Well THIS has been a long time coming. Today we’re reviewing Part 2 of the Miraculous Season 4 finale; aka “Strike Back”, aka more of the Felix arc. Sorry for the delay guys, I was just living in fear!
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Previous episode reviews:
“Felix” | “Gabriel Agreste” | “Risk”
Like previous reviews this is gonna get pretty long, so I’ll throw the rest under a cut and let’s get started once again! ∠( ᐛ 」∠)＿
So here we are again. Literally everything delayed me from getting to this episode: catching Covid, Internet issues, IRL obligations, a general sense of doom. The universe was trying VERY hard to stop me so I think whatever I experience past this point is my own fault. I’ve signed the waiver.
Here’s where we’re at right now:
Everyone (except Felix?) is affected by the akuma “Risk”, whose power causes people within earshot to make impulsive decisions.
Felix is likely after the family rings again, and has taken over Adrien’s horrible modeling trip to stalk/rob Nathalie. I have yet to see how this affects Adrien negatively but I’m sure life will, uh, find a way.
No idea if Uncle Gabe is aware of this. He did set a trap for Felix in the office safe but that was a while ago; and he’s currently trashing Paris with a sentimonster believing Adrien is safe with Nathalie (he’s not lol) so I’m leaning towards him being genuinely ignorant.
There’s a VERY high possibility Ladybug is about to give a Miraculous to the wrong cousin.
So I’m very nervous. Lessgo.
- No recap! I don’t think the last double feature had them either; I remember leaving a while between “Truth” and “Lies” at the beginning of the season and being very confused over stuff I forgot. Guess you either sink or swim when Miraculous decides to do some serious storytelling.
- So we start where we abruptly left off: with Adrien entering the Forbidden Office in search of his dad, finding Felix’s Phantom Thief monocle (what IS that thing...) and getting distracted by today’s sentimonster stomping through the city. He dashes up to his room, transforming into Chat Noir as he goes and leaping gracefully out the window without pause! Or paws. Haha. I’m in danger.
- Next we rehash the scene of Marinette talking with Tikki on the station roof, and getting the bright idea to go rescue “Adrien” (who is Felix in disguise) as Pegabug. She retrieves the horse glasses from her yoyo pocket dimension and is about to unify the two Miraculous when her attention is also caught by Strike Back.
SHE JUST STARES, THEN TAKES THE GLASSES OFF AND PUTS THEM AWAY AGAIN. The timing was very funny. Brawl now, true love later! >:0
- Cut to the interior of the Startrain, and now THIS I’m interested in. Nathalie is seated next to “Adrien”, who is actually Felix, and he’s glaring out the window either in boredom or cooking up a cunning plan. Definitely waiting for Nathalie to let her guard down so he can rob her. First old men and now disabled women; where will it end, Felix??
- Nathalie gently puts her hand over “Adrien’s” in a way I’m sure she thinks is reassuring, showing off the family ring in full view.
Isn’t actually touching this poor attention-starved kid way above her paygrade? She wouldn’t even give him a hug in “Felix” when she walked in on him crying in his room. Maybe her appreciation for Adrien has grown considering he brought her snacks while she was bedridden. Gabriel just came in and ate them while venting to her, but still.
Also, if this was Adrien, Nathalie flashing this ring so much (between the previous scene in the study and now) would be super rude, right? I know Adrien supports whatever his father has with her and it’s Gabriel who kicks off every time it’s brought up; but showing off his mom’s wedding ring like this with no explanation is another level.
And ALSO, again, where is this particular ring meant to have come from? The cover story in “Gabriel Agreste” is that Ol’ Gabe graciously bestowed his own ring unto his dear nephew (after Felix robbed, tricked and nearly outed him as Shadow Moth), and the other is still officially ‘missing’ because it disappeared with Emilie, who is definitely not in a fridge in the basement. Are they both banking on Adrien not recognising it, and it’s just terrible luck that this is Felix?
- ANYWAY. Felix reacts like he’s been burned, and I’m sure it’s because the ring he’s desperate for is right there on Nathalie’s hand, but I’m in tears thinking he’s just fucking OUTRAGED at being touched without permission. Like the first episode where he went to shake Adrien’s hand and got full-on hugged instead. He came here to rob people and he is feeling SO violated right now?? >:/
- Nathalie encourages “Adrien” to “try to make the most out of this trip”, and highlights how he’ll get to see the world and then come back to his friends with lots to share.
Not that I believe this is going ahead, but I hope that means she’s at least planning to give him a decent amount of freedom; like in the Shanghai Special where Gabriel actually let Adrien go out and explore the city (with a bodyguard). Maybe she really does care! Just a little bit. :’)
- Felix says something ominous about “seizing the opportunity when it presents itself”, so I guess he’s recovered from being so RUDELY manhandled - literally the worst thing that’s happened to him today! Move over, Aunt Emilie’s frozen corpse! - and is back to plotting atrocities.
- Lila interrupts to claim she and Adrien will become “the best friends in the world” on this trip! Now, Felix has been mostly separate from Adrien’s social circle with the exception of Kagami and Chloe (and that time the Girl Squad tried to kill him), so he doesn’t know Lila’s reputation as a liar or how much grief she’s put his cousin through; but maybe it takes a sneaky manipulator to know one?
- “Adrien” tells Lila he “hopes so with all his heart”. This should be her first clue that something isn’t right. He was ready to tear her to SHREDS during the photoshoot this morning and now he’s Prince Charming! Would the real Adrien be extra polite in front of Nathalie? :/
Also, if this is grounds for suspicion, does Lila know Adrien has a strikingly identical cousin? She hasn’t been around for this arc but she may have heard about him from their classmates. I wonder if Felix is common knowledge to people who haven’t been directly involved with his nonsense, or if he’s some kind of horrible unlockable item once you reach a certain friendship level with Adrien.
