My Next Life as a Villainess: All Routes Lead to Doom! X
by Rebecca Silverman,
How would you rate episode 4 of
My Next Life as a Villainess: All Routes Lead to Doom! X (TV 2) ?
We all knew it had to happen sometime – one of Catarina's suitors would just get tired of waiting for her to get a clue. In fact, I think we all could have guessed which one, or at least which one of two, it would be. Sorry people who thought Mary, it's Geordo who finally snaps and smooches our oblivious heroine. Although, technically speaking, this is the second time he's done so, or maybe even the third, depending on whether you count the one when she was unconscious last season; otherwise he gave her that hickey at the ball…not unlike what happened this episode, although Rufus/Sora clearly just meant that as the opening gambit in what he was planning to do. Do we thank Keith or smack him for convincing her that hickeys are bug bites?
In any event, Geordo's reticence with Catarina is clearly something that the Stuart family taught their sons, because Ian's been doing much the same with Selena, albeit for slightly different reasons. Geordo explicitly says that he was trying to take things at Catarina's pace, but Ian was just trying to be a gentleman until they were married, which sounds similar but really isn't when you think about them as people. True, we don't know Ian all that well, but from what we have seen, he likes to keep things to himself, which is a bit more like Nicol than anyone else. He only caves and admits that he loves Selena when he realizes that she's afraid that he hates her (something our mysterious mastermind presumably used to get her onboard with the kidnapping plot), whereas Geordo has made it very clear that he's ready to be more physical with Catarina for a while now – and really, for him, it's all about making it obvious to everyone that she's his. That's a little medieval (okay, a lot medieval), but given the world the story takes place in, Catarina's astounding obliviousness, and the fact that he's got so much competition for his own fiancée, I can accept it, even if I don't love it from a philosophical standpoint. I'm just happy that Ian and Selena worked out.
There's another angle to Catarina's cluelessness that likely contributes to her appeal to the members of her ever-expanding harem. We see it when she asks Sora (I'm so glad I don't have to call him Rufus anymore; I knew a Rufus in middle and high school and he scared the crap out of me) to make a pinky promise with her: Catarina remembers her past life to the exclusion of this new one. She's still for all intents and purposes living as if she was a teenager in our world, which makes her still a kid, whereas teens in Sorcié are adults, or nearly. That means that Catarina's still operating under the mindset of a high school kid, while the rest of her agemates are all thinking more like grown-ups. Geordo really could marry Catarina right now and no one would blink, or at least not much; likewise Sora looks at Catarina as a full-grown woman, not a teenager in the way we think of it. That gives her a much more childlike outlook in peoples' estimation, and the gap between that innocence and her outward appearance could be part of what draws people to her. Plus the more egalitarian take on society that she has certainly helps, especially when it comes to Sora – where other nobles would just see him as a gross slum kid, Catarina can appreciate that he's had to go through a lot in order to come out as well as he has. That she's totally forgotten that he kidnapped her is an entirely different issue; presumably he just really likes that she sees him as a person, not lower-class scum. (Or he has Lima Syndrome, which is when the captor develops feelings for the captive.)
Although the episode moves a little more quickly through the whole kidnapping incident than I might have liked – it would have been really nice to have another episode to see how the gang was figuring out where Catarina was and all that – the conclusion's still pretty great and the episode itself has a couple of very funny moments, from Sora thinking that Catarina must finally be afraid only to find out that she's just hungry, to Catarina's blissful slumber while being held hostage. Now only one big question remains: Does Catarina think Geordo is trying to put her to sleep with dark magic, too?
My Next Life as a Villainess: All Routes Lead to Doom! X is currently streaming on Crunchyroll.
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