Struggling to survive, the reality of how bad the XAT situation has turned becomes all to real to the few that are still left.
What They Say:
Al and Brad start showing subtle signs of Amalgamation, but Amanda and Hermann are unaffected. Amidst the inferno of ex-XAT agent Amalgams running amok, Al and Brad pledge their allegiance as XAT agents to protect Amanda and Hermann until they are safely out of XAT grounds.
Content: (please note that content portions of a review may contain spoilers)
As the first half of Blassreiter draws to a close, the series finally hits a few episodes where things really feel like they’re starting to come together on a competent level. If the first half dozen or so episodes were tossed and some of the episodes after that reworked, we might have a fairly decent series taking shape. As it stands, much like past episodes, nothing that’s come before would really keep me around too long in general, though there does appear to be some potential for payoff coming as it progresses.
Episode twelve focuses mainly on surviving the experience as Amanda and Hermann are working with a few other XAT members who are still left from the previous struggles. The downside is that of them all, only Amanda and Hermann are unaffected due to their time in solitary, so they’re not going to change into Amalgams. This puts a strain on the relationships between all of them, but at least Brad and Al are generally stand-up kind of guys who believe in doing the right thing, which is making sure that they all get the uninfected members to safety. The journey through the compound is fairly standard material with only a few elements of danger but it does play up the psychological side as the infected start to feel the strain of what they’re going through.
Naturally, there is some payoff to all of this as there’s a big bad encounter in the second half as Wolf has played his cards fairly well under the control of Beatrice. With XAT in shambles and those who are left either infected or practically dead, it’s little issue to manipulate some members of Team 3 into doing the dirty deeds in eliminating the remainder of the group. What’s never taken into account in these kinds of stories, which is a continuing weakness in writing in general these days, is that connections forged as humans will stand the test of time. When faced with killing a comrade who is something more, Lene balks at is as does Al since he’s offered the chance to bring her over to his “side” by infecting her. It’s patently obvious where it will go and there’s little real impact to it, but they at least provided it in a strong visual manner with plenty of mood and atmosphere to make it work decent.
Beyond that however, the episode offers only more small hints about things to come. Beatrice’s subservience to Xargin is amusing, though what she is supposed to be doing may be more interesting. The way xargin continues to mock and torment Blue provides some fun as he’s very much on the money about how ineffectual Blue has been during all of this. And there is some really good payoff when it comes to dealing with Wolf in this episode which helps to solidify this as a closing episode to what has come before. But much like most of the first half of the series, it’s just been terribly uneven and you’re not really sure what story it is that it wants to tell. This is even more evident when you look at the first few episodes again and try to piece it together into the current context. Blassreiter has some interesting ideas to it, but it’s been clothed in strange attire and it’s walking quite oddly. It’s a curiosity I can’t help but to look at and in a way just feel sad for.
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