Arcane Act Three Review: An Explosive Finale To An Incredible Story
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Review: Arcane Act Three Brings The Incredible Story To An Explosive Finale

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BY November 19, 2021

Arcane is a brilliant animated series currently on Netflix. The show comes from the League Of Legends online game. But despite that connection, it’s more than a cash grab and is a very well-rounded story with compelling stories from every angle. The nine episode series sees its finale on Netflix now, and it ends the incredible series with a massive bang. So check out this non-spoiler Arcane act three review to see why you should be watching Arcane if you are not already.

Please note, that the following review will contain spoilers for Arcane acts one and two, so read my non-spoiler reviews for both those acts before this one.

Arcane Act Two Recap

Trio Image via Netflix.

Arcane deep dives into the duality of its story with the contrasting reflection of its major elements. The story is about two sisters in the setting of two cities that end up being at war with one another. The two cities of Zaun and Piltover are on the brink of war, while heroes and villains are becoming clearer on either side. The best part is that it’s not what we expected. When we last left Arcane, Vi and Powder, now dubbed Jinx after her transformation, finally unite. After escorting Caitlyn through the streets of Zaun, they were finally able to locate the gemstone. But then the Firelighters arrive, leading to a massive fight scene between everyone. The sixth episode ends with Vi and Caitlyn getting kidnapped, while Jinx is  alone. Again.

In the meantime, Jayce has taken over the council, in a journey that sees him lose himself in the power dynamics of becoming a councillor. Almost losing sight of his original good intentions to help the people of his world. Jayce’s story in many ways mirrors Jinx’s, with different degrees of extremity, obviously. The corruption of Piltover influences Jayce in not so great ways, while Jinx’s completely unhinged mental status is creating more problems. Things are coming to a head and there are talks about using Hextech to make weapons. So it’s all tense and stressful as everyone tries to avoid war, while others barrel towards it.

Arcane Act Three Review Is Spoiler-Free

Arcane act three review jinx. Image via Netflix.

The review of the third act of Arcane is all about the culmination of all the plot points set up in the previous episodes. As Jinx (Ella Purnell) gets more and more out of control, it starts affecting the inhabitants of Piltover. Namely, Jayce (Kevin Alejandro), in his newfound role of authority feels forced to take action. People want to go to war, while Vi (Hailee Steinfeld) and Caitlyn (Katie Leung) try to convince the council who is really behind the attacks, Silco (Jason Spisak). However, things are already to a point where war might be the only option.

The show is a great exploration of two opposing ideas, concepts and natures. As great as the blockbuster elements of the show is, with the insane actions sequences, of which there are many in act three. And boy, does the action blow minds. Vi has a lot of cool sequences of fighting here, and they’re awesome. I honestly wish there was more, but that’s not a complaint just more a wish of wanting more. Always, more.

The Finale Connects To Act One In A Surprising Way

Arcane act three review fire. Image via Netflix.

All the out-of-context plot points and sets up from act one finally get closure in act three of Arcane. Somewhat, but not entirely. While the episodes never felt like they were ignoring or leaving any loose ends, certain story beats were still not brought up again. Until this final act. The mystery of the rebel Firelighters is revealed, as we inch close to an ending. I say an ending because it’s difficult to end a story like Arcane conclusively. Also because I’m not sure what the plans for this series are going forward, given the massive time commitment it took for Riot Games and Fortiche to create this one. But I’m getting ahead of myself.

As the politics and relationships keep deteriorating, the new character Viktor (Harry Lloyd) is making progress in another dangerous and mysterious way. Seeing Hextech as the cure for his disease, he begins to go down a dark path. While Jayce is on his own path realizing that there’s more wrong with the world that his magic inventions cannot fix. As streams cross, our protagonists team up, kind of, to try to stop the villain.

Criticisms Abound In Arcane Act Three Review

Arcane act three review sisters. Image via Netflix.

Now that the series has concluded, I can definitely make some criticisms about how it all went down. Most of them are relegated to this third act, as the ending is a little abrupt and sudden. Like I mentioned earlier, this would be fine if the possibility of a continuation was obvious, but I doubt it given how long Arcane took to make. As of right now, we have no information of whether Arcane will return for a season two. But even putting that aside, the resolution of this third act feels more like the end of the second act of a three-art story.

The gauntlet of war is down, but there’s a lot of build-ups that resolve, very unsatisfyingly. It feels like the first two acts leading up to an epic showdown that seemingly never comes. There’s a lot of development of supporting characters into main leads, that also seemingly go nowhere. While Caitlyn became a pretty beloved character from act two, act three highlights both Viktor and Mel Medarda (Toks Olagundoye). But Mel’s interesting backstory doesn’t have a purpose in Arcane thus far. Act Three introduces a lot of new concepts, like the acts before, but given that season one of Arcane ends after episode nine, we’re left wondering what happens to those arcs and threads.

Arcane Is a Must-Watch, For Gamers, Cinephiles And Fans Of Animated Affairs

Arcane act three review punch. Image via Netflix.

Arcane is a brilliant show. It surpasses all expectations, not just for an animated series or a video game adaptation. But as a compelling story in general. It features enough heart, drama and mind-boggling visual spectacle that it can appeal to all audiences, and of any genre. The show is also surprisingly balanced. There’s never one specific aspect (action, drama, emotion) that overwhelms the other, which is impressive in and of itself. The action is a little explicitly and over the top violent and gory at times. But besides that and two brief scenes of sexual content, the show even works for all ages. At the parents’ discretions, of course.

All nine episodes of Arcane are now streaming on Netflix.

What did you think of the Arcane act three and finale of this brand new series? Let us know in the comments below.

Featured image via Netflix.

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Shah Shahid is an entertainment writer, movie critic (so he thinks), host of the Split Screen Podcast (on Apple Podcasts & everywhere else) and filmy father on a mission to educate his girls on decades of film history. Armed with uncontrollable sarcasm and cautious optimism, Shah loves discussing film, television and comic book content until his wife’s eyes glaze over. So save her by engaging him on his own blog at BlankPageBeatdown.com or on Twitter @theshahshahid.

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