Arc 9, Sentinel. Interlude: The Arc.
This was a nice diversion from the perspective we’ve been following, much like the singular Interludes it so much resembles. We got to know the Wards a lot better than we already did, including a couple new ones, and they’re all great, except for Sophia.
Maybe the story as a whole mirrors the Arc-Interlude structure on a larger level (don’t tell me). I’ve commented on Arc 8 feeling like a climax, an “End of Part 1” – maybe we’re going back to Taylor’s POV for the duration of Part 2, this was an interlude between the parts, and we’ll have another Arc like this one after whatever constitutes the climax of Part 2?
On top of allowing us to get to know the Wards – who may have a larger role in the story after this, perhaps – this gave us some time away from Taylor and the Undersiders, during which they could put their plan together, recruit a new member, and get ready to start fucking around in a constructive direction. I’m looking forward to learning what they’ve been up to, and who Imp is.
The Arc title
For once this was pretty obvious. Sentinel is a word that describes exactly what the heroes do, and this was an Arc all about the heroes.
We ultimately didn’t see any crabs, but I still think sentinel crabs are the way this title continues the theme of the Arc titles having to do with things Taylor can control, which is kind of clever.
From Arc Thoughts: Extermination:
Arc 9 is largely a mystery for now, due to the cliffhanger in 8.8, but it’ll presumably deal with Taylor setting the first parts of her plan into motion. If Taylor decided to involve the Undersiders in it, we’ll also be dealing with her trying to regain their trust.
There’s also a chance we’ll learn more about Noelle’s situation towards the end of the Arc, given the tendency of Interludes to cover content relevant to the Arcs on both sides.
Well, we did get back to Taylor setting the first part of her plan into motion eventually, but from a very different perspective than I had expected when I wrote this.
I do want to note that once I figured out the gimmick of the Arc – which was easy given the title and the first chapter or two – I was able to make some fairly accurate predictions about the structure of the rest of it. For the last three chapters, I successfully predicted specifically who was the next POV in line, which is something I’ve never really been able to do for the Interludes due to their much larger number of characters to pick from.
Predictions for Arc 10
First and foremost, tagging is going to get just a little bit more annoying now that I’ll have double-digit Arc numbers to write three times per post. :p
Other than that, we’re presumably going to finally learn what Taylor’s planning to do. It kind of seems like her plan involves personally setting right the specific wrongs she sees, but I doubt it stops there. I think she intends to try to fix the systems and social dynamics in play, to the extent she can… but how?
We’re also going to get to know Imp. My prediction for her power amounts to it being “something mischievious”, but I’m honestly more interested in who she is as a person and how she became part of the Undersiders. Maybe she’ll be a bit mischievious to match the name herself? I’d appreciate that, I like mischievious characters.
I’m also curious about whether Chariot has anything to do with them, or if Piggot’s right about him working directly for Coil – or, the third option, someone entirely different. If him working for the Undersiders (or working for Coil and being planted in the Wards at the Undersiders’ request) isn’t addressed relatively early in the next Arc, I’m prepared to dismiss the hypothesis.
So yeah, I guess that’s it for Sentinel! See you next time!