Spice and Wolf II – 11
Oh shit. I kept waiting for something to come along and mess up the plan, but things are getting serious now.
What I love most about the reveal of the rebellion is that the unrest has been there all along, and yet it is only after this episode completely sweeps the cover off it that I really realize this. Just about everyone Lawrence and Horo meet in this town is panicked, trying to get out or both. Abe sees the writing on the wall; she wants to leave before the bishop squashes all her influence. The old man is ditching his inn. Rigolo is nervous about the 50-man meeting, although he tries his best not to show it. There is a gaggle of merchants hanging around menacingly in front of the town. The fur traders are pissed off that they cannot sell their wares. This is a town ready to collapse at any moment.
I was like, “OH SNAP :O” when Abe runs into Rigolo’s place, breathless, shouting about how the town has been thrown into chaos due to the sudden rebellion. But should I have been so shocked? Nope. However, this story established a calm, easygoing pace with the unrest floating close enough to the surface where you feel like something is off but also far enough below where you cannot exactly put your finger on what is causing these unsettling feelings. The way the episode distracts you with the continued developments of Lawrence and Horo’s relationship might be kind of a cheap trick, too, but it is effective. I mean, the church guy (I assume he is part of the church) leads four armed soldiers somewhere, and I barely gave it a second thought! Silly me.
Right now I’m wondering who exactly started the rebellion. The only part of it that I am reasonably sure about is that the church is involved. Is it a power play by the bishop to obtain more influence and control over the city, or is it the citizens getting angry over the decisions of the 50-man group? Are the town’s citizens even involved in the formation of the rebellion at all, or is it the outsiders who are rioting? I am not even certain that the rebellion will be focused on all that much — not with just the one episode remaining this season, anyway.
But the complexities of Horo and Lawrence’s relationship should not be lost in the sudden rebellion. It breaks my heart that Horo believes the best thing for her relationship with Lawrence is to make it a beautiful memory. She says she has long become used to her fear of Lawrence dying and leaving her alone; what she actually fears is that their relationship will become better and more exciting, and as she and Lawrence continue upping the ante, one day it will inevitably burn out, and they will be left with something that is a shell of what it once was instead of the beautiful, tender relationship they have now. So, Horo believes Lawrence should follow his dream and set up shop in this town, while she continues her journey to find her homeland, and they will both be able to remember their time together fondly.
I’m glad Lawrence stands up to Horo a bit and fights against this idea. He wants to follow his dream, yes, but Horo is slowly becoming more important to him (if she is not already more important to him, that is). If Lawrence is truly as gentle as Horo believes he is, then would he ever get to the point where he does not appreciate Horo? Or is Horo afraid that she would develop to the point where she no longer appreciates Lawrence? The rebellion puts a convenient kibosh on any plans Lawrence may have flirted with regarding setting up shop in this town, but it is an issue Lawrence and Horo will have to confront eventually.
However, I think they should at least wait it out until Horo reaches her homeland. They both know that neither of them is static. Horo has changed due to Lawrence’s influence and vice versa. Who is to say neither of their drams will change as well? Maybe Lawrence will want to stay in Horo’s homeland. Or perhaps Horo will find that she has outgrown her place of origin. Or any number of things. People change all the time. That is part of what makes us human. Who is to say that, should Horo leave Lawrence, that beautiful memory would not develop into a painful regret?
Good episode. I am excited to see how this rebellion shakes things up, and how Lawrence, Horo and Abe will either have to deal with it or find some crafty way to escape town. At least this time the downfall of the plan was not due to some terrible miscalculation on Lawrence’s part! (Or maybe you can argue that he should have picked up on the unrest of the city, but I think that would be tough for anyone to notice completely. Even Abe is shocked at what happens.)