- At any rate, “Adrien” excuses himself to the bathroom with his duffel bag. Lila pokes her head over the seats with wide eyes to watch him leave; does she know something’s up? Gotta take those every-15-minutes model showers, I’m sure the Startrain has the facilities for it.
- In the train bathroom, Felix takes the fake Peacock Miraculous out of his bag and affixes it to his chest. What is it about the Agreste family and wielding dark magic in train bathrooms? The twins HAVE to be sentimonsters because I refuse to believe Felix isn’t related to Gabriel in any way, it’s ridiculous.
He also retrieves Nathalie’s tablet and deletes her Candy Crush flicks through scans of the Miraculous book to find details on the Peacock and how to activate it. I’m so upset Shadow Moth’s presence confirms this brooch is a fake; this would be so cool! :(
- Felix is perplexed when no kwami appears from the brooch. He tries the magic words - “Duusu, spread my feathers!” - and nothing happens. He crushes the brooch in the palm of his hand and it shatters easily, proving it’s just cheap costume jewelry his uncle planted as a decoy.
- FELIX REALISES HE’S BEEN TRICKED. Score one for Uncle Gabe! Turnabout is fair play after all, and it’s taken him over three episodes to get back at his nephew in any way. During their last conflict Gabriel may have been a fool dressed as a peacock in his secretary’s bedroom, but he’s not a fool dressed as Adrien Agreste in a train bathroom with no Miraculous. That’s Felix.
- Back to Paris and Strike Back is stomping around. He looks like one of those Laputa golems (which I’m sure is intentional). Ladybug and Chat meet up and fall into sync right away, agreeing to wrap this up quick because they’ve both got other pressing business. This pressing business is Felix, lol.
- Shadow Moth leers from the top of the Eiffel Tower. Risk (who I completely forgot about, lmao) cycles through the sentimonster’s path of destruction and influences nearby Parisians to stick around in the danger zone so they can catch sight of the superheroes/get videos for social media. I’m surprised this isn’t a problem they have to deal with more often since the heroes are very popular; this is exactly what Alya was doing in Season 1 and it’s apparently been less than a year since then!
- Ladybug has to actively “shoo!” the civilians away, which is very funny. She also drags Risk out of danger, not realising he’s an akuma; then Risk pushes straight onwards again and nearly gets hit by a car. WHY IS EVERY SINGLE TODDLER IN MIRACULOUS SO TERRIBLE.
- Chat’s Risk mark lights up and he nearly Cataclysms the sentimonster, which as we know is a HUGE no-no because it makes them go haywire. Ladybug trips it with her yoyo wire instead, and Strike Back makes a massive dent in the city with millions in property damage. Chat gets annoyed and says that was literally no better than what he was gonna do! Which isn’t actually correct but I’ll give him this one; he deserves a little snark today. As a treat.
- The heroes go on to argue, appropriately, about how Ladybug never wants to take any risks. I like this exchange; both kids are very animated and I love Chat’s flow of sassy/disgruntled expressions in particular.
Chat asks if Ladybug would ‘risk’ knowing who he was behind the mask, and Ladybug gets angry because she does NOT want to have this discussion right now! It’s REALLY dumb at this point. EITHER LET THEM SHARE IDENTITIES OR STOP ENGINEERING MORE REASONS WHY IT WOULD BE FINE TO DO SO, MY GOODNESS.
- This impromptu debate distracts them from Strike Back, who nearly flattens them. Chat grabs Ladybug despite them being super mad at each other right now (which is sweet); and the pair crashland in the streets and roll several feet while STILL arguing. This reminds me a whole lot of Stormy Weather and I wonder if that’s on purpose. Look how far we’ve come.
Geez, remember when this show wasn’t exactly what we’d expected but it also wasn’t a mess? Those golden days of staying up late and watching low-res Korean TV streams waiting for a new episode with no subtitles, instead of putting new content off for weeks because it’s too exhausting to see what they’ll do next. Edorazzi remembers. :’)
- Chat asks “Why do you know the identities of the other Miraculous holders? Why not me?” And Ladybug yet again tells him she’s protecting his identity in case Shadow Moth akumatizes her. Clearly the scriptwriters know what they meant, but I took that as Chat questioning why Ladybug shut him out of knowing ANY of the other superheroes so he couldn’t even help with stuff like Miraculous distribution. Wasn’t that where this started? Why are we back here??
- Chat says either he, she or both of them (I can’t figure out exactly what he says :/) will NEVER get akumatized. Ladybug has a flashback to Chat Blanc.
ARE WE REALLY BRINGING THIS UP. Like I’m sorry, but if we’re dragging that mess of an episode back into relevancy then Bunnyx should show up to slap Ladybug on the wrist whenever she’s about to do something which dooms the universe (because Marinette is somehow capable of breaking her own timeline without any outside influence); therefore if Bunnyx isn’t here right now then it’s fine and she has no reason to be defensive. Which is ridiculous but that’s the canon logic we’re living with. Welcome to the clown tent.
- “You don’t know what you’re talking about!” / “Maybe because you never talk to me about ANYTHING!” HE’S RIGHT, YOU KNOW. Ladybug doesn’t have to full-on share identities if she isn’t comfortable, but this season has a pattern of Chat getting left out of things and then being blamed for not knowing what’s up. Everything from Sentibubbler to the Scarabella mess and now this! JUST COMMUNICATE, HOLY SHIT. WHERE IS FELIX.
