Every week I keep hoping for Anne NOT to go to school, and this episode listened to my prayers: it was an entire episode, dedicated to the Hammond family, and holy crap! Spoiler alert!
Hammond was bound to die, we all knew that. However, I didn’t think that the creators were going to be this fast with it! We’ve got eight episodes left. I really thought that the entire second half of this series would be spent on the Hammond family, in contrast with the Thomas Family, and that Hammond’s death, and Anne’s subsequent leaving of that family as the major climax. This episode gives my entire expectations for the rest of this series a whole new dimension.
Hammond’s death didn’t have the same impact as the Bert’s, but that’s only logical. He’s only had the screen-time of about four episodes, and really didn’t have the time to truly make an impact. And not to mention that his death was a bit cheesy. Did the creators really have to pull down these angelic lights for it? Nevertheless, this was a great episode that really gave a lot of depth for the Hammond family for as far as possible. We see how the couple fell in love, and how Mr. Hammond just kept working himself to death, in order to support his family.
The death scene also showed a fundamental difference with the Thomas family. One thing I really liked about that scene was the random passer-by: he immediately tried to do everything he could to try and save Mr. Hammond. That’s not something you see often in anime, is it? It really showed that Mr. Hammond is well liked in his town, completely the opposite of Bert, who people refused to help even when Noah was in trouble. You could call Mr. Hammond naive, but at the same time he strikes me as someone who didn’t want to give in to his illness: with his heart, he knew that he wouldn’t see his children grow up, and therefore did everything he could to ensure them a future as good as possible: he kept taking on large jobs to give his wife financial support, he searched for Anne to support his wife for after he dies. And in the meantime, he simply tries to forget about his problems by being nice, fantasizing like Anne and generally looking at the bright side of life.
But yeah, the problem is going to be: what will the rest of this series focus at? Anne is going to have to leave eventually, but how long will that take? We know that she and Mrs. Hammond don’t go well together, and I think that Mrs. Hammond will use that reason to send Anne to the orphanage. Still, I do think that the two of them are going to spend a few more episodes together.
I also really wonder what this series is going to do for its climax, and what this series is going to look like once Anne does arrive at the orphanage (which at the same time seems so close now). At this point, episodes in this series can either be really good or really dull, with nothing in between: at this point I’ve really lost my patience with this show’s cheesy episodic stories like what we saw in the previous two episodes. However, at the same time the themes of dysfunctional families have been fleshed out really well now, with the Hammond family to contrast with the Thomas family.
Rating: ** (Excellent)