Overview: Ruti (Tia Ballard) finally reunites with Gideon (Aaron Campbell) as she spends more time with him and Tisse (Jad Saxton) comes to understand the person the hero really is.
Our Take: Ruti and Red’s reunion has been a long time coming ever since the notably rushed affair that was Gideon’s defection from the Hero Party in the debut episode. It was always one of, if not the main plot thread hanging throughout Red and Ruti helping out the villagers of Zoltan while Ruti and the hero party journey to defeat the demon lord. In the beginning, their reuniting is very short-lived and without much gravitas, clearing up all the details behind Ares’ well-known scuminess that at this point feels like it should just be common knowledge. However it ends humorously in Ruti deciding to live in Zoltan permanently; a decision that is in line with how much we knew about her connection to Gideon thus far. Later on, when they get some more one-on-one time with the siblings and it’s exactly how one would expect in a being a sweet tender day at the spa with her brother understanding the kindhearted person she is better than any of the other villagers or people initial preconceptions, showing just how strong of a bond they continue to have.
Tisse is also given even more mileage in her chemistry with Ruti. It’s pleasantly refreshing to have someone besides Gideon look after and understand her feelings. However, the way that is executed could have been better developed in it being more gradual rather than an assault of information learned within the span of a few seconds for the sake of moving the plot forward.
Red and Rit discuss an obligation that does not exist to Ruti’s blessing, touching back on the main theme of the series in living up to one’s own personal aspirations despite what it’s societal status may be. Although, going deeper into that concept with an incredible thought-provoking dialogue is that of Theodora’s perspective on it in helping Albert in his time of need when he is at his lowest point spiritually. It is one that incorporates that of free will and how that takes precedence while including that of how one’s blessing, imitating one’s predispositions or skills, does not dictate one’s destiny. It also works to simultaneously develop Theodora and give her more character work than ever before. She is shown to be a kindred spirit to that of Gideon, when he came to the same conclusion about Blessings and people, and relatable in how she is still trying to figure out what she truly wants, as Gideon tries to help Ruti come to a similar conclusion.
The ending bath scene very much works on multiple fronts in airing the misunderstandings, that were disguised as grievances, that Rit and Ruti had with each other. Ruti’s, specifically, paints her as a much more sympathetic character with emotional turmoil in how envious she is of Rit’s emotional ranging chemistry with Red that she could not have, while Rit’s helps her come to know the tragic little girl that Gideon has known since their childhood and their connection. A connection between Red and Ruti that is further strengthened by more past scenes showing the hero’s first job and how her hero has always been Gideon when nobody else could, or even wanted to. This very much feels like part 1 to Ruti and Red’s time together again as some more on screen time with the two together would do wonders to act as a satisfying conclusion to their present day reuniting, but it ends strong with Tisse and Rit finally finding common ground with Ruti and further understanding the often misunderstood hero and committing to be the ones who help save her.