Is it just me, or is The Reflection dragging its feet on its way to the final showdown? I want to give the show more credit by saying it’s incorporating multiple drama building scenes, but the places I can say that for are simply wasted uses of establishing unneeded geography of the entire mansion as Eleanor BAMF’s around. At other times, the show seems to be forcing in characters because the cast has become far too differentiated to maintain a cohesive story (namely I-Guy).
Basically, it’s gotten rough, and if you were hoping for a wholly good episode- sorry. However, for all the missteps, we do have a fun reveal with Wraith that may help bring some interest back into the show.
Instead of taking the dinner invite by the Stan Lee man, Eleanor runs off through the mansion in search of Wraith. She bursts into oddly empty rooms with blanket covered furniture and BAMF’s down the plain hallways until she eventually finds the woman she met while in New Orleans who had the power to make green orbs. This woman can’t speak, but she is able to guide Eleanor below the mansion to a cave where an Undertale-like path leads to where Wraith awaits on a stone dais.
Meanwhile, our glorious troop of heroes follows Vy to the very same mansion that Eleanor’s movement through had established as large cavernous. Though, like the Tanis cabin, the mansion is smaller on the outside than on the inside- or so it seems. Vy barges in through a central window where we come face to face will all the established villains (except Wraith). After a brief altercation that ties up Michael, Vy, and Lisa, X-On exits and chases after what looks to be Eleanor.
X-On follows this after-image of Eleanor, never once shouting for her attention which means he may have known it wasn’t really her, until Steel Ruler catches up and corners him into a fight during which she asks him why he didn’t try to help Eleanor earlier when she reached out to him. It’s a very good question. Why doesn’t X-on feel any sense of urgency or care for Eleanor, let alone anyone, including his friend Jim? X-On seems to living the life of an emotionless Nihilist under the juxtaposition of possibly saving the world.
During this time, there’s a short couple of scenes crammed in featuring I-Guy straight-up killing the Man-Bat creature using a Collector Beam after Man-Bat confessed to killing I-Guy’s friends. While I completely understand his lack of empathy at this point, I do wonder if he will end up being trouble for the heroes since they are against the abject murder of anyone.
The most interesting part of this episode, and the focus, is Eleanor’s long anticipated encounter with Wraith. There’s a bit to unpack during the conversation, and we unfortunately have a small clip show that reminds us of what’s happened so far, but it’s all worth the final few minutes when X-On walks in.
Wraith’s tall, first of all. The dais adds about a foot to their height which is just enough for them to tower at least five to six feet above Eleanor. Wraith begins to explain to Eleanor that she was always looking for them, ever since the beginning (of the show). While Eleanor attempts to place the blame on Wraith, calling them evil and the like, Wraith turns this around and states that X-On is the only one who ever said they were bad. It’s a good point, and for all we know- X-On may be the true villain considering his actions to this point. He’s made no effort to help Eleanor, though she has done so much, and has only used her for personal gain.
Next, Wraith talks about the missing people from New Orleans. They weren’t anywhere to be found in the mansion, but the group of reflected are in the cave-basement with Wraith once they are mentioned. It seems that the people are some sort of projection, though Wraith states they took them for their own sakes. I’m not sure where exactly the people are, but I believe that Wraith absorbed them just as they later absorb Eleanor.
However, before we get to the absorption of Eleanor, we are given a few hints about Wraith’s connection with Eleanor. Apparently, at least according to our big bad, Eleanor has a connection to Wraith that has been leading her this whole time. It’s not her sleuthing that was on point, it was her honing skills which supports why they were always just a few seconds behind Wraith’s team.
Delving deeper, Wraith understands that everyone abandons Eleanor- her parents and X-On included. Something that stands out is Wraith’s mention of Eleanor’s twin brother who died, and after this death it was Eleanor’s parents who began to stray away from her. In the scene, Eleanor is about ten, the same age as X-On and the group of kids who died in that laboratory accident we learned about. If this brother of Eleanor’s, named Ethan, is Wraith, it would not only make sense that they would have a connected, but it would also stand to reason why X-On knows Wraith. Furthermore, if you remember back to last episode, X-On tells Michael that Eleanor is the problem, not Wraith which means X-On knows more about both these kids than he’s let on.
What would be the most interesting is if the Reflection brought Ethan back to life in some way because of Eleanor’s sadness. Maybe Wraith is simply a projection by Eleanor, who is the most powerful Reflected, hindered by her own self-depreciation. Regardless, when X-On finally arrives on the scene, Wraith (now in the guise of Eleanor) tells X-On she is dead and thanks X-On for his assistance.
For all the complaining I’ve had the past few episodes about pacing, this particular one wasn’t as bad. The payoff at the end of the show doesn’t make up for all the missteps, but it does help soften your heart. I’m happy something cool is finally happening with Eleanor. She deserves more than just following X-On around like a puppy.