“Where Pride and Train Tracks Lead”
Jean’s encounter with Grossular reveals the first time they met each other not long after Jean and Lotta lost their parents in a train accident. When Jean doesn’t deliver any useful information to Mauve she begins to lose faith in him but an audit in the tropical Hare district convinces Jean that he might yet be able to uncover something.
While very little is actually revealed in the first few minutes of the episode, I feel like it gives us more insight into Jean’s thoughts than we have had until now. The respect he feels toward Grossular, as well as his comment about Mauve’s feelings in the last episode, are made more clear when he recounts the story of how ACCA came to oversee the railways. What is most interesting about the exchange is that Grossular’s opinion, though not hostile toward Jean, is that the inspector’s idealized view of him is too naive. What this means about Grossular’s involvement in the coup, however, is still up for debate.
Mauve, at least, doesn’t seem to be slowing down regardless of whether or not Jean is willing to cooperate with her. Her cadre of special agents is an interesting addition, though the episode revealed little about them or what they intend to do. What seems clear is that these agents are loyal to Mauve before anything else, which raises some questions about her intentions for ACCA as well. It’s a very tough position for Jean, who seems torn between his admiration for her and worry that she might be treading the wrong path.
For Jean’s part, his unwitting (maybe?) reputation as an intermediary for the coup conspirators may end up working in his favor. The casual questioning by the Hare representatives about how things are going in the other districts seems to indicate that something is definitely being planned, but communication between these people is somehow limited to the point where they need a person like Jean to relay the information. It makes me wonder just how much mobility this supposed coup has, or if it’s a false rumor meant to draw out some key players.
For a mid-cour episode, ACCA seems content to not opt for any dramatic shifts and instead continues to build at its usual pace. It never blatantly reveals anything and lets viewers draw their own conclusions from the things they see. If there isn’t some movement soon, however, the series might run out of time before it can deliver a satisfying outcome to its tense political situation.
– The series continues to portray the character relationships in subtle, intriguing ways.
– Some more insight into Grossular and Mauve’s state of mind raises new questions about what each one is planning.
– At mid season point we know little more than we did at the start about the coup.
Though a series of flashbacks, it is revealed that Jean and Lotta’s parents perished in a train crash between the Peshi and Rokkusu Districts. After blame for the tragic accident was shifted onto Rokkusu District, the ACCA organization was encouraged to begin monitoring the train system. This suggestion, it turns out, was prompted by Grossular; a member of Rokkusu’s governing body. In a further show of support, Grossular began visiting the families of the deceased, where he first encounters Jean.
The events surrounding untimely death of his parents and the intervention of ACCA to safeguard against further accidents of this nature likely spurred Jean towards joining. Though this is speculative on my part, it makes sense. Jean’s motives and actions have remained relatively vague thus far, but the idea that he would be drawn towards an organization that enforces safety is to be expected.
The enigma surrounding Jean is further chipped away following an encounter with Director General Mauve. Jean’s refusal to detail information about the districts prompts Mauve to express disappointment over his uncooperative attitude. Jean’s response? Drinking to excess in a poor attempt at escaping his frustration. This again is entirely speculative (Jean’s entire personality is a guessing game really) but given blush Mauve elicited from Jean in an earlier episode, Jean’s ‘self healing’ was likely related to the amorous feelings he holds for the Director General.
After his hangover, Jean is convinced by his co-workers to host a party. Lotta’s admirers emerge like a horde of hungry lovers; including Rail who gifts her with cake. From a higher floor, Nino is shown to be secretly snapping a few photos of Lotta. I only hope it is meant to satisfy an assignment and not for his own personal collection.
While the significance is unclear, viewers learn that Jean procures his cigarettes by advertising products sold by wealthy men in the various districts he visits. Even more intriguing, Mauve appears to be debating making some sort of move, leading viewers to again speculate her motives. Nino indirectly discloses to Jean, in the last episode, that he trusts Mauve. And since Jean trusts Nino, what does all this imply? I have no utter idea.
– Narrative is unpredictable, keeping the audience guessing.
– Jean’s subtle reactions when it comes to Mauve are absolutely adorable.
– Not good or bad really but Lotta is clearly the most desirable woman ever, with her only real appeal being an obsession with baked goods.
– No drawbacks this week. Overall, I am impressed with how this series is unfolding.
This post is part of our seasonal episodic review series. To view all the posts in this series, click the following link: Viewing Part