Thoughts & Feelings Column: The Reflection – Episode Four

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With episode four comes great lengths to give The Reflection more in common with X-Men than any other comic it seems to be drawing from or homage-ing to. It’s terribly easy to call and predict, but that doesn’t make the journey there any less fun. Plus, Lisa is offering a much needed jovial attitude to counteract X-On’s continuing dismissiveness and lack of visual empathy.

As it turns out, Lisa’s powers use a tremendous amount of energy which causes her to fall asleep while flying away from the metal factory she defeated foes in last episode. Eleanor and X-On has decided to take her with them to New Orleans, where the trail of the missing Allen family girls continues.

Lisa is actually pretty excited to begin helping our dynamic duo, though I do think she’s jumping into a situation she likely shouldn’t. Wraith and his crew did attack and attempt to capture Lisa, but is taking Lisa with you on an adventure to track down the same villain who kidnapped Lisa with Lisa the best idea?

3Of course, who knows if leaving her with her inept (sorry, but it’s true) father is a good course of action. I’m going to acknowledge that Lisa staying and going are both terrible ideas, and that now that she is an ousted Reflected, her life will be far more difficult than it was before because this Wraith fella went through a lot of trouble just to awaken her powers which I still find terribly suspicious.

Unfortunately, this episode doesn’t offer anything more concrete than blind conjecture in regards to the missing Allan family girls. While the leads match up within the missing string of women, the “How” of why we got here is still fuzzy at best. Regardless, Eleanor has branched together that Wraith is seeking members of the Allan family who were affected by the Reflection using a set of national databases (including hospital records) that have categorized instances of hospitalization due to the Reflection or Reflected powers. Apparently, this Allen family has an affinity for powers which Wraith is using as a way to enlarge the Reflected population.

aNext in line, skipping the Kansas Allen’s since X-On believes they were already caught by Wraith (based on no evidence at all expect that Kansas is sort of close to Ohio), is the New Orleans Allen, Michelle. However, before we pop down to NOLA, Eleanor consults a VERY inaccurate map of the United States. It’s actually so wrong, that I legitimately wonder if the artist even look at city placement. There’s being slightly off and there’s putting St. Louis in the middle of Illinois while seamlessly eliminating Indiana from the world. Look, I know that things like this happen, and this is seriously hilarious padded on top of the disassociation with Ohio’s distance from New York. I’m now over here curious what our animators may have missed when portraying maps of other countries we aren’t familiar with, and just how much their locals laughed at our mistakes.

New Orleans actually ends up being a very interestingly racist place where the Reflected are scrutinized, jailed, and often killed just for being who they are. In this town, Eleanor learns that there is a pair of Reflected individuals, Merchant & Trader, who collect Reflected. The locals believe these guys are killing the people they catch and helping rid NOLA of the Reflection plague- which is just plain rude. However, Eleanor learns first hand that Merchant & Trader are saviors of the Reflected as they kidnap her before a cop takes his shot. Elea is spirited away into the Louisiana wetlands where a Xavier Institute-like mansion exists that houses the Reflected Merchant & Trader “scrapped.”

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Before we move on to I-Guy’s side of the record, I feel like a need to address the lack of life in the show. The crew is visiting very large cities of people only to find they are the only ones on the road, and usually one of four other people on the street. The entire would seems very dead. Is this a liberty the creator teams has taken as a stylistic approach to the show, or did the Reflection phenomena kill that many people three years ago?

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Everyone’s favorite grey area hero, Ian aka I-Guy is back and all he wants is to have fun. He’s learned that being a hero isn’t a glamorous job filled with excitement and recognition. I-Guy’s own presence has become a deterrent of sorts for any crime in the area, but the lack of said crime has made Ian jealous of himself. It’s very sad that he feels this way, but I think it speaks to his own fears of inadequacy for his one- hit-wonder-self. Based on his actions during this aside, I wonder if he is going to either turncoat or make a few mistakes that endanger lives.

Most importantly, there is an update on our adorable idol girls: “Four girls who look like magical girls from anime appear in Japan.” The guilty idol-lover part of me is dying to see these kids in action and if they will fit into Wraith’s overall plans at all.

There’s a quite a bit of story set up in this episode, and I think that it’s far better in execution compared to last time. With the introduction of Ian’s own selfish needs, Lisa’s pure wonderment, and Merchant & Trader’s Xavier Institute, I do believe we have quite the encounter readied up for next time.

Read about episode five!

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