ACCA’s third episode was slow paced, taking time to construct the uncertainties that plague the minds of the individuals in power. Much of the focus of the episode was in establishing this mystery through dialogue. There is a lot of talk about Jean’s involvement in the coup d’etat, but no one knows for certain what his role is (not even us). With Jean’s job as inspector of all divisions, his importance is abundantly clear to everyone; he has the ability to screw just about anyone over. As such, people approach Jean in one of two ways: He’s either a formidable ally or a loathesome enemy. Jean is the central figure in the series and all the characters know this. That’s why Grossular has demanded Nino to keep such a close tab on him. But what exactly is everyone’s motives and who is pulling the strings? Who will come out on top with everyone attempting to manipulate each other? Whose word can we take at face value? If anything is clear throughout the episode, it’s that absolutely no one is to be trusted. Heavy dialogue pervades the atmosphere of the scenes, making moments feel as though they drag on forever. For as witty as the characters seem, with just about everyone revealing they know more than they let on through feigned ignorance, the show risks boring us to death before we get to any real plot points.
That said, the series is doing a great job at establishing the mysteries entangling around Jean. Prior to this episode, there was very little that we knew about him and I mean, to be honest, not much has changed in this department, but at least we get to see a wider range of his emotions. The beginning of the episode hints that Jean might be fond of Mauve. While Jean prepares for dinner with Mauve, Nino teases him about meeting up with her and he surprisingly blushes, which is pleasant to see. So he’s not a complete robot who only loves cigarettes and objective truths. Nino’s observation about Jean proves that he’s quite adept to his surroundings. When Lotta, Jean’s sister, asks Nino if he followed up on asking why Jean hasn’t quit ACCA yet, he answers that he hasn’t asked him, but he doesn’t really need to since he already knows Jean won’t quit. What makes Nino so sure? He clearly knows more than he lets on.
During Jean’s dinner with director-general Mauve, there were several interesting points that happened. The first is that we see Jean letting his guard down around her. By now, the series has made the point clear to us that Jean is a light-weight when it comes to alcohol and that he tends to avoid the stuff, except for when he’s around Nino. Jean is a serious guy that likes to feel in control of the situation, so him drinking around someone shows just how comfortable he is with that person. He wasn’t just comfortable around Mauve, he got to the point of where he was drunk enough to be embarrassed and Mauve had to fetch him some water. The second interesting point is Mauve asks Jean to be her ally. She knows of the impending coup d’etat and claims that there is no stronger ally than Jean. She acknowledges he’s in a strong position to help her. With Grossular limiting her movements, she needs someone she can trust and Jean is the perfect candidate for her. The last interesting point in their conversation was Jean’s naivety concerning the peace around ACCA. He questions Mauve how can a coup occur in such a peaceful country. I can’t really tell if he was feigning his naivety or if he legitimately believes that. I have a hard time believing the latter.
Later on in the episode, we get differentiating opinions on everyone’s idea of what ACCA should be. Prince Schwan, the next in line for the throne, believes ACCA should be destroyed. With his coming-of-age ceremony on the horizon, the five chief officers of ACCA are beginning to worry. There’s a huge issue with him becoming King because he doesn’t like ACCA the slightest bit. We’re beginning to see that just about everyone has their own perception of the roles in ACCA, causing a clashing of ideals.
The prince believes that only his family should be the sole symbol of peace. Grossular wants ACCA to have absolute power. The other chief officers don’t see eye-to-eye, with some of them bickering over the control of Nino (Crow). Mauve thinks ACCA is the symbol of order that will guide the nation to peace. Their ideals are a clear point of tension that’s causing some deep underlying friction.
The mysterious tone of the narrative continues during the celebration for the coming-of-age ceremony, with influential figureheads in the shadows discussing the future of the country. With the uncertain future of the country, these figureheads were fixated on the one guy that they believed could give them all the answers: Jean Otus. His position as the center piece of the Inspection Department has everyone worried. Is he behind the coup? We can’t be too sure about who’s on whose side in this show. All eyes were on him and he felt rather uneasy about it. It’s no wonder the guy went to the balcony for a smoke. You could practically feel the tension in there air.
I echoed Jean’s sentiments at the end of the episode, sighing in relief just as he did after taking a drag of his cigarette. The dialogue was a lot to take in, simply because there’s so much build up shrouded in complete mystery. We have no idea what people’s motivations are. Will Nino screw over Jean? What exactly is his goal in ACCA? Is Jean really pulling the strings behind all this? What about Mauve and Grossular? How exactly do they play a part in the coup d’etat? All these questions are very interesting to think about, but they can make your head spin. All I can say is, thank goodness I’m watching this series weekly rather than binging through the entire thing. Marathoning ACCA would almost certainly be too overwhelming.
—Palpable @[email protected]