So the last time I touched on Garo, we left off for the mid-year (ironically at New Year) and started the second cour. It’s mostly been backstory and not too much plot advancement and again I find myself looking at this show much like Supernatural. We had a couple episodes of backstory, specifically building up our main characters with Gina as the team obtained knowledge and skills in the Land of Guidance, Luke where we see him combat a former Makai Knight who tragically became a Horror, and even the bad guys where we get a rare glimpse of just how powerful Bishop, Queen, and by extension, King must truly be, as well as a peek into El Dorado proper.
As we pick up on episode 15, the synopsis I can best provide is that while there are some terrifying and powerful Horrors, not all of them are under the control of King. However, very few are as strong as Queen or Bishop as the attempted usurper of the throne, Bezel, finds. A rather one sided fight later, we have King mocking him as he lies dead at the feet of Knight and declaring the glory of El Dorado. One very interesting thing about El Dorado is that it’s shown to be a paradise and utopia amidst the chaos and ruins of the surrounding desert area. After that, we find Sophie a bit more on edge and running off like a spoiled brat after a brief chocolate induced argument with Sword. Thankfully Gina was there to mediate and the girls split from Sword and we find Sword saving the life of a gutter rat nicknamed Crybaby Pedro, who is seeking justice for his murdered girlfriend, Monica. I’m kind of left in wonder about why in the hell a street gang would be so ok with a guy trying to kill their boss, but he is such absolute shit I can’t really blame them. We do however get a bit more backstory as to what drives Sword, turns out its confirmed as his sister and her death. Needless to say when Sword decides to help out, things become one sided and Pedro kind of just remembers all of a sudden that Monica and he were planning on bouncing anyway. A rather entertaining moment with Sword deflecting a bullet with his fist is probably the only highlight of the episode.
We start this 17th episode hot and heavy and goddamn is it great shit. The scene is set with an eclipse and we have a Mad Max esque moment with Bishop being an ass and leading a fleet of horror trucks/tankers in pursuit of Sophie. Sword sends Gina and Sophie off in the not-Impala and proceeds to power up and charge through like a boss cutting, hacking, slashing, ripping, and tearing through Horrors like they were nothing. Being the bitch that he is, Bishop vanishes off to give chase via flying Horrors who find out that even an untrained and perfectly normal human girl such as Sophie can give a good fight when behind a rear-facing vehicle-mounted magical mini-gun. Luke comes in to assist with some showy skills, specifically him air parkouring off the Horrors and *Blamming* them with zero mercy. Unfortunately the episode kind of reads like an ambitions episode that ran out of money. We have the big bad appear with Sword, Gina, and Luke racing off to fight it with Zaruba biking off with Sophie. After a strange conversation about repairing Zaruba (something never really given much mind before) we have him speeding off again with Knight in pursuit. In a suicide dive, Zaruba full tilts into Knight, seriously injuring him to the point he had to take a step back, allowing Gina, Luke, and Sword to reappear seconds later from the canyon cliff that Zaruba seemed unable to traverse. After absorbing Zaruba, Sword becomes even more powerful and I’m left feeling like they suddenly killed off a fairly minor character with no build up or tension. Worse, had he just run a few seconds longer, the cavalry would have come and his death would have been unnecessary.
Finally we’re here at El Dorado and the crew begin to explore with Gina departing back for the Land of Guidance in order to restock and resupply after the unseen battle from the previous episode. We have the group find a base to operate out of, and begin casing the town. They find proof that there seems to be a great amount of Horror control, with multiple locations they seem to be operating out of to feast on humans. These theories are later validated as Sophie delves into that creepy pseudo Shadowrun Matrix and is met by a strange man who asks if she knows the Golden Knight. A bit of traveling later we find he is a former programmer with
exposition insight into the inner workings of El Dorado. He hacked the cameras on a server and found footage of a “cafeteria” where Horrors devoured the humans. Cue the Horror SWAT team as they descend upon the team and begin to attack, with Sword running interference and Luke defending Sophie and the programmer civilian. The civilian snaps out of it and opts to backup all his files from the encrypted server onto Sophie’s phone. One tense but unfulfilling download later, she suddenly becomes able to read and understand cameras and files at light speed thanks to the assistance of deus ex machina a ghost in the shell machine. One final bit of story is that Martin Hennes, Sophie’s brother and entire plot point for the show, is evidently the developer at the center of the “true” El Dorado plot.
Now onto some stickler points, I’m not really feeling a lot of the past few episodes. The pacing seems broken and disjointed, and I’m really not enjoying some of the scene cuts. From the scene with Zaruba sacrificing himself, or even the last episode and its potential, the action is great but the delivery has been falling short. They have had great moments of exposition, such as Sword’s sister and Luke’s father being Knight. I can only hope some of these “WTF” moments will make sense in the end and I’m definitely giving this show until the end because of both the time sink I’ve already invested and the hope it will turn into an amazing story of Garo, the Golden Knight.