Following the defeat and recruitment of Lassic last episode, Theo continues to expand his powerbase, mostly off-screen. We hear how Lassic and company are now out fighting other lords while Theo does other work, but it never gets into the nitty-gritty details of how things are supposed to work. We also have a new faction, such as it is, thrown into the mix with a presumably large religion being thrown in. We don’t yet have any information as to how this figures into the larger conflict between the nations, but could be a specific concern for Theo now that the Pope-equivalent’s daughter is part of his entourage. Theo and Siluca then work to fight a chaos beast’s attack on his (or, let’s be honest, their) territory. We then move on to Theo fighting the king of the region that he’s in and allying with previously unseen free lords to rout the king’s army. Following this, Theo and Siluca begin acting on their plan to essentially switch sides in order to be on the opposite side as Theo’s homeland’s ruler to take over that place.
Wow, typing all that out makes me realize just how much was going on this episode. We’re back to some of the pacing problems that seemed most apparent in episode 1. Theo is now a baron and in a position to defect and take over the local king. This happened quickly, with a lot of apparent growth off-screen. This part felt somewhat muddled to me, not at all helped by the lack of detail on any of the political moves between episodes or the general setup. Also, apparently there are other free lords who are part of the king’s territory, but who don’t want him to claim their territory. How free are these free lords? Are they not part of either the Federation or the Alliance? If not, then why didn’t Theo and Siluca take that path? If so, what will their repercussions be for turning on someone presumably on the same side as them to help someone about to defect? What happens to them after this? In Siluca’s meeting at the end, she says Theo has conquered the entire Savis region, and they seem to be a part of it. Did he go and depose the king fully later? There are a lot of things that are just getting breezed over. I understand that not every question can be answered, but I feel like a lot of detail is missing here and it’s starting to grate on me.
On that note, almost all of my questions from last episode remain unanswered. The only one that was is that apparently, Siluca’s magic can destroy chaos, since she beat the Salamander mostly single-handedly. In that case, what makes the crests so special? We didn’t see Theo noticeably doing anything more effective than Aishela was able to do to the salamander. Why are the crests so key to defeating Chaos when it didn’t seem like Theo’s did anything in particular to the monster. It doesn’t even appear as though they are needed for healing, since Siluca was going to do that before the Salamander showed up. About all we’ve seen them do is enhance weapons and armor to some unspecified extent and make a big flag that gives everyone on the same side an emblem that does who-knows-what. I liked the flag and enchantment a lot, because that seemed like a more lordly ability tied to the Crest that would come with levelling up, but we still need to know what that precisely does.
The character interaction was fun where we got it. My two favorite bits of the episode were when Siluca was speaking with Sartorus and when Theo and Siluca actually get the quiet moment together with her tending to his wounds. The first was a good acknowledgment of what I think everyone already recognized. Theo essentially is a passive participant in Siluca’s master plan. While her plan may coincide with his in that she is helping him get control over his village, she’s making all the moves and all the plans. Thus, she’s actually the lord, even if he has the crest. I hope this is picked up on later. Their conversation later was a good step then based on the prior conversation for her trying to adjust her attitude to allow him more agency and more appearance of being a lord. However, even with that, it’s evident she has all their moves mapped out and is just waiting for the stamp of approval from him. The only thing he did differently from her plan was let the Church in. We’ll just have to wait and see if this has any other repercussions. I don’t really have any strong feelings on the new characters, though. We haven’t had enough time with them, but I’m beginning to worry about getting overloaded and not getting time with the vast majority of them.
My concerns for this show are growing. The pacing is noticeably inconsistent, we’re getting close to too many characters, the plot isn’t answering questions, and it’s not shaping up to be the show I really want it to be. We need answers and writing strong enough to hopefully weave them in without just a massive infodump. I hope things improve, but I’m not loving this show.