- IT’S ESCALATING. Through her earpiece Rena Furtive prompts Ladybug to dodge an attack. Ladybug’s Risk mark lights up and she thanks Rena loudly for Chat to hear. For a second she ACTUALLY tries to pretend she doesn’t know what Chat’s talking about, but ultimately confesses that Rena (who supposedly gave up her Miraculous way back in Sentibubbler) is on watch except she can’t tell him where.
I guess this is a sign she does want to share this stuff with Chat and just doesn’t have the courage; but it comes across as a slap in the face and more like she forgot he was there. Chat is getting FURIOUS and I’m not happy either, the disrespect!!! >:0
- Ladybug spots Risk heading back into the danger zone once again and swings off to save him. Chat spots Mayor Bourgeois breaking out his film camera to record the sentimonster and does the same (and it’s nice to see more followup on André’s passions!). The kids realise they can’t fight the sentimonster if they’re constantly saving civilians, so Ladybug goes for “reinforcements”. Which Chat isn’t allowed to know about, of course.
- Is she going for Felix, believing he’s Adrien and that this will be the perfect excuse to keep him in Paris. MAYBE.
- Ladybug dishes out a bunch of Miraculous to the usual suspects (Nino, Kagami, Juleka, Zoe and Mylene), including Marc and Ivan this time! That’s nice. Where is Luka though? I get the feeling the writers banned him from the rest of the season because all the drama comes from Chat and Ladybug arguing/ miscommunicating, and we’ve seen from Wishmaker that Luka knows exactly how to deal with that nonsense. Can’t change his nature so just lock him in the houseboat until Season 5. :/
- Apparently Roi Singe is here too. Why wasn’t he in the lineup? The heroes launch several attacks on Strike Back and nothing works, the sentimonster just duplicates and copies their powers into its clones. Is this an allegory for Ol’ Gabe FINALLY figuring out how to dupe Felix, by absorbing his trickery and turning it back on him? :V
- Strike Back rips up the Ferris wheel to throw at them, and Ryuko unknowingly deflects it towards the top of the TV studio where Rena is hiding. Carapace SCREAMS her name and throws Shellter over the building so she won’t get hit.
- EVERYONE INCLUDING SHADOW MOTH IS NOW AWARE RENA IS STILL AN ACTIVE MIRACULOUS HOLDER. Which could have been avoided if Nino just didn’t YELL OUT HER WHOLEASS NAME, right? It’s reasonable to protect one of the tallest buildings in Paris; might not have been the wisest use of his power but nobody would question it! It’s not even implied he shouted because of Risk, this particular dumbassery is all his own.
How on Earth did Nino know, though? Did Alya bring him back into the loop? I seriously don’t remember that happening, but hell if I can recall half of what goes on in this show any more. Not to be Old Woman Yells At Cloud but I used to have such a good grip on what was happening in Miraculous and now I’m barely clinging on. :’V
Also, for once Carapace is the one everybody’s going >:0 at, which is a nice change from him picking on Chat Noir so much this season. Ah ha ha.
- OKAY. Alya confesses she told Nino about Rena Furtive because she just “couldn’t keep it from him”, so this is something that happened behind the scenes. LADYBUG SOUNDS SUPER MAD AT HER. This is so funny. I don’t hate any of these characters but they’ve been deeply frustrating for the latter half of the season and watching this all turn around is cathartic. :D
- Rena FINALLY notices everyone’s frog-shaped marks. There’s also a moment where Ladybug is about to wring Risk’s neck but Chat intervenes because he’s “good with kids” and Risk clings to him immediately. It’s pretty cute.
- CHAT GETS THROWN FROM OFFSCREEN INTO A BUILDING. GUESS BABYSITTING DIDN’T GO WELL. The heroes finally realise Risk is an akuma, and Shadow Moth is pleased because now Ladybug will second-guess everything she does. It’s a neat little two-layered plan; first she’s blissfully reckless and then she’s paranoid!
Ladybug immediately orders Chat to go detransform because she won’t trust him with his Cataclysm, which I’m sure will do wonders for this argument they’re already having. :/
- Chat is left on the rooftop as everyone else leaves, and the fragile little way he mumbles “But I can help...” has me in TEARS.
His Risk mark flares up a moment later and he leaps off towards one of the Strike Back clones, presumably to do something reckless that Ladybug will get mad about.
- Meanwhile, the girls try to de-akumatize Risk but can’t find his akumatized object because he hid it. Which is REALLY sneaky and honestly something Shadow Moth should instruct every akumatized person to do. Forget all these “megakumas” or whatever else Ol’ Gabe’s working on, just hide the key items and they’ll be borderline unstoppable!
- Chat gets pinned by a vehicle and tries to Cataclysm it to get free, only to have his attack stolen by Strike Back. That’s disappointing; I really expected him to prove Ladybug’s fears wrong by being sensible regardless of risk-taking but I guess we’re not doing that today. :/
- Ladybug gets mad and Lucky Charms up a day-old zoo ticket. Not sure what her plan is, but she decides she needs someone who hasn’t been hit by Risk - and of course her mind goes to Adrien-who-is-actually-Felix who she vividly recalls having no mark on his neck as she watched him board the train. UH OH. I KNEW THIS WAS GOING TO HAPPEN, I JUST DIDN’T KNOW HOW.
- Ladybug goes on a confusing tangent about whether or not her ideas are too risky, just as Shadow Moth anticipated.
