What They Say:
“A Poor Player”
Content: (please note that content portions of a review may contain spoilers)
And just like that, our protagonists are happily working for the one true psychopath of the series, a man both have been on both sides of a gun against in the past. Considering the main protagonist is living entirely for the purpose of killing the other one without letting that fact known to anyone, I suppose that’s fitting. Now that Fango is on top, he has himself a slick new hairdo, seems a little saner, and respects his newest boys enough that he doesn’t really mind that they let him know how little they care about his gourmet talk. He’s a downright likable guy at this point, and not just in the ways that he was entertaining as a murderous madman. He may not be on the level of Nero, but he has not only more personality but more personable qualities than our lead. While Fango would’ve been the one true evil character of the series earlier, he doesn’t fit that role anymore. However, it may still be true that there is one true evil character in the series: Avilio.
With an exceedingly more chaotic mafia dynamic embroiling the setting, there are few we’ve met without blood on their hands, and as Avilio made clear early on, he does everything for his father’s revenge. But the way he twists the passions of everyone around him, most of whom make hard decisions for the sake of their loved ones who are still alive and will benefit from them in the future, and kills those who put their trust in him without remorse, puts him on a level beyond Fango’s sickening playfulness. The most insidious thing about his moves is how often he doesn’t get his own hands dirty but instead lets the more kindhearted people around him kill those they care about most, all while playing the role of the loyal follower doing whatever it takes to help the man whose life he is in fact intentionally destroying. The way he executes each part of his plan (and each person, in a different sense) is so masterful it’s terrifying, and you have no choice but marvel at his handiwork as much as you sympathize for nearly every character except for him. After this sequence of events, it’s hard to imagine Avilio getting a happy ending. The most he can hope for (other than high praise for his proficiency as a villain) is redemption, which will likely be paid for with his life, for the sake of someone else. With everything that has been changing in each of these episodes, there’s no telling where things will go next, let alone where they’ll end. Possibly the most exciting thing about all of this is that it’s an original story, so we’re all on the same page, watching this world fall apart spectacularly each week without any prior knowledge.
Amidst all the killing, though, the series functions primarily on its character writing, and this episode is no exception. The reunion of the Vanetti siblings sets the scene for a dramatic battle of passions, each participant in a position that puts them at odds with the others but all three ultimately loving their siblings as they always have. The series isn’t free of melodramatic clichés – the men shouting at each other for supremacy until the gentle woman slaps the one who gets too provocative to cut the tension is only the beginning – but elements like Frate’s inferiority complex humanizing him in spite of his state as a cowardly wreck of a human being make up for them.
This mess just keeps getting messier, and it’s basically all Avilio’s fault. While the actual protagonist assumes the most villainous role in magnificent fashion, the rest of the cast offers a great deal of emotion and humanity while caught up in Avilio’s vicious schemes. It’s a crazy ride, and with each episode, it becomes more and more difficult to imagine how things will work out.
Streamed By: Crunchyroll
Roku 3, Sceptre X425BV-FHD 42″ Class LCD HDTV.