On the surface, this week’s episode is about the recently rescued Boxxo and the Menagerie of Fools working together to take down the burning giant skeleton from last episode. But it’s a lot deeper than just a big action set piece.
After weeks of keeping us in the dark, we’re finally clued into what the Menagerie of Fools’ true goals are. Basically, at the bottom of the dungeon is a wish-granting device. To get your wish granted you need to find the device and give it one of the coins gathered after defeating a floor boss. The Menagerie of Fools is already well on their way to getting all the coins they need but are more than willing to take down an extra boss if it means getting Boxxo and Lamis on their side. Now, of course, we don’t learn the wishes that the Menagerie of Fools want granted—that’s a mystery for another time. Rather, we learn Lamis’ wish: for Boxxo to be made human once more.
For Lamis, it’s simple. Boxxo is already her best friend—the most important person in the world to her. But the barriers that separate them (i.e., him being an inanimate box that can’t move or speak) are tough on her. While she is more in tune with him than anyone else, we’ve seen her unable to understand what he needs her to do more than once. Even in this episode, his plan to stop the giant skeleton’s fire by using dry ice and exploiting the fact that CO² is heavier than air almost gets everyone killed. After all, they have no idea what CO² is and he has no way of telling them. Rather, he has to trick Lamis into knocking him into the pit, kill the boss by falling on it, and then transform into the air machine in the hopes that Hulemy will remember what it’s used for and stop the Menagerie of Fools and Lamis from hopping in after him. It’s one heck of a gamble.
So while Lamis’ wish to turn Boxxo human may seem like the logical thing to do, the idea throws Boxxo into an existential crisis. The simple fact is that Boxxo likes being a vending machine. He likes dispensing things and likes how he has been able to help Lamis and those around him. Becoming a normal person again—losing all that has made him special in this world worries him. Would just him, as a person, be enough for Lamis? Or would she grow tired of the normal him quickly?
Yet, this is just the start of the fear that is controlling his actions. Boxxo reveals that he could have purchased a telepathy skill but hasn’t. While being unable to fully communicate has tremendous drawbacks, he is unable to get past the worries of what true communication would mean for his relationships with Lamis, Hulemy, and everyone else. He’s afraid of letting himself be vulnerable—to let those he cares about get to know the real him. As long as he can’t speak, he has an excuse for keeping them at arm’s length—for keeping the status quo as is.
But by the end of the episode, even Boxxo is forced to admit that he is running from the truth. Lamis just wants to be with him. She wants to spend time talking with him and to cook for him—to feed him just as he has fed her so many times. She wants more and so does he—he just has to get past his insecurities to make that happen.
• In case you missed it, the wish-granting device is obviously a vending machine—because of course, it is.
• I like how this episode is mostly just Boxxo using previously seen transformations instead of just another “new vending machine of the week” that saves the day.
• Lamis is better at understanding Boxxo on an emotional level. Hulemy is better at understanding him on a logical one.
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