The Maid I Hired Recently Is Mysterious
How would you rate episode 3 of
The Maid I Hired Recently Is Mysterious ?
Community score: 4.1
To me, this is hands down the best episode of The Maid I Hired Recently Is Mysterious thus far, and wouldn't you know it, it's also the same episode that barely leaned on the series' central gimmick. Or more precisely, the whole mysterious teasing gimmick is used purposefully here, speaking to a larger emotional core rather than simply being mined for comedy. There continues to be an excellent undercurrent of loneliness and neediness suffusing the scenes of this episode; I'm just a bit worried that the show might not be fully aware that this is where its major strength lies, as its messaging and theming still gets a bit bogged down by some other questionable elements.
Ignoring the question of how this kid is able to afford his own tuition when he can't even really afford people to look after him, it's clear that Yuuri has been through a lot. He's been left all by himself in a position no adult would wish to be in, let alone a child. The kid barely speaks throughout this whole episode, and a good chunk of it is just other people watching him now that he's returned to school. It's a little unclear whether he is aware of what other people are saying about him, but I think that murkiness is to the show's benefit. There should be a sense of distance between us viewers and him because we are outsiders looking into somebody going through a traumatic experience, and in some ways, Yuuri is trying to accelerate the growing up process just for the sake of coping. Yuuri thought that he could get by completely on his own without needing to rely on anybody else, but finding himself without the kind and caring maid by his side is enough to make him cry like the kid that he is. It is hands-down the best moment of the show so far, and the way it reiterates the previous gag where he accuses her of putting a curse on him with a different emotional context is superb.
When Lilith obsesses and worries for Yuuri's well-being, she gives off the impression of a doting mother who wants what's best for him. She has her own dependency issues and might hyperfocus on certain things a little bit too much, but these are clearly lonely people who are finding salvation in each other's company. In fact, when the episode started and she was obsessing over Yuuri's appearance before he left for school as a means of hiding the fact that she just didn't want to be separated from him, I kind of saw that as a mother doting on her son, but apparently Yuuri begs to differ, comparing the situation to that of a married couple. It's honestly a bit disappointing; I'm not saying that isn't how married couples act because I've even seen couples act like that in real life, but the show undermines that emotional legwork that it's doing for the sake of building romantic chemistry between two characters that I genuinely don't think is there due to the age difference. I think the show would be a lot stronger if it leaned more into the idea that Lilith was fulfilling a sort of motherly or big sister role in Yuuri's life, because that would've made all of the buildup and emotional beats of this episode so much more grounded and impactful.
But when you do all of that and then introduce a side character whose main role is to get swept up in the sort of implied forbidden love between our two leads, right down to pointing out the age gap between them, I'm sorry but I get a little bit taken out of it. If that was what the show wanted to be about from the jump (and I'm not fully convinced that it was) then I can at least try to laugh at the humor it tries to get out of that implication. But this episode shows that there is so much more to this series than cheap laughs. There is a real, beating heart to the story and this episode nearly made me cry at the end. If we get more episodes like this then I will definitely see it in a much stronger light than when the show first started. But in my opinion, if it wants to be something more, it's going to need to leave some of those implications at the door.
The Maid I Hired Recently Is Mysterious is currently streaming on Crunchyroll.
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