The Adventure Zone: Graduation Ep. 7 “Secrets, Secrets”
“Secrets, Secrets” premieres with semester break for the boys and Rainer’s birthday party on the horizon! With no classes to take and no heroic or villainous actions on the schedule, we’re able to spend more time getting to know them as people. In Travis’s world, this means one thing: student-teacher conferences.
The firbolg is up first this episode, meeting with Bartholomeus the accounting professor. The firbolg might not be his best student, but the firbolg is the most improved student. The firbolg has been working hard to understand capitalism and has earned a C- for himself! Bartholomeus wants the firbolg to take Accounting 101 again, but the firbolg will not do this thing.
If a firbolg started yelling about not wanting to do something in my office? That firbolg won’t be doing whatever that thing is, that’s for sure.
Backstory time! The firbolg is still searching for a purpose. He has a great pain he’s working through that came from being exiled from his clan. Whatever drove his clan to do this, he found himself at Heironymous Wiggenstaff’s School for Heroism and Villainy, and he’s decided to join up with the school because it’s his fate.
This goes back to the yelling firbolg situation — did he just walk into the registrar’s office and demand to take classes? Did they let him in without any kind of academic transcript or references? Did they dump him in Accounting 101 without having him take placement exams?
Bartholomeus suggests the firbolg search for his own life’s purpose instead of devoting his all to the school. The firbolg doesn’t know how to do this — but his uncertainty really resonates. How many of us are still looking for our life’s purpose?
Sir Fitzroy gets to meet directly with Higglemus, who gives him some homemade tea (which isn’t poisoned) and then demands to know why Sir Fitzroy is so upset about being a sidekick instead of a knight. Sir Fitzroy dances around the issue while managing to insult the school specifically and also the idea of sidekicks in general, then tries to back out of the conversation entirely.
When he’s finally pinned down, Sir Fitzroy explains that being a knight seems fair. Knights work hard and they get their just rewards. It isn’t necessarily the chivalry or the nobility or the attention knights get; it’s the fact that anyone can raise themselves up by their bootstraps and accomplish something great.
Higglemus thinks that’s not how knighthood works, and he’s never seen anything work like that, and he’s also concerned about what Hieryonymous sees in Sir Fitzroy. “You can’t trust anyone here,” he says, as though that’s a normal concern to have about one’s workplace or one’s brother. Sir Fitzroy says people keep telling him that, but he honestly doesn’t seem all that concerned. He’s too focused on moving up the ranks of power (and getting a bigger suite) to be worried about the trifles of good vs. evil in this school.
And, honestly, that seems like the biggest indicator he should be in the Villain track. I’m not sure what his alignment is, but it feels like true neutral at best. In Travis’s world, that’s the best way to be a successful Villain.
My favorite part of “Secrets, Secrets” was the running joke that Sir Fitzroy is bad at swearing. He’s never learned how because he’s always been working toward his goal of knighthood — and knights are good, so they don’t swear. Now that he’s a villain, he’s trying to learn to integrate swear words into his regular vocabulary, and every single one of Travis’s NPCs points out how awkward it sounds. I’m obsessed with it.
Argo finally gets to join this secret society his mother had been a part of, even though he won’t be allowed to tell the firbolg or Sir Fitzroy about the Unbroken Chain. Also, and I know I’ve said this before, but I really love the sound effects and audio editing this season. The background noises really bring the story to life for me, and I love the depth they give Travis’s world.
Last episode, Travis described this two-episode arc as the season finale, and “Secrets, Secrets” really feels like it. A few questions are answered, but so many more are brought up.
Why does the Unbroken Chain care about Sir Fitzroy?
Why is Hieronymous suddenly interested in him?
What happened to Leon?
Why does the firbolg have these dreams? Will he ever pick a name?
There wasn’t combat this episode. There were barely any dice rolls. No one bought anything or fought anything or nearly died, but this might be my favorite episode this season. It left me desperate for the next episode so I can make sure all my favorite characters will be okay.
Where do you think Graduation is going next?
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