Arcane Act 2 Review The Nerdy Basement

‘Arcane’ Act Two: Taking a Ride on the Wild Side

It was obvious things were going to get chaotic in the next act of “Arcane”, but who knew they would also be so beautiful?

After the chilling and heartbreaking finale to Act 1 of “Arcane”, I was left in anticipation of what would come next in the paths of our heroes, whatever that would be. What would become of Vi and Powder, seeing how Vi has been kidnapped and Powder has been taken under Silco’s wing? How will Piltover be changed now that Jayce and Viktor have managed to harvest magic to their own will? These were just some of the many questions people were asking after this initial arc, and with Act 2’s official release, old questions are answered and new ones are raised.

These factors come together in a second arc that is just as satisfying and enjoyable to watch as the first three episodes, if not more so. With new paths for our heroes to explore, this second part of Arcane’s narrative is filled with thrills, laughs, and heartbreak that will keep you glued to your seat until the very end.

Arcane Act Two Review The Nerdy Basement

Years after Jayce’s discovery and Vi and Powder’s separation, Piltover has integrated magical technology, otherwise known as Hextech, into nearly every part of their lives. In that time though, Powder has grown into Jinx, an intense force of nature who works to expand Silco’s power with little care for what anyone else thinks. After Jinx steals something integral to Hextech’s future growth, it is up to Jayce and the Piltover Council to clean things up in the aftermath. In tandem with this, Caitlyn, now a Piltover enforcer, goes rogue and teams up with Vi to find the Hextech advancement. With Vi being reinvigorated by the chance to take down Silco, it is up to her to find out the truth of both the operation and her sister. Although she may not like what she finds.

Arcane. (L to R) Kevin Alejandro as Jayce, Katie Leung as Caitlyn Kiramman in Arcane. Cr. Courtesy of Netflix © 2021

First, let’s address the elephant in the room: Jinx. Powder was left an absolute wreck by the end of episode 3, and this time skip shows how much the events of that night affected her and put her on the path to becoming Jinx. Now, before the show’s release, a lot of people were curious about how Jinx was going to be handled in the show. For someone so chaotic in their beliefs and behaviors, this was the first in-depth look we would get into Jinx’s mind; not only did that come with a lot of expectations, but in concept, it could be a difficult character to write, someone who is obnoxious on paper but incredibly charming in execution.

Luckily, “Arcane” succeeds with flying colors in regards to introducing Jinx. Not only is she just as crazy as people imagined, but knowing how she became the way she is, makes her that much of an interesting character. She is written to have just the right balance of awareness, control, and obliviousness in everything she does, making her someone that you can rarely predict what her next actions will be. This is due in part to stellar writing from the show’s screenwriters and the impressive performance from Ella Purnell.

In Jinx’s powerful moments, she takes control and shows how capable is; in moments of struggle, she brings out the unresolved trauma and brokenness Jinx is hiding within herself. Jinx is one of the most compelling characters in television this year because her descent into madness is one that, despite its inevitability, breaks your heart every step of the way.

Arcane. Ella Purnell as Jinx in Arcane. Cr. Courtesy of Netflix © 2021

When it comes to the other main characters though, their moments are just as impactful. Vi and Caitlyn share a great amount of chemistry (with a great amount of flirting thrown in for shippers of the two). Hailee Steinfeld and Katie Leung have great chemistry in their dialogues with each other, and the opposites-attract dynamic of the two makes them a blast to watch, especially as their upbringings clash with each others’ and the two gain a wider understanding of the societies outside of their own. These two aren’t perfect, but they build on each other and have each others’ backs. Their natural chemistry and their lengths to protect each other make them a great main duo to follow.

Arcane. Katie Leung as Caitlyn Kiramman in Arcane. Cr. Courtesy of Netflix © 2021

As for the more political side of “Arcane”, it remains just as complex yet engaging as before. Jayce being thrust into the forefront of Piltover’s politics gives us an in-depth look at Piltover’s inner workings and helps us understand why some issues remain to this day. Both Jayce’s corruption arc as he starts becoming more like his political counterparts and his struggle to release his Hextech advancements and maintain connections with Viktor and Heimerdinger are great to watch. Neither of these situations is completely black and white.

Although questionable character choices are made on several fronts, regardless of your personal feelings towards them, you can understand where each character is coming from. This morally gray style of worldbuilding is what makes the world of “League of Legends” so engaging, and to see it take a wider focus was a great time all around.


“Arcane” maintains the strong momentum it gained from its first act into its second, introducing the right amount of chaos in Jinx with strong performances, new plot developments that are equal parts intricate yet compelling, and the same beautiful art style and animation as before. You will laugh, you will cry, and you will be thinking about this act’s cliffhanger long after the credits roll. With the final batch of episodes coming out this Saturday, “Arcane” continues being a powerful force of nature as a show. If it manages to stick the landing with the ending, “Arcane” will easily stand as one of the better properties to come out of Netflix in recent years. For now, only time will tell. I for one though, am all in for the wild ride Riot Games and Netflix have put me in.

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