March 3rd, 2014.
Guilt and Truth are Forever Intertwined.
In action shows, the action is the point. In drama shows, which this purports to be, action sequences and fights are there to prove a point, or to bring about change that’ll introduce drama. Last couple of episodes had been a tad long for this purpose, but now it’s time for drama over our lost friends, over our helplessness, especially Claire’s. The preview made it seem as if Karl will find out Claire’s true identity this episode, so let’s dive right into it.
Thoughts and Notes:
Claire and Karl:
1) “I don’t have the right to fly with everyone. I won’t, ever again.” – Because they’ve all trained to be soldiers and then risked their lives, while you wouldn’t? Well, in the end you did go with Ignacio to help, and you can train while not fighting. Or is it because you can’t be their friend as one who lied to them? Hm.
Well, as always, a sense of guilt, but one has to wonder – it’s not her decision, so what is she feeling guilty for? For not dying with them, for not being with them from the get-go? For not helping them, for being unable to summon the wind. And she can’t summon the wind because of guilt as well. Damned if you do, damned if you don’t, poor Claire.
2) Yes, she is a coward. “I’ve been lying to everyone, you don’t have to forgive me,” without even telling him how she’d been lying to them all, and especially to him. She tells him they shouldn’t meet, which isn’t an act of bravery, but an act of cowardice so she won’t have to tell him the truth, but her resolve is easily broken. Will she be brave enough to come clean?
“I love you, so I’ll never see you again. Forget about me.” – Alongside with the subtle Nina Viento tune. Brave or a coward, doesn’t matter, that music tugs at me.
3) The truth is found out, and is akin to firebombs falling from the sky. Karl lets out his frustration, his rage and his anguish, and it’s like shots fired at the sky, the sky which is the dominion of the hated Priestess of the Wind. You’ll note he was incapable of controlling his rage when he realized who Claire truly is. Rage at himself, rage at her? I think a large portion of it is rage at the cruel and unfair world, the same one that robbed him of his parents a decade ago, and of his friends but one day prior.
4) “I have given up that name.” A name connecting her to her past, to her love, to her mother. Now is only the mask of duty, the mask that lies to friends, and to the people who trust her. A mask that makes speeches speaking of faith she does not hold any longer. Now there is only duty. Claire is trying to hold onto the mask, because should the mask snap, so would she, and so her so-called resolve, and she might hate herself – or rather, she’d be forced to face the hatred she feels already.
1) “It’s not your fault, you can’t think that,” and then the zinger, “If you think that way you’ll make everyone sad.” Man, what a horrible message, and one that families often spring on you, “You’re not allowed to be sad, you’re not allowed to think of yourself, you’ll ruin the happiness of others, do you want that?” – Piling guilt upon someone who’s already guilt-ridden, and thinking of yourself while denying their right to think of themselves under the guise of kindness. Regardless of “intentions”, this message is quite common, and quite poisonous.
2) I don’t get it, they saw the Holy Spring, but they need to leave it as soon as possible. What had been their goal? Is The Holy Spring a whole region, and they need to make their journey within it? Ah, yes, their true goal is The End of the Sky. The Holy Spring is but a stopping-point to orient themselves along the compass of myth.
3) This Ignacio, does he care for Ariel, does he care for Claire? I suspect he cares about everyone.
4) A dinner fit for a wake. Everyone not here is dead, wounded, or too depressed to attend this gathering.
Post Episode Thoughts:
First, the “Claire and Karl” alongside with the first point under “Everyone else” could also be read as “On Guilt and Self Perception,” and the concept of guilt is at the core of this episode, if not the show as a whole. Claire as Nina Viento speaks of faith and sways the masses, though she doesn’t believe herself. Her lack of powers is borne of guilt, but lying to everyone only piles more guilt on top of the hefty pile already there. Claire clings to the mask, as a shield against her personal guilt, for it’s Nina Viento who is doing all this, Nina Viento who believes, rather than weak Claire.
This episode had the drama we’ve all been promised, and next episode seems like it’d have action again, but action that is an outgrowth of drama, of personality conflicts, even if they’re the sort we know from various shows.
Will things get resolved? Will we learn the mysteries behind this world? I don’t know, but this episode had probably been the best showing in this show aside from the flashback sequences of Karl and Claire’s past, in episodes 2-3, and 5.