In this episode, Kaab finally discovers the identity of her elusive spy, while a gathering of friends turns into a troubling – and eye-opening? – experience for Micah. I am feeling all kinds of new feelings after this episode!
Let’s discuss Tremontaine. (With spoilers!)
This week we get to see a little more of the ‘old’ Kaab dust herself off and make herself useful, as she reaches out to her Aunt Saabim’s missing spy and ends up following a cryptic trail of clues meant to test her. I was super excited when I realised what a good chunk of this episode was going to be about – I thought I had this one all worked out. If you recall, I called this a while back, convinced I’d caught on and that the Salamander was the missing spy. I was SO SURE that I’d worked it out, even if I didn’t know the story of how they’d have come to be in that position or why.
I could kick myself for how wrong I was. God damn it.
So the spy is not Everly, but rather a Corporal in the City Watch, because of course Saabim would have had someone in law enforcement in her pocket, even if only to be her eyes and ears beyond the reasonable reach of a foreign Trader in the City. It makes perfect sense.
… I’m still slightly disappointed that there’s no grand Kinwiinik/City/Riverside connection, but to be fair, this is less about Saabim’s connections and plans now than it is about Kaab’s. It’s about the connections she’ll make (and make use of), and how well she can continue to fit into the role she’s expected to play. She does get a slight reprieve this week from the burden of having to lead her family and Be Political; for a little while she can do what she loves to do, and this exercise in tying up a loose end seems to have done her some good. We get to meet Saabim’s spy at last, and he turns out to be someone who held Saabim as dear to his heart as Kaab did, even if he isn’t of her blood. This does Kaab’s own grieving heart some good, even if she has to continue guarding it for her own sake, and the end result is something touching. Maybe it’s not the grand reveal I’d expected, but it turned out to be better, and I can’t complain about that.
I can still kick myself, though.
Elsewhere, Reza is starting to feel restless now that he’s gotten some distance from Riverside and is trying to settle back into his own life. We get to see the ways in which the relatively quiet political life of an Ambassador doesn’t agree with him, and at the same time we get glimpses of the man behind all the rage and grief, particularly when he meets first Esha, then Micah.
I was intrigued at his meeting with Esha, first of all because it’s Esha who comes to see him at Ambassador House, to ask for help in repairing her damaged sword. It seemed like an unexpected thing for her to do, and I’m wondering if there isn’t some ulterior motive there for her – but since we get this first encounter from Reza’s perspective, that question remains to be answered. But we do get to see a glimmer of some similarity between these two people, regardless of Reza’s instinctive disapproval of the idea that a woman would be trained with a sword outside of The Proper Surroundings (in this case a temple, apparently).
Must I have to deal with Reza having tired old ‘sexist asshole’ tendencies? I really like him! Don’t do this to me.
But he agrees to help Esha find a way to repair her sword, so I assume there will be future meetings between these two and thus, hopefully, a chance for Reza to better his own perspective.
Then there’s the scene where he meets Micah while having a nice day out with Rafe (and after casually murderising yet another swordsman in a duel, like you do, FOR GOD’S SAKE REZA), which unfortunately ends up involving a bar fight after they visit Riverside (at Micah’s suggestion?!), hang out with Tess and actually try not to get into any trouble.
Yeah. That turned out well.
What’s really interesting about this scene, though, is what it shows us of Micah through Reza’s eyes. The idea to go to Riverside is hers, after she takes one (long and rather hard) look at Reza and decides it’ll be OK, I guess? Then, during the fight that breaks out, we switch to Micah’s POV just long enough to witness her deciding that their best chance to get out involves trusting Reza to help them, and promptly doing just that. She then assures Rafe that she’ll be fine with him as her escort back to Tremontaine House, after Rafe and Joshua are both offered guards to get themselves home safely.
Is … is Micah beginning to push the boundaries of her comfort zones? It certainly looks like it, and on reflection, it makes a certain amount of sense after what happened to her when Diane’s home was broken into. Micah could have simply continued to hide in her safe spaces, as it were, but she is still a curious soul, and I’m getting the sense from this episode that she’s coming to realise that how the world really works isn’t always going to be something she can hide from. It would be more encouraging if it didn’t break my heart.
“Reza?” She asked, facing the horse.
“Yes?” He stood near, suddenly concerned.
“Is there any place safe?”
Reza found himself telling her what his mother had told him when he was only ten years old, and leaving her wing of the palace to become a warrior.
“You must make yourself safe, Miss Heslop.”
It’s not bad advice Reza is giving her; it’s the best advice he’s got, given who he is and the circumstances of this encounter. There may not always be a sword-wielding protector handy or a closet close by to hide in, and even being cooped up in Tremontaine House, however happy it makes her, can’t insulate Micah completely from harm. She’s got to find a way to deal with that, and so Reza’s advice to her is good. But.
But she’s Micah. I want her to be cooped up safe and happy, damn it! SHE IS MY CINNAMON ROLL WHY CAN SHE NOT JUST HAVE PEACE AND QUIET AND MATHS.
I might have some personal issues with this. Just maybe. I approve! I do! But … I DO NOT LIKE IT. *Sniff*