Let’s get right into things, shall we?
Juliet and the Capulet loyalists are still in the cemetary, getting soaked by the rain and seemingly not caring. Conrad explains that not only are the men assembled here supporters of Juliet’s claim, they also had their families hunted and killed during Montague’s great Capulet purge. He also says that they swore to protect Juliet until her sixteenth birthday, because only then would she “come into her inheritance” and be able to lead them into rebellion.
Um, guys? Was there really any reason to wait this long? I mean, sure, maybe Juliet can’t legally access her full inheritance before the age of sixteen, but I’m pretty sure Montague stole that inheritance anyway after killing her family – it’s already established he lives in the former Capulet residence, after all. And if you wanted to wait until she was a legal adult, what’s the point? You’re mainly going to want her as a figurehead and a rallying point anyways, so it doesn’t really matter if she’s 7 or 16. Also, what’s the point of following formal inheritance laws when you’re literally a rebellion movement operating in secret to overthrow the guy enforcing those laws in the first place? (Sorry, I’ve been reading far too many ASOIAF metas these days.)
Anyways, Conrad gives Juliet her father’s sword, and then everyone suddenly has swords pointed dramatically into the air and are swearing their allegiance to her as their Princess. Juliet, still in shock, starts experiencing a bunch of flashbacks from the night her parents were killed and faints.
Still taking it well, I see.
Back at the theatre, we see her sitting in a bathtub and muttering her newfound noble name. Turns out she can now remember every detail of the night her parents were murdered, and it’s not a pleasant memory.
“Why could I not remember this until now?” she asks. That’s called trauma, sweetheart, and your guardians have done a piss-poor job of helping you manage it until now. At least Cordelia is trying to help, and given that she can’t be more than a few years older than Juliet I assume she had very little say in the decision to keep her in the dark. Cordelia, you haven’t lost all your points with me yet. Let’s hope you keep it that way.
And then, our true Lord and Saviour arrives. I’m talking, of course, about William’s mother.
All hail our Lady of Sass and Practicality!
She has absolutely no patience for William’s theatrical antics, and when Conrad forgets himself and yells a few words in her presence he appologizes immediately, looking like a little kid. This is the same Conrad whose dialogue has consisted almost entirely of screaming angrily until now. Plus, she’s the only one smart enough to guess that the Red Whirlwind has something to do with Conrad’s crew. You just know she could mess you up if she wanted to.
I’m not entirely sure what the point of her visit to Conrad was, plot-wise, but when one is given a gift, one does not question why.
Juliet is still in bed, looking shell-shocked, and Cordelia is trying to convince her not to go to her meeting with this mysterious boy she likes. When she offers to go in Juliet’s place to smooth things over, Juliet admits that the boy she’s seeing is a nobleman – the same one who saved them both in the first episode. Cordelia realizes this is a tragedy waiting to happen – how long until this boy figures out who Juliet really is and alerts the nobility? – and forbids Juliet from ever seeing him again. Yeah, I bet Juliet Constantly-rebelling-and-running-off-to-fight-people Ars de Capulet is going to follow that rule to the letter, Cordelia.
Still, she doesn’t go to the meeting in the iris field and Romeo looks sad.
At the palace, a bunch of nobles are playing poker. In attendance: Montague, Mercutio, his father, Benvolio and his father, and unimportant background characters. Montague has a… reassuring little speech about how “Commoners are grapes”, which souds silly out of context (and let’s be honest, it’s a bit silly in context too,) but it’s clear he doesn’t see the citizens of Neo Verona as actual people. Benvolio’s father points out that if you push people too far, they rebel, and Montague replies that if people are too busy just trying to survive they won’t have enough energy to rebel. And then implies he’ll hold Benvolio’s father personnally responsible if a rebellion does break out. Ouch.
Romeo arrives to the party, late (Romeo is always late in these scenes. Methinks he doesn’t take his role as heir too seriously.) Montague thinks so too, and slaps him. Romeo is still so sad about Juliet that he doesn’t even react at the humiliation. Later Benvolio asks him about it, but he just shrugs it off.
Montague obviously thinks his son is up to no good, what with always being late at things (or maybe he’s just an asshole who doesn’t respect his son’s privacy, I could honestly believe both at this point), so he asks Mercutio to spy on him. So… we’re doing Hamlet now, right? Mercutio is Rosencrantz and Guildenstern?
But… Rosencrantz and Guildenstern are dead.
Meta humour aside, I don’t think Mercutio is going to be very successful at this. His friendship with Romeo has been about as established in this version as Romeo and Rosalind’s relationship in the original play.
I said I’d stop with the meta commentary, didn’t I. Oh well.
Anyways, we see Montague enter a creepy-looking hallway in the basement, and dramatically open a door to reveal…
Guys, we found Escalus.
He’s a bit… taller than I’d imagined.
