I feel like I’ve fallen into something of a rut watching this show. I’ve found myself increasingly hung up on certain storytelling aspects of the series and how it’s dealing with condensing a lot of information from the source material into a mere 13 episodes. Long story short: it’s doing a bad job. Which is a shame, because for the most part I’m still enjoying the series.
As we pick up where the previous episode left off, we get a glimpse of Endorsi’s true colours, as well as her willingness to do just about anything to come out on top. It’s not because she’s necessarily a bad person or anything, it’s just that the conditions she was raised in were so harsh that she found she what literally fighting for her life every day.
And living like that makes you approach every problem as someone with a hammer who sees every problem as a nail. It takes Bam’s gentle nature, and what some would call his extreme naivety, to take her back to what kind of person she used to be before she was hardened to the world. Compounding this by defending her from the attack of an ignition weapon by throwing himself in front of her.
And whose watching all of this without so much of as speck of emotion across her face? Of course it’s Rachel in her Lighthouse cube.
After my previous post, I had a few kind people comment, actually explaining the stakes of this game of “tag”. That only so many people from each of the positions are going to be allowed to pass, meaning that there is an aspect of fighting for one’s spot to carry on hanging in the balance in this game.
Well, it sure would have been nice if the stakes of this game had been made a little clearer. Learning that only 4 Fishermen, for example, would be allowed to pass would have made the stakes of this game feel a whole lot more important. They’ve also done a pretty poor job of establishing what position each of the characters actually are, I mean I figured it out by this point. But still.
While Endorsi is having a moment, Hanz is trying to hold off Quant, without much success. As much of a badass as we’ve seen Hanz be, he still doesn’t even remotely stack up against a ranker. Even worse, he uncharacteristically trusts two of the unimportant spear-men to ambush Quant while he’s distracted kicking the ass of the swordsman.
Just when the stage is set, Hanz realises he’s been betrayed by the pair. Which kind of sucks for him, he’s obviously a solitary guy, one who has a hard time opening up to others. This betrayal could bode poorly for him and his relationship with the other characters going forward, as trusting others or just looking out for yourself has been a reoccurring theme in the series so far.
Teetering on the edge of the rails, the game of tag finally does appear to topple over entirely. With Hoh grabbing Rachel and threatening to kill her in order to get rid of Bam. Realising he lacks the talent nor the raw power to actually pass as one of only two Wave Controller positions available going forward.
The cutaway seems to imply the eye-patched redhead and the Exam Overseer are behind the note that lead Hoh into threatening Rachel, and then trying to set Bam up against Quant to get rid of him. The examiner easily stops Bam though, literally, doing so by using Shinsu to freeze him in his tracks. After this he whispers for Bam to do the same and deal with Hoh himself.
A power Bam replicates perfectly on his first try, but not before Rachel is stabbed in the back. Mysteriously, the large, silent spearman who is stilling the waiting room with Rak vanishes into thin air the moment Rachel is stabbed. Before the event can really get dealt with, Endorsi shows up, having decided to take Quant’s badge to win rather than merely escaping.
She reveals that Bam’s words did touch her somewhat and she has found a person she wants to climb the tower with, rather than doing it purely on her own. With the camera cutting a Anak being adorable for the first time ever. Thus she and Bam attempt to subdue Quant, with little success.
Like Khun though, it seemed like Endorsi was playing the long con, and pulls the old switcheroo on Quant tricking him into letting his guard down and picking his pocket after he believed the game to already be over. The guy must be pissed to have the wool pulled over his eyes so many times in quick succession.
The test ends with Hoh stabbing himself, and both he and Rachel being rushed off by doctors to be treated.
I mentioned this in a reply to a comment in my previous episode review, but I feel like this series has done a disservice to the audience by not properly establishing the stakes of everything that’s happened since the end of the crown game. What with the limited spots per rank, how many can pass in each class and who are the people at risk of dropping out. Had those stakes been much clearer from the very beginning, both the outcomes of the lessons and this test would have felt more impactful.
Knowing exactly how at risk the likes of Bam and Rachel are at for not passing would have just piled on the drama, instead I feel like Tower of God is a pretty entertaining show in its own right, but when it comes to being an adaptation, it’s really screwing things up. I often complain about anime over explaining things or having never allowing anything to just be subtext, but there is a happy middle ground, and this is the oppose end of that.