The Boy Savior
Episode 7 of Arcane begins with Caitlyn and Vi tied up and kept at the mercy of the Firelights. Brought out before their leader, he removes his mask…and shows himself to be Ekko. These two go way back of course and after some initial hostilities, they manage to patch up their differences. Vi gives him a big hug, as tears betray Ekko’s gruff exterior.
Eventually Ekko takes Vi to their main base of operations. The Firelights aren’t all bombs and fighting though, as Ekko talks about the descent of the Lanes. Silco flooded the place with Shimmer and off the back of this, it caused everyone to descend down a dark path of addiction. It’s eerily similar to the opioid epidemic in parts of the US, and Arcane has done well to juxtapose real-world events with its fantastical ideas.
Vi still thinks she can save Powder from becoming Jinx but Ekko is convinced it’s a lost cause. When Caitlyn is released, she’s faced with the horrible truth that Silco is paying the Enforcers to hunt down the Firelights.
Caitlyn refuses to believe this until Ekko shows off the gemstone and offers a solution. He believes he can use this to turn the tide of battle, fighting fire with fire. However, Caitlyn has an alternate, more peaceful, idea. She wants to give the gemstone to the council and broker a peaceful solution.
Viktor finds himself at a cross-roads, trying to decide what’s best for his future. With a vial of shimmer in hand, he contemplates whether to take it or not.
Meanwhile, the border shutdown is causing everyone to grow restless and angsty. Mel visits Jayce, who’s hiding out from the masses. With no sign of Caitlyn (for obvious reasons) and needing to find Viktor, Jayce struggles to hold up the weight of the world on his weary shoulders.
When he eventually heads up to the bridge, he speaks to Viktor. He also learns that his old friend has been conspiring with those in the Undercity. The trouble is, there are far greater concerns at hands than that, given Piltover teeters on the brink of war.
Silco is flustered and remains determined to find Jinx. Sevika is convinced she’ll show up on her own accord and urges Silco to keep focused on the Undercity. The trouble is, it’s a lonely place at the top. Silco’s coveted position is challenged by Finn, who makes a play for his throne.
It doesn’t take long for Silco to learn of this and exert his will on the others, gassing out the room and leaving them all gasping for air; a not-so-friendly reminder over who’s in charge here.
When Silco heads back to his office, Jinx shows and confronts him about his lies. However, Silco manages to talk her around, pointing out the massive job ahead of them and how he “needs her now more than ever.”
The border closure, descent in Piltover and the Undercity rumblings all combine to prove one thing – Piltover is vulnerable. And that’s certainly concerning for the other councilors.
Mel feeds her concerns back to Viktor and Jayce, encouraging them to use the Hextech to defend themselves. Of course, this flies in the face of what they initially agreed to do, and begins to sever the connection Viktor and Jayce have. A war is coming, and as all the pieces begin to move into place, it sets things up for a very dramatic few episodes to come.
It also paves way for Viktor using the Shimmer, injecting himself with the vial and reaching out to the Hex.
Caitlyn and Ekko head above ground and walk toward the council, intending to talk their case. Vi however, has an ulterior motive for being there. She wants to find Jinx. The thing is, she’s already there. She just so happens to be watching from the top of the bridge.
Unfortunately, everything takes an awful turn. Ekko is shot by an Enforcer when the guards show up, while Caitlyn is held up at gunpoint. A massive attack then ensues, as a whole swarm of fireflies show and surround them. Only, they’re not actually fireflies, they’re mini bombs. As the whole bridge erupts into brilliant green light, the survivors – including Ekko, Caitlyn, Vi and Jinx – all fight over the gemstone.
Ekko encourages Caitlyn and Vi to leave, while Jinx and Ekko square off together. It’s a beautifully poetic moment as these adult faces pave way for a montage of bright colours and childish innocence.
An explosion from one of Jinx’s bombs though sends a brilliant blast of purple across the bridge as both Jinx and Ekko are caught in the blast.
The Episode Review
We’re in the home stretch now for this first season and Arcane has undoubtedly been an incredibly stylish, well written romp through League of Legends lore.
However, Arcane is so much more than that too, managing to appeal to those not familiar with the games through this well written, nicely paced adventure. The worldbuilding and ideas have both been excellent and the visual design is exemplary here, typified by that final montage right at the end.
As Jinx’s persona dissolves away in favour of Powder and Ekko as kids, even for a brief moment, we’re reminded of how far she’s fallen. It’s a great way of showing the passing of time and how far they’ve come from their lowly origins in the Undercity.
Either way, the ending leaves things wide open for the next two episodes. We’ll have to wait and see how this one ends!