This episode gives us another confusion that ends up in an unnecessary plot twist as The Marginal Service tries to investigate its own boss who acts suspiciously but comes to a realization that everything is done for the sake of Zeno’s birthday surprise only.
Tailing The Boss
We must admit that the premise of this episode kicks off pretty well with a lot of tension and suspicion related to the case of Rubber Suit that must be dropped by The Marginal Service according to the UN. Added to the weird behavior of Theodore that usually gives orders to the members, everything is built up with a strong promising trigger.
The theme of this episode is clearly visible to be tailing and espionage as the entire members decide to secretly follow Theodore out. This tailing mission gives a sense of importance to the Rubber Suit’s conflict arc while also letting other characters get spotlights as well. Although the execution of this idea is somewhat strange and anti-climatic, it’s still pretty enjoyable.
Confusion & Suspicion in The Air
Arguably the best moment in this episode is the interrogation scene by Zeno with the other team members who suddenly disappear and reappear suspiciously. Following the POV of Zeno who feels the impact of Rubber’s memory dust in the last episode, we can tell how untrusting and cautious he is, especially since he cannot believe in anyone but himself at that moment.
Every way possible is taken by Zeno to prove that his teammates are real humans and not affected by some kind of Borderlander’s powers or clones made by Theodore. The weight inside Zeno’s head and chest can be felt genuinely and it is extremely powerful, which may cause us the viewers truly wonder if Zeno is actually right or under paranoia only, and it is the most intriguing part of the episode.
Happy Birthday, Zeno!
As if the twist in episode 7 is disappointing and lackluster enough, this time the scriptwriters decide to serve another unnecessary surprise in episode 9 which can be said in the pre-climax of the story and should be focusing and building up the ultimate conflict of this series. Turns out, the entire suspicious action of Theodore and the other Marginal Service members is simply for surprising Zeno who has his birthday on the day of the mission.
All of the intrigue and pressure should be a good momentum to start the ending of the show instantly faded as a dumb cheerful twist like this is inserted to conclude the whole story. If it’s not because of Zeno’s nightmare that shows a weird green alien-like sign that somehow appears on the latest report taken by the team at the very end of the episode, episode 9 will totally be another massive let-down following the seventh.
The first third quarter of this episode is once again surprisingly interesting and intriguing. The mystery around Theodore’s truth, the sudden disappearances of the members, and the suspicion of Zeno carry this series to a new level which unfortunately is then slammed right away back to the ground with such an unimportant plot twist that breaks the ice.