Two days after the gang was taken into custody, Arkahn’s trial has begun; in her attempt to atone for her past actions, she has pled guilty to all charges. Mike and Katherine have been kept confined at University during this time, all through which Mike has been getting more and more riled up; when Targonane finally calls them in to ask them some questions, he’s about ready to snap, but Katherine keeps her head and tries her best to get to the bottom of things.
Jareth, for his part, has chosen to attend the trial, as much as it hurts him to do so, and is reminded by Targonane that he may be facing more trouble ahead for his choice to associate with Arkahn. As she sits on the stand, Arkahn answers all of the University officials’ questions very honestly – even questions about the Boston Trio and (with some farspoken prompting from the man himself) Fesmer. When she starts talking about the black market trading of tae-oden, however, the officials suddenly and suspiciously close the trial to the public.
Everyone slowly makes their way back to Zana’s; first Fesmer, who speaks with her about his meeting up with her “friends”, and then Mike and Katherine. Mike spots Fesmer “talking” to one of these friends, and while he doesn’t get a straight answer, he does learn that Fesmer may be plotting along with an unknown third party. Jareth, in the meantime, is called in to Targonane’s office, and realizes that he’s going to have to make some very serious decisions when Targonane informs him that Arkahn has been sentenced to death.
Comments: (may contain spoilers for the whole series!)
- I always talk about how dedicated people like Jareth and Porec are to their convictions, and I always seem to leave Arkahn off that list…and I really shouldn’t. Not only does she have the most clarity RE: her personal goal of repenting for her past crimes, she chooses to go about it in the way that will hurt the fewest people (such as how she tries to avoid bringing up Fesmer during the trial). Later on, when Zana tells Arkahn that she’s one of the strongest people she knows, I can completely believe it.
- Correct me if I’m wrong, but I think (as of this episode) Katherine’s parents are the only ones of the Main 6 who haven’t gotten names. I wonder what they are?
- I think it’s an example of how dedicated Mike and Katherine are to their goal of finding Shauna that, unlike last season, every time one of them starts to get angry, the other one completely backs off and tries to keep things from escalating. In fact, this may be the first time that we’ve heard Katherine refuse to respond to a personal attack.
- “They even gave us books to read until you decided to use a textbook as a +1 club versus guards and…DAMMIT I’m starting to talk like you!” Y’know, thank god it wasn’t just me that noticed this!
- “What, so we can’t mess stuff up?” “Well, it is what you’re best at, yeah.” (MASSIVE SPOILER) OH GOD I love the fact that this entire season people keep pointing out how impulsive Mike is, how he doesn’t think things through, how his ideas tend to be terrible, and how all of that is ABSOLUTELY CRUCIAL to how things work out in the end.
- “I always have my ‘feminine wiles’…”
OH MAN I’d bet they’d work
Oh Arkahn, bb, University doesn’t give a shit that you had no say in the matter, that your parents were abusive jerks who never gave you a choice about any part of your life…I’m sorry, I just have a lot of feelings about Arkahn. #Tell us something we DON’T know, CT
- HOLY CRAP I just realized that, under Jareth and Targonane’s conversation, Arkahn is talking about the Cult of the Mother. That is some well-hidden foreshadowing right there!
- Fesmer has clearly been practicing at evading wards for a while now; this isn’t the last time he’ll prove that he’s very adept at sensing and evading magical protections.
- “Be true to yourself, Jareth. When this storm subsides, that may be all you have left.” (SPOILER) These are intensely prophetic words coming from Targonane here, not just for Jareth, but for our cast as a whole. Really, the whole of Second Shift is about learning to walk that tightrope between living for others and living for ourselves. Some of our characters learn this lesson, and are the better for it. Others…well, they don’t, and they pay the price.
- “It probably would have worked, too…if it were not for those meddling kids!” Two things here. One, Arkahn, maybe saying this out loud was not the greatest idea you’ve ever had. And two, oh lord, I am so sorry for you if Mike forced you to watch enough Scooby Doo to both pick up that line and memorize it.
