If you’re anything like me, I’d like to save you a trip to Does the Dog Die and assure you that no dogs die in the pursuit of getting Anya her perfect pup. I don’t think that counts as a spoiler, since our main dog is all over the opening theme, and while getting him settled as a full-fledged member of the Forger family is pretty fraught, it’s also incredibly heartwarming, as all dog stories ought to be. And I do have a weak spot for a good rescue tale – my own pup was neglected and abused before he was rescued to the point where he had to spend a year before he could even enter the shelter system. Someone who worked on this show (and the source manga) likely had experience with rescue dogs, because there are a lot of little moments where we see Anya’s new dog behaving in very familiar ways, from his determination to protect the person who was kind to him to his caution at first entering the Forger home. And while his quiet moments aren’t the point of these three episodes, they do really add to the emotional backbone of the series as a whole, showing once again how disparate people can be brought together to form a family.
It’s also worth mentioning that we get a clear hint as to why Twilight’s mission is so rooted in family in the first place. Sure, having a wife and kid will make it easier for him to get close to his target, but when Anya starts having a meltdown at the thought of losing her dog, Handler’s reaction lets us know that she may have had more than just ease of mission in mind when she began working with Twilight on Operation Strix. She mentions that she “had” a daughter Anya’s age, and while the past tense could simply be a sign that the child has since grown up, the way she says it and her body language all imply that that’s not the case – and that her daughter never got to grow up. Based on what we’ve seen of Loid’s past and the post-WWII setting of the story, that would make a lot of sense, and it feels as if maybe she’s giving one of her best and favorite agents the chance to have something that she herself lost. Certainly he’s getting a lot more leeway than you’d expect in such a sensitive case, and it just could be that Loid’s the only one who thinks that he’s going to give up his family when the mission is ended.
Not that he realizes that Yor and Anya are actively helping him with that mission. Yor, of course, is completely unaware of her role – she has a habit of seizing on an explanation and just running with it, and her Mama Bear sense is more than fully developed at this point. Sometimes you just need to see a beautiful woman kick a car off the road into a streetlight, and Yor amply fulfills that in episode fifteen. Sure, she thinks that she’s taking out a child trafficker who wanted to sell her daughter into marriage, but I don’t think that we can argue that she did the wrong thing to a terrorist/potential dog murderer. He was one hundred percent about to let Bond and that German shepherd die, and that more than merits the Wrath of Yor, no matter how mistaken that wrath was.
Of course, Bond’s life wasn’t great even before he fell into Keith’s hands. (Was that guy Keith? They all had K or hard C names, and I admit to getting confused.) Like Anya, he was the subject of government experimentation, and also like his new girl, he’s gained mysterious psychic powers from that as a part of “Project Apple.” But where Anya is a telepath, Bond has precognition; he can see the future. And then Anya can read his mind and telepathically pick up on what he sees, so not only are they a truly dynamic duo, but they’re also putting us in a position where we have to rely on the thoughts of a dog as translated by a five-year-old who can’t tell time. They’re the ultimate in unreliable narrators, and that feeds right into the overall lunacy of the story, especially since Anya then has to use her less-than-amazing power of making up excuses to explain things. Poor Loid should win an award for “most time on the toilet” based on her information.
These first three episodes form a nicely contained arc, and while there’s clearly a lot of story left to tell, it’s a nice way to open the second cour. The Forger family has expanded, Damian’s crush on Anya is stymied by the sheer Anyaness of Anya, and Yor finally feels like she’s getting to come into her own a bit more. So welcome to the family, Bond. You’re going to fit right in.