How would you rate episode 7 of
The Ancient Magician’ Bride (TV 2)?
Before we get into the actual content of this episode, I just need to note that by knowing that the Underground Academy of Magic has its own Climbing, what a buzzing and wall-shaking start to the week. I don’t have anything critical or substantive to say. I just wanted to let you all know that I spent a good ten minutes laughing at the idea that a bunch of stuffy British wizards would have to vote on whether to take bouldering as part of their occult magic classes.
Other than that, this episode is back again Coming to The Academy, it looks like we’re finally getting serious about digging into the extended cast and its potential conflicts. It’s kind of remarkable, if I’m being honest, how riveting this episode is without really revealing anything too specific or earth-shattering. Throughout the runtime, we stopped at a dozen different characters, new and old, and with one exception, we only got small details of their inner conflicts, or in some cases, hints at how they might Thinking about something. If you sat me down to list everything that happened this week, it would be a very short and sparse list, but through atmosphere and evocative script, “Slowly But Sure” lives up to its promise.
For example, Veronica. She’s been around since the first episode of the season and there’s obviously something happened between her and Philomela, but I definitely can’t tell you what that is. We know that their families are somehow connected, and that Philomela simply went to college under Veronica’s influence, but how and why their relationship is a complete mystery, hidden behind mysterious smiles and Behind the suggestive dialogue. All I can say with certainty is that Veronica’s look ignited potential repercussions in my head when Philomela asked if she was ordered to befriend Chise. Whether they are friends, foes, or somewhat messy, toxic lovers, I desperately need to find out now.
Not so urgent, we contact some people to expand , and began to piece together the outlines of their own relationships and stories. We confirm that Stroud is a bit of a mage himself, having wandered the Academy for decades—cultivating such a friendship with Renfred that the wizard still stops by his office for a drink to blow off steam. It is very cute. Meanwhile, the icy opening reveals that Lane and Philomela grew up together and could be playmates from an early age, leaving one to wonder what happened to make them so estranged now. We even follow up with Alice, who gets firearms training in case magic isn’t enough for her job as a bodyguard. It’s hard to say whether any of these moments connect to the larger story, but together they package more and more to fill the backdrop of the Academy’s myriad histories. Plus, I just love that weird slime blob teacher. He’s funny and disturbing at the same time.
And then, of course, Philomela. Even her visits to her home are shrouded in cryptic hints, but the few brushstrokes we see are painted with suffocating darkness. Philomela never looked very healthy, but somehow, when she saw her grandmother’s messenger bird, her face became even more pale and distressed. She has a palpable sense of vulnerability, evident in every step she takes and every word she says on the family estate. The icy scorn from her matriarch tells you why. Grandma Sagante is intimidating from every angle, and her casual abuse of her granddaughter gives a glimpse into how the family works. It’s so chilling, the grandma’s design is so cool, just toned down a bit. Like damn, she has a cane with a raven skull top hat? She may be evil, but I respect bit by bit.
I can’t be bothered to mention the direction of the sequence . This season’s grasp of the atmosphere is excellent, and the Sagante family may be at its peak so far; Whispers are uncomfortably familiar, and every second spent within its walls has a suffocating sense of uneasiness. We still don’t know exactly what’s going on with Philomela, but the powerfully resonant glimpses into her home life tell us enough. It was foreboding, and I didn’t even need that creepy purple eye at the end to tell me that something terribly wrong was going to happen on this school camping trip. It’s a great way to bring us back to the academy and make me excited to see the magical disaster that’s coming up next week.