fairies. Wolfran Row is still hanging around in the background doing absolutely nothing. All of this while the government officials flail about in their panic rooms. If you've been caught in Fairy Gone's spell of needlessly protracted political maneuverings and ridiculous names, this climax might well have been worth the wait. I'm just waiting for Veronica to come back, so Fairy Gone can finally get back to the one interesting story it's managed to tease out all season.
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