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#Arcane Season 1 Act 2 Review: Everything is Broken

#Arcane Season 1 Act 2 Review: Everything is Broken

There’s a lot to admire in the thought put into Arcane’s launch.

While Arcane Season 1 Act 1 did a stellar job at introducing the world and the major players, Act 2 — Arcane Season 1 Episode 4, Arcane Season 1 Episode 5, and Arcane Season 1 Episode 6 — sets in motion the vital innovations and motivations that will drive the action into Act 3 and beyond.

And although Jinx/Powder and Vi spend most of Act 2 separated, their story remains the heart of the show. You can’t help but root for the sisters, no matter how desperate the situation becomes.

Close Up on Jinx - Arcane Season 1 Episode 4

Viktor’s discovery of the Hexcore’s ability to learn and adapt as well as his childhood connection to the source of Shimmer, identifies him as a significant lynchpin in the plot development.

That he was involved with Dr. Singed’s early research with Rio will, no doubt, please the League of Legends fanbase as the online speculation on whether Singed was present or if his character had been merged with Silco’s for narrative reasons.

I think the death knell for Viktor and Jayce’s partnership was Jayce’s hesitation on Progress Day to reveal the new Hextech gemstone.

Heimerdinger: You should be proud of what you’ve accomplished, Viktor.

Viktor: Figments. My contributions will be short-lived, even in your memory.

As Viktor feels his mortality creep in on him, his patience for Jayce’s caution and distraction wanes.

Viktor and Jayce - Arcane Season 1 Episode 4

I wonder what he’ll have to give up for Singed’s assistance.

Meanwhile, Jayce’s life has become infinitely more interesting.

Jayce: My father put hammers in the hands of the people, and they built this magnificent city. Imagine the wonders they could create if we put magic in their hands.

Mel: The world will never be the same.

If you please, take a moment with me to look at Jayce’s Act 2 timeline.

On Progress Day, Heimerlinger gives him the responsibility of delivering the big speech. Jayce states explicitly at this point that he could never take Heimerlinger’s place.

Jayce at the Podium - Arcane Season 1 Episode 4

The next day (let’s call this Day 2), he is elevated to a seat on the Council to oversee the city’s safety after the theft of the Hextech gemstone and the attacks at the Hexgate and Academy Square.

On Day 3, he orders anti-smuggling regulations, alienating most of the other Council members.

On Day 4, under Mel’s tutelage, he mends those fences, forging partnerships with his fellow members in the interests of business and economic gain.

On Day 5, he makes the motion that Heimerlinger retires.

Checking Out the Crowd - Arcane Season 1 Episode 4

No wonder he’s the poster boy for progress. The guy moves FAST.

There’s also that whole “have sex with Mel while Viktor’s killing himself with Hexcore research” bit.

It makes sense that they had to do something to show that his relationship with Mel is on a different level than with the other Council members, but I’m not sure if it was necessary to spend three full minutes demonstrating the depth of that level.

From a narrative analysis, juxtaposing his tryst with Viktor’s collapse does serve to create a guilt motivation in Jayce, seeing as he was getting it on with House Medarda while his brother was trying to improve the world.

That guilt eventually drives him to insist on Heimerlinger’s “retirement” from Council since Heimerlinger’s made it clear that he wants the Hexcore, the only possible path to Viktor’s cure, destroyed.

Caitlyn's Sight - Arcane

Caitlyn’s is the other backstory Act 2 presents, although, to be honest, I was already Team Caitlyn all the way after seeing her on Progress Day. Talk about preaching to the choir.

Still, it was interesting to see her interaction with Grayson since that mentorship links her and Marcus.

I’m an Enforcer. For me, knowing how to handle this weapon means being able to protect people. To be of service to the city. And that’s trophy enough. Begs the question, young Kiramman. What are you shooting for?

Grayson

Marcus may prove to be the cautionary tale for Caitlyn’s young and impulsive Enforcer-on-the-rise.

I can’t see his story ending well. He believes he’s still a good man despite the deals that he has struck with Silco.

But he’s a coward, not just for himself but for his daughter. And Silco holds all the cards that way.

Marcus - Arcane Season 1 Episode 6

Caitlyn’s proven herself a bit of a quick study as Vi doesn’t cut her any slack as they move through Zaun’s underbelly.

She’s brave, smart, and willing to sacrifice.

Yeah, if I ever start playing League of Legends, I’m pretty sure she’ll be my first hero. (Heimerdinger’s my second choice, btw.)

If she could get past her mommy issues, she’d be pretty darn perfect.

Breaking the Case - Arcane Season 1 Episode 4

Her relationship with Jayce is fascinating since I don’t think they are romantically into each other.

Siblings, maybe? Although I suspect Caitlyn is the more worldly of the two of them.

Well, she will be for sure if she survives her adventure in Zaun.

Betrayal, that pain that feels like it’ll eat you from the inside out, can either break you or forge you into something greater.

Silco

It’s hard to believe that Silco could grow into a sympathetic figure, but as Act 2 progresses, it becomes apparent that he’s fatally blind when it comes to Jinx.

While he may claim that she’s just another asset, he makes unwise business and political choices to keep her with him and dependent on their relationship.

Little Sister - Arcane Season 1 Episode 6

It could be her connection to Vander. Is having her see him as a father Silco’s way of finally beating Vander at something?

But the central plot vector is accelerating towards having the sisters reunite. And they came SO close here. Well, this is Act 2 of 3, after all. They got to keep us coming back for the finale.

This raises the question of the Firelights and who their leader is.

Possibly related, where exactly has Ekko been all this time?

Also, did the Firelights take Caitlyn too, or is she unconscious on the ground? I ask this because if she is, she’s going to have to deal with a super-triggered Jinx when she comes to, as well as Marcus’s barricade at the bridge.

Old Haunts - Arcane Season 1 Episode 6

What did you think of the second offering of this adventure epic?

Will you be back for more?

Can you shake the theme song earworm because, quite honestly, I can’t.

Let us know what you think in the comments!

Diana Keng is a staff writer for TV Fanatic. Follow her on Twitter.

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One Comment

  1. Hi man! Thanks for this review but I was left with 2 questions after watching the 2nd act. Who is the woman that is being recognised by Vi as a trader? She gets intoxicated by Jinx in the end but i sincerely can’t remember her. And one more: who is the skinny who sold the 2 girls? He said he wants Vi to know that he is sincerely sorry. Did he really know her or was it just a trap to sell ’em to Silco? Thanks a lot!^^

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