She plucks the Horse and the Rabbit Miraculous out of her yoyo dimension - never mind how she has the stopwatch after Season 1 established it belonged to Alix as a family heirloom. I don’t know WHAT is going on with the Bunnyx subplot any more, IT’S ALL STUPID - and merges them with the Ladybug Miraculous to come out looking like a video game avatar when you equip all your high stat items at once; then jumps through a portal to (I presume) give Felix his fifth heart attack of the day.
- Pegabunnybug and “Adrien” come out of adjacent bathrooms at the same time and spook each other. It’s like when the business convention has to share a venue with the sci-fi anime con!
Felix instantly goes into recovery mode, as is his #1 talent, and (after subtly throwing his bag of stolen goods into the bathroom stall and closing the door) puts on his best wide-eyed Adrien impression.
- Instantly getting into his personal space, Ladybug checks “Adrien’s” neck and confirms he’s unmarked by Risk. If Felix is trying to save his cousin from being a doormat this is a sign to redouble his efforts; he dresses up as Adrien for 20 minutes and everyone keeps touching him! >:0
- She produces a Miraculous from her yoyo (lord help me I can’t recognise any of them any more :/) and Felix is very interested in this little pocket dimension. Now I was already assuming he’d steal whichever item this is but IS HE PLANNING TO SWIPE THE WHOLE DAMN YOYO? SWEETIE. IF THIS IS WHERE IT’S GOING NO WONDER PEOPLE ARE MAD AT HIM.
- Oh, the Dog Miraculous! SO IT’S GONNA BE LIKE THAT WHEN FELIX IS TRADITIONALLY A CAT HOLDER, IS IT.
Not that I’m NOT Pro-Felix, and I guess they’ve recast the snake, the bee and technically the mouse when their holders didn’t suit, but this feels kinda mean to Sabrina when she’s done nothing to deserve losing it. I already know giving the power of item retrieval to a thief is a terrible idea, but I wonder who’s most at risk here; Nathalie, Gabriel or Ladybug?
- I wonder about “Adrien” doubting himself for a second here. Is that part of Felix’s impression of his pathetic cousin or a genuine reaction? I don’t see the point in hesitating if Ladybug is freely offering what he wants but maybe he’s just covering his ass; can’t look too eager.
I’ve talked about this before but this is what I mean with Felix, you know? When it comes to scenes like this nearly every Miraculous character can be sorted into two categories: “genuine” or “ingenuine but it’s very obvious”; but despite Felix’s theatrical villainy he has no clear goal or motivation like everyone else. I know this is a kiddie show for babies but I think the shift in parameters is why I’m consistently baffled and changing my interpretation of what’s happening.
That said, I’m sure he’s being fake as hell right now; just something to bring up. Let’s continue.
- HIS REACTION IS SO CUTE WHEN BARKK APPEARS. This is what Felix was expecting when he put on the fake Peacock Miraculous and he’s clearly amazed to see it for real!
Now I think about it, wasn’t Barkk a little set apart from the other kwami in a couple of previous episodes; being a bit more vigilant and purpose-driven? Maybe she(?) and Felix will get along? :0
- OH MY GOD, THE TRANSFORMATION!!! THEY GAVE FELIX HIS THIGH HIGHS. GOD FUCKING BLESS.
It’s a little disappointing he’s pretending to be Adrien right now, so we still don’t know what a costume tailored to Felix himself would look like (less gaudy than this, I imagine), but this is a lot more flattering than whatever Sabrina had going on and has several beats of Felix’s classic Chat Noir suit. The boots! The ball “bell”! The sharp shoulders, sleek arms and big ears!!! （ｉДｉ）
Throwing in a comparison. Those boots are spot on, pun fully intended.
Yet again I should switch this episode off here, I really should. Every single Felix Episode has a point where it can only go downhill and this is where I should stop; where he has yet to do anything horrific and also got a cute transformation. Alas, I press play. :(
- Yep, he immediately touches Ladybug’s yoyo under the pretence of learning how his powers work. Fortunately it’s ineffective since he needs to use the ball and not his bare hand, but he’s gunning for it. FELIX NOOOO.
- Ladybug’s plan is to go back into the past, I guess to find where Risk hid his akumatized object. That must be what the zoo ticket is for, I just figured it out. This is what happens when I don’t get a recap in a two-parter.
She takes “Adrien” into Bunnyx’s rabbit hole dimension, and I can SEE him having an absolute meltdown trying to process all this but he’s holding it together like a champ.
I should start keeping a scoreboard of Felix’s heart attacks because this makes at least six in one day. Dropping into the Butterfly Lair, discovering Emilie’s corpse, Gabriel nearly catching him in the study, Nathalie touching his hand (>:0!!!), Pegabunnybug ambushing him on the train and now the rabbit hole dimension scrambling his brain. Good thing he’s probably a sentimonster because this would kill a normal person.
- They get spat out into the zoo scene from the previous episode, where Risk has just been akumatized. “Adrien” is here to simply throw the ball and hit the akumatized object; I guess so they can locate it in the future and not disrupt the timeline by grabbing it now.
I’d question why Ladybug couldn’t just quadruple up on Miraculous and do this herself, but they have thrown in the crippling doubt over her own actions (and I’m sure the excuse to get Adrien in on things is appealing to her) so fair enough. Turns out I was right about Felix being the key because he’s a sociopathic little bastard who can operate normally under these circumstances. :V
- Wow, Felix actually does as instructed! I thought he would tag Ladybug’s yoyo and run, but he just dutifully hits the frog toy and they both jump back into the portal. I assume he can’t pick more than one target without refueling his kwami, right?
