Home > Episode Reviews, Gosick > Gosick Episode 8 – The Ties that Bind

Gosick Episode 8 – The Ties that Bind

Finishing up its time in the village of the gray wolves, Gosick finally manages to show it can keep some cards close to the chest even as the major mysteries of the arc are solved. We find out the culprit behind the killing of the visitors, as well as identity of the one who framed Victorique’s mother Cordelia 20 years ago.

We don’t, however, find out who Brian Roscoe is, or what caused his philanthropy to the village. We also don’t know how he knows Cordelia, or what his and Cordelia’s larger plans are. The show keeps silent on these issues primarily by keeping Victorique the super sleuth from learning of them; regardless of the reason, it’s nice that Gosick is learning to keep secrets.

This episode does reveal that Brian Roscoe is the red haired street magician from a few episodes back. It also reveals that, yes, Victorique's height is a family trait

The mysteries themselves seem to have undergone some improvement. The local murders only required one logical leap as related to motive, but a crucial clue introduced at the beginning of this episode should give ample but not obvious hints about the culprit. The ending doesn’t seem forced.

The criminal from 20 years ago is a bit more surprising, although perhaps Gosick was trying to be a bit too clever with the whole prophecy thing in a way that his been done a few too many times before. There’s a particular trick used to employ the guilty party to confess, but it makes sense given the culprit’s established mental history.

Grevil swoops in to steal the credit from Victorique again. Despite being right on time, he gets far less respect among those who know about his sister

More interesting than both of these is the character of Ambrose, a young man of the village who is profoundly interested in life outside of it. Introduced as a guide last episode, twice here he must make a choice between the village and the calling of his heart, and each time he denies the village.

Granted, his refusal to follow the will of the village the first time around leads to an even greater calamity, and his second choice leads him to be effectively banished from the village forever. The lure of the unknown and his desire to experience more than what his isolated town can offer leads to a different sort of isolation.

Ambrose puts a brave face on his exile from the only life he's ever known. But there is just enough hesitation in his eyes to show the weight of his decision

Although I don’t know if the show intended it, perhaps there was meant to be a parallel between his actions and Victorique’s. Ambrose acts in the service of feelings he has not acted upon and for a life he has only imagined. Victorique is devoted to a mother from whom she was forcibly separated as an infant; she has no real memory of Cordelia. Both act in service of realities that have been denied them, and both, in the end, get what they want.

But the examples split up by the end of the story arc. Kujou, having defended Victorique from the villain she helped unmask, nearly falls to his death as the burning drawbridge he stood on disintegrates. It’s Victorique who saves him, but only at the cost of the locket containing the photo of her mother. Like Ambrose, she has been treasuring a connection to a world she has never known, but ultimately she chooses the reality right in front of her.

Acting out of mercy, Ambrose lets a crazed arsonist run throughout the village. Perhaps "teleport" might be a bit more accurate term, given how fast and how far apart new fires start. It's noticeably unrealistic, and one of my pet peeves for the episode

While it’s a bit unnecessary and cliched for Victorique to lose her locket while saving Kujou’s life, it symbolizes an interesting shift of loyalty. Despite their long separation, Cordelia is always on her daughter’s mind, and that locket is likely Victorique’s most prized possession. And, perhaps, a more permanent one: Victorique, like Kujou, knows that the two of them are prophesied to be separated later in life. That only seems to make her value him more.

This is also the first point where the two save each other. Kujou saved Victorique more than once on the Queen Berry, and the Avril introduction arc began and ended with Victorique saving Kujou, first from her idiot brother and then from the criminal of the arc. Here, Kujou goes on the line for Victorique only to have her follow suit immediately afterward. Their relationship grows further in the direction of reciprocity every episode.

It was a very deliberate decision on the part of the writers to make Victorique pick between the locket and Kujou. She doesn't hesitate in making her choice

After three full arcs, Gosick hasn’t quite shaken the feeling of being in its introductory stages. With Ambrose we seem to have a new recurring secondary character; like Avril before him, this signals that the cast was not yet complete (and still might not be). Gosick still feels like has yet to start its main story, so it’s hard to judge if Gosick even is a good show, much less if it will stay one.

Even so, it’s clearly not a bad show. The arcs might still feel as if they are half devoted to exposition, and the mysteries might be resolved a bit too easily and tidily, but there is continual attention given to advancing the relationship between the leads, and this episode is another milestone in that progression.

Mildred was under Grevil's employ to keep watch on Victorique. Her flirting with him is just an added perk, at least for one of them

You can watch the episode here.

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