Episode Review: Trails of Cold Steel – Northern War ep 12

Oh so that’s…it?
All the cards are on the table, the climactic (or anti-climactic) ending of the show actually tied off the story, albeit in a not so great way. But still, it is a nice conclusion for all characters involved, especially Lavi and her team, even though how it got to that point may not be the best writing in the franchise. The series definitely relies on a lot of Easter Eggs from the main Trails franchise to score some points with the fans, but some of them hit while others are misses. Let’s take a look at this climax.

The long-awaited “clash” between Lavi and Rean came to a head…and an end quite fast. But Lavi able to drew blood from the Empire’s hero was quite a feat. Well to be fair, Lavi since the start has been shown to be extremely skilled, so it’s not too impossible. And also Rean wasn’t exactly serious in the engagement either. Still, his “mission” to the capital was kinda bs since suddenly the Empire wanted to play nice with North Ambria, and they sent probably the single most-hated and most-feared person from the Empire to “defuse” the situation. It’s kinda bs, but Lavi was cool with it, and whatever Lavi’s cool with, the entire country is after her grand speech.

Then Lavi immediately figured out the mastermind behind the whole plot, and where she will be. Both sides combine their effort and assist each other, no questions asked. And Martin came back too! And here I thought he was going to do something dramatic, but dude’s just waltz in with a pink Soldat and basically play Taxi for Lavi. Kinda underwhelming after our smart head of intelligence had some very dramatic words for him. It’s pretty obvious that they just want to get all the players in, no matter what they have to do.

Jayna finally showed herself to Lavi, and she’s a pretty disturbed person. Basically wanted to ruin an entire country and its people just to amuse herself. Too bad since her design and character from the first few episodes was very impressive and interesting, and her scheming has been intriguing and actually intimidating to follow. But then when we heard her true motive, her character just fell into the generic line of villain who just do things for the fun of it. It’s not a “bad” motive per se, but the way Jayna goes about it just make her feel overly evil for no reason. And then, the way she went down…was extremely underwhelming and dumb. She was shown to have all this big-brained plot, basically almost deadlocked our heroine and got away with it. But then she got back-stabbed by Talion and died almost off-screen.

And now Talion, hoo boy homeboy really had me fooled a few ep. Before, I suspected that he was just playing along to her scheme to assist Lavi and the country. And then she showed that mind-control stuff and we all thought that he was under her control. And then this episode flipped that around once again. Talion was conscious of everything he’s done and what Jayna did too. Which kinda ruin his initial character. And then he went through his redemption arc in a few minutes and suddenly became the good guy once again. Again, they just want to give the main cast “something” to do.

The final scheme of Jayna is also pretty dumb. It’s basically a gacha on how disaster will befall North Ambria, using the lives of 4 nameless and faceless Jaegers as the “key”. It’s really lackluster and only hold up because the series is grasping at a soap opera play. The whole “Rean and Valimar going berserk” is definitely an Easter Egg since it happened in the games. The fight scene was kinda okay but too short to even leave some kind of impact for the finale. It’s an autonomous mechanical bot army anyway.

A lot of stuff happened in the last episode, but most of them are easy way out for all the previously setup plot threads to tie up the loose ends nicely and quickly. The only established part was Lavi’s solving the curse trap Jayna left behind. Still, in the end, North Ambria fell under the Empire’s protection and all these struggles basically led to the same results if they surrendered at the start. All in all, this show isn’t the best way to start the franchise on the screen but it did left some good things for us. Still, with the production quality and the script, this show is not high on the recommended list.

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