- They return to the present and PARIS IS IN FLAMES, SOMEHOW.
Is this shot a reference to the PV with Felix and Bri on the rooftop under the burning sky? It’s much less cinematic and Felix is dressed like a dog, but it definitely feels like a homage considering the characters we’re dealing with. That’s fun.
- The Miraculous Holders are dying, and Chat Noir is either the last one standing OR he’s gone off the rails and caused this whole mess.
Ladybug instructs “Adrien” (who is still unnamed as a hero, I think?) to use his power and they locate the akumatized object with ease. This solves the Risk problem but now they have to deal with the duplicating sentimonster!
- Chat eavesdrops on Ladybug absolutely WORSHIPING the new guy. My first reaction was “wow she really is obsessed with Adrien”, but this is also after Adrien failed spectaclarly as Aspik (and Viperion became the new Snake Miraculous Holder), which I don’t think gets brought up often enough and puts a new angle on Ladybug congratulating him for doing everything right on his “first try”. :’0
- LADYBUG BLURTS OUT ADRIEN’S NAME. GIRL WHAT THE HECK, THE RISK MARKS ARE GONE. IS SHE JUST DUMB.
- Felix picks some absolutely horrific name for himself that I don’t know how to spell (but have since discovered it’s “Flairmidable”). I guess it doesn’t matter since he’ll probably never be a Miraculous Holder again. Maybe he eschewed some more on-the-nose dog puns like “Retriever” or “Courage” or Scrappy, lmao just to make Adrien look ridiculous? I can dream.
Either way this should be a massive clue he ISN’T Adrien, who settled on the very creative “Black Cat” and had to stay up all night with Plagg’s help to come up with “Catwalker”, but nobody’s close enough to him to connect those dots. Adrien’s arguably better at costume design though; the cousins should pool their talents sometime.
- Chat seems to have missed Ladybug’s slip of the tongue, so he’s just very upset to see her bonding so hard with this new guy. It’s like a glimpse into an alternate universe where Adrien and Chat really ARE different people. Don’t worry honey, Flairmidable isn’t interested in girls like that; he just wants to rob her! >:V
- Ladybug returns Froggy’s plush toy to him, protective charm attached. Also, Rena Furtive is now out in the open with everyone? I know her existence got re-confirmed but unless Ladybug’s about to take her Miraculous away this seems like a horrible idea. Shadow Moth knows who she is! At least preserve the illusion of being a different person!!!
- Everyone goes to recharge, which I’m sure will give Felix another shot at stealing that yoyo. Chat is left alone and despondent. :(
- Shadow Moth is disappointed by Risk’s defeat, but is certain Ladybug must have made a mistake and “can’t wait to see what it is”. THAT WOULD BE FELIX, A TERRIBLE HORRIBLE MISTAKE UNCLE GABE IS PERSONALLY FAMILIAR WITH. :)
- Revisiting the sewers, Ladybug and Flairmidable detransform either side of the split tunnels like Marinette and Adrien have done before.
Mari resolves to return “Adrien” to the Startrain and feels wrong for interfering (as if the real Adrien didn’t have a whole outburst just this morning about how much he hated this?), but “Adrien” claims he wants to stay here and fight by her side instead, leering at Barkk in a comically menacing way. GUESS THE NONSENSE IS STARTING. I UNCLIPPED MY SEATBELT FOR A SECOND THERE BUT TIME TO STRAP BACK IN. :/
- “You’ve given me the courage I needed, Ladybug. I feel like from now on, NOTHING can stop me.” OKAY EDGELORD, TONE IT DOWN.
I really want to know what Felix’s goals are here. He hasn’t shown interest in destroying the superheroes like Shadow Moth or obtaining power/control like Lila and Chloe - it’s mainly been about getting the family rings plus a side order of ruining Gabriel’s day (and Adrien’s if he gets caught in the crossfire, sorry buddy) and his interest in the Miraculous seems like a relatively new thing. He was also horrified by finding Emilie which tells me he’s not completely sociopathic. Clearly he’s about to do something horrible but I have trouble believing he’s just a villain with no good motive, you know?
- Back topside, the remaining Miraculous Holders (plus Rena, sans Chat) are on the exact same rooftop they nearly died on earlier. Very smart. Ladybug shows up with Flairmidable and officially introduces him as “the new holder of the Dog Miraculous!” SO I GUESS IT’S OVER FOR SABRINA. OOF.
Chat Noir pops up over the railing right as she says this (while gazing at Flairmidable with adoration) which is VERY funny. Like oh no you DON’T. >:0
- Ladybug smooshes the pair of them together, clearly happy to have her two favourite guys side by side (Viperion wasn’t even invited today, second oof) and delighted with the cat/dog dynamic. Once again she’s ignoring Chat’s very obvious discomfort as if this setup is perfect! She laughs hysterically as the other Miraculous Holders look on with concern.
- Chat absolutely HATES this guy. Flairmidable gives a polite little “Nice working with you, Chat Noir :)” but it’s tinged with the same venom as Felix’s intro scene where he called Adrien his “favourite cousin”. I’m convinced this kid just can’t say ANYTHING nice without sounding evil, exactly like his uncle. :’)
- I’m wondering if this will be the consequence of all the times Chat had to put up with Rena. He didn’t trust her at ALL but had to just shut up and do what he was told as the girls worked everything out behind his back. Now Flairmidable is giving off positively evil vibes, but is Chat going to push it or assume Ladybug knows what she’s doing and he doesn’t have the right to say anything?
