Thursday, April 27, 2017

Dragons: Race to the Edge Review: 4x11 "Blindsided"

This episode was the biggest reason why I couldn't watch season four at a slower pace and write reviews as I went. I needed to get to the big Hiccstrid scenes that everyone on Tumblr was posting about.

I have to say that I wasn't disappointed. Actually, the kiss wasn't even my favorite part of this episode. Every moment between Hiccup and Astrid was excellent in this episode, and if I had to rank them all, the kiss might come in last.

For so long, we've waited to see how they got together, and it's been somewhat strange (for me at least) getting the story out of chronological order. It's nice to finally have this part of the story revealed. This also means that we'll get a season five where they're together for the entire thing, which is something to look forward to.

One complaint I do have is the fact that they made Astrid blind and then cured her. (I'll let Disability in Kid Lit explain why this is a harmful trope as they have far more authority on the topic than I do.) Of course, I knew that was what would happen with Astrid as we already had the second movie, but because I knew it was coming, I was actually cringing about that inevitable conclusion the entire episode. It sucks to know that blind kids (or even adults) could get excited about identifying with Astrid in this episode but then have to watch her be "cured".

That being said, there were some good moments in their portrayal of Astrid's blindness. (They came across as nice moments to me at least, but I'm not blind myself. I'd actually really love to hear the perspective of someone who is blind on this episode, but I haven't found one.) It was great seeing how determined Astrid was to be as independent as she had been before, and despite the other characters trying to protect her, she kept going at it. The fact that she was the one to save the day, while blind, was an important story choice I think.

If you were to ask me what the best moment from this episode was, I would say that it was Hiccup telling Astrid that "there will always be a Hiccup and Astrid". If that didn't melt your heart, then I don't know what would. Have I mentioned how much I love them together? They have such great dynamics with each other, and this episode highlighted that phenomenally well. I can't wait to see more of them together in season five.

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