It’s his party and he’ll cry if he wants to!
Overview (Spoilers Below)
Seth, Melie, and Doc continue to settle in after Rumble Town (and Doc adjusts to life as a baby), but Seth is still feeling depressed about how things ended up. While everyone in Artemis, including Lord Majesty, is praising him in the papers as a hero who bravely fought off Inquistors, Thaumaturges, Nemeses, and a wicked Demitor, all Seth can focus on is the fact that he couldn’t help someone who was hurting the same way he was, now only remembered as someone evil who didn’t cause anything but trouble.
The three get invited to a grand party to celebrate Seth’s victories, but he still can’t bring himself to feel excited after all he’s seen. Even when Lord Majesty is heaping praises on him for what he’s accomplished, he can only think about the people he couldn’t save, which makes it feel like he couldn’t save anyone. He recommits to finding Radiant in hopes that he can stop the Nemeses once and for all to somehow stop all of this hatred and fighting, but no one in Artemis seems to have any idea how to help him. And even if he DID know how to find it, Hameline’s words about her Nemesis brothers not being evil makes him question if even doing THAT is the right thing to do.
As he’s feeling downer than ever, Alma shows up to both clobber him for not writing her, but also to tell him how things have changed for the better in their old home town and to give him a letter from Taj in Rumble Town. Turns out everyone’s recovering and rebuilding just fine, meaning what Seth and his friends did over there really did end up doing good in the end. So, as long as he has his friends to support him, things will turn out alright.
Oh, whoops, guess there was one more episode in the arc. Yeah, this episode is the remaining pages of the final chapter of the arc in the original comic, though with some notable padding. I guess it’s not a new practice to pad the hell out of chapters to make multiple episodes out of the same one, but it’s annoying nonetheless.
However, the remainder of the story still follows up on what I’ve been loving about the climax of this arc, namely Seth continuing to look inward about what his goals really are after what he’s seen take place in Rumble Town. From the start of the series, he’s had vast ambitions about helping all people by destroying Radiant, including those who would sooner have him killed out of fear or hatred than help him. So, when he’s face to face with someone who he couldn’t reason with like Conrad, or someone who he felt a connection to but couldn’t help like Hameline, he starts to see how short-sighted and naïve he was to think he could end things so simply.
For the longest time, the plan seemed easy: Humans fear sorcerers because of the Nemesis, Radiant is the place that Nemesis come from, so getting rid of the Nemesis should stop all the fear and everyone can get along! Only, as it turns out, humans still turn on sorcerers even without Nemesis around, sorcerers terrorize humans because of the pain they feel from that, and even the Nemesis themselves aren’t all bad. Everything he thought was so easy to understand is breaking down and becoming complicated, to the point he’s not sure if he’s not harming his own cause if he has no clear enemy to fight. Essentially, this is the kind of introspection that I love to see in my favorite protagonists. When the lie they thought they knew to be true shatters and forces them to reaffirm what they truly want now that they know their outlook has to change.
That’s not to say there weren’t some downsides to this episode. I’ve mentioned the padding, but what specifically they pad it with is just reminders of the last batch of filler that I’d rather forget (even though apparently the scenes referencing that filler were actually in the comic, so I guess the filler was made to set that up?). After how huge the last few episodes have gotten, it seems rather odd to have these last few remaining in the season to be so laid back. I’d be fine with that if this were maybe 50+ episodes in before the series finale, but this doesn’t seem to be anywhere close.
But still, the good stuff is still good. Two episodes left before the season ends, so I guess we’ll find out what was so important that it deserved the remaining spots before the finale. I have to admit, I’m eager to find out the answer to that.