***Minor Spoiler Review***
What’s up everyone! Welcome to Beyond The Panel. Coming at you today with talk about the finale for Listeners, “Hello, Goodbye”! If you told me that at this point in the series we would have had Echo having to take on a possessed Mu? I would not have believed you. Not when this series led us so well on this journey to finding Jimmy and discovering just who Mu used to be, before she lost her memories. Though with that said, that is what makes this stage of the story so exciting. Everyone is finding that what they wanted was much more than they bargained for, but it is at times like this where the real heroes stand tall when the odds are stacked against them.
If there was one thing which was bothering me about last week’s episode, it was the lack of Echo. I mean just where did he go? More importantly, where did he go that he has now made an entrance as a new Player? While I had all of these questions surrounding what happened behind the scenes, I was at the same time just thrilled that Echo evolved into a character who could do more than simply be the engineer. This wouldn’t have been required of him if he was still with Mu, but he’s not. His character was going to go nowhere if he was not able to step up into a more active role.
So it was a thrill when all looked hopeless, and there he was with both a jack in his back and his amp. Despite them not explaining how this was possible for Echo, nonetheless I loved that this was his moment to rise to the occassion and step into the fight. Of course it seemed like this was a battle he couldn’t win on the surface, so it made a big difference that there was more to the battle which was about to unfold than simply one being more powerful than the other. For Echo, this was a matter of reaching Mu in a way that others had failed. In these moments I found a genuine appreciation for what it is that these Players are supposed to offer through their equipment. What we aren’t hearing, the Earless and everyone else were hearing on a different level.
This didn’t change the fact that I wished there was actually some music to this, but that was something which you had to get over pretty quick in the series. Aside from that, the battle between Echo and Mu was intense and straight to the point. I was actually surprised by how fast it came and went. They were more focused on the dialogue shared between them, and I couldn’t argue with the endearment we experienced from it.
The biggest takeaway from that final confrontation with Mu was the way that everyone’s eyes were opened to what they were doing wrong up to this point. Even in this battle they tried to wage against the Earless, they were still fighting for the wrong reasons, and only seeing a black and white situation. They needed that one moment to grasp that reaching a point of understanding was the only way to bring the fighting to an end.
I only had one complaint about the end for this series, and that was the lack of clarity to what came after the dust settled. Some things only made sense considering what needed to change about this world moving forward, some things you could piece together yourself visually, though there were others things which maybe didn’t click as they should have. Such things as the new development between humans and Earless, or the fact that there are people lost who are now back. They didn’t quite explain how some of these things were as possible as they were.
As the finale to Listeners, “Hello, Goodbye” was comforting, decisive, though shaky on bringing overall satisfaction. I know what I wanted from the series when I first jumped into it, and while it didn’t deliver on everything expected, this is without a doubt one that knew how to captivate your heart. There is nothing lost from a story which aims to tackle the struggle of self-discovery and looking past differences.