Netflix’s Arcane Act Three shows us that the tragedy isn’t over. Neither are the explosions. Not by a long shot.
What is Arcane?
Arcane Act Three is the third and final arc of this Netflix animated series based off of the multiplayer online battle arena game League of Legends. Like all the previous Acts, this one consists of 3 episodes that are roughly 40 minutes long. Still lengthy, but still noticeably shorter than the episodes in previous Acts.
As before, Arcane is the creation of Christian Linke and Alex Yee, who also wrote for the series. They also did the story alongside Connor Sheehy and Ash Brannon. The opening theme is “Enemy” by Imagine Dragon featuring JID. And of course, Riot Games and Fortiche Production are the production companies behind this series.
Arcane Act Three will stream on November 20, 2021 at midnight exactly. It’s also a Netflix exclusive, so if you want to watch it, you’re going to have to cough up some cash if you don’t already have a paid subscription. Tencent Video will stream this series in China.
Warning: spoilers for Arcane Act Three below. If you want to watch the tragic booms for yourself, stop here, and come back once the very lethal fireworks are over and done with.
Arcane Act Three: Plot Summary
As it turns out, the rival gang (called the Firelights) from the previous episode of Arcane had kidnapped both Vi and Caitlyn. That’s the bad news. Good news: Ekko is actually the leader of the Firelights, so it’s all good. He even agrees to help them give back the stolen magic gem. Unfortunately, they are stopped at a police blockade run by the corrupt police chief Marcus. He shoots Ekko (who lives) and is about to kill Caitlyn to silence her, when Jinx inadvertently saves her during her own attack on the blockade, also killing Marcus in the process. This probably increased the overall morality of the entire police force by a good 50%, but that’s a story for another day.
Vi helps a wounded Caitlyn escape with the gem, while Ekko duels with Jinx. Ekko loses, but so does Jinx. Silco then shows up to rescue the mortally wounded Jinx, and also takes back the gem. Turns out, Jinx removed the gem from the container while no one was looking, so now Vi and Caitlyn have an empty container and no way to stop the impending war between Piltover and Zaun. At least, not yet.
After the downer in the previous episode of Arcane Act Three, Vi and Caitlyn try to sneak into Caitlyn’s home in Piltover. But are intercepted by Caitlyn’s parents. Fortunately, Caitlyn’s mom doesn’t shoot Vi, gets her husband to treat Caitlyn’s wounds, and she even agreed to get them a Council hearing to explain their position. Unfortunately, the meeting seemed to be fruitless, and Vi just storms out in a huff. She even abandons Caitlyn in the rain – rude. However, she does go to meet Jayce, who she convinces to go on a bit of vigilantism. Namely: against one of Silco’s Shimmer factories.
Meanwhile, Silco gets Jinx to a shady doctor and saves her life. How? Well, apparently, concentrated applications of Shimmer apparently works as a Revive. Side effects include visual and auditory hallucinations, so I wouldn’t recommend this for everyone unless you were literally dying.
Oh, and Viktor accidentally kills his lab assistant via his hextech experiments to save himself. Not a good look for his resume.
Later in this episode of Arcane Act Three, Vi and Jayce actually lead an unofficial and unsanctioned police raid on said Shimmer factory. Things go well until a cheeky brat sounds an alarm, which awakens some Shimmer-enhanced supersoldiers in fancy gas suits. They slaughter a bunch of officers before Vi and Jayce put them down permanently. Unfortunately, that same cheeky brat gets caught in the crossfire and falls to his death. Jayce has some seriously second thoughts about the whole offensive.
Meanwhile, Caitlyn has a revelation about Vi in the shower, and decides to go after her rather than leaving her alone. Unfortunately, she discovers that she herself isn’t alone. Not with Jinx for company.
After that kid’s death in the last episode of Arcane Act Three, Jayce calls off the whole offensive against Silco. While also calling off his alliance with Vi. At least Vi gets to keep her power gloves, so that’s good? Vi then goes on the hunt for Silco’s 2IC. She finds her and beats her up. That’s apparently all she wanted to do. And then Jinx knocks her out, so that’s bad again.
Disturbed by the violence and death he caused, Jayce decides to broker a deal with Silco. Piltover will give Zaun independence and full access to the magic Hextech portal (Hexgate). All Silco has to do is hand over Jinx for justice. Silco has a long and drunken talk with Vander’s statue about it, which Jinx unfortunately (for Silco, that is) hears.
Meanwhile, Viktor scatters his dead assistant’s ashes into the local river. And then tells Jayce to destroy his Hextech experiment, because apparently, that Hexcore had grown a mind of its own and won’t let Viktor do it himself.
And then we get back to Vi, who’s now a prisoner of Jinx along with Caitlyn and Silco. Jinx really demonstrates her mental illness here, trying to somehow win back her sister’s love through some very uncool methods. Things somehow get worse when Caitlyn, and then Silco, break loose of their restraints. In the ensuing chaos, Caitlyn doesn’t die, but Silco does. Distraught by the death of her slightly twisted father figure (even though she killed him herself), Jinx then fires a magitech missile (powered by the stolen magic gem) at the Council building in Piltover. Jinx may or may not have vaporized herself from the backblast, but her aim was perfect. The missile not only hits the Council building, but it goes straight into the Council chamber through a window.
What does the missile do? Well, I guess that’s what we’ll find out in Arcane season 2, because that’s it. Yes, really. I’m just as shocked as you are that they left it on such a cliffhanger.
Arcane Act Three: The Good
The story, characters, music, and art of Arcane Act Three are just as top-notch as ever. Maybe a bit less so in terms of story and characterization than in previous episodes, but still pretty good. I still give praise for the art and music.
The art of Arcane is the best part of it, I think. The cel-shaded animation style gives the whole series a unique look that distinguishes it from other animated shows. Heck, it even manages to distinguish itself from the League of Legends game it’s based on, which is quite the achievement. There’s a reason why there are so many memes about the game existing to promote the show, after all.
And then there’s the music of Arcane. Act Three has some especially good music to add to the series, especially during the fight scene between Ekko and Jinx. On top of the gorgeous animation of that scene, of course.
Arcane Act Three: The Bad
My god, that cliffhanger at the end of episode 9. It’s easily the worst part of Arcane Act Three. It’s also why I’m giving it such a low score compared to the previous Acts. No closure whatsoever. It leaves you desperately hanging there, enraged that they don’t show what happens next. That’s not cool, Christian Linke and Alex Yee. Not cool at all.
The other really bad part about Arcane Act Three is Jinx. I really, really don’t like how she’s turning out. She’s gone full Scrappy now with her wanton terrorist attack on the Council building. I also really, really don’t like how her mental illness is being portrayed. As far as I can tell, she seems to have schizophrenia, based on her auditory hallucinations and difficulty telling reality from her hallucinations, among other things. I just really don’t like how the story is framing it, and how the other characters are treating her because of it. Maybe it’s a product of the setting, since mental illness was not looked upon favorably in the old days. I don’t know. I just don’t like how she’s treated as broken, incurable, beyond redemption, etc.; because of her mental illness. To the point where Jinx herself believes it. Your mileage may vary.