Now and Then, Here and There – 13 [Now and Then, Here and There]- Throwback Thursday

This is it everyone, we have made it to the end of Now and Then, Here and There. It’s been a wild ride, a tragic one to. Without further ado though I present to you, the final episode on this season of Throwback Thursday. And remember to vote on the next one in the poll at the end of this post! wink wink.

So yeah… the finale. I have to say that I was surprised. Now and Then ended on a much more hopeful note than I was expecting. I figured that it would go for the “Scare you straight” kind of ending. One where literally everyone dies and there is no happy ending. The kind that makes it painfully clear what happens if we make it this far down the path. Instead though what we got was much more bittersweet and hopeful. People still died, and we will talk about all of that, but it was mostly the old guard. The ones who were either complicit in the system or to deep in to be pulled back out again. Leaving all those looking for peace alive to build a future, for the most part. A sort of “It worked out in the end”, even with all the tragedy.

In some ways it was a bit more sudden than I was expecting, but for the most part it works. Now lets talk details!

Lets get the ugly out of the way first: What happens when Sara, a baby and a fascist-maybe-rapist walk into a bar? I don’t know either, but now you know where I’m going. This was the small return of my only major gripe with Now and Then, it’s abortion politics. Sara and the baby is the obvious one here, as I made my distaste there known before. It’s a pro-life message, I don’t like it, whatever. The second one is new and concerning though. Now and Then is clearly trying to say that both good people can exist on either side, that Hellywood soldiers aren’t pure evil. And that’s fine! But I need to know: Was this guy one of Sara’s rapists? Because making a rapist a “Good” person is very different and a lot more concerning. There’s arguments to be made either way, but personally? I hope he wasn’t.

Moving on, lets talk about Nabuca and Tabool. I’m middling on this ending, though ultimately I didn’t mind it. I think of them like the final victims of this conflict. Two people from the same environment who were absorbed and abused by this system. Regardless of if they changed or remained unbroken, they were doomed from the beginning. Even Tabool who, in his last episode shot and killed the only tie he had left to his old village, is a victim here. Though not a very sympathetic one, I will admit. These two, to me, are the ultimate representation of what war can do to children who grow up in it. Destroying friendships, twisting minds, turning brother against brother, and ultimately killing them both before their time. In that sense their ending works, even if does come a bit out of left field as far as episode pacing is concerned.

Next up, lets talk about Hamdo and Abelia! This is the ending that I am perhaps the most negative about. You see, Hamdo never really moved beyond the roll of a megalomaniacal madman. And thats a shame! In a show so full of nuance and commentary regarding its themes, Hamdo remained a simple paranoid tyrant. It tried to give him some depth via the comparison with Elamba, but even in his final moments he never moved on past pitiful warmonger. I suppose that might have been the point though? Now and Then certainly holds no love for him so it would make sense to portray him negatively, without sympathy, unto the very end. It’s a bit of a waste for Abelia though because of how tightly bound her character is to his. I Just think more could have been done here, with just motivations (love) for unjust actions. A shame.

Finally this brings me to Shu and Lala Ru giving her to life to restore water to the planet. This one was… interesting? On Lala Ru’s side I just have a lot of questions. Questions like: Why not just do this at the start? She clearly didn’t enjoy her existence, and she was well aware of the conflict she brought to the world. Maybe it’s because bringing water back to the world while Hamdo still existed would only enable him? I’m really not sure. As a visual motif ala water, abundance and future possibilities I think it works. I just haven’t quite figured out the symbolism behind it. I’m hopeful that the more I think about it as I prep for the final review, the more it will make sense to me. But right now I’m just sort of like… “That happened, and it looked pretty I guess”.

As for Shu, well, the time travel is back? That’s really my only issue with Shu’s ending. I’ve suspected for awhile that the opening sprawl about “10 billion years” was time travel, and Hamdo’s mention of “years” confirms it. But this device was really only relevant for the first and last episodes, never being mentioned or used anywhere between those. You would think such an important device, one so pivotal to the plot, would be more important. But it really just exists to get Shu into the plot and then return him home once it’s done. And I think that’s a shame. Don’t get me wrong, Shu going home with these lessons of the future and resolving to pick up his backpack but leave his training sword is some nice symbolism and bookending. That was cool. I just can’t help but think there was a better way to do this.

So yeah, all in all I’m positive on the ending for Now and Then, Here and There. It has some bumps, it’s not as clean an ending as I was hoping for. But it definitely tied up most of the relevant loose ends and gave every, important, character some kind of ending. Definitely worth the watch, even if it’s not my favorite thing I’ve seen for the series.

That does, of course, bring me to the poll though! That’s right it’s time to decide the next series for Throwback Thursday. I’ll announce the results of the poll next week when the final review goes live and then I will have a 1 week break before I start the next series. That means Throwback Thursday will resume on June 3rd, which kind of sucks for me because I will be on a business trip the week of June 13th. Maybe I’ll be able to prepare a post ahead of time, no idea, I’ll figure it out. For now I have to get started on that review. See you then!