Oh my! After the fluffy goofball romp that was last week’s The Case Study of Vanitas, we were thrown into quite the dramatic arc. I personally find Louis to be a very effective tragic character. I can’t help feeling bad for him and Domi whenever we see a bit of him.

I have to wonder how this tonal u-turn would go down if I was binging the episodes. I’m not sure. I sort of liked it with a week between the two but it might have been a bit jarring if they were one after the other. Then again, maybe the effect would have been even more striking and this episode would have floored me.

But first, let’s start on a lighter note by playing a good ol’ round of spot the Murr in the screencaps above. It’s pretty easy but it made me so happy when I saw it in the episode. I actually replayed the scene about 3 times to get a good screencap!

Yeah, like I said, Louis’ story is just so sad. But we’ve never really seen how deeply it affected Domi before. I mean I knew it must have. Obviously! They were very close and she clearly loved her brother. But up until now, the series made it seem like she might have been a bit too young to really grasp what was happening and that she was mostly a horrified bystander.

But this week, they reframed all the tragic events through her lens. I didn’t even realize it while I was watching. I guess I was just lost in the action. However, as I write this, I can’t help but admire how effective this was. By seeing all those past events that we have already seen, a few times, through Dominique’s eyes, we get a very different feel. When we saw what happened from Louis’s point of view, we were drowning in sadness and depression, while Noé coloured everything in frantic terror. This is probably what influenced my previous perception of Domi’s state.

But in fact, Dominique was dealing with much more complicated feelings. She was suffocated by guilt and trapped by her helplessness. The great vampire lady was just this tiny creature whose entire world had just crashed to pieces and she had no clue what to do next. And no support anywhere. Incredibly alone now that even Noé has retreated within himself. Feeling betrayed by her own family for something they consider normal. It was downright claustrophobic to watch.

And here’s a sentence I thought I would never write: The Sades have questionable morals…

Of course, that was only half of it. The Case Study of Vanitas often has episodes that pack ridiculous amounts of punch and information, yet fly by as if they were only 10 minutes long.

The emotional first act almost pushed out of my mind the end of the last episode. When I remembered though, the first thing I thought was Ha! I knew Domi wouldn’t die! And she better be alright. She’s gone through enough my sweet girl! She even gave herself a wolfcut! She was like a century ahead of her time! I’m not sure when Vanitas takes place. There are no cell phones is all I know.

Alright, so after we’ve all been properly dejected, the episode segways into action, as Noé, having received Mikhail’s messages, rushes to save Domi. And of course, they’re at an empty amusement park. Overly happy children and empty amusement parks. If a clown shows up, it will officially be the creepiest setup possible.

We find out that Mikhail calls Vanitas his brother, they both seem to have been cursed by the bleu moon, and apparently Vanitas killed their father. All of which is very confusing news to Noé. Noé is a simple man/vampire. He doesn’t deal well with confusion.

One thing I could help but notice is that Mikhail is definitely not a French name. Pretty much all other names in the series are French, which of course makes sense since they are in Paris. But even Vanitas, which is clearly Latin, sounds like it could be a French name. (by the way, in case you’re curious a vanitas is a symbolic work of art showing the transience of life, the futility of pleasure, and the certainty of death. Isn’t that cheery). So where is Mikhail from?

Also, Roland can make friends with anyone! I knew that already. Still, it’s always fun to see him in action.

Vanitas himself seemed very worried about Mikhail and Noé meeting. There could be a few ways of interpreting that. He doesn’t want his secrets revealed, or Noé could be in danger? Maybe both. In sum good episode, I want more. I’m getting a sinking feeling that I will be writing the same thing on my review for the final episode.

Previous episodes

8 thoughts

    1. I know! Normally I would grumble at introducing someone new this late but with Vanitas, I’ll take anything they give me!

  1. Oh no, I totally missed that picture of Murr. Thanks for the screen shot.

    So who’s “father”? Dr. Moreau? Could it be that Mikhail doesn’t know he’s alive? The vampire of the blue moon? Looked and sounded like a woman (if there’s only one; Roland’s partner spoke of a clan last episode?)? What’s with the books? Are there more than just those two? Where do they come from? I don’t know what’s going on, and what’s most fun is that nobody in the show seems to have the whole picture. I wonder how much of the picture we’re going to have at the end of the season. I don’t want this season to end.

    1. Mikhail seems like a…creative young man. I wouldn’t put it past him to think of something not human or not even alive as a father. Sadly, no matter how I twist it in my head, I can’t make any logical argument for Murr as dad.
      The Blue Moon Clan has been mentioned a few times and I’m not sure the woman we saw in the flashbacks is the actual Vampire of the Blue Moon. Maybe there was someone above. And maybe, that’s not a woman?

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