Even though it has been years since I have seen The Golden Compass, I still remember some things about it.
One of those was Billy Costa being separated from his Daemon but surviving.
So, imagine my surprise when this episode of His Dark Materials, “The Lost Boy” adapted this scene, only to kill Billy off because of him being separated from Ratter.
Apparently, this is also different from the books, where it is not Billy but another character who dies.
Such a change makes the show way darker than the film by a wide margin.
Directed again by Otto Bathurst, “The Lost Boy” had many surprises in store for me like the introduction of the young Will Parry (Amir Wilson).
He comes from our world but it is stated in narration that his fate is intertwined with Lyra’s.
But, given that his father John Parry has been to the Daemon world and Boreal is watching Will and his mother, it is clear how Will will be brought into the world of Daemons.
On top of this, Will is a sympathetic character, with him having to deal with his mother Elaine’s (Nina Sosanya) mental illness on a regular basis.
However, she is clearly not as mentally ill as he thinks she is, because she does seem to know quite a bit about her husband’s life, although she hides this.
Boreal is on her and Will’s trail, though, and he has already inserted himself into their situation so I suspect this will not end well for Elaine.
As for the events in the Daemon world, the buildup to Billy’s discovery is done well, with plenty of character payoff.
I especially liked the character growth of John Faa (Lucian Msmati) who has learned to trust Lyra and her alethiometer since the events of “Armour.”
We also get another emotional scene with Farder Coram as he reunites with his old lover, the witch Serafina Pekkala (Ruta Gedmintas).
Then there is Lyra’s growing bonds with Iorek and Lee who are just as great as they were in the previous episode.
The discovery and death of Billy Costa is sad and well executed, even if it is a deviation from the original novel.
The episode ends on a great cliffhanger, with Lyra being kidnapped by the Gobblers and taken to Bolvanger, where they plan to separate her from Pan permanently.
And it is because of Billy’s death that this cliffhanger works so well because his demise sets up a significant threat level for Lyra, causing many viewers, who do not know how things will turn out, to fear for her safety.
Overall, “The Lost Boy” is a solid episode of His Dark Materials.
While not as good as the previous episode “Armour” it sets up a number of plot points that should led to some great scenes in the future.
I can easily say that the fifth episode of Watchmen, “Little Fear of Lightning” is the best episode of the series so far.
Directed by Steph Green, it mainly centers around the character Looking Glass, who was a character I had been intrigued by since the first episode, and this episode definitely makes him my favourite.
His arc in “Little Fear of Lightning” is just fantastic, with Tim Blake Nelson doing an amazing job bringing his trauma to life.
This trauma was created in 1985 when Looking Glass was just Wade Tillman, a young, conflicted and naive Jehovah’s Witness, played by Philip Labes.
His nativity is proven by how he literally approaches the most aggressive looking people at a carnival and is then dragged into a house of mirrors by a female member who manipulates him into getting undressed and then steals his clothes.
Ironically, this ends up saving his life as the mirrors seem to save him from the psychic blast unleashed by the alien squid Ozymandias drops on Manhattan, killing half its population.
The squid is then shown in all of its glory and I was honestly surprised by how well it is incorporated into the story.
I had always supported Zack Snyder’s decision to make Ozymandias blame Dr Manhattan for the attack in his adaptation because I felt the giant squid would not work on screen.
Well, “Little Fear of Lightning” proved me wrong with a perfect portrayal of the hoax.
The effects the event had on Wade is also perfectly displayed, hinting that his truth telling ability may have been generated by the blast that traumatized him.
Wade’s trauma is so great, in fact, that it is the reason he joined the police force after the White Night because it allows him to wear a mask made of a material that will supposedly protect him if another giant squid were to attack.
It seems that Laurie’s speech in the previous episode about people wearing masks to hide from the pain and trauma applies more to Wade than it does Angela.
Unfortunately, the Seventh Kavalry are fully aware of this trauma, using it to manipulate Wade by sending one of them to his support group and then purposefully alerting him to her Seventh Kavalry affiliation to lure him into a trap.
Inside their base, Wade learns that they are experimenting with teleportation and is quickly apprehended when he confronts them.
Following this, we get the reveal that Senator Joe Keene is involved with the Seventh Kavalry.
While this was expected, it did led to some interesting comments from Keene about his and Cheif Crawford’s connections to the Kavalry.
One especially interesting thing to note is that Kenne calls the Kalvary racists, implying that he is not on their side ideologically and may just be using them for a greater purpose.
What this purpose is remains to be seen but it is clearly not aligned with Trieu and Will’s because Keene wants to know who murdered Crawford.
So the Seventh Kalvary, and Will and Trieu have different monstrous goals that our main characters will have to stop.
