Home > Episode Reviews, Gosick > Gosick Episode 18 – Spy Games

Gosick Episode 18 – Spy Games

Last episode ended with our heroes on a train escaping a flooding convent and declaring their loyalty and devotion to each other. I suppose it would be unfair to expect this episode to match that level of dramatic intensity. But while it provides a necessary wrap up to Victorique and Kujou’s foray into Lithuania, this time around the show feels decidedly less engrossing. Until the very end, it’s more about literally nameless characters engaging in machinations under Victorique’s knowing eye (and Kujou’s clueless one).

To be fair, the episode does attempt to build up a certain degree of empathy toward some of these other characters, particularly the younger ones. But with less than an episode to work with, there’s a limit to what can be done. I’m told by those familiar with the light novels that a full volume was crammed into this episode; perhaps in its original format the story of these side characters would have been fleshed out to the point where proper drama could be done.

Of course, it’s also possible the volume was a wreck and the show did us a favor for rushing through it as quickly as possible. Either way, I’m happy it’s over and we can move on.

The episode begins with Victorique explaining Simon Hunt's murder, in case you were curious

The episode begins with Kujou and Victorique sharing a train compartment with the middle aged woman and teenage girl who helped them get on the train. I identified them as mother and daughter in my last review, but this was a completely mistaken impression. They are strangers, as are the middle aged man and teenage boy who join them, desperate to find a restful spot in a train packed with refugees.

Although strangers, the guests all know each other. Each is an agent for either the Occult Ministry or the Science Ministry, and they are playing hardball to get their hands on the box which Hunt successfully passed on to his accomplice (the teenage girl) before he was killed. At first resorting to subtle methods, the spies become increasingly aggressive, and eventually start shooting at each other in front of the other passengers.

The agents play nice for the most part, but once a gun gets drawn all bets are off. (Don't ask about the maid outfit)

All this is for a box that can supposedly put a break on the growing power of the Science Ministry. One would think it was some device or weapon; instead it’s blackmail material, providing material evidence that Jupiter Roget, former and perhaps current head of the Science Ministry, grew up in the village of Gray Wolves. Apparently that ancestry is enough to discredit him, should the information leak.

At least, the Science Ministry agents are taking no chances; both of them are willing to die to keep that information under control, and more to the point kill everyone else in the process. To be sure the information stays buried, they decide not to signal their colleagues ahead of them, meaning that they will rig a bridge to explode and send the train into a ravine. More than anything else, that signals how important everyone thinks this information is.

The show tries to instill some degree of sympathy for the teenage girl as she dies, but she's too much of a cypher for that to work. Particularly since she's trying to murder dozens of innocents

Since the spies do a fairly good job of killing each other off, it’s up to Kujou and Victorique to save the train. They also manage to get their hands on the incriminating evidence, which puts in Victorique’s hands a crucial bargaining chip.

Of course, it’s only a matter of time before the interested parties figure out who has it, and Victorique doesn’t have an independent power base to protect herself, particularly from her father and the Occult Ministry. She could try to pass it off to her mother and Brian Roscoe, but I still don’t trust the latter figure and de Blois, if he’s not a complete idiot, will be preparing for any future contact. Victorique has a weapon, but I’m not sure if she can use it.

Speaking of weapons: Victorique is insistent that her genius allows her to handle firearms, because she understands the theory of marksmanship. Shooting out the trigger mechanism for the bomb goes off without a hitch

We may have to wait to find out: If the preview is any indication next week will be a filler/comic relief episode—one hopes the last before the show starts up its final arc. With luck, the writers will still cram in some character development to make it worth our while. Such development was basically absent here.

I suppose I should be happy that the episode didn’t walk back any of Victorique and Kujou’s hard-won development—the show has done that before. And I did want the show to provide some closure to the events at Beelzebub’s Skull, and I got it. That’s two reasons why I shouldn’t be complaining that much. But, perhaps since Gosick has been on such a good run building up the pair’s relationship, I’m increasingly impatient whenever the attention turns to something else. That this is still the case even when the “something else” is the ostensible plot speaks poorly of the show as a whole. Or perhaps my taste.

Cordelia seems to think both that Victorique can protect herself with the coveted evidence, and that she and Roscoe can defend the interests of the Gray Wolves without it. She's probably right on both counts; I'm just curious as to the how

You can watch the episode here.

Categories: Episode Reviews, Gosick
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