Land of the Lustrous Episode 4: Ventricosus is hiding something
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Land of the Lustrous Episode 4 Review – Best In Show

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Land of the Lustrous Episode 4 Review – Quick Summary

In Land of the Lustrous episode 4, “Soul – Flesh – Bone,” a dream troubled Sensei Kongou to the point he called himself “reckless” for having it. Meanwhile, Phosphophyllite (Phos) endured a trial of their own: they’re the only one who can understand Ventricosus, the now small, travel-sized snail. The other gems either humor Phos or tell them to get counseling. Soon. Ventricosus shows some initiative and cleverness in trying to get Phos to take them closer to the sea. Why? What does the snail want in the sea? And why does Kongou forbid Phos, or any other other gems, from going there?

Note: This post may include spoilers, so be cautious.

Favorite Quote from Land of the Lustrous Episode 4

Land of the Lustrous Episode 4: Neptunite thinks Phos is losing their mind.

I’m sure Neptunite’s words brought Phos great comfort! Maybe… Capture from the Amazon Prime stream.

Phos sat, inert, even more lethargic than usual. Ventricosus, however, carried on an almost non-stop monologue that claimed the snail was actually royalty. What made Phos so, well, more Phos-like than ever?

Since Phos was the only one who could understand the snail, the others either reacted with a condescending kindness or a stern concern. It was getting to Phos.

Four gems ran by on their way to patrol. The first two asked how Phos was getting along and urged them not to overdo it. Neptunite, the third one, without breaking stride, said (04:32), “Mental issues should be checked out ASAP.”

Well, at least they care!

Best in Show Moment for Land of the Lustrous Episode 4

Land of the Lustrous Episode 4: Cinnabar desperately wants to belong

The shot only lasted for a few seconds. The impact lasted far longer… Capture from the Amazon Prime stream.

Setup: Phos Really Wants to Help Cinnabar

Cinnabar’s lonesome night patrol weighed heavily on Phos’ mind. Calling Cinnabar “extraordinary,” Phos pleased with Kongou for help.

Of all of the responses Kongou could have chosen, I think the “Forgive me” most shocked Phos. No stranger to blaming themselves for not being able to find a solution for Cinnabar, Phos was astonished that Kongou couldn’t, either.

Kongou shared that he’d been trying to think of a solution for a long time. Cinnabar themselves had suggested the night patrol. He said he had tried repeatedly to convince Cinnabar that just living was enough. Cinnabar, though, wanted to contribute.

“But the child is far too kind and far too wise to simply sit by idly,” he said (08:18).

Land of the Lustrous Episode 4: Cinnabar can't even touch a flower

Cinnabar didn’t want to just exist; they wanted to contribute. Capture from the Amazon Prime stream.

And then came a simple, three second shot that shattered my heart.

Delivery: And Cinnabar Really Wants Help

You remember the longing in Cinnabar’s voice in episode 3? When Diamond had left to deliver the news that Phos’ crystals had taken up residence in the snail’s huge shell?

Do you remember the quiet despair in Cinnabar’s voice when they confided to Phos that they simply waited for the Lunarians to harvest them?

In this episode, there’s a quick shot where Cinnabar reaches for a flower, but stops. Even lightly touching the plant would kill it. You see Kongou’s hand touch theirs. Kongou’s hand wears a glove.

The shot pulls back. Kongou gently lays his gloved hand on Cinnabar’s head, just as he’s done for the other gems dozens of times. As Cinnabar’s mercury flares up, they turn away, humiliated yet yearning for the touch.

Land of the Lustrous Episode 4: Kongou tries to comfort Cinnabar

This establishing perfectly framed the moment with sadness. Capture from the Amazon Prime stream.

Cinnabar’s expression; the music; the accumulated weight of despair that the show carefully layered on Cinnabar’s character. It all combined to take my breath away.

I’m lucky if I get a moment like that once in a good season. In four episodes, this series has given us at least two, and the best is yet to come! It’s no wonder it’s one of my favorites.

What did you think of Ventricosus’ betrayal? What was your Best in Show moment? Let me know in the comments!

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