Jun 152012

One conspiracy theory (probably) debunked. Oscar is (was) a dude (maybe).

My initial gut reaction was that Oscar loathed Fujiko due to the latter giving women a bad reputation. Fujiko represents all these negative stereotypes in Oscar’s eyes, and I was thinking this was why the rivalry was born. I was thinking there would be this duality between the two of them– yin/yang and all that shit– and that this would play into some final showdown.

Nope. Oscar was most likely a dude, and his hatred for Fujiko is based purely in jealousy. Oscar’s infatuated with Zenigata due to your classic “you rescued me and I want to be like you” moment. Very Utena-esque. Oscar wants to reciprocate the favor Zenigata extended to him when he was a child, he wants that affection returned, and he wants to protect Zenigata from the seemingly-corrupting forces of Fujiko. Oscar wants to be the white knight and the princess all wrapped into one package. Again, this is all Utena’d up.

So it’s interesting to see how Oscar effectively becomes the very deceitful, corrupting force that he so loathes. He doesn’t just adopt Fujiko’s deceptive tactics, framing her for a series of crimes that don’t even fit her modus operandi. He doesn’t even stop at masquerading as his nemesis. He’s willing to become worse than Fujiko in order to prove himself her better when he murders a cop in cold blood to protect his ruse.

But that isn’t what’s particularly interesting about this episode. Seeing the would-be hero fall further than his nemesis is cool and all, but it isn’t new shit. What’s awesome about Oscar’s story is the final moment..

Oscar places a bomb on a bridge. This bomb is intended to be the ultimate set-up to show that Fujiko has gone too far. Before the bomb goes off, Oscar learns that Zenigata is effectively incapable of corruption. We learn that Zenigata has turned down promotions and the like because he refused to live the life of a crooked cop. We the viewers can’t take that proclamation completely seriously, since we’ve seen more of Zenitaga’s inner workings than Oscar, but that speech causes Oscar to see Zenigata in a new light. He’s learned that Zenigata doesn’t need saving. Whatever was going on between Zenigata and Fujiko behind closed doors, it wasn’t something that Zenigata couldn’t handle on his own. Oscar still has his intense love for Zenigata, but he’s realized he doesn’t need to be that white knight protecting him from the “spittoon woman.” That’s what I got from that moment at least.

So that leads to Oscar’s sacrifice. Realizing there’s no time to disarm the bomb, he leaps into the river and goes down with the bomb to ensure his scheme doesn’t claim anyone’s life but his own. It’s the sort of noble sacrifice that usually redeems the character in question.

But does the series allow Oscar to redeem himself? He seems to be having one of those pre-death dream sequences where the character gets to realize all of their sins and enjoy a moment of blissful, delusional peace before they die, and in his case he gets to imagine himself as Zenigata’s bride.

And just as Oscar is about to join Zenigata in a loving embrace, a bird swoops in and attacks Oscar, wrecking the fantasy and ending the episode.

Is this bird representing Oscar’s subconscious refusing to allow himself a moment of self-redemption? Is his dream shifting to a nightmare, and his final moments is nothing but regret and punishment?

Is the bird simply the explosion taking his life, his brain interpreting the shock as a bird swooping in and wrecking the dream? The bomb was cast in the form of an owl, so this might be his dream interpreting it in such a literal manner.

Or maybe Oscar isn’t dead. Maybe that bird is one of the owl men that have been hounding the cast the past few episodes. Maybe we’ll see Oscar resurface in the finale, being used by these men as a weapon to take down Fujiko.

It’s probably none of that. Or we’ll probably never find out. But it’s an interesting call back to that one episode of the third TV series, which also ends with a jarring bird screech and an ambiguous ending caused by said bird’s appearance.

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