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This week’s episode seems to give a better representation of what this show has to offer, and I think it was cool. The episode centers around the mysterious death of the father of Waver’s former student. The story itself is nothing special, just another mage experimenting and getting in over his head. However, it was fun to see how the explanation tied itself to more grounded magical theories, and the episode did a good job of introducing Gray.
I guess it’s the first real mystery of the show, so it has to keep things pretty light. I personally found Waver’s mention of the rotunda in this scene to be overly suspicious, so I figured it would relate to the inevitable solution. And given that Ernest Fargo is revealed to have attempted an incomplete ritual to attain immortality, this comment about Ernest seeing himself as a god of the house feels relevant.
It was definitely a quick mystery, but I appreciated that it wasn’t as straightforward as I was expecting. The episode seemed to seed in the theme of mages mistreating their children, which isn’t a new idea in this universe. In the end, I think this idea gives the mystery another layer to make it less cut-and-dry.
I also liked that the magic theory in this episode pulled in astronomical concepts from science. I think it made a lot of sense that the family’s astronomical traditions would be so old that it dated back to when the geocentric model of the solar system was still prevalent. I’m curious whether the events of the episode were meant to suggest that this tradition was much less aesthetic than the family believed.
Gray’s battle in this episode was pretty cool. However, I do wonder about the fact that she has an Anti-Undead Mystic Code. Is it supposed to suggest that the pair will largely face undead enemies? Or will Gray become less useful after this episode? Also, I thought it was funny to see that Gray is seemingly wearing a hood just to hide the fact that she has Saber face.
To be honest, I did partially suspect the maid at first, but this scene at the end does a good job of wrapping things up. Waver doesn’t push too hard into Mary’s motivations, but the final scene gives the audience a strong conclusion. Additionally, it makes it harder to assess who’s truly in the wrong.