For the record, this new intro isn’t that inspiring compared to the previous ones. On one level, it’s good and audacious to have it just be this simple, symbolic scene that abstracts Renton and Eureka’s rather desperate relationship, but the scene’s kind-of boring, the song isn’t that popping and the final image actually looks an amateurish Photoshop collage in a fanart gallery. Too bad. I liked the last one.
On to the episode itself…
The quality I’ve come to enjoy the most about this show is that it actually leaves a lot material to the viewer’s inference. That manifests in small strokes like how this episode opens with Moondoggie handing the kids food, gear and weapons, but no explanations for why they’ve been kept in solitary. It’s so much more effective to leave the reasons unsaid and let you figure out, on your own, that they’re being kept there to prevent them from escaping for their own protection during this looming assault.
It’s also manifested in the broader strokes, like how so much of the mythos and the backstory has been kept to the background and only gradually parceled out when the circumstances call for it. Like this very bitter showdown between Holland and Charles - - it’s a lot more effective that we’ve only gotten glimpses and teases of their relationship. We don’t know why they had a falling out. We don’t even know how they got involved with eachother in the first place. And, because of that, every little line and gesture carries a lot more weight because we’re essentially experiencing it from Renton’s perspective as he looks and listens for clues to piece together.
That’s a very difficult tight rope to walk. You need a lot of room to set it up properly and, even then, you're running the risk of turning off viewers because the earlier episodes of this did, indeed, feel very sketchy for all their gaps in exposition. Or, worse yet, you run the risk of coming off like the “mythology” episodes of COWBOY BEBOP with the thin-unto-cliche Vicious feud sub-plot
But it’s paying off, now, for sure.