Who's the internet's favorite special little war criminal? Is it the namesake of episode 105? You bet your little butt it is! Everybody welcome to the stage AKMAZIAN, DESTROYER OF THE FOURTH WAR! *insert raucous applause*
But I'm getting ahead of myself.
Akmazian (the episode and the character) doesn't shy away from throwing you straight into the deep end, in this case, a musty old maintenance shaft teeming with giant rats. Not to be confused for Rodents of Unusual Size, of course. Totally different. And out the other side, criminal dealings and bad Texan accents are waiting for you, maybe making you wish you just stayed home.
Unfortunately for you and our protagonists, that really isn't an option. Fortunately for us as an audience, the ensuing confrontation is some of the best audio to cross our ears.
From his first appearance, Akmazian stands out. He's intense, straight to the point, and his accent is in stark contrast to the people that surround him. Between his reputation and delivery, Akmazian commands a narrative weight that forces you to drop everything and listen.
It is within this space standoff we get to see some of Ryan's true colors show. He's not just anxious and awkward, he is spiteful and determined and has a will of steel whenever his morals are tested, to the point where the only reason he isn't blown into microscopic bits of flesh by a rogue rifle blast is Akmazian's huge gay crush on him. In terms of plot devices, it's clever, innovative, and just plain fun for all involved. Congratulations, Ryan, the resident space terrorist is in love with you and it's going to make your life a waking nightmare for the foreseeable future. And not for the reasons you think!
Unrelated to the burgeoning star-crossed lovers' situation, Levi is spectacular in this episode, if only because we finally get to see what he does in his free time and how bad he is at it despite all the practice. I still laugh at Akmazian saying "Kitchen Boy" like a curse.
Also, I cannot get "You got a lotta nerve talking to me like that," and "You've got a lot of nerve just being you," out of my head. Ryan's defiance, Akmazian's force, the knowledge that in just a few episodes' time they'll be the nexus point of demolishing an entire timeline… It's like a black hole in the universe, the bowling ball on the blanket, stretching and bending the entire fabric of spacetime around it. Everything diverges from and comes back to this point and we don't even know it yet.
Akmazian is truly a heart-stopping episode. For the performances, the plot, and pulling the trigger for the shot heard 'round the galaxy.
Later this week: We're relistening to 106 Antivaxx.