Special thanks to Jeremy Williams for the submission!
After the highs of Episode Three, we are treated to a more characters-focused episode, though for us monster fans, we do get some more time with the giant Ice Mole at the very least.
The focus of this episode is mainly on Kentaro. We see his life one year ago (before G-Day) when he is getting ready to show off his art at a gallery. Which also happened to be the same night that he first met May (speaking of who in the present day is struggling with the dangers of hypothermia after falling into water while hiding from the giant Ice Mole). Back in the present, the team reaches a point where Kentaro decides to go on his own. Mainly due to him spotting something while they were still airborne in the previous episode. The others not wanting to risk it with May decide to head back to where they landed.
One little bit I have to call out is Kentaro having a “Luke on Hoth” moment when he sees a vision/hallucination of his Dad. Not very subtle, but as a Star Wars fan as well I can’t let it go unmentioned.
Honestly, I don’t hate Kentaro and it’s nice to get some more insight into him as a character. But it’s such a shame that we spend so much time with him in the past and present in this episode. As it takes up too much of the runtime this week. And to be honest it doesn’t add a whole lot that’s interesting. He does at least stumble onto his Dad’s trail and find out how he got out of Alaska. This just raises more and more questions as everyone including Monarch thought he was dead. Yet it’s clear that at the very least he survived his encounter with the Ice Mole and was able to leave Alaska. Yet no one was tipped off that he was still alive in any way? Just a little too sloppy for me writing-wise and sadly it does get worse as the series progresses.
What we lose by spending so much time focusing on Kentaro is that we don’t get any time with the characters in the past. This is a huge loss since they have a lot more interesting stuff going on in the show. Plus it’s an untapped part of the timeline that we so far haven’t gone too in-depth with. Not to mention I’m more interested in those characters collectively than the the trio of younger characters in the present. Thankfully Kurt Russell continues to be great in the series and keeps me invested. That said I do hope that out of all the characters introduced so far, Tim and Shaw make their way over into the movies.
So while it’s nowhere near the best episode of the series, it’s not the worst either. That being said it’s still not a good sign to see such a dip in quality so soon. Kentaro gets the bulk of the focus here and I don’t think it works all that well. As his backstory wasn’t all that interesting nor does it add much to the series. In the end, it’s a shame that after such a high point with episode three, things take a turn for the slightly boring and mediocre here.