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This was an episode which was very much focused on the intersection of the two halves of the series’ title.  The catalyst was the woman we met last week, Fiona Frost (Sakura Ayane).  Fiona-kun is Loid’s kouhai at the hospital, but for her that gig is likewise a cover –  she’s actually Nightfall when she lets her hair down.  S x F makes it abundantly clear what sort of person Fiona is from the start – ambitious, intimidating, brazen.  The latter so much so that she’s willing to openly defy Sylvia, her boss.

I frequently struggle with suspension of disbelief when Spy x Family goes hard on the espionage route, and Fiona is no exception.  Someone so obviously unable to control their emotions seems like an unlikely spy to me, and it’s hard to imagine a woman in Sylvia’s position letting someone like Fiona show them up like that.  I also find Fiona to be a bit of a cliche multi-pack rather than a fully-formed character.  That, and there’s something slightly distasteful about the way she and Yor behave around Loid, with the implied messaging about gender politics.

On the other hand, this is the first time in a long while that Endou has found some way to involve Yor in the main plot in a way that seems unforced and organic, so that’s progress.  Fiona being in love with Loid may in itself be kind of a cliche, but it does make Yor’s position meaningfully precarious.  Of course (and this is obviously the recurring theme) both of these women are something completely different than what the other believes they are.  Only Anya knows the truth of both of them, which makes her the obvious impetus to try and move things in her desired direction.

The headline here is what Nightfall sees when she looks at the situation closely – that perfect fake smile on perfect family man Loid’s face isn’t fake.  The best part of Nightfall’s depiction was the fact that she’s turned her observational skills on Loid to the point where she can see his true self  –  that feels authentic both to a professional spy and a woman in love.  Spies are people too, in the end, and even really good ones aren’t totally immune from emotional entanglements.  Now that it’s openly acknowledged that Loid has feelings for Yor (I think the converse was already obvious) it’s only a matter of time before that thread is pursued, though I’m expecting it to be a pretty slow burn.

We also had our usual comic relief B-part this week, though for some reason it was stuck after the ED.  Notable here was Matsuda Kenichirou actually getting the chance to say more than “Borf!” in his Bond persona.  Bond too has formed emotional attachments, to the point where he’s ready to murder Anya’s penguin in a fit of jealousy.  And as you’d expect, Loid is a lot better at sewing than Yor is.  He’s becoming pretty good at fathering, too – the emotional manipulation side of it especially (and that’s a big part of the job).


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