Wednesday, 9 May 2012

Jormungand - Episode 5

The middle of the ocean looks set to provide some respite for Koko and her crew as we hit episode five of Jormungand (assuming, of course, that the Lagoon Company don't show up) - however, it proves to be anything but, particularly for Jonah as another aspect of his past catches up to him.

Initially however, it seems to be Koko herself who is the most concerned by the news she receives, becoming surprisingly flustered and ensuring that Jonah is hidden away as she finds herself visited by a rather special guest - her elder brother Caspar, who also happens to be an arms dealer.  While these two siblings shoot the breeze with talk of Chinese Triads and so on, Jonah is kept well away from Caspar - that is, until an ill-timed toilet break brings the two into contact with one another, and all Hell breaks loose.

It turns out that this isn't the first time Caspar and Jonah have met - a revelation that throws us well and truly into flashback territory and Jonah's time as a child solider.  Living alongside a group of orphans in the "care" of the local military, Jonah loses his cool when one of his number is taken away and used as a human "minesweeper" by a visiting arms dealer.  Swearing vengeance, Jonah tools up and almost literally decimates the place, killing everyone in his path before getting his sweet revenge on his intended target.  The trouble is, the man in question is an employee of Caspar's, and although his boss is largely unperturbed by losing one of his men he does seem intent upon teaching Jonah a lesson - or is it simply a test before handing off this child soldier into the care of his sister?

The one feeling that I couldn't really shake throughout this episode of Jormungand was just how contrived it was in setting us up for its flashback into Jonah's past, introducing Koko's brother and explaining the link between Jonah and the two siblings.  Beyond my irritation with this, I have to admit that there's a pretty solid episode to be found here - it's intensely disturbing it its depiction of children being used and abused in a war zone (as it should be), to the point where even Jonah's "Rambo moment" is unsettling to watch (again, as it should be) which makes for a powerful viewing experience at times and should be largely commended for the way it's handled here.  In a way this makes its fumbled "wrapping" feel even more frustrating, but as long as the candy inside is tasty enough I guess I can let it pass on this occasion.

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