Jareth rushes to Zana’s to update them on the results of Arkahn’s trial, and their response is less than positive; Fesmer is furious, and Mike ends up nearly punching Jareth out. Jareth returns to University to find out more, but is denied entry to see Arkahn, as everyone, including his lady-friend, Kasha, is starting to wonder just how much she influenced him. Katherine discusses what they should do with Zana, who in turn appeals to Targonane to do something for Arkahn. It seems, though, that nothing they can do through legal means will overturn Arkahn’s sentence, so a more clandestine method is called for; even though he won’t go with them, Jareth helps Mike, Fesmer, and Katherine with their plan to break Arkahn out of University’s prison.
Later that night in his office, Jareth is approached by Kasha, and discovers that, during times of high security, the guard patrols are changed – meaning the advice he gave the others is now useless. When Kasha only confirms to him the severe, unyielding mindset of University, Jareth makes his decision, and rushes to help the others. Leaving Katherine to lead Mike and Fesmer in preparing the horses, Jareth sneaks into the prison and blows up a wall of Arkahn’s cell. They flee the alarms and approaching guards, and together the group rides off into the night.
- It’s kind of easy to sometimes forget just how badass Arkhan is. Most of the time we see her, she’s with people she likes, people whose forgiveness she wants to earn. The few times we’ve seen her outside of that context, however, she’s consistently proven that she doesn’t need a weapon to be dangerous; she’s tough-as-nails, quick-witted, and brilliant at psyching her enemies out.
- Oh, Jareth and Squeaky Voiced Teen. I love any point in this show at which someone ends up talking to themselves.
- Let’s not beat around the bush here: the fight between Mike and Jareth? I LOVE this scene. LOVE IT. I love watching characters when they’re pushed to the breaking point, when they’re forced to realize what they really care about and what they’re willing to fight for. On top of that, Brad and Mike do an amazing job here (though quite frankly, from this point on the entire cast pulls out the stops constantly, acting-wise).
- “You may insult me all you like, but leave University apart from this!” I really think that, at this point, Jareth is so adamant to Mike about University being blameless because for the first time in his life, he himself is actually doubting that fact…and that’s a big deal. University was the one thing he had after the Shift spell. If that gets pulled out from under him, what does he have left?
- This is the first time we’ve ever seen Mike truly angry, and wow, it’s a little frightening. I can understand it, though. For a full year, Mike took care of Arkahn in Boston; he was her confidant and protector. Now though? He can do absolutely nothing…and that’s probably reminding him of how he felt about Shauna when he was home. Mike’s got a penchant for caring very deeply about the women in his life, and then not being able to help them. It’s no surprise that it finally caused him to explode.
- It’s delightfully ironic that the only person who can calm Mike down after his fight with Jareth…is Katherine. She’s clearly getting to a point where she’s learning how to pick her battles.
- “If we wish to endure…then Legionnaires must not.” Oh man, it’s disguised by Kasha’s gentle tone and soft words, but this is one of the scariest things anyone’s ever said on this show. This, right here, is the danger of us-or-them thinking – sweetly as she may say it, Kasha still believes that the death of a young woman who was coerced into working for the Legion and now poses no threat to anyone is completely and totally justified…and that’s frightening.
- “Do you blame yourself, Kathe?” I think Zana is the only one who really understands Katherine’s habit of blaming herself for the things that go wrong in her life. I have to wonder…does Zana have the same habit? She’s admitted before that she and Katherine are very similar people, and we do know (SPOILER) that the one event that caused the most upheaval and pain in her life was, at least in part, caused by her own curiosity. So who knows?
- “I’m not ready to forgive Arkahn just yet, but…if she honestly wants to pay her dues, I guess…she deserves the chance?” #frolics in a field of character development flowers
- (SPOILER) In retrospect, Katherine was probably right to doubt Fesmer…and that’s a sad thing to admit.
- This is the also the first time we see Zana get angry…but not the last. Also, dang, so many angry people in this episode!
