5 Point Discussion – Garo: Vanishing Line Episode 5: “Ring”

by Sage Ashford

Sword and Gina inspect a woman with the supposed ability to control a Horror through a cursed ring. But what is her true secret? And what happens when Sophia tags along with the duo? Remember, if you like this article and 5 Point Discussions, please be sure to share it.  And if you have any questions or comments, hit me up on Twitter @SageShinigami.
1. Last week’s episode felt like the entire point was building up to Sophie finally getting Sword to help her with finding El Dorado and learning what happened to her brother, so it’s kinda disappointing to get to this episode and see Sophie still begging Sword to help her out.The episode begins and ends with it as well, so Sophie’s own personal story basically hasn’t moved an inch since last week, despite the dramatic end scene at the end of episode 4.
2. This week’s episode centers around a case involving a former actress named Viola, a woman who supposedly owns a ring that lets her control her own Horror. She used it to land several crucial roles in her youth, then after getting married it’s intimated that she has her husband offed with it, before finally turning into a weird homeopathic child behavioral therapist. Rich parents bring unruly children to her and they come back quiet and seemingly “tamed”.
To infiltrate Viola’s home, Sword, Sophie, and a re-appearing Gina pose as a family in need of help with their unruly daughter. Surprisingly, the trio strongly resemble a real family–Gina and Sophie get along famously, in sharp contrast to what I would’ve initially expected. Fiction has a bad habit of not allowing female characters to get along, and in this case a professional like Gina could’ve easily looked down on Sophie, or Sophie could’ve been annoyed at how money hungry Gina seems to be, but instead they worked together to crack the case while Sword sat around nearly getting sexually assaulted. Speaking of…
3. So Viola’s an older, heavy-set woman that’s got poor physical boundary issues and an imposing aura that she kind of pushes on everyone around her. She creeps out Sophie from the beginning, but eventually sets her sights on Sword, who approaches her to see if her ring really controls Horrors. In an attempt to give Gina and Sophie time to inspect her home, Sword winds up going from a fancy dinner party in Viola’s living room to finding his way into her bedroom.
They take advantage of GARO’s position as a late-night series to offer a bit more nudity than I was expecting, but as creeped out as Sword is when the guy spends about as much time hitting on women unsuccessfully as he does actually hunting Horrors, the whole scene becomes funny. Particularly given…
4. The hidden truth of this episode is that Viola’s been the Horror the entire time. It makes sense; Gina explains early on that a ring actually capable of controlling a Horror would’ve been either incredibly hard to find or incredibly expensive, making it unlikely that a down-on-their-luck actress like Viola would’ve ever stood a chance at having it. Instead, she tried to summon the Horror and bind it using a fake ring, only to fail and get controlled by the Horror herself, having hid the truth from herself for what seems like decades through her rise and success as an actress.
It’s a small twist, but a great one that’s hard to see coming–you spend so much of the episode trying to figure out Viola’s trick, only to learn that she’s the one who’s been tricked. I spent the whole episode guessing that Viola was somehow placing the kids souls into cats until the very end.
5. I think the most unsettling part of this episode, though, is when we discover that Gina goes around discovering ancient, cursed artifacts in order to sell them to the highest bidder. Knowing that Gina’s fully aware of the power of curses is creepy enough on its own. But it starts to lean towards pure evil when you realize that she’s potentially enabling people to use Horrors, then confiscating the item/killing the person once things inevitably go south. Hopefully they go into greater detail on this, because there really should be some kind of explanation for actions that are basically no better than any other villain they’ve faced on the show.
Garo: Vanishing Line is available for streaming on Funimation and Crunchyroll.

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