- Ladybug tells the boys to “shake paws” like they’re actual pets. Hold on to your ring, Chat, we all know what happened LAST time Felix shook hands with anyone. Chat reaches out very reluctantly but Flairmidable firmly grasps his hand and shakes it, putting in the extra distance like he’s REALLY determined to be friendly.
Ladybug is trilling in excitement and completely ignoring Chat very obviously wanting to die right now. I feel kinda bad for them both, honestly. Also, is Felix lefthanded? :0
- Ladybug assures the boys they’re going to be spending a LOOOOT of time together now Flairmidable is on the team. FOREVER.
Wasn’t this the exact problem they faced in Kuro Neko; when Adrien put on his princely public persona as Catwalker and Ladybug couldn’t function around him because he was too hot? Does her determination to have Adrien on the team overpower her decision not to work with anyone she’s attracted to? I’m sure this won’t matter because Felix will have robbed her by the end of the day and never be allowed a Miraculous again, but still.
- Ladybug Lucky Charms up a pair of sunglasses which Marc duplicates. While she’s explaining whatever the hell this plan is, Flairmidable subtly touches his ball to her yoyo. I KNEW he was up to shit.
There’s various shots of everyone wearing their shades, and Flairmidable carefully handling his pair while Chat has just slapped them on and continued to glare is very funny.
- Flairmidable gets some kinda look on his face when he asks what Ladybug is planning to do with the sentimonsters, like he’s nervous. Hmm.
- Everyone leaps away but Flairmidable hangs back from the crowd. He looks like Dave Strider in these glasses and that wasn’t a comparison I was prepared to make today.
- Pegabug OPENS A GIANT PORTAL WHICH DROPS THE SENTIMONSTERS INTO THE FUCKING SUN. OKAY??? I GUESS THAT’S WHY EVERYONE NEEDED THE SHADES BUT JESUS....
- Flairmidable takes off his shades with a look of sadness, drops them at his feet where they shatter, then turns away with a sorrow-filled whisper of “I’m sorry”.
And I’m going to interrupt myself here with a post-liveblog sidebar because I WAS DUMB AS ROCKS ON MY FIRST WATCH.
I initially interpreted this as Felix enjoying himself around the superheroes (especially after Chat accused him of having no friends; maybe this is his first experience being accepted by a group of peers) and being reluctant to betray them for whatever his bigger goal is, but now I absolutely believe he was talking to the sentimonsters, not the heroes.
He was fine dispatching Risk (an akuma) but instantly nervous about what Ladybug planned to do with the Strike Back clones, and ultimately had to watch them die at the hands of the Miraculous Heroes - in a sequence framed a lot more dramatically than other episodes - while being unable to step in. Jesus FUCK. “Felix is a sentimonster” isn’t even a question at this point, is it.
- At the top of the Eiffel Tower, Shadow Moth is so enraged he jumps over the edge. I’m sure he’s bounding away to do more evil but THAT’S SO FUNNY; HE’S LIKE A TODDLER.
- Rena and Ladybug land in an alley just like before, perfectly synchronised. Are they still gonna have a serious discussion or is Ladybug riding high on inducting “Adrien” into the gang and ready to forgive everything?
- Marinette is willing to let things go, saying she understands the need to share everything with her best friend (Chat Noir is CRYING on a rooftop somewhere), but it’s actually Alya who renounces her Miraculous because she knows it’s too risky to continue as Rena now Shadow Moth knows? WHOA. CHARACTER DEVELOPMENT.
I’ve been liking Alya more and more this season; I found her pretty irritating and reckless earlier in the show (when all her plotlines were about hindering Ladybug, having a boyfriend and/or not respecting Marinette’s boundaries with Adrien) but she’s really pulling through. Miraculous or not I hope she stays as Mari’s confidante.
- Ladybug goes back to the sewers to find Adrien, who ISN’T THERE. QUELLE SURPRISE.
- Cut to Gabriel returning home (in a very dignified way, after leaping off the Eiffel Tower in a blind rage) while on a call to Nathalie, complaining about this plan failing and demanding she cancel everything and bring Adrien home. THE WHIPLASH ADRIEN WOULD BE GETTING IF HE WERE ACTUALLY THERE. He strides into his study, still on the phone, and cue the funniest moment so far of this Gabriel/Felix feud.
- FLAIRMIDABLE IS JUST LOUNGING THERE, FULL COSTUME, FEET UP ON SHADOW MOTH’S DESK AND PLAYING WITH THE BALL. Strikingly similar to the way he greeted Adrien in the previous episode, and again lefthanded.
He does shift to spinning it with his right hand later, and I think he was messing with Adrien’s basketball righthanded too; so Felix must be ambidextrous. It would certainly fit his character considering he takes whichever side is most beneficial to him.
- GABRIEL DROPS HIS PHONE, AND AFTER TWO FULL EPISODES FINALLY ACKNOWLEDGES FELIX’S PRESENCE IN HIS HOME. Albeit this time with genuine surprise instead of murderous rage. Felix clarifies that he was the mistake Ladybug made, which is what we’ve all been saying.
I did have an extra note here to the effect of “I haven’t forgotten the remorseful way he abandoned the heroes tho”, but that’s out the window now I’ve realised Felix was upset about the sentimonsters. In his mind the Miraculous Holders probably deserve whatever they get!
- Also, Nathalie starts dying on the Startrain. Lila notices and looks pleased about it. Moving on.
