Spy x Family Ep. 2 finally introduces us to Loid’s future wife and Anya’s future mother: Yor Briar, aka. Thorn Princess. There’s a bloody reason why she has that nickname.

Spy x Family Ep. 2: Details

"Spy x Family" key art.
Those hairpin-blades aren’t just for show.

Spy x Family Ep. 2 is the second episode (you can read the review for Ep. 1 here) of the Spy x Family anime series, which is the anime adaptation of the manga of the same name by Tatsuya Endo. Kazuhiro Furuhashi (Rurouni Kenshin, Hunter x Hunter, Mobile Suit Gundam Unicorn) is the director for the anime, as well as the writer. Makoto Miyazaki and Shūhei Mutsuki of [K]NoW_NAME are responsible for the music, including that catchy and distinct 1950’s spy flick music you hear throughout the episode. Wit Studio (Attack on Titan, The Ancient Magus’ Bride, Ranking of Kings) and CloverWorks (Fairy Tail, The Promised Neverland, Wonder Egg Priority) are the animation studios behind the anime. Lastly, Crunchyroll licensed this anime for its NA release.

Spy x Family Ep. 2 debuted on April 16, 2022. You can watch the episode (and the anime in general) only on Crunchyroll. As of this writing, you can watch Ep. 2 for free if you don’t mind ads. Ep. 2, along with Ep. 1, will continue to be available for free with ads until May 31, 2022. After that, they both go back behind the paywall. If you want to watch either episode, then you might want to do so as soon as possible.

Warning: spoilers for Spy x Family Ep. 2 below. If you want to watch the insane and bloody spy action-comedy for yourself, stop here, and come back once the Thorn Princess has gone away.

Spy x Family Ep. 2: Plot Summary

Anya is the most adorable wingman, even if she’s doing it just to be the almost-literal peanut gallery.

As I mentioned before, Spy x Family Ep. 2 finally introduces us to Yor Briar. By day, she seems like your typical mild-mannered, slightly airheaded, and single (suspiciously so to her coworkers) civil servant. By night though, she reveals herself to be the Thorn Princess: a deadly assassin for Ostania. She aptly demonstrates this on a “traitor” and all of his bodyguards staying in a hotel, slaying them all and only getting a tear on her dress in the process. That and some blood splatters on her distinct pair of hairpin-knives, but that’s something a little hydrogen peroxide will easily solve. The tear is something that’s a little bit more difficult to fix, since Yor is no good at sewing. Thus she brings her dress to a local seamstress business.

That’s when she finally meets Loid and Anya Forger by chance. Through the use of her telepathy, Anya learns about Yor’s side job as an assassin, and becomes determined to make Yor her new mother…purely for the entertainment value. As the narrator puts it: “The girl is starved for entertainment.” Using a bit of acting, Anya is able to reassure Yor that Loid is indeed single, and causes Yor to ask Loid out to a party hosted by her coworkers to eliminate any suspicions from them about her single status. In return, Yor accepts the condition that she pretend to be Loid’s wife for an interview with that prestigious school so critical to Loid’s mission. It seems like a perfect plan. What could possible go wrong?

Everything, Apparently

"Spy x Family Ep. 2" screenshot showing an uncharacteristically shocked Loid, with Yor just out of focus behind him.
There’s a reason why Loid looks so scuffed up here.

Loid gets a last-minute mission assignment from Westalis HQ to recover some stolen art and jewelry, and make sure that a few of them goes missing. He enlists the help of his buddy and contact Franky to recover the art and jewelry, and even takes a diamond ring for Yor. Unfortunately, the goons they robbed had their own car, and rams Loid and Franky’s car.

Meanwhile, Yor gets tired of waiting for a man who isn’t showing up, and heads to that party alone. There, she endures both increased ridicule and suspicion from her coworkers, to the point where she entertains fantasies of killing them all. Just as she’s about to call it quits and head home amidst the mockery, Loid makes a just-as-last-minute appearance directly at the party. Bruised and bleeding, but actually there, to Yor’s delighted surprise. The only slipup Loid makes is accidentally introducing himself as Yor’s husband in his punch-drunk state, but that’s a minor slipup considering everything. Loid even defends Yor from an accusation of Yor being a prostitute from a jealous coworker (right after Yor defended him from an attempted assault with a piping hot gratin from the same coworker, no less), and the 2 of them finally call it a satisfied night.

Except the night isn’t over yet. On the drive home, Loid’s “psychiatry patients” from the art heist ambush him. This forces Loid and Yor to flee on foot in a warehouse district, even as Loid comes up with increasingly convoluted explanations for what’s happening. Fortunately, both Loid’s skills as a spy and Yor’s skills as an assassin ensure that no harm comes to either of them. In fact, the night even ends in romance as Loid formally proposes to Yor. Using a grenade pin from the grenade he’d thrown at the remaining goons earlier as an engagement ring. A very moved Yor happily accepts amidst the explosion. How can things get any better after that? Well, tune in for Spy x Family Ep. 3 later to see how.

Spy x Family Ep. 2: The Good

"Spy x Family Ep. 2" screenshot showing  Loid proposing to Yor with a grenade pin, while they're both taking cover from a grenade explosion.
The greatest engagement scene in the history of spydom.

The engagement scene between Loid and Yor right at the end of Spy x Family Ep. 2 is arguably the best scene of this entire episode, and possibly even the entire anime. It’s like a snapshot of the entire story as a whole. The absurdity of the touching romance amidst the scraps of burning clothing (and likely fleshy bits) is just magnificent. Love amidst extreme violence? Yes, please!

The characterization of both Yor and Loid just adds to that scene in spades. Both of them are going through with this fake relationship for entirely practical reasons. Yet, you can tell that there are also genuine emotional reasons that both of them are going through with it. The note of Yor giving “massages” to men in hotels in her file causes Loid to emphasize with her, since he assumes that she did it to support her younger brother. He’s wrong about a few details (the “massages” was actually Yor’s cover story for her assassin job), but he’s right about the reason. Thus, his defense of her goes over well with Yor, who emphasizes with Loid in turn.

It’s moments like these that reveal that Loid and Yor are developing real feelings for each other that’s going beyond the purely practical reasons. This characterization is why that Spy x Family Ep. 2 engagement scene is as great as it is. And why Spy x Family as a whole is great too, to be honest.

Spy x Family Ep. 2: The Bad

"Spy x Family Ep. 2" screenshot showing Yor in her side job as the assassin "Thorn Princess", already having made her first kill of the night.
Don’t make the Thorn Princess come after you.

My only complaint about Spy x Family Ep. 2 has nothing to do with the episode at all. Rather, my complaint is with how Crunchyroll is releasing the anime as a whole. See, about a month ago as of this writing, Crunchyroll announced that they will no longer be offering simulcast episodes for free with ads, starting with the Spring 2022 anime season and continuing onwards for all future simulcasts. The only exceptions will be a few anime series, including Spy x Family, which will offer the first 3 episodes for free with ads as “seasonal samplers” until May 31, 2022. After that date, they all go back behind the paywall.

It goes without saying that this sounds very much like a greedy cash grab for Crunchyroll. Maybe Crunchyroll might offer these simulcast episodes later for free after the season as passed. However, you should note that there is no mention of this in the article above, so even that’s not a guarantee. If this is going to be Crunchyroll’s modus operandi from now on, it seems like it’s going to be a pretty rough experience for free viewers like me. The only thing we can do right now is pray that Crunchyroll doesn’t alter the deal any further.

Source: Crunchyroll