Sunday, August 5, 2007

Romeo X Juliet 5

Alright, so, Juliet knows that Romeo is a Montague, and Romeo knows that 'Odin' is really Juliet, but doesn't know that Juliet is a Capulet or that she's the Crimson Whirlwind. The cold-open doesn't go much further than last episode's final scene before jumping into the intro. When we come back, Romeo's outside with his Ryouma, asking himself why Juliet was dressed as a dude. As he ponders, Juliet comes out dressed as Odin, and presents Romeo with her cloak to wear since his shirt is somewhat ashed. He tries to press Juliet for an answer to her cross-dressing, but she just tells him, "Don't ask..." Pfft, women... dressed as men. I understand that Juliet can't really get into it, especially with the Archduke's son, but the guy just gave her a flying horseback ride over Neo Verona and saved her from serious burns. He should get some sort of answer.

At the playhouse, Conrad's pissed, yet again. Nobody knows where Juliet is, and martial law has been ordered in the city in a further attempt to catch the Crimson Whirlwind. And that's it. I get that these little stops the playhouse are supposed to be important so we can get information Juliet isn't privy to, and it helps to break everything up, but... they're not only boring, they're too short to matter. Conrad is always pissed, so we don't need to see it; it adds no tension or comedy. We're about to learn about the martial law in a scene coming up, so dropping it in a throw away scene is pointless unless we didn't know where Juliet was either, and were worried she'd been captured. But she's off being awkward with Romeo, so we know she's okay. I accept padding out an episode to a certain degree, but this is an anime with flying horses and swords. A pointless action scene is still better than a pointless talking-about-shit-we-already-know scene. Ghost in the Shell: Stand Alone Complex, I'm looking at you.

Back at the iris garden, Romeo asks if he shouldn't take Juliet home. She shakes her head and apologizes for burning Romeo's shirt before trying to run off. Romeo shouts out and asks if they'll ever meet again. Juliet just goes, 'hmm,' before running out of the scene.

Back in the Slums of Beverly Verona, a woman pleads with who I assume is a baker for more bread. She has way too many kids, and the little loaf she's been given isn't going to feed them all. The baker is sorry, but with the martial law, food is being rationed until the Whirlwind is captured. Lord Dipshit, one of the creepy dudes the priest was talking to last episode, walks the streets with two underlings. As he bangs a mace into his hand, he taunts the people of the city saying, "[The Crimson Whirlwind] dared involve all the virtuous citizens in his scheme! ... Anyone who provides us with information about the Crimson Whirlwind, or turns in the real Crimson Whirlwind, will receive extra rations. If you don not wish to starve to death, you will cooperate with us." Of course, Cordelia just so happens to be on hand for this.

Back at the playhouse, she fills in the rest of the Capulet Cast on what she saw. Adding, "Those accused of being the Crimson Whirlwind are randomly arrested and taken away somewhere." Conrad asks that neither Cordelia nor Antonio tell Juliet about what's happening in the city. 'Cause, it's not like she sneaks out into the city all the time and might notice the public beatings and starving citizens strewn about. Shh...

Juliet/Odin runs to the secret door in the playhouse that leads to Capulet HQ, when Willy pokes his head through a curtain. He inquires as to the date. 'Odin' denies such tawdry activities ever take place anywhere, ever, but Willy interrupts, "I can hear the heartbeat of someone who was basking in bliss." When 'Odin' blushes like a little girl, Willy sort of apologizes, then continues, "No one can stop the gears of love once they begin to turn." If such monkey wrenches didn't exist, the divorce rate would probably be lower.

Up inside, Juliet announces she's home, and everyone pretends like they weren't worried or nothin'. As Cordelia brushes Juliet's hair, as is her primary responsibility it seems, Juliet says she'd like to sew a shirt. Cordelia wonders if it's for 'that noble boy' up the street, and Juliet sort of nods. Cordelia agrees to give Juliet some pointers, but suggests that a shirt isn't the best first project for a trainee seamstress, and proposes a handkerchief would be better. Adding that she's sure he'd really like it if Juliet embroidered his name into it. Yeah. Us guys like anything with our name on it.

Romeo sits in his room, or someplace with a couch, thinking about irises and flashingback to images of Crimson, Odin, and Juliet, and thinking about how all three of them smell like irises and, oh yeah, look EXACTLY THE FUCKING SAME! It almost hits him, but '[he] can't image such a cute girl doing that.' "That" being "stabbin' guys and takin' names."

Slums. Random Guy is thrown to the ground a struck with the butt of a spear. A few feet back, Lord Dipshit rewards a man with bread and cheese for turning the random guy in as the Whirlwind. Dr. Glasses Man (I still don't know his real name, hmm...) stands by with his wife and watch the be-breaded one run off. Mrs. Dr. Glasses Man thinks it's horrible to turn someone into the police like that, but Mr. Dr. Glasses Man doesn't blame Bread Man. He blames the Archduke. It makes him stare at flags, he's so angry.

In her room, Juliet embroideries what's supposed to be an iris, but, being her first try, she smiles at the random yellowness and admits, "I guess it won't look exactly like the real thing." As this is going on, Cordelia tells Curio about the embroideriness which he immediately seems to distrust. Some sort of thimble accident in his past, I presume.