Meanwhile, Doctor Lancelot is busy distributing food to the needy with his wife and kids. He’s approached by a priestly fellow (who doesn’t have a name, but I’ll call him Friar Lawrence) who wonders where he got such food. Lancelot replies that the wind blew it in, which is… subtle. Real subtle there, guy.
AND THEN HIS WIFE EXPLAINS IT. Just blurt out the fact that your husband is working with a known criminal and vigilante to a total stranger, lady. I mean, even if everyone “knows” the doctor works with the Red Whirlwind, no one should actually know it!
Fortunately Friar Lawrence seems to approve, but I’m sure at least a dozen passerbies heard that.
Romeo and Juliet are still moping in their respective corners. Juliet had her entire life turned upside down in a single night. Romeo… got stood up. Clearly their grief is equivalent.
Romeo goes to visit his mother, who lives in some kind of… convent? Which I guess makes sense, convents were the medieval world’s equivalent to a divorce. He admits that his father is emotionally distant and abusive. She apologizes for leaving the castle when Romeo was so young, but honestly I totally have sympathy for her. It couldn’t have been easy being married to an abusive douchebag like Montague. Romeo seems to understand too, because he doesn’t resent her at all; he just prefers spending time with her. D’Aawwww.
Mommy Montague has some mad detective skills, because she figures out Romeo is in love with someone by the blush in his cheeks and the tone of his voice. Then she tells him to leave, before his father finds out where he is and gets angry.
At the marketplace, Doctor Lancelot is being arrested. But why, you may ask? Well, for being an accomplice to the Red Whirlwind, of course!
But how did they find out? The secret was so well guarded…
Doctor Lancelot protests and Friar Lawrence tries to stop the guards, but alas! the poor doctor is still dragged off to prison. News quickly reaches Odin… I mean Juliet… I mean Odin, and it’s enough to sting her out of her stupour and into action.
The Red Whirlwind singlehandedly storms the prison where Doctor Lancelot is being interogated, and quickly overpowers the guards. The alarm is sounded, and it soon becomes clear that the Red Whirlwind is grievously outnumbered. Still, he manages to escape to the roof with a badly injured doctor in tow.
And what a convenient place to land a dragonsteed! Turns out Romeo was flying in the area and has decided to arbitrarily help out the guards this time. Except… does the Red Whirlwind smell of irises?
Well, that changes everything! Romeo proclaims that he will defeat the Red Whirlwind himself, and charges. During the fight, he whispers to Odin that there is a waterway below the prison tower, and that when he pretends to fall, the Red Whirlwind must follow him. Romeo then immediately jumps backwards and over the railing, dragging poor Odin behind; he barely has time to grab onto the doctor before all three of them plummet down into the canal.
I’m… pretty sure they all broke some bones from that height, even landing in water. But clearly this show operates on action move logic, where water is always soft as a down pillow.
They wash out a ways off, and Romeo and the Red Whirlwind exchange some banter. They seem to be getting along… until the doctor expresses disbelief that the son of Montague is helping them at all.
Will you please stop breaking my poor child’s heart?
And Juliet breaks down into BSOD mode as Romeo leaves, ending our episode.
Hark! ‘Tis the Plot:
- So Escalus is a tree. Apparently a magical tree. Let’s… see where this goes.
- There’s a carving on the wall leading up to Escalus’s cave, with a winged being reaching down to a kneeling human. Some kind of holy mission or covenant?
- The sceals of both Montague and Capulet can be seen on Escalus’s door. Were they both meant to attend the tree together before this whole shitshow broke down?
- If I’m right and irises are the Capulet’s flower symbol, then Mommy Montague thanking her son for the irises he brought her is either foreshadowing, or she’s finding absolutely every way she can to displease her husband as subtly as possible. Why yes, let me proudly display this symbol of your political enemies at my window, dear husband! How could that possibly be seen as a sign of weakness on your part? (I have, seriously, been reading too much ASOIAF meta, so expect me to dissect every political move in this thing.)
- The Red Whirlwind’s reaction when Lancelot tells him he’s the city’s only hope makes me think that Juliet hasn’t completely bought into this whole “be a Capulet and reclaim your birthright to avenge your family – oh, and save the city” plot that Conrad is forcing on her. I guenuinely think the ideals that brought her to become the Red Whirlwind in the first place are going to win out in the end.
- I just noticed that Romeo wears a brooch with the Montague crest on it like, all the time. Is the Montague crest not displayed throughout the city? Do the people not know it by heart at this point? How did neither Juliet nor Cordelia realize which noble family Romeo belongs to before the doctor spelled it out for them?
- The animation quality has dropped a bit in some conversation scenes, but remains high overall. And I guess conversations are were you can afford to drop some quality if your budget needs stretching.
- Since the tonal dissonance of the ending song is starting to piss me off, here it is. Listen for yourselves.