- Cut to who I assume is the real Adrien exiting his ensuite bathroom, back in his normal clothes, and Ladybug leaping in through his open window. TO CHEW HIM OUT FOR STEALING THE MIRACULOUS FELIX TOOK, I’M SURE.
- Okay, at least Ladybug’s giving him the benefit of the doubt at first; assuming she forgot to tell Adrien where they should meet after the battle. You could say something about her trusting Adrien is in the right while Chat Noir is currently always in the wrong at ALL times, but I’m just glad Adrien’s reputation isn’t actually suffering because of Felix’s mischief. I’m Team Felix here but Adrien deserves a break.
- Ladybug mentions the train and Adrien realises what happened, ominously growling “FELIX”, and Ladybug’s horror movie reaction is amazing.
Chill out guys, you don’t even know what he’s done yet! Adrien was still trying to figure out how Felix screwed him over by commandeering this modeling trip, you always expect the worst. Yes he’s actively committing an atrocity as we speak, but you shouldn’t just assume! >:0
- Back to the office and this is INCREDIBLE. I love these shots of Felix just making himself at home in other people’s stuff; he looks SO fucking full of himself. I also notice he’s got paw pads on his boots, which is another point on the “honouring Felix’s old costume” scoreboard:
The classic beans.
- So Felix wants the Peacock Miraculous now. He threatens to tell Adrien about the secret waifu dungeon beneath the mansion BUT offers Gabriel a trade: the Peacock for all the other Miraculous, and he’ll return the family ring he stole. I can’t believe we thought Lila was going to be the new villain striking deals with Shadow Moth, Felix is outrageous!
And I’m interrupting myself again, but lots of my commentary on this scene was “why does Felix want the Peacock? What’s up with him? Why is he giving up on the rings and why doesn’t he “need” the one he took any more?”; blah blah blah. He’s a sentimonster and the Peacock Miraculous is like handing a dog its own leash. Endless freedom baybee.
I think he was after Emilie’s ring - the one Nathalie currently has - because it contains Adrien’s amok (while Felix’s is likely in the ring he’s been wearing this whole time, which I believe belonged to his dad?), so he’s comfy returning Gabriel’s ring in this bargain because its only value is sentimental. I’m playing 5D chess in my brain with all this but I honestly think that’s what’s happening.
- “If I’d wanted to harm you, Uncle, I would have done it a long time ago.” KINDA FUCKED UP, BUT I GUESS THAT’S ON PAR WITH “I need only snap my fingers to make you disappear from here”. Affectionate death threats must run in the Agreste/Vanily families and Adrien gets excluded because he’s sensitive. Felix really tries being nice to him with the “my favourite cousin” stuff but it still comes out sounding evil. :/
- HOLY SHIT, GABRIEL ACTUALLY DOES IT. He renounces Duusu and swaps the Peacock brooch for the family ring!!! Both he and Felix hesitate warily before grabbing the items from each other; they really do NOT trust one another (despite being family; or probably because they’re family) and I love that.
- Felix makes good on his promise and “fetches” Ladybug’s compact. Gabriel grabs it from him in glee, cackling that Ladybug has FINALLY lost. GUESS FELIX IS HIS FAVOURITE NOW. Sucks to be the Miraculous Holders but I always said some kind of bargaining system would make things way easier than just threatening each other all the time!
- Upstairs, Ladybug is having a panic attack in Adrien’s room. Wouldn’t the yoyo disappear if she detransforms then reappear on her person? It’s tough to think clearly in a panic though and I do feel for her. I want to give her a hug. :(
- ADRIEN IS A TOTAL BESTIE. 10/10. He takes charge of the situation, instructs Ladybug to think and breathe, and shoves her into the bathroom where she can detransform in privacy. His ring is in full view for this shot - he’s ABSOLUTELY in Chat Noir mode and THIS is why he’s her partner! But poor Mari doesn’t trust anything about herself, her decisions or even that Adrien isn’t Felix right now and tricking her again. Sweetheart...! ; n ;
- Downstairs, Felix renounces the Dog Miraculous to Gabriel as well - who is cackling over his haul - and leaves the study with (I assume) just the Peacock. I’m sure Adrien’s about to rugby tackle him across the foyer and THAT I would love to see.
- Ladybug retransforms (baby girl, sweetie, if only you’d done that instantly...! :’0) and is too late! Gabriel took ALL the Miraculous except hers, Chat Noir’s, and the Peacock. Even the Fox is gone because Alya gave it back to Marinette this afternoon. THIS HAS ALL WORKED OUT HORRIBLY.
Is this implying Season 5 will draw back on the huge fleet of heroes but deliver on crazy new outfits for Gabriel? I hope so.
- Adrien gets a burst of courage (this time not from an akuma) and opens the bathroom door to speak to Ladybug; maybe planning to reveal his identity as Chat Noir to give better support than his civilian self can. She’s gone by the time he enters. :(
- Ladybug is outdoors crying in the rain. Hawk Moth (I guess he’s not Shadow Moth any more?) does a ridiculous Eye of Sauron thing in the sky; like his introduction in Origins except even campier with a massive ring of Miraculous symbols.
- During his evil speech we cycle through several of the (ex) Miraculous Holders looking mad about it. Hi Luka, nice to see you at least once before the season ends.
They have Chloe here too and even she looks upset; could this be a hint she’s coming back as Queen Bee or at least allying with the heroes?? PLEASE. It’s only been half a season and I am SO tired of Zoe.
- Cut to Felix on the Startrain, and I’m sure Ladybug’s wellbeing comes first but frankly I’m amazed Chat Noir hasn’t camped out at the train station to beat his ass. He’s gotta go home sometime! >:0
We see the Peacock Miraculous has redesigned itself to suit him which is really cool. It reminds me a bit of his classic Black Cat ring.
