It’s the return of Connor this week in a wistful but ultimately hopeful episode of “Letter Bee”. It was obvious that there would be a lot of sadness in the aptly named town of Lament, but the script managed to throw the audience a few curveballs.
It’s almost remarkable how much Connor evolved in a relatively short time. He was the first Bee to encounter Lag on his journey, and pretty much functioned all along as a comic relief character – a nice kid, always thinking of pizza and cookies. He and his hangdog dingo Gus were competent Bees, but never shows the talent for the job that Zazie and Jiggy and even Lag did.
That all changed, though, when the story traveled to Lament. Connor lost his heart to Sunny – and with this smile, who could blame him? All the tragedy he encountered there changed him and what seemed funny before was now just kind of sad. When Lag returns to Lament to ask Connor to return with him to the hive so Gus can sniff out the Cabernet, he finds a field full of graves – all the victims of the Cabernet, that Connor buried personally. But Sunny’s grave isn’t among them – she survived, though apparently as a sort of automaton.
Maybe it’s a metaphor for the series as a whole, but when Niche’s delighted reaction to her cookies brings a smile to her face, there’s a feeling that as long as a little hope remains, all is not lost. So Sunny has a little heart left and Connor agrees to Lag’s earlier suggestion that he bring her back to the hive to be examined by Dr. Thunderland. That ignores the larger question, though, of whether sniffing out and killing the Cabernet would even be a good thing. For all that their methods are cruel – and Lament is a ghostly reminder of just how cruel – is the planned use of the Cabernet to take down the Amberground sun such a bad thing? This is where this series is a complicated one – we’re well over 40 episodes in and we still don’t really know who root for.
Excellent episode – but we’re entering a dangerous time for this series. We’re down to six episodes left and the manga is ongoing, so it seems inevitable that we’re going to get an original ending – especially given that there’s no solid talk of a third season. Those anime-original moments have ranged from great to abysmal – mostly good or better this season – but an ending is another order of magnitude tougher. I’ll certainly hope for the best, but I’m trying to keep my expectations in check. For a series as emotional as this one it would be a shame not to get an emotionally satisfying ending.