We rejoin our heroes about 10 minutes before Mike’s accident, this time from his perspective. After raising the town alarms, Fesmer collapses, exhausted from the relentless onslaught of the Undying; Mike, refusing to surrender, scoops Fesmer up and literally slams their way into Zana’s shop. While Katherine and Mike fight from the rooftop, Zana prepares Arkahn and a terrified Shauna to fight back if necessary. Instead of the Undying, though, it is a near-frantic Katherine who comes pounding into the cellar and tells everyone how Mike blew himself off the roof. Snapping back to herself, Shauna demands to be let outside to help him, but the wards on the house prevent her from reaching her friend. Just in time, though, Jareth arrives with the town militia to drive the Undying away.
The Laundians, seeing Mike’s still body, begin to mourn; they are startled when Shauna and Katherine surge forward to start CPR, and shocked when they actually manage to revive him. Zana calls in a favor with her old friend Targonane, who arrives to care for Mike. In his short time at Zana’s, Targonane manages to throw pretty much everything in disarray; he harshly lectures Jareth on bending too quickly to authority and not acting as a leader, and questions Zana about Mike’s origins, meaning that Fesmer, Katherine, and Shauna must all stay hidden from him. Before too long, though, everything settles, and Katherine gives the now-comatose Mike a final warning: if he dies, she’s coming to Draenmer to kick his ass.
- Aaaand we’re starting with a (SPOILER)! It’s a little bittersweet to listen to Mike and Fesmer as they were back in Season 1. Even though they were just fighting back in 1.04, they really are friends; Fesmer urges Mike to go on without him, as his magic is what is attracting the Undying, but Mike refuses to leave him behind, to the point that he bodily picks him up to carry him. Compare that to Season 2, where their relationship has unraveled to the point that both Mike and Fesmer are ready to take the other out if they get in the way of their goals. It’s sad that it’s come to that.
- Oh, Mike. Eventually you’ll learn that the easiest way to achieve something is not necessarily by using brute force. …well, maybe he’ll learn. We’ve still got 1 episode left?
- Ugh, Strength checks. I always fail those. That should teach me to play a magician.
- Man, remind me again why we were so surprised when (SPOILER) Zana revealed herself as a founding member of the Hunters? Because seriously, this woman can take charge of a dangerous situation at the drop of a hat. Listen to how quickly she takes command and gets Arkahn, Katherine, and Shauna into action.
- On a similar note, you could get whiplash from the speed at which Shauna pulls herself together to help Mike. You do NOT threaten this girl’s friends.
- Aaaaand Arkahn knowing where the weak point in Zana’s wards is Reason #58 Why CT Should Have Figured This Out Earlier!!
- “No, voluna. That is not a spell you ever wish to use.” Oh man, this is some downright epic foreshadowing right here.
- I find it rather fascinating how little Laundi has in the way of medicine. I suppose when you solve most of your problems through magic, it sort of limits your thinking in situations where magic wouldn’t do anything. I remember being slightly put out with the Laundians on my first listen through, because why weren’t they doing anything? Now, though, it makes sense; Mike is for all appearances dead, and as anything involving magic and death seems to be taboo in their culture (for a GOOD reason), all they feel they can do is pray.
- Ah, that time in Dandar, the story we’ll never hear. And I kind of like that we’ll never hear it, honestly. Second Shift is the story of these 6 young people, and Zana is their mentor. While I’d love to hear more about her own adventures, they wouldn’t really be appropriate during the course of this story. And on a more technical level, the untold story of Dandar is a very useful device; it instantly tells us what kind of relationship Zana and Targonane have, and gives us a pretty good sense of just how long they’ve known each other.
- I have to wonder: did the Laundians ever wonder what the hell Shauna and Katherine were talking about when they said things like, “Thank god!”? I mean, it’s not as if Laundi is devoid of religion, but while they do have faith in an unseen force, “God” and “Ainorem” are two distinct concepts. Now I’m kind of upset Mike cut Katherine off from talking about religion an episode or two ago, I really wanna hear that conversation.
- “An eager mammal still cannot lay eggs, Arkahn!” HOW DID I MISS THIS PHRASE, IT’S BEAUTIFUL.
- Reason #59 Why CT Should Have Figured This Out Earlier: Arkahn sure does hustle to get Fesmer out of there, (SPOILER) and it makes perfect sense if you look at it from her perspective as a spy. If Fesmer gets caught (and subsequently captured) by University, her mission is blown, completely and utterly. She HAS to get him to lay low. That being said, she does not have to help him, or reassure him, or anything of that nature. The fact that she does belies her fondness for Fesmer. When she tells us at the end of Season 1 that she truly wanted to be friends with Fesmer and Jareth, this is why I can believe her.
- “Since when do you care about Mike’s football playing?” “Well, I guess I don’t…but it’s his dream.” Okay, now seems as good a time as any to talk about the Boston trio. Y’know, it kind of gets lost in the fighting and subsequent separation in Season 1, but Katherine, Shauna, and Mike are really the best of friends. I get the sense that Shauna could have other friends if she had time, but she doesn’t, so Mike and Katherine are probably the closest friends she has. Mike probably has a bunch of guy friends from the football team, but you kind of get the sense he really just gets to be himself around the girls, nerdiness included. And Katherine, well…as MaverickWeirdo said, she’s not a people person. I’d be shocked if she had any real friends other than Mike and Shauna – which really explains why she’s so desperate to protect both of them, even if Mike drives her up the wall.
- Man, much as Jareth had it coming, yowch. That’s one hell of a chewing out. And for all that, he really does take Targonane’s advice to heart, even if it takes over a year for him to really get it.
- “Yeah, I know. All three of us. I know.” I’m still not entirely sure why Shauna didn’t tell the others the whole story about Ainorem’s answer…though if I had to guess, it’s probably because she’s used to taking on the weight of the world on her own. She probably thought that by hiding it from the others, she’d spare them a lot of worry. I’d say something about that being perhaps the most incorrect assumption of all time, but to be perfectly fair, hindsight is 20/20.
- Y’know, Targonane’s talking about Mike is the closest we’ve ever come to an actual physical description of one of the characters. Maybe one day I’ll skip the write-up and talk about my mental images of everyone? Who knows?
- I love how Zana slips and calls him Targo. It’s incredibly telling.
- “I did something just now that I never in my life thought I would do…I denied Targonane the truth.” Well…I suppose if he never asked about (HOO BOY, SPOILER) Dita, it wouldn’t count as lying.