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It looks like we’re starting out the new season with war. It’s going to be hard not to compare this series to Fairy Gone, but I’ll try. This first episode kind of blazes through it, but the series revolves around a long civil war between North and South Patricia (sounds familiar). To gain a competitive advantage against the numbers of the South, the Northern soldiers develop a force of transforming magical soldiers called Incarnates. Hank, the main character, is the captain of the Incarnates, and we effectively follow him as he leads them all to victory.
Unlike its counterpart, which focuses more on the Fairy Soldiers as people ruined by war, this series seems to dig its heels in the concept of being corrupted by science (or magic, I guess). The Incarnates are much more straightforwardly acting on a sense of superiority by the end of the episode, which makes them out as monsters. It makes it feel like there’s less room for interesting character motivations.
I’m willing to give the episode props for attempting to introduce some of the characters in the first episode, but the entire war sequence seems like a rushed introduction. Most of the battles are shown as part of a montage, so it feels like it might have made more sense to intersperse these scenes with the present day rather than devoting the entire episode to it. I mostly say that because the episode ends without a clear sense of what the actual goal is.
I do wonder how this corruption angle will turn out. I’m not sure what the intention is, but I’m a little worried that it just gives the bad guys an excuse to be bad in this series. It’s a bit too simplistic to just say “oh, these people are bad, but they couldn’t help it in the end” for everything. But that’s being presumptive. It could go any number of ways.
I think the elephant in the room is probably Cain for this episode. He definitely comes off as just another crazed villain in this episode. From this brief conversation with Hank, I get the sense that he might resent how the Incarnates are used as tools in the war, but I’m not convinced yet that this is enough to excuse his actions (especially since we never actually see him retaliate against anyone outside of the unit).
Is it wrong of me to make a joke about how bad Elaine is at her job? She couldn’t cure the Incarnates, so she apparently created a weapon to kill them. And yet, Hank survives. Why is she the chief researcher again?
I suppose the implication here is meant to be that many of the Incarnates were only kept in check because of Hank’s leadership. I suppose that’s fine as an explanation, but I’m curious to see how he’ll interact with his former allies moving forward. He seemed a lot less sympathetic towards them than I’d expect.
I’m also curious to see how Schaal fits into things. The synopsis indicates that she’s trying to avenge her dead father, which makes me curious about whether her target is actually Hank. That might make things interesting.