I continue to not really understand this game nor the true stakes of it. But a long as I switch my brain off and just ride along with the flow, it’s fun seeing the characters do their thing and start to get some small amount of insight into these new roles they all hold. I get the impression, had I not imposed myself to write about every episode on an individual basis, I’d probably be enjoying Tower of God a lot more.
The hot headed examiner, named Quant, is already losing his cool at being ambushed by Anak thanks to Khun and Shibisu’s strategy. Despite it being explained very clearly in the previous episode, once again I find that I have utterly misunderstood the premise of another one of these tests.
Apparently, this game of “tag” wasn’t taking place simultaneously, rather, they were taking it in turns. And first is Khun’s Team A. After the ambush fails, Quant gives the team a (nearly) two minute head start, allowing Anak to get tantalisingly close to the exit, and for team leader Khun to come up with a new strategy to take down the physically dominant Ranker.
Because, while having his Shinsu limited during the exam, Quant is obviously a lot stronger and faster than everyone else there, so some strategy and trickery is the only thing they can do to outdo him. When listening to the other examiners watching the test from outside, it becomes apparent that a lot of the people already participating in this test have already as good as passed their class exams. Thus there is little reason for them to really invest themselves in this particular test.
While some of the others are going to be relying on it to pass thanks to their failures at their individual exams. With his self imposed two minutes up, Quant proceeds to blaze through the regulars there to buy time for Anak as if they weren’t even there. With that minor inconvenience out of the way, Khun waits for him atop the bridge. It seems like Quant is not a dumb as he looks, guessing Khun’s strategy of having Anak stand and wait on his lighthouse under the bridge, grabbing Khun and throwing them both into the void below. For what, purpose, I couldn’t tell you.
But surprise, Khun was apparently waiting for this precisely this very unhinged, and difficult to predict action. He brushes free of Quant and allows Anak to grab hold of him using the Green April, allowing the Ranker to fall out of reach below. It seems like everything is in the bag for Team A to win thanks to Khun’s almost clairvoyant plan making skills. But the twists just keep coming, as Quant is somehow waiting by the exit, taking the badge from Anak with ease and ending the test.
In the aftermath Khun is giving himself a real hard time over his strategies not working out. But the rest of the team all dog-pile on to reassure him and tell him how great and his tactics were. It’s sweet, considering Khun’s pre-established trust issues. Or it would have been, if this had not all been one big long con. Surprise!
When Quant first falls falls, we’re led to believe that Lauroe is the one who betrayed the team and got him back up top, but nope. It was Khun, ever the conman. And this is where the show turns my brain into scrambled eggs.
The head examiner says that Khun didn’t in fact, betray his team, because his team was the 10 people that were written on the Friend list that Shibisu and Hanz were waving around previously. So Khun had a secret assignment apparently, to get everyone on the list of 10 to pass, doing this by having the people who were guaranteed to pass on his team and force them to lose, all while making it look a believable as possible.
So wait, was this test exclusive to Khun? Or was it the exam of all the Light Bearers? And whose friend list was that? It’s the one from the Scout exam, but it doesn’t seem to belong to a lone person as there are just the ten names of the characters we’ve gotten to know a little better these last few episodes. It’s just one more of those things in this show that doesn’t make a lick of sense if you think about it for more than a minute.
I just need to stop doing that.
Thus the teams swap and we’re now following Bam and Endorsi’s team and the later enacts her plan to outpace their pursuer, whoever that is. Before the episode ends, we get a little peek into Rinnen’s backstory. That she was a thief, seeing all her friends killed in front of her by a Ranker on the ship she was stealing from.
She only survived by the grace of the rabbit god from the first episode, as he plucked her out and put her on the challenge of climbing the tower. Now she’s having second thoughts though, as she doesn’t want to have to kill these people she’s come to like. Hoh, who is also there, flatly tells her that that’s the nature of the game. And she’s better suck it up. Although Hoh has his own demons he’s struggling to deal with too.
The episode ends with Endorsi, having taken the role of the leader of Team B and splitting everyone up in different directions, kicking one of her own team in the face and exclaiming that her “plan worked”. Although at this point, after the layers and layers of twists going on, this final twist falls totally flat for me. What with the utter lack of context and the well established lack of trustworthiness Endorsi has radiated since she first showed up.
I really can’t switch my brain off when watching this show. The downside of having to write about it episode to episode. As much as I like the characters and the action, it continues to baffle me with its seemingly random plot points and its intentionally obfuscated facts about what the hell the rules of this world and their tests even are, all the sake of a plot twists that feel half earned when you can only see a couple of pieces on the board.