You know a shonen fight is getting serious when the bad guy takes off his shirt!
Seth and Melie continue their fight against Conrad and his soldiers but are forced to stop when they find out Doc’s been captured. Melie is imprisoned and Seth is taken away. Dragunov is fine with being rough but reminds Conrad that he needs Seth alive then leaves, giving Conrad time to enact his plan before it’s found out. He uses Seth as a scapegoat to stoke the fires of fear and paranoia in his citizens, pinning the rat Nemeses on the sorcerers and immigrants. But the angry mob doesn’t get much of a chance to try out their torches and pitchforks before Conrad shuts the gate in front of them, then tells his men to begin firing on them. When Seth protests, Conrad reveals his real motives and reasons: the foreigners are gonna invade us and the only way to stop them is kill as many people as necessary. Can’t think of anyone in the real world who thinks like that, no sir.
Seth smacks him in the face with his gloveless magic, forcing Conrad to drink something to break out of his armor. Things seem hopeless until Grimm arrives to protect the people and confirm that Seth wasn’t working with the Domitor as he first thought. And just as this understanding is reached, the Domitor herself, Hameline, arrives with her legion of rats in order to proclaim her own revenge for what happened 15 years ago, so Grimm goes to deal with her while Seth resumes his fight with Conrad, who reveals even she was part of his plan this whole time. It’s obviously not going to be easy, as he has a giant lance made of WHITE Silver, which is even more resistant to Fantasia than the black kind.
In the chaos, Melie notices Doc has stopped breathing and vows to make things right by protecting all the people in danger. Dragunov, noticing Conrad has gone off the deep end, makes a similar move by forcing the other Inquisition troops, even those under Conrad’s command, to prioritize helping the citizens running from the Nemeses or risk execution. He even decides to let Melie go free as long as they focus on saving the people. In the confusion, Taj reopens the gate and Seth takes Conrad’s mustache! While all of this happens, Hameline uses her magic to drop the town bell on the crowd and Seth’s battle against Conrad continues.
Four episodes in and I’m still really liking this arc, but with how much seems to be coming to a head, I’m hoping this means we’re reaching the climax soon. We’ve officially finished the show’s second third (unless it turns out to be the regular 24-26 and I was misinformed), and I’d like the story to cover a bit more before the end because I’m not sure it’s going to get another season. But we’re here to talk about things in the moment, and AT the moment, this is still a solid story arc, even with the clichés it pulls.
I was really wrapped up in the modern social parallels with Conrad’s blatant xenophobia, but now I’m starting to wonder how practical or functional his plan really is. I understand that racism and xenophobia are not rational things in the first place, but I’ve never really been a fan of handing a bad guy a blank check to be incompetent and then say it’s because they happen to have these wrong-headed values. Those things should be what drives that villain to intelligent and clever in their scheming, which is not what I’m sure he’s being right now. Although we are just now learning the Domitor, or Hameline as she’s referred to in the closed captions, has been working for him this whole time and has her own revenge planned for what happened years ago, so he might be getting his comeuppance pretty soon.
And then we have Doc’s supposed death, which I am suspicious of. This is mostly because we still don’t really know what the heck has been causing him to slowly wither away like this (one guess would be the pollution but you’d think that would affect everybody), and his “death” is too low key for someone who’s part of the main cast. If he were sacrificing himself to save either Seth or Melie after a big fight they had, that would make it just a bit more believable, but the most they’ve had is a slight disagreement. But at least it does inspire Melie to take initiative and action without relying on her “crazy” side, so at least this all amounted to something positive before it’s undone or revealed to be a misdirect.
Next week looks like we’ll be getting things from Hameline’s point of view, which sounds neat because she’s been kind of an enigma so far. Maybe we’ll finally figure out how Grimm factors into this as well, but I think we’re in for something at least decent no matter what.