The penultimate for the series and boy is it worth that haughty title. What starts with a innocent, though a bit existential, discussion about “happiness” steadily divulges into an all out struggle for survival as every character down on the surface finds themselves at the end of the line, finally leading us back to just before where the series all began with that beautiful opening piece that sold me on picking up this series eleven weeks ago.
What started as a gentle slope to the finish last episode has turned into an eighty degree angle slide into the finale. The is the episode we finally, finally, get a lot of the answers that we were looking for… and then a few more questions. While I had wished more of this information had been spread out or at least hinted at more in other parts of the series, I felt its delivery was excellent and the revelations interesting. Plus, given some of the information explained, it made sense for the show to wait until the very end before revealing its hand.
This episode definitely wants us to know we’re finally here at the end of it all and the allusions to the first episode are abound, particularly the constant various versions of the show’s opening motif played in every style imaginable throughout each scene. There was also of note the opening discussion about happiness that was interesting to hear as it seemed to be a direct allusion to the first few lines of the show, a monologue about how Ctholly had found her happiness finally before she tumbles off the ship and down to the surface below.
These allusions kickstart the countdown to those episode one events as we move on from the opening credits and see Ctholly and Willem take a bumbling and blushing tour of the old ruins, stopping temporarily at a poster for some nice and relatively well done exposition before the future newlyweds arrive at Willem’s old home, the orphanage. It’s at this point that the pitcher throws a fastball of shit right towards the fan as the next roughly eighteen minutes of the episode show all hell breaking loose. Willem is hurt, the timere attack, Nephren begins showing signs of her own slow death as she defends the ship, Ctholly almost completely succumbs to her sickness while returning back to the dreamworld of the small red-haired child Elq, Elq now has physical presence as we find her trapped in a crystal stabbed through the chest, and we’re left to wonder the fate of the other two leprechauns who we only got to know just recently.
So this is where all of that action had been hiding all series.Along with all of that, we also have some massive revelations as we see that Ctholly, and potentially all of the leprechauns, aren’t just made from the souls of young children, but in Ctholly’s case of a young god whom was killed by Lillia long ago so Willem may live, sacrificing herself for the one she loves. (And leaving us with a hint of another character at play who takes Lillia’s body away.) We also find that not only were the humans the monsters that destroyed the world but they killed the three gods who protected it before succumbing to whatever sickness caused them to change, one of those gods being Elq herself. And now, Elq wants to come back, tired of dreaming about children modeled after her killer, a young girl who selflessly fought for those she loved.
Wait, I’ve seen this tree before…
As obviously seen, there was a lot of exposition this time around and no neat tricks were going to be able to get this all across conversationally like this series loves to do in other parts. Luckily, however, the show did break it up by switching perspectives between our various cast in order to not overload us. This helped and it made for a more interesting episode in general. However, not everything was roses. There were a couple of scenes of dialogue, mostly the ones that involved Nopht and Rhan, that didn’t really add anything and more seemed to be attempts to inject a bit of humor into an otherwise action/emotional ride. Regardless, it allowed us more time with these characters before we find them overrun and at the end of their rope as the timere continue to attack the ship.This episode was a great way to lead us into the finale and I greatly enjoyed the plethora of nods to the opening of this show, filling in the details of just how terribly shit went down leading up to those opening moments. Out of all that I’ve watched, I felt this was definitely the most put together of the episodes this series has shown outside of the first one, which has me very excited for the ending. However, given the ups and downs that this series has given me, I find myself fearful for more than just the lives of our cast of characters going into the finale.
Depending on how the final episode decides to go, we may have found ourselves back to the tone and promise that the first episode provided. Episode eleven has given us a great beginning to the end and everything seemed to be running on all cylinders here for the full twenty-four minutes. There was plenty of action, intrigue and world-building galore, a continuation of character dynamics, introspection and heartbreak, and an actual feeling of fear for the survival of most of the cast. No one seemed to be safe, which is so dramatically different from what the rest of this show felt like to me, and something I enjoyed greatly heading into the end. With only a few secrets left (like the mysterious man who took Lillia’s body, what really caused humanity to suddenly transform into the timere, where did the other races of people come from, and what does Elq truly want besides not to be stabbed) I think the series is wrapping up nicely.
This doesn’t mean that I’ve forgotten about the middle part of this series, a struggle between massive potential and learning to lower my expectations. However, if even the tiniest bit of the promise of that first episode shines clear and brightly in this finale, I can say SukaSuka came out on top, a bit rough around the edges but overall enjoyable all the same.