Tower of God
by Lauren Orsini,
How would you rate episode 10 of
Tower of God ?
Last week Tower of God had no shortage of action; this week, the characters face the consequences. “Beyond the Sadness” is a bookend episode, resolving last week's occurrences and setting up some worldbuilding for the future without much high stakes activity in between. As we gear up for the season finale, all the characters are making their preparations: Khun is scheming, Serena is saying goodbye, and Bam is figuring out what he wants to do next. Some characters are clearly less in the dark about future events than others (not to mention, those of us in the audience) and their behind-the-scenes intrigue doesn't make a lot of sense right now. It's a slow week, but it's clear that Tower of God is setting up for a rollicking finale.
Nobody can say Tower of God writes checks it can't cash. Hoh's attempted murder-suicide wasn't just for show, and this week the cast said goodbye to their former friend. In a rare moment of peace, nearly all of the contestants—and even some of the administrators—that we've met so far showed up to pay their respects with flowers and booze. (The newly pint-sized Rak even left a pile of his prized chocolate bars.) Shibisu encourages his friends to smile so that Hoh can rest easy, and pretty soon everyone is letting loose. It's especially entertaining to see the stoic, silent Hatz turn into a rowdy, affectionate drunk.
But when everyone else is passed out, Serena decides to head on out. Something strange is happening here—first, the tall and silent contestant who was hanging out with Rak disappeared. Then, Rachel was injured. Now, Serena, the final member of that trio, has decided not to continue climbing the tower. Does she suspect something's about to go down? I'm not sure, but I am certain that nobody will miss Serena more than Shibisu, who at least gets a sword from her as a souvenir. “My life is nothing but regrets,” Serena says with a smile. This conversation doesn't make sense to me yet, but I'll bet that I'll be able to glean a little more insight from it after the finale.
Even Rachel attends the funeral of the contestant who nearly killed her and left her with an injury so deep that she is now unable to walk. When Bam thanks her for her attendance, Rachel bursts into tears. She's harboring a lot of guilt about the way she has abandoned Bam in her single-minded pursuit to see the stars. “You were clueless and weak. You were in my way,” she tells him through her tears. It's fascinating to see this alternate perspective of their time together. While Bam has only rose-colored memories of Rachel, Rachel remembers Bam as a persistent stray who followed her around. She's clearly not as devoted to Bam as he is to her, and his stubborn devotion, particularly in a time when she is the one who is weak and in Bam's way, is making her feel even more at fault. Rachel doesn't owe Bam her love just because he's such a great guy, which just makes this an unfortunate situation all around. Still, this disconnect of affections doesn't seem strong enough to merit the venom that webtoon fans have for Rachel, so I'm curious to know if there's more to her than her rejection of Bam.
The position selection test is just about over, and Lero-ro and Hansung Yu share who passed and who failed. This has been “Don't Get On Hansung Yu's Bad Side: The Episode,” as he shrinks Rak after a word of insubordination, sneaks up on a covert royal enforcement officer, and reduces a built contestant to tears with a single raised palm. So you know Khun's looking for trouble when he smugly asserts that he's dissatisfied with the results in order to get Yu to spill the beans on the Administrators' Test. For Unspecified Plot Reasons, I guess, only Irregulars can take this exam, so it's up to Bam to speak up. Until now I didn't realize that nobody had any idea Bam was an Irregular, and I didn't realize that this means that anyone who aids him is an enemy of the tower, either. But it doesn't take Khun and Rak's bad acting as Devil's Advocates to convince the group to follow this unusual dude even if it means breaking all the rules—he is the protagonist and all. This is one of those times when the politics of the tower feel a little obscure and difficult to follow. But I'm hoping that if I just hold on until the next burst of action, everything will start to make sense again.
Tower of God is currently streaming on Crunchyroll.
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