Rating: 4 (of 5)
Now that all three of the principal trio have been established, episode 3 gets down to the business of working on Loid’s mission. This reveals three things:
- Loid has no idea how to rely on other people to get things done, and is going to have a hard time adjusting to circumstances where he cannot completely control the behavior of others.
- Yor has a thing for cutting implements that goes beyond just her job as an assassin and is, frankly, a little disturbing.
- Anya doesn’t just steal nearly every scene that she’s in; she can also direct or upend the flow of any scene just by being a 5-year-old. (Or however old she actually is.) And neither adult has the faintest clue that at least some of the time she’s doing this deliberately; in fact, one of the episode’s most ironic moments comes when they see Anya’s scrawling depiction of what’s going on with her parents and completely mistake it for having to do with the spy cartoon she watches – since of course a 5-year-old couldn’t really know what’s actually going on, right?
This combination of elements percolating together helps make the series’ third episode fully entertaining despite it having the lowest action content so far (and by a wide margin, too); really, the only thing which could count as an action scene is the brief chase-down of the purse snatcher, and that seems more like an acknowledgement that it’s not a proper spy show without at least some action rather than a core plot element. The trio look good together and play off each other well, to the point that they would be convincing as a family even if they weren’t pretending; the scene featured in the screen shot above shows that there may be more chemistry building between Loid and Yor than either probably cares to admit.
The episode gets its other little details working, too. The miserable efforts to train Anya and Yor for the school interview make for solid comedy, while the crowd scene simultaneously shows both that the environment in which the story take place has some decidedly unstable and potentially dangerous elements afoot and that Anya’s vulnerability as a young telepath is getting overwhelmed in crowd scenes. (This has long been acknowledged as a main problem to overcome for young telepaths in comic book stories, so such a revelation is wholly expected.) The series may lean towards the fun side, but darker elements are only a short distance away.
In all, this is a somewhat weaker episode, but it would be hard to constantly keep up with the first two. I have no doubts that a lot more sparks have yet to fly.