Re:ZERO -Starting Life in Another World- (Season 2)
by Kim Morrissy,
How would you rate episode 16 of
Re:ZERO -Starting Life in Another World- (TV 2) ?
Looks like Garfiel finally got his lasagna. Look at that cute smile!
Jokes aside, this was another solid episode, with Garfiel's subplot finally getting closure. After all the intricate plots and counter-plots this season, it was honestly kind of a relief to see that Garfiel's side of it wasn't anything too complicated at the heart of it. He's just a dude with mommy issues, trying to make out that he's tougher than he actually is. Honestly, the biggest shock reveal this episode is that he's thirteen years old, but on the other hand, like Subaru says, it does put his attitude into context.
This was an episode that called back to a bunch of things from the previous cour and even season 1 material. For example, Subaru finally makes use of his Sloth Witch Factor to unleash the Unseen Hands. As was explained early in season 2, Subaru inherited the Sloth Witch Factor because he delivered the finishing blow to Petelgeuse. Echidna was using her bodily fluids at her Witch tea parties to activate the Witch Factor, which allowed Subaru to make use of it at the nick of time. It's good that he obtained this new trick because the visuals implied that the Gate in his body gave way after using his Shamak magic. Subaru has had a tendency to keep using magic even after medical professionals tell him to rest, and this time I wonder if he might have permanently ruined his Gate.
There are other neat callbacks to earlier scenes as well: Puck drains Garfiel's power through the medium of Frederica's crystal, and Patrasche gets her revenge on Garfiel for suplexing her by delivering the final blow. When Garfiel admits that he wanted to get his mother to hate him, that was a parallel to Subaru's own feelings towards his parents. Just like Subaru, Garfiel ultimately needed to face his past through the trial in order to find closure. At the end of the episode, when Emilia finally confronts Echidna for herself, she channels Subaru's energy by doing his iconic pose and calling herself an "insufferable woman" with pride. That last bit was particularly satisfying, especially that smirk at the end. I always knew she had it in her!
Oh, and we find out why Subaru broke his promise to her last episode. It was so that he could briefly sneak off into the graveyard and write messages of support on the walls for her to read when she undertakes the trial. That's a much cuter explanation than what I was expecting. That look of understanding but also exasperation when Emilia discovered the truth says it all. Yes, promises are important, and Subaru deserves a lecture after everything is said and done, but his heart has always been firmly in the right place. The dynamic between Subaru and Emilia is definitely starting to grow on me. Ladies, get yourself a man who simps for you like Subaru simps for Emilia.
So, yeah, it was good to see the various plot threads starting to come together. I'm glad that we're finally reaching the payoff after being strung along for months, although in the end I do get the impression that it would have been easier to appreciate this arc by watching it all at once instead of spaced out in weekly installments. These episodes keep trying to cram in so much plot that they do end up feeling a bit disjointed when viewed in isolation. And we still haven't seen an OP or ED sequence yet this cour!
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