86-Eighty Six Episode 10 started off as the most wholesome episode of the season so far. From laughs to fishing, to camping around the fire… All is good with the Spearhead Squadron after escaping into Legion territory. Unfortunately, it’s short-lived.
86-Eighty gave us wholesomeness in the only way 86-Eighty Six could – with a little bit of tragedy sprinkled on top of it all at the very end.
86-Eighty Six episodes usually start off with some sort of prologue, and they’re usually anything but heartwarming. However, episode 10 started off on a different note. After they told Lena they were “going forward” in episode 9, the remaining squadron members have now been in Legion territory for three days. They admire the vast forest and views along a river as they wonder if this is what freedom feels like.
They find a city in the old imperial territory and wander around taking in what life was like. Shin lets Raiden know that he can still hear the voices, but it’s alright since they aren’t fighting. Fido finds the squadron a boiler so they can take hot baths. Everything seems peaceful for the first time.
However, one night, Shin is the first to go to sleep and Raiden knows something is off. Shin has laughed a couple of times up to this point but it feels hollow. Raiden explains to the squadron, “It feels like he has nothing left.”
The next morning, everyone finds Shin gone. His Juggernaut is at their camp, but Kurena notices his rifle and handgun are gone. They end up tracking him down in a zoo, standing a few feet in front of a Legion unit.
Despite being worried, Shin reassures them that everything is okay. He points out to them that it’s basically gone at this point and doesn’t pose a threat. He tells them that this particular Legion is a former 86. Shin heard its voice and told the group it said, “I want to go home” so he came to put an end to it.
He knew this particular legion was coming and, more importantly, was a former 86.
Shin grabs his pistol, shoots inside the opening in it’s armor, and puts it to rest.
The scene that followed was either extremely beautiful or extremely dark, but I’ll let the rest of you 86 fans be the judge that.
Shin begins to tell Raiden that he wants to go to another country beyond the republic and legion borders. “In a fairy tale, journeys like this end with you arriving in paradise,” says Shin. He’s clearly talking about some sort of heaven here. But Raiden brushes that off.
The group starts to focus their attention at the remaining bones of a mammoth-like creature in its enclosure. The ending theme begins to play just as it did in episode 9 when Shin began to cry. The bones are covered in darkness. But as the camera slowly zooms out, light begins to hit the top of the head between two pillars revealing the entire structure.
A scene that makes you feel a bit of uneasiness in your stomach while, at the same time, calms you down. It’s an unexplainable feeling. The only way you can feel the moment of this scene is by watching the episode.
Then Kurena pops the question, “Are we going to die like this, too?” A nervous look overcomes Kurena, Anju, and Theo. The camera goes back and forth between the three and the bones in the enclosure.
If that doesn’t scream foreshadowing, I don’t know what does. One thing you pick up in this scene is that the camera never shows Shin. He’s the only character you don’t see during the moment.
This is where 86 starts becoming 86 again. We start to see the entire journey of Fido through his lens. From the moment he finds Shin when he’s a little kid, up to the very last moment of the squadron together in Legion territory.
Many deceased squad members are shown during this scene and it just becomes an emotional montage of everything, and everyone, that Fido has seen through the year.
There’s this absolutely beautiful transition of Fido behind Shin’s back as he’s growing up through time. You’re also able to see each date in the bottom left-hand corner.
Before the episode ends, the camera zooms out from Fido’s lens as he is surrounded by fire. This scene was on October 30th, 2148, which tells us it was almost a full month since the spearhead squadron went off the grid. We hear shots being fired in the background, then the episode cuts to black after a rocket hits Fido.
Everything happening in that moment, is it safe to assume more Legion found the squadron?
This is also the very first time in the entire season where we don’t see Lena at all.
So begs a few questions:
1. What is Lena doing during this time? We left off with her on the bridge in episode 9 and never saw where she went after that.
2. How far did the squadron get during the month of October? Shin talked about going to a country far away from where the republic, or any legion, could find them.
3. What was Fido looking at in his final moments? We saw everything Fido saw up to that very point. But rather than showing the audience what Fido was seeing in that last scene, the camera was on Fido instead.
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All images via Crunchyroll