In a courtyard down in the slums, again, 'somewhere,' a Wickerman-like structure has been erected to hold all the men accused of being the Crimson Whirlwind. As they scream down to their loved ones, the loved ones scream back. Dr. Glasses appears again to distain all over the place, but this time, finds the priest who we were introduced to in episode three talking to Lord Dipshit. Turns out, Lord Dipshit's real name is, Sir Cerimon, and the priest is there to tell him that, "... it seems tonight will be a memorable spectacle." The doctor aghasts against the wall, and takes us to commercial.

Romeo and Benvolio fly above Neo Verona. Romeo senses a disturbance in the force, and Benny fills him in on declaration of martial law. Romeo attempts to fly into the city, but Benny stops him. He knows that Romeo wants to go protect Whirlwind and tells him, "The Crimson Whirlwind is a rebel who has defied your father!" Benny doesn't agree with martial law either, but knows if Romeo tries to stand up against his father, bad things would happen to Romeo. He asks that Romeo "bear with it" so that one day, "... [he'll] be able to create a new era."

The smarmy priest arrives at a dimly lit church to find Dr. Glasses standing in the shadows. The doctor tackles the priest into a pew and growls, "You're a clergyman, and yet you're plotting with the nobles to betray us all!" The priest starts to laugh that arrogant bad guy laugh they do right before they say, "You just don't get it, do you?" He explains, "... we are but part of the lowly masses... We must yield to the mighty... After all, the duty of the populace is to serve the rulers." After a good clench, the doctor releases the priest and walks out.

Back at the Wickerman effigy, the good doctor spots Antonio, Curio, and Francisco standing around not helping, either. Curio and the doctor see each other, and the doctor approaches the group. "I wish to meet with the person who has protected and raised the iris," he says to them. "Iris," being the ever so clever code for, "Juliet." We immediately cut to the doctor standing under a bridge at dusk. Conrad stands on the bridge above and, facing the opposite direction, says, "How can you be certain that the iris did not wither?" The doctor replies, "I have lived with the belief and hope that the iris would be reborn once more." So, born a third time? Wouldn't the reemergence of the princess only be the second 'birth'? Anyway, with the 'spotted eagle flies at midnight' crap out of the way, the doctor gets straight to the point: "Is the Crimson Whirlwind the surviving iris?" Conrad confirms this, and says that he knew he'd have to tell the doctor at some point. Why would he have to tell the doctor at some point? Who the hell knows? He then thanks the doctor as 'the representative of the Capulet family.' Curio, who must've been standing nearby the whole time just off screen, bows slightly to the doctor, who then smiles. As he starts to walk off, the doctor asks Curio to tell the Whirlwind to take care of herself. The doctor is about to do something brave and stupid, methinks.

In her room, Juliet has finished her handkerchief with something that doesn't really look like an iris on it, and she's really pleased. Just to make us feel worse about what's about to happen. Antonio knocks on the door to let her know Conrad went to speak with the doctor. They know something's about to happen. Conrad is tightlipped about what's going on, so Antonio and Juliet as Odin run out of the playhouse, with Cordelia in tow.

At home, the doctor sits on the foot of his daughters' bed and watches them sleep. He tells his wife that if they could move to a more peaceful city, their children could group up carefree. Taking his wife's hand, he insists that she get some sleep as well. "The world won't always be like this," he says reassuringly.

As Team Odin runs through town Juliet notices a strange glow from the courtyard. Cordelia tries to stop her, but Juliet changes course to investigate.

At the Wickerman statue, guards have already started to pour oil at its base. The three appear at a staircase nearby, and Antonio admits that everyone inside the statue have been captured as Whirlwind candidates. Realizing that innocent people are about to be burned alive for things she's done, Juliet starts to run off to find a phone booth, but is stopped by Curio and Francisco. Francisco asks that Juliet please, 'endure it.' "Even if you went, as we are greatly outnumbered, we would not stand a chance," says Francisco, mirroring the conversation between Benvolio and Romeo earlier. She still tries to go change into her red suit of courage, but Curio backhands Juliet to the ground. And just to make it sting a little more, says, "While you were focusing on that noble's son, you fled from reality and ignored the city. Will you only help these people when it strikes your fancy? I don't remember us protecting such a princess!" Curio can be bitchy. As Juliet ponders, a man from the effigy screams for help, bringing with him the screams from the crowd and men with him. Juliet gets the shaky anime eye, and attempts to go help them once more, but this time is stopped by the doctor. Seeing how much this all affects her, the doctor tells Juliet, "You are exactly the person I believed you would be. This is not the place for you to risk your life." Juliet gasps knowingly, and makes a grab for the doctor's shoulder as he runs off, but misses.

Running through a hallway, the doctor transforms into the Crimson Whirlwind, more and more of the costume appearing as he passes behind pillars as dramatic music swells. In his inner-monologue, we hear him say, "Father... you are mistaken!" Just before he jumps on to the top of the effigy and stares down Lord Dipshit who says, "You fell for it, Crimson Whirlwind." Dr. Whirlwind stands tall as we fade out to credits.

So... he just had a Crimson Whirlwind costume laying around? Was there a costume shop in Neo Verona that sold outfits of outlawed vigilantes? Did he start sewing it after his meeting with Conrad while his wife was out of the room? I guess it doesn't matter. I should be asking: Who the hell is this guy? We never learned his name, which points to it being important. And this battle cry of, "Fuck you, Dad!" seems telling. For the moment, I'll assume he's the priest's son. We never learned his name, either, and judging by how familiar they were when they were introduced to us, and how pissed off the doctor got in this episode, it looks like they have some sort of history. Not that it's a reviewer's job to predict this stuff...

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