If there’s one criticism that I could level at “The World Is Still Beautiful”, it’s that plot elements seem to wrap up too quickly and too neatly. The previous episode shows Livius in a complete rage, ready to imprison Nike. This episode starts off with him pretty much recanting his rage and more-or-less brushing off the offense. It’s more than a little jarring if you think about it, and probably unrealistic. Yes, we know that Livius cares deeply for Nike, and that she has had a profound impact on his life, but let’s not forget that he has years of anger and hatred built up, and I would assume that his assumption was that Nike was betraying him. It would have made for a good point of conflict for Nike to have to soothe that wound. Yes, I know the whole situation wasn’t her fault, but we know that Livius can be irrational, and to be fair we know that Nike is also quite powerful and probably could have freed herself from Bard’s grasp instead of letting him carry her as far as he did.
That said, this episode does have a decent theme of reconciliation. Again, the criticism of being wrapped up too quickly could be leveled here, as lots of issues seemed to be resolved in a relatively short amount of time. Livius and Bard spend a few minutes talking, but we’re told that an hour (I believe it was an hour—might have even been longer) has passed. Granted, this has been a fairly light-hearted show (for the most part), and I suppose that is the tone the writers would prefer to keep.
Despite all of this criticism, I would be a liar to say that I didn’t enjoy the episode. It had its funny moments (see: Nike after the rain ceremony), and overall it remains likable. I guess I just feel like they could have done more with this plot point.
A Christian Perspective:
Ephesians 4:26 “In your anger do not sin”: Do not let the sun go down while you are still angry,
Well, the application: how much of this conflict could have been avoided if Livius would have just cleared the area with Bard from the get go, instead of letting his anger and resentment build up? Granted, Bard doesn’t seem to make it easy, especially with his attitude and advances on Nike, but isn’t the world (and aren’t people) usually like that? If forgiveness was easy, then we wouldn’t need the grace of God to help us. Is forgiveness possible for the unbeliever? I suppose so, but the fact that we have to be commanded to forgive in Scripture certainly indicates that it’s not something that comes naturally to us. If it did, it wouldn’t need to be commanded. After all, none of us needs to be commanded to eat, sleep, or use the bathroom—these are all natural things, and we do them without the need to be commanded to do so (potty training children notwithstanding).
Language: 1 “d**n”
Alcohol/Drug Use: None
Nudity/Sex/Fanservice: Nike is still wearing her dress from last episode at the beginning of this episode, and the dress showed cleavage; Bard is shown lying naked in a woman’s bed (the most you see is his bare chest, bare back, and a bit of his butt crack), with the woman herself finishing dressing (we see nothing even remotely fanservicey about her) which implies that the two slept together (Bard also pulls her down on the bed at one point); 18:53-18:59 Nike shows a little cleavage
Violence: Nike cuts Livius’ hair with her wind magic; a character is hit with a pillow; a character is pounded on the chest; a character is kicked; a character’s hair is pulled