Arc Thoughts: Agitation (for real this time)

Agitation was quite a ride!

After 3.1 opening with super happy fluffy shipper sunshine land and abruptly switching to the Harpy subplot, Taylor promptly went “fuck that”. And so did the story. The rest of the arc focused on the bank robbery, even if it did take me a few chapters before my prediction that it would start in the next one came true.

In 3.4, it did take a break from the bank robbery for some much needed opening up between Taylor and Danny. It was highly moving, and didn’t feel out of place even with the laser focus of the rest of the arc.

In 3.5, Armsmaster dropped a series of truth bombs on Taylor, which she promptly failed to internalize and instead took as more reasons to demonize Armsmaster. It was a fantastic way to call attention to some of Taylor’s key flaws, which also show up later in the arc, especially in relation to what she did to Clockblocker in 3.9.

The battle royale that started in the same chapter was very well portrayed. I like how it always felt like a battlefield more than a set of parallel battles that had no impact on each other besides the final result. This feeling kind of subsided somewhat when Taylor’s attention was drawn indoors in 3.11-3.12, but by that time the Undersiders had beaten most of the Wards anyway.

I do wish we’d gotten a bit more about the individual characterization of the heroes other than Panacea and Glory Girl, but from Taylor’s position, there wasn’t much opportunity for that, and it might get in the way of the more immediately important battle.

The arc was quite enjoyable from start to finish. I’d suggest that it became more so towards the end, but it springs to mind how much I enjoyed 3.1 and 3.4, so I don’t know. Overall, I do think it was generally better about pacing than Insinuation was; though it was longer there were also significantly more events of interest to actually fill up those chapters with.

As for the title, Agitation: There have been quite a few agitated characters in the arc, if we look at the literal interpretation, but… I think it might be especially worth noting how many enemies Taylor has made among the “good guys” in this arc. Armsmaster, Glory Girl, Panacea, probably Clockblocker if he finds out whom he was fighting. Taylor has stepped on a lot of toes and agitated their owners.

There’s also the potential for unforeseen consequences of the bank robbery. Maybe some other gang considers the bank part of their territory, and this could cause them to come after the Undersiders? We might have enough of that sort of plot for now with the War of the Docks coming up, though.

I suppose that might be what the next arc will begin dealing with. I don’t think the War will end in one arc (it might last throughout the entire story, even), but the next arc might see some of the first major pieces being moved. We’ll see!

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