- “Besides, the guy has a spear.” “Halberd.” “Whatever.” We are in the midst of some very serious revelations, but I still crack up at this every single time.
- “University has its own secrets as well…” Man, I’d completely forgotten that Targonane talks about University corruption this early on! Knowing this, it’s not so surprising when (SPOILER) he shows up in Velia nearly 10 episodes from now trying to root out that same corruption.
- Oh my god, Zana is humming her own leitmotif.
I love this show I love this show I love this show
- “[Mike and Katherine’s] presence seems to…escalate problems, more often than solve them.” TRUER WORDS, ZANA.
- I’m pretty sure that every single mentor figure in this series, at some point or another, offers their protégés food. (SPOILER) The one mentor figure that doesn’t blows up in a tae-oden refinery. Coincidence? But really, offering physical sustenance is a good metaphor for also offering spiritual sustenance, which is what Zana, Targonane, and even Porec provide to their chosen.
- “Did you ever encounter…my friends?” Yet another bit of foreshadowing that I completely forgot about. Jeez, never let me work a job that relies on my ability to pay attention or recall important information, ‘cause apparently I suck at it.
- Man, I do have to wonder, if the Sun-Jaen involved with sealing the trial are willing to do it so blatantly, how the heck haven’t they been caught yet? (Also, given the blooper at the end of this episode, I’m going to assume that I’m completely butchering the spelling of “Sun-jae”.)
- “No, Jareth, you are young and impatient. I will handle this.” It’s always funny to see a character you think you have a handle on from others’ points of view. When we were riding around with just the Main 6 last season, Jareth was always the stick in the mud, the eldest of the group who was the most dedicated to thinking things through. From Targonane’s perspective, however, Jareth is almost as bad as the rest of his friends.
- “The man’s a schemer, I can tell.” (SPOILER) Looking at their personalities and choices now, I can’t help but wonder what Targonane and Zana’s positions were within the Hunters. They were both leaders, obviously, since they founded the group, but if I had to guess, I think Katherine’s got Targo pegged. He was probably the lead planner; who organized the group’s more secretive actions (he’s clearly detail-oriented, and, we see later on, good at operating from the shadows). Zana was always the best at combining the idealistic with the practical; I can see her as the one who worked with the “troops on the ground”, such as they were.
- Katherine has this bad habit of keeping everything that she dislikes about herself, every past action she regrets, utterly secret from everyone else and completely bottled up where she can fixate on it, and that’s going to be a habit with some very big repercussions pretty soon. If she had told Mike, or even Zana, anything about what she and Arkahn did on the day of the brikka game, the events of 2.08 might have been prevented.
- “Things had better turn around and fast.” GOOD LUCK WITH THAT ONE, GUYS.
- Oh man, those sad little sighs after Katherine and Mike joke about Shauna. Y’know, that’s probably why they get on so much better this time around. It’s not just because they have the shared goal of finding their friend, though that’s admittedly a big part of it. It’s also because, unlike last season where they didn’t have anything in common, now they have this shared experience of a year of waiting, worry, and regret. That’s enough to keep all but the worst of their arguments at bay.
- “Oh, and Fesmer? Who were you just talking to?” Y’know, an impulsive, charge-ahead Mike is one thing. An impulsive, charge-ahead, savvy Mike is another thing entirely. I wouldn’t want to go head to head with Season 2 Mike.
- “I promise, I am on your side.” “I’m going to hold you to that.” And so begins the downfall of Mike and Fesmer’s friendship. This…is actually pretty painful to watch unfold, actually. They’re so similar, but their goals were so opposed that they couldn’t help but become…well, if not enemies, then certainly something akin to it.
- The 2S writers are very good at a great many things, but one of the things they do exceedingly well is showing an individual character at the exact moment of a personal revelation. Jareth gets his at the end of this episode; when he all but tells Targonane that he’s going to do something rash, you can practically hear that something in him has fundamentally changed.