Some Mysteries Are Better Left Unsolved
Episode 2 of Arcane shifts perspectives over to inventor Jayce, returning to his workshop. We’re moments after the explosion that served as the catalyst for Vi and Powder to hurry away.
Grayson shows up and checks the destroyed workshop. Now, Jayce’s research was an independent study but unfortunately, after this explosion, Jayce is locked up on orders of the Council, claiming he’s dangerous.
Jayce appears to have been working on harnessing the Arcane, using science to control magic. In his cell, he feeds this back to Professor Heimerdinger, the 307 year old creature that implores him not to talk about magic to the Council. If he can do that, and stay quiet about what he’s been doing, he’ll be let free.
Meanwhile, Vi and the gang take Vander’s advice and lay low. Tensions are still high between Powder and Craggor though, but the real danger here comes from the enforcers.
They show up in numbers, determined to find who’s responsible blast. That, of course, leads them directly to Powder and Vi. Given the former is holding several of those blue orbs (which would incriminate her if caught) the gang shut the lights off and charge through the alleyways.
Thankfully they’re saved by Ekko, the boy from Benzo’s we saw last episode. He throws down a ladder and lets them scramble up to safety.
Vander is faced with a dilemma off the back of this inspection; the crowd are rowdy and want to gain revenge and hit back. Vander though, encourages them to let this blow over. His apathy to fighting the Enforcers could be his undoing, especially as his loyalty and leadership are called into question. He’s also struck a deal with Grayson, which Ekko tells the kids that evening.
In Piltover, Councilor Medarda oversees Jayce’s trial. Jayce plays his part well, at least to begin with, and asks for forgiveness. He apologizes about the explosion and promises to do better.
The Academy contemplate just what Jayce is doing though, calling it a fool’s errand and a boy playing with tools. Having heard enough, Jayce snaps and speaks up, telling them all that he’s trying to harness magic – and in particular the Arcane.
The thing is, if the Arcane ends up in the wrong hands it could consume and destroy the city. Given Piltover was cultivated on the pretense of not messing around with this, Jayce is walking a fine line here. In fact, the subject of exile is discussed next.
Thankfully, an impassioned plea from Jayce’s mother is enough to let the man off lightly. He’s banished from the academy and forced to stay with his parents for the time being.
While the Enforcers work to find those responsible, Grayson exhibits concerns about how hard they’re pushing the guys in Zaun. The Council though don’t care, and continue to send legions into the city to find the kids. The thing is, the more they push, the more the people will want to fight back – including Vi.
Jayce meanwhile, returns to his workshop and decides to give up. He stands precariously on the edge and prepares to jump to his doom. Only, just before he does, a scholar called Viktor shows up. He’s intrigued by Jayce’s ideas and shares his hope for a better future. He wants to help Jayce complete his research, knowing what it’s like not to be understood.
As the episode comes to a close, Enforcers close in on Vi’s location. When Vander realizes what she’s doing, it’s too late.
The Episode Review
The second chapter of Arcane starts to deepen the pool of characters we’ll be following across the season. Understanding those in the upper echelons of society helps to give a much more rounded perspective from both sides of this growing conflict too.
It’s clear that the more these Enforcers push, the more there’s going to be a big fight on their hands. Grayson knows this, but the Council seem too blinded by their power to realize – or care.
The wildcard though comes from Deckard being experimented on. He could well prove to be the crucial component of this whole show, especially with Silco working by his side, and they look poised to be the big antagonists of the show.
So far, Arcane has been good value for its run-time and the gorgeous animation works well to really help this stand out. Let’s hope the next episode delivers too!