Everybody Wants To Be My Enemy
Episode 5 of Arcane Season 1 begins in the past with Grayson and Caitlyn out training. It’s a brief segment, one that eventually sees Grayson questioning just what drives this young recruit.
This paves way nicely for us jumping back to the present. Grayson is dead, and the weight of the Enforcer taskforce is left up to Marcus. Unfortunately, Silco is actually manipulating Marcus and forcing him into playing ball.
Down in the prison, Caitlyn learns there’s apparently no record of Vi’s incarceration, which seems like someone is covering this up and keeping it quiet. The young woman has been tortured too, with the guard nonchalantly shrugging off these beatings and admitting he’s lost count of the number. So it comes as no surprise to see Vi reluctant to help Caitlyn.
When Caitlyn shows off photos from the lab, specifically that of the graffiti, Vi immediately perks up. She knows her sister is responsible but remains tight-lipped. “The under City is going to eat you alive,” She sneers when Caitlyn suggests heading down there to investigate.
Caitlyn, ever the compassionate soul and realizing she needs Vi, decides to let the woman go to help track down Silco in Zaun.
Up in Piltover, an interesting power dynamic is at play. Viktor wants to press on with advancing the city and bring the gemstones into the public eye. For Jayce, his loyalty to the city sees him torn between impressing the council, doing right by the city, and continuing his research.
That leads him to try his best to root out the corruption running deep in the city, typified by a number of unauthorized transactions in the logs. Of all people, he asks Marcus to check this out and tighten up security.
Medarda is well aware of this corruption and calls out Jayce for his actions later that evening. Despite doing what he believes is right, the corruption with trade links back to the councilors. Jayce’s decision to increase security measures has basically painted a target on his back.
In order to smooth things over, Jayce brings in Councilor Talis and encourages Jayce to reinstate trade. Using the Gemstones as leverage, deals are made as Jayce starts to understand more of the corruption plaguing this world, becoming another cog in this dirty machine.
Jayce and Medarda wind up making love together later that evening, just as Viktor appears to unlock the Hex potential. Unfortunately he also succumbs to the illness plaguing him, collapsing typified by a drop of his own blood mixing with the magic.
Vi and Caitlyn head down to the Undercity, following leads to track down Silco. A lot of time has passed here though and the place is more volatile and more chaotic than ever before.
With Marcus’s loyalty wavering, thanks in part to the bombing and Caitlyn’s tenacity, Silco realizes he needs to strike while the iron is hot. Naturally, he turns to Jinx, giving her the massive task of weaponizing the hextech, Only, Jinx is faltering. She’s seeing visions from that nightmarish day and isn’t thinking straight.
Silco brings Jinx out into the same pool he was betrayed by Vander and encourages her to embrace Jinx and let this betrayal (that being Vi and the gang called her a jinx no less) go. He’s determined to help reforge her into something bigger and better. After saying these words, Silco essentially baptizes Jinx, dropping her in the water to wash away her sins.
Meanwhile, Vi follows her intel and finds Sevika, the traitor working with Silco. The pair duke it out, with Vi gaining the upper-hand and demanding to know where Powder is. When Vi finds out that her sister is working for Silco, under the alias of Jinx, her grip falters… and Sevika stabs her in the gut.
“She’s like his daughter,” The woman gleefully taunts. Before the killing blow can be dealt though, Caitlyn saves Vi’s life with a well-placed shot.
As the episode closes out, Jinx manages to uncover the power of the Hextech, just as Sevika returns to Silco and tells him Vi is still alive.
The Episode Review
This rivalry between Vi and Powder (or, well, Jinx now) is about to really heat up and with Silco serving as the puppet-master in the middle of this, it sets up a very intriguing conflict to come.
While the idea of two siblings going against on another isn’t exactly new, it is beautifully illustrated here through Vi and Powder’s entwined fates and differing fortunes. For Powder, she’s always needed that fatherly influence and someone to believe in her, and Vi’s grief off the back of Vander’s death is enough to push her straight into Silco’s slimy hands.
Up in Piltover, Jayce finds himself in a conflict of his own, one much more closely aligned to corruption. With the knowledge of the councilors all being dirty, Jayce learns that ultimately in order to get ahead – especially this far up the political ladder – he needs to join them.
It’ll be interesting to see what the Hex magic will cook up for us in the future but it’s clear already that this is about to blow up in a massive fight between Piltover and Zaun.