Instead of moving forward with the plot, episode two of The Reflection presents us with a behind-the-scenes look at the how and why of episode one – Namely I-Guy and the attack in New York. This helps viewers understand why the first episode seemed a little messy, but though this works well in conjunction with what we’ve seen so far, I can’t help but think about how The Reflection may turn out to be better served as a binge-watching show.
As the reflection phenomena rained down across the entire world three years ago, people were exposed to both a green orb and purplish smoke. According to the Kitana-look-alike, those exposed to the smoke have a predilection to villainy. So, does the smoke contain certain powers that work in kind with villainous behavior or does the smoke emit some sort of mental imperative that switches on the evil inside? Furthermore, does that mean the orbs perform in a similar way- but for “good,” and would a kind person hit by this smoke be turned evil and vice versa? Were the orbs and smoke attacked to certain types of people, or was it all a performance of chance?
I believe that going forward, we should all remember that at our hearts people tend to act in self-interest and preservation. As such, humans are likely to use their granted powers to give themselves some sort of advantage, be it perceived as “good” or “evil.”
I think that I-Guy is a great example of a grey-area in The Reflection. Ian, analogous to Tony Stark, was a failed musician with a one-hit wonder from over twenty years ago. However, when he became a reflected, Ian found a new way to reach stardom and relive his glory years. He works with a team of people who create backgrounds as he fights, overplay Ian’s song (Sky Show), and help him in/out of a robot suit. Ian seems to have his own powers without the suit, though they are not revealed at this time, given to him by a benevolent green orb. At this time Ian’s actions are seen as heroic, but at the end of the day he is simply engaging to remain in the spotlight as a performer through a selfish need to relive this glory days.
Speaking of a performing-type hero, have you ever heard of Marvel’s Radiance? Well, she is Japanese idol who also fights crime. Her first appearance was in All-New Invaders in back in 2014. While Radiance has become more of a Cypher-type reference, she’s a really interesting and realistic addition to comics.
Anyway! The ending song for The Reflection features four girls in school uniforms singing a very catchy tune, and these shadowed girls look very similar to the group of high schoolers we have seen in short scenes. Here in episode two we see the girls pull out notebooks in a collaboration effort, likely to create their own idol hero team. I really hope this is the case, too, because hero idols are the best kind of idols.
The action in New York was sparked by some sort of address either by the President of the United States, Governor, or Mayor of New York- that’s not really clear at this point. However, the villain team consisting of Frog-Man, Man-Bat, Kitana, “Russian Ninja,” and a mid-60’s Stan Lee-looking guy performed quite the diversion to draw out X-On. Before this point, I didn’t really think of X-On as such a threat, possibly because of I-Guy’s showmanship, but it seems like he is actually a big deal. While the villains are claiming this is an attack to remind the people what happened to the Reflected and how differently some of them are treated- it becomes very obvious after X-On is cornered that this plan is meant to kill him.
Later, after X-On easily defeats his foes with I-Guy’s, possibly unknowing, help he ends up follow the Kitty-Pryde girl home. X-On confesses that he knows the attack in Times Square was a trap, and in knowing it was a trap he had to attend to be sure no one was injured. However, X-On’s true motive for pursing KP is his concern for her stalker behavior. He mentions the name “Wraith” a few times as if attempting to draw him out if KP was working for him, but since she has no reaction X-On lets his guard down just a little. He asks that she stop stalking him, and instead requests she look into Wraith.
Based on clues around the crime scene here, I assume that Wraith is the Stan Lee-looking guy who has the ability to enter people’s minds. It’s possible that Wraith has more than just base telepathic ability, and can possibly control other’s actions to an extent- though that is grand speculation. Regardless, this Wraith fella seems pretty dangerous, and asking a kid to research and find Wraith is a terribly dangerous idea. I’m sure X-On doesn’t expect her to find anything and that this focus will keep her off his tail, but I’m assuming KP will be able to dig up enough to garner Wraith’s attention. This is really just a terribly irresponsible move by X-On.
One of the things that bothered me about the first episode was the purposeful choppy fighting animation in the sky with I-Guy. It’s a little smoother this go around when we are given new frames, but you still see some reused animation in this episode and remember that sour feeling in your stomach when the characters move just a little too poorly. I want to point out that this really only happened with I-Guy’s in-air scenes, and the rest of the fighting wasn’t so obviously choppy. There may have just been a little too much going on in his scenes to lend themselves to a simpler style.
Now that we have a good start in the show what with a full reveal on the reflection and some dirt for Kitty Pryde girl to research, I think there will be some forward movement in the plot this next episode.