SPY x FAMILY 1×14 & 1×15 Review: “Disarm the Time Bomb” & “A New Family Member”

The (fake) Forger family comes together (unknowingly) to save the day again! “Disarm the Time Bomb” and “A New Family Member” continue where “Project Apple” left off. Loid, Anya, and Mr. Dog are off separately to foil a terrorist bomb plot while Yor is just a humble housewife passing by, seriously officer, I have no idea how that man’s ribs got kicked in.

Seriously, between Yor being an almost literal mama bear and the Handler’s speech to the students, “Disarm the Time Bomb” prove that the greatest spy ever Twilight can’t hold a candle to the powerful women in his life.

But no, seriously, let’s unpack that speech from Sylvia. I know that SPY x FAMILY has a lot of fun, cutesy, slice-of-life moments, but this series can get pretty dark. It wasn’t until I read the manga that I realized just how dark this is going to get. A bunch of naïve students who have never known war trying to disrupt a fragile peace (for what? What did they think a war would accomplish?) being schooled by a woman who has seen some sh*t is just the tip of the iceberg.

These kids talk a big game, but none of them have any idea. They were even willing to sacrifice innocents for their nebulous cause, but they likely would have bolted at the first sign of actual fighting. (Except maybe Keith. Dude threw a grenade at a moving car and had no qualms about disposing of Anya and Yor when they got in his way.) When it comes down to it, they’re just a bunch of stupid kids who got radicalized to an extreme degree.

I like that this series doesn’t shy away from the realities of war. Sylvia’s speech only serves to emphasize the importance of Loid’s mission. He is desperate to end the cold war between Ostania and Westalis. We’ll eventually learn why, but given his reaction to what Handler says, he’s seen his fair share of unpleasant moments as well.

Before we get too far off the subject, “Disarm the Time Bomb” also perfectly shows the duality of Yor. She is both a woman who can frighten a trained attack dog with a snarl and a look and also a woman who believes that her husband has been in the bathroom for hours. It’s one of the reasons I would probably die for this woman.

Actually, this episode encapsulates what makes SPY x FAMILY such a good show. It’s the perfect mix of slice-of-life, family drama, action, and political intrigue. It’s also genuinely funny while not needing to resort to ridiculous cartoon shenanigans.

Case in point, I love that Anya is legitimately a kid. Sure, she and her dog-steed will race into danger to save her father from an explosion. But then she is foiled by simple things like being unable to tell time. And when faced with the knowledge that not all bombs are defused as easily as “cut the blue wire”, she leaves a warning on the door instead.

Having the main character defuse the bomb at the last second is such an overused trope, it was kind of nice having that flipped on its head. Anya still had to use what was available to fix the situation, but in a childlike, endearing way. She’s the overpowered main character, but she’s also, you know, five.

Contrast that with Anya being faced with the very real possibility that one day, Loid may die on one of his missions. The scenes of the dog’s vision, where Anya finds Loid’s lifeless body, were haunting. It’s the very future that Loid is trying to prevent.

“A New Family Member”, despite containing the conclusion of the terrorist bomb arc, returns to the more slice-of-life aspect of the series. Anya is still owed a dog as a reward, and she is determined to bring her new friend home over Loid’s protestations. At last, she threatens to do terribly at school, and I find it hilarious that we saw Loid and Sylvia react to that, instead of Yor. (I know why, I just think it’s funny.)

I hope you didn’t miss that minute peek into Sylvia’s past, when she tells Loid that she once had a daughter that age. It makes Sylvia’s speech from the previous episode all the more devastating. You knew that she was speaking from experience, but you didn’t really know the depths of her trauma until now.

Anyway, Loid finally agrees to bring home the Anya-christened Mr. Dog after Sylvia’s approval, and Anya’s genuine joy is so adorable. I love her awkward attempts at befriending Damian. She saw how Becky reacted to her getting a dog and immediately ran to do the same with Damian. By the way, her reactions when things don’t go according to her expectations will never not be hysterical.

Still, if it weren’t for Damian being Damian, we wouldn’t have that cute sequence of Anya trying desperately to come up with a name for her dog. I love that Bond is both an in-series reference while also acknowledging pop culture’s most famous spy. 

But also, we see that Bond’s past is just as traumatic as the rest of the Forger family. Loid, Yor, and Anya were both orphaned at a young age. Loid and Yor both had to grow up way too fast, Yor becoming an assassin and Loid likely having something similar happen. (Most well-adjusted people don’t become spies.) Someone on Reddit had the heartbreaking theory that Anya was fed dog food before, and that’s why her comment when she tried Bond’s was so matter-of-fact.

I think all of these damaged and lonely people (and dog) coming together is a beautiful thing. Loid acknowledges that once the mission is over, he’ll have no need for his family anymore. But somehow I think that as the series goes on, he will realize how important they are to him. We know that he isn’t as cold as he comes across, because he chooses to let the bomb dog bite him rather than simply killing it. (And then WISE adopts all of the bomb dogs.) It’s just a matter of time before he can’t lie to himself anymore.

Author: Jamie Sugah

Jamie has a BA in English with a focus in creative writing from The Ohio State University. She self-published her first novel, The Perils of Long Hair on a Windy Day, which is available through Amazon. She is currently an archivist and lives in New York City with her demon ninja vampire cat. She covers television, books, movies, anime, and conventions in the NYC area.


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