- Oh my gosh, I remember how mystifying Zana and Targo’s conversation was the first time I heard it, but it makes so much more sense listening to it now. So much gets referenced here that we’ll eventually learn about: their time in the Hunters, Targonane’s job rooting out corruption, their past relationship with each other.
- Finally, it would have been so easy for Zana to be just a little bitter when she asked how Targonane’s family is doing. (SPOILERS) It would have been entirely understandable, even; here she is, with her surrogate children all being threatened, while the man she once loved tells her she can do nothing to help them. But that’s the thing: she isn’t bitter. Not at all, in fact. I have no idea how one person finds that much serenity in her life, but somehow Zana managed it.
- “I cannot expect you to understand this…” “Dude, I get it, believe me!” Y’know, if Jareth and Mike ever sat down and stopped screaming at one another, I think they’d be astounded by the things they have in common. Jareth is the last of the Main 6 to actively confront the chaos his life has become, not to mention the pressure he feels to live up to his family’s expectations. Mike on the other hand, has had a whole year to deal with these exact problems. #Second Shift needs more Hugging It Out #No it doesn’t, CT, shut up
- Guys, when Zana starts telling you secret back ways to get into University without setting off the alarms, it is at this point that you should start wondering how she knows that.
I can’t justifiably be mad at them, though, ‘cause I didn’t start wondering that either
- The piece of music playing behind Jareth and Kasha’s conversation is just…so beautiful. I’m constantly blown away by the music of Second Shift; it’s such a cut above most audiodramas…and quite a few TV shows and movies, to be honest. I’m ridiculously excited about the soundtrack being released.
- “That is a perceptive observation of an extremely uninteresting thing.” “Grendi!” Oh, Jareth. (On a somewhat related note, how much do I love that all our badass action heroes are essentially nerds at heart? SO MUCH.)
- Another example of how similar Jareth and Katherine are: it takes a very negative interaction with their significant other for them to realize what they truly need. In both cases, that need is to escape the confines of expectations, both on a societal and personal level. (Also, can I just toss out there that I really like that both a male and female character experience a personal revelation this way? Because all too frequently in fiction, this sort of revelation only happens to female characters; the male character is allowed have a personal revelation because of platonic friends or personal inner strength, and not in the context of a romantic relationship.)
- Katherine and Mike joking around and having fun while getting important stuff accomplished is my FAVORITE.
Never mind the fact that, like, 15 other things are also my favorite
- That being said, if we somehow had missed out on all the other clues we’d gotten so far, Fesmer refusing to joke around at all should have been our first sign that something was up with him.
- Oh, Aldo and Jasmeet, two of my favorite periphery characters ever. They are such college students it isn’t even funny.
- Even though he hates University and is angrier at Jareth than he’s ever been before, Fesmer still pauses to try and dissuade him from accompanying them for the sake of saving Jareth’s career. Furious though he may be, Fesmer clearly still cares about Jareth more than he’s willing to admit.
- It’s official: NO ONE KNOWS HOW TO GET TO ADMISSIONS. #CT has had to deal with maybe one too many prospective students
- “You may have caused us ill, Arkahn…but I do not believe that you ever wished it.” This is a really big turning point in the relationship between Jareth and Arkahn. Last season, we pretty much only ever saw them at odds, even before Arkahn’s betrayal. They argued pretty frequently over Fesmer or Jareth’s behavior, and they occasionally spent time together in a group context, but we never really saw them working together. For the rest of this season, though, there’s a lot more positive interactions between the two, which is nice to see.
- Hmm, I don’t think we ever heard what Katherine named her horse. Wonder what it was?
- It wasn’t until I reached the end of this episode that I realized Season 2 was going to be very different from its predecessor. Seriously, we’ve got the characters breaking into University, busting out a prisoner, EXPLODING EVERYTHING, and racing off towards adventure. Our characters are now strong enough (take that to mean what you will) to head out into the world and accomplish their goals, instead of staying safely hidden. It’s a very clear sign of their development, and it’s pretty darn awesome.