to the abandoned Sacred Beasts
by Theron Martin,
How would you rate episode 11 of
to the abandoned Sacred Beasts ?
Each of the Incarnates that Hank and Schaal have met so far had a different reaction to their fates, and so each one has posed a different kind of challenge. In the case of Miles, aka Centaur, he opted to flip to the Dark Side for the sake of expedience.
Miles' origins as a doctor allows for the conversion to be much more dramatic, if also quite ham-handed. The process is simplified so that it can be shown in just a couple of minutes; when he realized that he could save people and get praised for it more effectively by slaughtering enemies than tending to the wounded, he took this newfound adulation to heart too much. Although showing this through just a brief flashback allows the series to keep the story moving without breaking up the action, it provides no depth or sense of the moral struggle he must have undergone to change his ways so drastically. Now he delights in killing with an almost maniacal glee, which makes him into a disappointingly generic villain. Even Roy had at least some degree of nuance to him. Still, with the possible exception of Cain, no Incarnate thus far has delighted more in being an Incarnate than Miles.
The other major point to this episode is detailing the schemes of commanders on each side. Cain is clearly trying to lure the Patrian forces in, though whether this is a diversion or an effort to crush the strength of their army all at once is unclear; I'm betting on the latter. I also agree with Schaal's suspicious reaction to hearing that Cain seems to have Incarnates working with humans, and I have to wonder how many of the Incarnates under his influence have any idea that the humans are disposable to him. On the other side, Colonel Wall has called in a secret weapon that he intends to use. My suspicion is that it's some kind of chemical or biological agent, even though that would not be consistent with a setting modeled after Civil War-era America. (Of course, that hasn't stopped the series from introducing outlandishly anachronistic levels of tech before.) Regardless, it looks like big secrets will come to a head next episode, as the series sets up for its season finale.
Schaal also gets some attention as she struggles to find something to do in this new scenario. Since she isn't a soldier, she has no real place in the battle, and given how petite and frail she looks, it's no wonder that soldiers won't let her do anything to help. She does get a part in the episode's two lighthearted scenes, the funnier of which is her imagining herself in an oversized military uniform, but I do hope she gets to do more next episode. Now that she's found her sense of determination, it feels like a waste not to use her in action. At least her efforts have settled down Hank; he seems more at peace with himself than ever before.
In short, this episode easily meets its quota for graphic violence while also building toward some sort of climax in the near future.
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