The pointed edges almost look like cat ears.
Felix also looks, like... really happy to have it. Not ‘evil’ happy, relieved happy; holding it to his chest and closing his eyes with a peaceful smile. This is clearly important to him on a personal level and not just about causing more chaos. And here is my VERY belated realisation that Felix is a sentimonster who just won his own freedom, holy SHIT.
- Back to Ladybug. Chat Noir appears by her side, standing upright and fierce while she’s curled up and small. She FINALLY realises all the nonsense she’s been putting him through this season and can’t understand why he’s still here.
I’m glad they’re actually addressing this. I’ve enjoyed the angsty dynamic of Chat getting sidelined but it’s frustrating when every confrontation has gone nowhere. Marinette’s had a huge amount on her shoulders this season so I don’t blame her for being stressed and distracted, but she will NOT let Chat help her and has preferred to ignore/placate him in small doses instead of actually sitting down to address the problem. Like it’s wildly inconvenient he doesn’t know what’s going on with her, but she also won’t tell him and then gets mad when he steps on her toes.
I don’t think they should reveal identities if Ladybug isn’t ready (and Chat is wrong to keep asking, even if he’s only pressing so hard because he thinks it’ll fix things), but it’s a big leap between that and just, like... keeping Chat in the loop so he isn’t confused. Fortunately that shouldn’t be a problem any more! :D
- ANYWAY. Chat pulls Ladybug to her feet and into a hug, swearing to her they’ll get all the Miraculous back one by one. GUESS THAT’S THE PLOT OF SEASON 5. Also the entirety of Paris is out here cheering for her (despite Hawk Moth blaming her for allowing this mess to happen) which is really sweet. And if the blush on her cheeks is any indication, maybe she’s falling in love with Chat Noir now? :0
Gorgeous final scene. Very atmospheric.
SO WOW. HOLY SHIT, WHAT AN EPISODE.
I was anticipating a Miracle-Queen-esque storyline which would take Felix from an intriguing character to a ridiculous villain with bland motives (and then I’d have to work overtime to insist he’s still likable/interesting), but this was so much more exciting than I expected!!!
Once again Felix gets more done in one episode than the rest of the characters in a whole season, but the way the status quo has been changed up is fascinating. It might not be just Hawk Moth vs the Miraculous Heroes any more - it looks like Felix has created a third side for sentimonsters and he’ll ally with or step on whichever group benefits him most. This is WILD.
So my thoughts on Felix specifically. I think he’s a perfect example of a “chaotic neutral” character. Here’s a DND definition I swiped from Google:
‘A chaotic neutral character is an individualist who follows their own heart and generally shirks rules and traditions. Although chaotic neutral characters promote the ideals of freedom, it is their own freedom that comes first; good and evil come second to their need to be free.’
Doesn’t that sound like him? Like they literally printed this out and stuck it on the wall while designing Felix “God Damn” Vanily.
I imagine a lot of fans hate him because he’s made things harder for the main characters, and I agree, he did! He tricked Adrien, undid three seasons’ worth of progress, delivered all the extra Miraculous directly to Shadow Moth, and Ladybug’s breakdown towards the end of the episode was painful to watch. I absolutely get it. But that doesn’t make Felix a villain. It doesn’t even make him a bad person per se - he’s just not on anyone’s side. He shows up, gets his shit done and leaves. Fair play.
(That said, I really do think he was planning to help Adrien get out of this international photoshoot and got distracted by the ring. Yes he wanted to break into Gabriel’s safe, but he could have done that at just about any time without engaging his cousin! Felix took the time to push that “freedom is something you make” sentiment and yet again encourage Adrien to stand up for himself. I think he does genuinely care about him his wellbeing at least, not Adrien’s reputation lmao and just has no clue how involved Adrien is with the Miraculous stuff.)
I also don’t know what to expect from him in the future. I’ve seen assumptions he’ll wield the Peacock Miraculous as a new villain, but if he sees sentimonsters as living beings then will he? Shadow Moth and Mayura were fine creating and dismissing as many as they pleased but I don’t think Felix could do that; he’d have to be extremely picky if he even used it at all.
Gabriel is the only one who knows Felix has the Peacock right now too; so it’s not like the Miraculous heroes will be kicking down his door looking for it (RIP my hopes for the London Special :’D). They know he’s a traitorous bitch but not what he got out of the deal; at least not yet.
I also wonder what his relationship will be with Duusu. Maybe part of Duusu’s emotional fragility is because he feels the same way about sentimonsters being alive/enslaved/abused, and if Felix is a sentimonster himself then they might get very attached to each other. And Felix has worked completely solo thus far, bouncing off people but having no actual allies, so giving him someone like Duusu (a magic pet who is a lot of responsibility and can hold a conversation) will be a very interesting exposé of his character.
I’m personally in the camp that he’ll huffily take care of Duusu’s ridiculous needs, loudly complaining that he should just ship the Peacock Miraculous back to his uncle while putting together an expensive Barbie Dreamhouse for him to live in and pre-slicing Duusu’s favourite trashy pizza rolls. Maybe they’ll just make Felix super duper evil in Season 5 but I can dream. :’)
SO. I THINK I’M DONE. JESUS CHRIST I NEED TO LIE DOWN.
Thanks for reading if you got this far! Rehydrate, take an Ibuprofen, tell me your thoughts and I’ll see you again for the next round of Felix nonsense! ᕕ( ᐛ )ᕗ