How would you rate episode 3 of
Community score: 4.5
There’s a story my mother enjoys telling about the time she was breastfeeding me as an infant and the young son of a friend walked into the room. While his mother was getting all flustered, the boy, who was about Anya’s age, simply looked at my mom and said, “Oh, so that’s what those things are for.” This basically sums up Anya’s attitude throughout the episode – she takes things as they come based on what she’s able to understand. Sometimes, like on the house tour, it goes really well. Other times, like when she yells across the museum that the lady in the painting has her boobies out, poor Loid is forcibly reminded that she’s a little kid.
That’s apparently something that Loid never really took into consideration before. Given that he’s a spy, it’s not too surprising that he’s not spent a lot of time interacting with children, so maybe we can forgive him for not realizing that Anya would, in fact, act like a kid – or even know what “act like a kid” means. After all, the flashback we saw of his childhood looked to date to the Second World War, with him standing in a ruined street. (Yor has a much better grasp of things, but she did raise her younger brother. Also, that may be the only thing Yor has a solid grasp of besides killing.) And if Anya wasn’t psychic, his despairing thoughts wouldn’t really matter, because he wouldn’t be inadvertently sharing them with anyone. But what he’s coming to learn in this episode isn’t that Anya’s going to be a kid no matter what, it’s that having to rely on others to complete a sensitive mission may not be quite the walk in the park he thought it would be.
Mind you, this is a guy whose walks in the park end with him jumping off a bridge to apprehend a thief, so that may be the wrong metaphor. But his pursuit of the purse snatcher at the end of the episode really does a nice job of showing us how Twilight is slowly becoming Loid in more than just his name. If Yor hadn’t first gone after the thief, Loid would have maintained the low profile he’s been taught is essential. If Anya hadn’t used her powers to locate the bad guy, Loid would have let it go when he lost sight of him. But the ladies in his life are pushing him to become something more than just a superspy; they’re teaching him how to be human, and that’s a detail that gets right to the heart of the story. Yes, it’s a ridiculous spy caper melded with a domestic comedy, but for Anya it’s also the story of how she got adopted by a wonderful dad, and having Loid benefit from Anya’s storyline just adds another layer to the episode and the show in general. And if you’re paying attention, Loid really has become a good father in these three episodes – he may at times think he picked the wrong kid, but the care he shows with Anya feels like more than just a solid cover story. (Of course, that may just be what he wants us to think…)
In any event, Loid may be right that Operation Strix is not going to be as straightforward as he anticipated, and that’s without him realizing that Yor is secretly a top assassin. Yor’s role in the story isn’t quite as nuanced as Loid’s and Anya’s yet, but the juxtaposition between her ruthless assassin ways and her struggles with things like “hugging children without breaking ribs” and “picking clothes without the assumption she’ll need to hide blood” is pretty funny, especially with the slightly flakey delivery Saori Hayami gives her. The details of the storytelling are also staying strong without any drop-off, with the sparkles and sound effects that denote Anya reading someone’s mind being subtle enough to not distract from the words while still serving as a good indication of what’s going on. All in all this is remaining strong, and now we just have to see if two very important questions get answered: Will Anya pass the interview? And does her drawing of her family in action mean that she wants a dog?
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