Come, ride the roller coaster of emotions that is episode twenty of Sugar Apple Fairy Tale! This is a particularly wild ride, going from the heartbreaking to the horrifying and landing somewhere in the heart-pounding realm, and what’s impressive is that it doesn’t feel at all cobbled together. That’s no doubt because this is the culmination of several plot threads, at least two of which we’ve been following since season one, and they all do come together, or at least most of them do. Where Noah fits into the bigger picture isn’t yet clear, although his role may simply be to reinforce Anne’s stance on fairy equality: when he asks her why she gave Challe and Mithril Lid Pod back their wings, what he’s asking is if Herbert ever truly loved him. Anne’s reassurance to him is what finally sets both Noah and Herbert’s ghost free, but it also serves to underline her relationship with Challe, which is very important now that Gladus’ true nature has been revealed.
I’m not sure that it’s any sort of surprise that Gladus, or Lafalle Fenn Lafalle, is Challe’s older brother, born from the opal on the same sword hilt that held Challe’s obsidian. (And apparently, there’s a diamond sibling out there as well, or at least the very real possibility of one.) It may not even be that big a shock that Gladus is the red fairy who attacked Elliott, because as I mentioned before, opals are a softer stone than many others, and that makes his wires a good fit for the warrior fey. Next, add in that there’s such a thing as fire opals, and it makes a lot of sense that Lafalle would be masquerading as Gladus to get close to people he’s already dealt with once before, especially since Bridget presented the perfect opportunity to sneak in.
The level of ruthlessness Lafalle displays did take me aback, though. His violence as the red fairy is one thing, but watching him physically abuse Bridget was a heart-in-throat moment. It’s one thing to attack Challe, who is a warrior in his own right, or even Elliott, who at least has the muscles from grinding silver sugar. But Bridget has her anger and that’s about it; she’s in no way physically equipped to fight him off. He preyed on her desire to be loved and then turned on her in what feels like a fairly classic abuser move. That he then essentially laughed in her face when she tried to fend him off with a wing that turned out not to even be his reinforces his cruelty. I’m no fan of Bridget, but seeing her be hurt is a bridge too far, and I can’t rule out that as Gladus he wasn’t somehow taking advantage of her in other ways, too. Lafalle is maybe even more of a true villain than Jonas because while Jonas sucks in a variety of ways, and he did try to get Anne killed on the road, Lafalle is willing to get his own hands dirty – very dirty.
All of this comes on the heels of Hugh admitting that Anne has greater freedom as a Silver Sugar Master than he has as the Silver Sugar Viscount and the salvation of Noah makes it hit even harder. We go from highs to lows very swiftly, and only Challe and Bridget are at all aware of the danger. I’m not sure what Bridget will do when Gladus starts going after Anne, but at least we know that Challe (and Mithril Lid Pod) will both be there to guard her back. Hopefully, they will be enough.
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