Spy x Family Episode 4 Review: The Prestigious School's Interview
Updated: Aug 29, 2022
Today is the big day. All of Loid’s planning and scheming has brought the Forger family to this point: the interview. They start with a quick inspection. Then it’s off to the academy, where they face a series of absurd tests. Many have absolutely nothing to do with how Anya will perform in a classroom. But then they face a test that forces them to ask some tough personal questions.
One of the great things about this show is that it blends comedy and drama so effortlessly. And it never upsets the tone at all. The action for a given scene usually follows the tenor of the tone for that moment. It seems to work perfectly without missing a beat.
In one moment, an assassin can perform nonsensical martial arts moves on an angry bovine to hilarious effect. In another, a spy can squash a bug as an illustration of his murderous intent with such seriousness that it sparks horror overtones.
Loid has always been about the mission. It supersedes everything else. But this week, the audience sees Loid’s instincts as a protector declare war on his mission. His head says one thing. But his heart and his instincts say another, when his cover wife and daughter face verbal assault. The audience isn’t used to watching Loid behave in such a way with so much at stake. Ordinarily, he’s the cool under pressure “man of a hundred faces.” He changes relations with the ease of someone changing their tie. Such is the life of a spy.
Yor also fights to contain herself. When she sees Anya in pain, her motherly instincts to shield Anya from the fiendish interviewer quarrels with her need to maintain her cover. But that fight only lasts momentarily. She’s clearly ready to end the interviewer's walk among the living.
Yet both Yor and Loid seem to be in a state of denial about their feelings. Perhaps they’ve become so good at hiding their true selves from others that they have a difficult time discerning their genuine feelings.
Anya is the only one who is true to herself. Anyone in the audience that hears Anya speak about Loid and Yor has to feel that she’s being sincere when she describes her affection for them.
Spy x Family does it again on the animation side. The level of the expressiveness of the characters accentuates the story so much. Shock, anger, fear, surprise and even despair highlight the characters’ faces in detail during this week’s episode. When Anya makes a huge mistake that nearly blows the family’s cover, the look on Loid’s face is priceless. But it’s quickly followed by a look that screams, “I better fix this.”
When the interviewer chastises Yor for not being able to cook. The assassin wears a look that viewers aren’t used to seeing her don. Even when Yor's coworkers verbally castigate her in a previous episode, she never shows even the slightest sign of embarrassment to her assailants. But in this scene, she exudes it with a red face and a posture that underscores it. She can’t even raise her eyes from her lap to meet the interviewer's.
And when the interviewer asks Anya a painful and inappropriate question, her sadness leaps off the screen. It’s heartbreaking to watch. Loid’s response and blank expression when he comes to her defense is one that invokes nothing short of sheer terror in the target of his ire. His movements are perfectly timed with the screeching discordant notes of a violin. The scene resembles something out of a horror movie. Well done.
The writers create an excellent blend of drama and comedy this week that illustrates a Forger family with deep inner turmoil. They are at war with themselves over whether the mission takes precedent over their burgeoning emotions for each other. The animation is pivotal in highlighting this struggle. This viewer's hope is that their hearts win this tug of war.