Zana calls Mike in to talk about just how much money he owes her, and surprisingly, he’s actually been thinking it over. He knows he can never earn enough to pay her back, so Mike says that he’ll give Zana some advice to help her earn more money. While they’re talking, Katherine wanders in to the kitchen, and Mike accidentally insults her by joking that she can wear the proposed pig mascot costume; Katherine responds by insulting Mike’s ideas, claiming they’ll ruin Laundi just as they’ve ruined home.
This isolated incident slowly grows as the others get involved; Fesmer is shocked that Mike insulted Katherine so directly, Jareth is fed up with Mike’s reckless behavior, and Arkahn is tired of Katherine’s judgmental attitude. Add in a giant thunderstorm that’s keeping the customers out and the Main 6 in, and you have a recipe for an epic fight.
Shauna, for her part, is in a horrible mood even without everyone else’s fight; she’s been plagued by nightmares of the Winged Herald, has been stressing over the Shift spell, and hardly has time to think of her family anymore. When even Zana can’t help her, she throws up her hands and intervenes in the argument, dragging Katherine and Mike off to resolve their issues. It’s only when Shauna finally loses her patience that the pair are able to, on their own, finally apologize to each other.
- “It is important to fully understand the depth of one’s debt.” 100% true, but that doesn’t make it sting any less.
Uuuuuggggghh student loans
- It’s kind of nice to see Mike truly confident about something again. For all his issues in Benched, he’s always been able to bounce back faster than any other character in the show.
- “Assuming this ear malady you speak of is some bizarre colloquialism, I am willing to give this an honest attempt.” UGH THIS SHOW. ♥
- I’m a little taken aback that it takes us until the 9th episode of the season to actually talk about who or what Oren is; he plays such a central role towards the end of the show that it’s strange to think that there was a time when we knew absolutely nothing about him. There’s also something Fesmer says that makes me wonder…according to him, the Brotherhood of Oren is just a rumor. But in Season 2, when (SPOILER) Porec and Shauna are traveling, random townsfolk know exactly what Porec is and who he represents, even if they’re not specifically in Legion-controlled territory. So to what extent is Terontenadi suppressing information about the Legion in Laundi?
- “…as University does not open its library to common folk.” I’m going to be honest: this is the exact moment I started to seriously question the University as a source of justice and order, and it is entirely due to my HUGE bias against this sort of behavior. An educational library that doesn’t provide at least rudimentary services to the local populace instantaneously earns my ire. #CT gets her librarian rant on
- Fesmer has this problem where he really can only see the world in black and white – even more so than most of the other characters. This really creates a problem when he has two parties that qualify as “bad” to him, because he sees no problem in lumping them together – University and the Legion are most certainly not allies, but Fesmer assumes as much because he sees them both as evil. (SPOILER) We see this rear its head again further down the line when Fesmer is perfectly willing to lump Shauna and the Legion together, despite the fact that Shauna is an old friend who has never done him ill.
- ConspiracyTheory!Fesmer is my favorite ♥.
- Someone on the boards commented that perhaps the reason Katherine is so hyper-critical of Mike’s marketing ideas is because she’s seen what money does to people. Her family is wealthy, but that’s never made them happy – and the pursuit of money can make people do some terrible things. She, of course, blows it out of proportion, but this does explain where her feelings come from.
- Conversely, Mike sounds like he comes from an average middle class family – perhaps not one that struggles quite as much as Shauna’s, but definitely one for whom sending a child to college in another state is a major expense. To him, Katherine blowing up over trying to make a little more money must seem absolutely ridiculous.
Mike, no one from California calls it “Cali”, just so you know.
- Y’know, Mike just spelled out one of the major reasons he and Katherine can’t get along – the way they approach conflict is entirely different. Mike charges ahead, most of the time without thinking; he never backs away from a challenge, even when that’s a terrible idea. Katherine, alternately, blows up at the source of her problem and then retreats entirely, even when she should be looking to work through the conflict. In fact, the only person she clashes with who she doesn’t then try to cut off all contact with is Mike.
- I really enjoy how Mike and Arkahn’s relationship has this nice, slow, subtle build up. It’s just so…normal.
- Okay, so…colonialism. (I’m going to try not to go all Social Justice here, but no promises.) As I mentioned before, Dropped Into Another World stories always have to be careful with this, and I think Second Shift deals with it beautifully. Mike may mean the best, but he is critical of the way Laundians approach business without even really having a handle on their culture, operates under the assumption that his way is the best way, and dismisses Katherine’s accusations of colonialist behavior out of hand. And Katherine makes her own mistakes here too; she thinks that Laundi is somehow purer or more spiritual than our world, and that Zana needs to be defended from Mike’s ideas. Honestly, Shauna’s got the best response to this: Zana is a grown woman, and doesn’t need to be educated, or protected, or changed, she just needs her employees to work.
- Jareth, maybe it is not the best idea to talk to Shauna about things that are upsetting her while she’s swinging a big knife around…
- “Do not steal from your own wealth, Shae.” That is an absolutely beautiful turn of phrase.
- It actually makes a lot of sense for New Year’s to be celebrated on the day when the flow of Odi is the strongest. Most cultures associate the New Year with feeling renewed and positive- why not hold that celebration on the day when everyone feels at their best? Makes more sense than the day we hold our New Year, actually; Roman consuls don’t exactly take office on Jan. 1st anymore.
- Hey, I totally forgot that the umbrella spell had its origins in Season 1! …hey, does that mean that Fesmer had a full year to perfect it, and he still can’t shield anyone other than himself?
- (SPOILER) Zana’s hesitance to help Shauna with her dreams of the Herald is a lot easier to understand when you know about her history. She’s tangled with creatures of legend before, and it’s ended very, VERY badly. I can see why she would be hesitant, even frightened, of another such creature.
- Okay, back when this episode first came out, a number of people on the forums commented that the giant fight between pretty much everyone other than Shauna was unrealistic. To these people, I say: have you ever lived with two or more people under the age of 10? Because this is how children fight. It is loud, it is nonsensical, and it doesn’t stop until someone sends the offending parties to stand in a corner. Shauna is so dead on the mark it isn’t even funny.
- The real problem here (and strangely enough, it’s Mike who brings it up) is that everyone in this fight is bringing a multitude of issues to the table. They’re not just fighting over whether Zana should take Mike’s advice or not, they’re letting out years of frustration. They can’t agree on any one thing because there are inevitably 3 more issues that they don’t agree on.
- How alone must Shauna feel? Every single person she knows in this world is fighting, and the one person who isn’t fighting refuses to give her help, meaning that she is completely and utterly alone. No wonder she blows up.
- “Y’know, for a while there I thought that the biggest upshot to being stuck here would be that you two would finally have to start getting along!” Shauna is…surprisingly perceptive on this count. Though, to be fair, it won’t be accurate for another year or so.
- The one thing that’s always been able to bring Mike and Katherine together? Shauna. If only she was aware of that, maybe she wouldn’t have been so quick to send them home without her!