Sadly, Wade looks to have impeded this because he turns Angela in to Laurie at the end of the episode, both to protect her from the Kavalry and because he learns the truth behind the squid attack.
Keene gives him a video of Ozymandias confessing to how he hoaxed the squid attack, killing millions of people to create world peace, destroying Wade’s entire perception of what is real.
He also somehow planned for Robert Redford to become President so it will be interesting to see how he managed to figure that out.
From here, the episode goes to Ozymandias’ story where he begins his escape attempt.
Shooting himself out of his prison using the catapult, Ozymandias is revealed to be on one of Jupiter’s moons and uses the dead bodies of his clone servants to create a message for a satellite, “SAVE ME D-”.
We don’t to get to see the entire message before Ozymandias is pulled back into his prison by the game warden but it is most likely either Dr Manhattan or Dan AKA Night Owl.
Although, considering Dan is supposed to be in prison this seems unlikely.
As for Dr Manhattan it is highly implied that he is the clones’ creators after Ozymandias is arrested by the game warden and declares that their god has abandoned them.
Why Dr Manhattan would leave his creations, though, remains to be seen, if he is their creator that is.
Either way, the ethical questions about the concept of clones is something Watchmen is tackling very well, as displayed in this episode both through Ozymandias’ servant clones and the pet clones that Wade’s ex-wife is shown to be experimenting on.
This leads to the incredibly dark scene with her supposedly incinerating the clone of a dog.
Funny, how I have seen Ozymandias mercilessly dispose of hundreds of clones and yet it’s the dog that gets to me.
In any case, “Little Fear of Lightning” ends with the Seventh Kalvary converging on Looking Glass’ property, ready to kill him because he has served his purpose and knows too much.
I was horrified when I first saw this because the episode had made Looking Glass my favourite character and I do not want him to die but, after thinking about it, I am sure he is probably safe.
After all, if he was going to die this way the episode would not have ended before his death, as the death itself would be the cliffhanger.
That said, we will probably have to wait a few weeks to know Looking Glass’ fate because it seems we will primarily be getting Angela’s point of view next episode, as she experiences her grandfather’s memories through the Nostalgia drugs she took after Looking Glass turned her in.
I would have to say that “Little Fear of Lighting” is my favourite episode of Watchmen so far, exploring trauma brilliantly through Wade Tillman and his alter ego, Looking Glass.
I said in my Top 10 My Hero Academia Characters post that Kirishima became one of my favourite characters because of the Overhaul arc and the fifth episode of season four “Let’s Go, Gutsy Red Riot” is the start of that.
This really was Kirishima’s episode, building up his development for this arc nicely with a great starting point as we see him begin his work study with the hero Fat Gum and Tamaki.
Speaking of these two, they are also two characters who I am excited to see more of as they grow as characters and use their quirks.
Fat Gum’s quirk is absorption, which allows him to entrap enemies, and Tamaki’s quirk is manifest, which allows him to take on the qualities of whatever he eats.
It is Kirishima’s quirk that takes center stage this episode though, with him developing a new technique Unbreakable to fight a minor villain (which may be a reference to the M. Night Shyamalan film, or maybe I’m reaching).
This villain takes quirk enhancing drugs, forcing Kirishima to use his new move to protect civilians in an epic moment that was perfectly adapted from the manga.
The music and animation here are stellar and the only problem is that it is a bit distracting at how stupid the civilians are by not getting out of the way.
Although, this does not take away from Kirishima’s achievements, thankfully, with him beginning his development for the season upon remembering some advice from Bakugo.
This also goes to show just how much Bakugo has changed because he most likely would have yelled at Kirishima when they first met rather than give his friend the advise he needed.
Back to Kirishima, after Fat Gum manages to successfully capture the villain we get brief flashes to Kirishima’s backstory, which will play out in a future episode.
I also like how vague these flashes are because they will probably leave many anime only viewers wondering what they are seeing until it is officially revealed.
Along with Kirishima’s development, we also get our first look at the quirk removing bullets developed by Overhaul, which the minor villain uses to temporarily remove Tamaki’s quirk.
This bullet is revealed by Shigaraki in his meeting with Overhaul, which leads to Shigaraki agreeing to a form of partnership, though under very tense circumstances.
Less tense is the opening fight sequence where we see Ochako and Tsuyu on their work study with Nejire and the pro hero Ryukyo.
Their scene was mainly used to show what the two Class 1A students are doing and to highlight Nejire’s quirk but it has fantastic animation in the opening fight.
It is also here that a meeting between many pro heroes led by Sir Nighteye is first brought up.
This meeting to discuss the threat Overhaul poses will appear next episode and fully unveil the disturbing truth about his quirk removing bullets.
Overall, “Let’s Go, Gutsy Red Riot” is another solid episode of My Hero Academia with a great starting point for Kirishima’s character arc.