Season 3 spoilers – not in terms of plot, but some about character arcs

Read more: Catching up on season 3 of Juno Steel

As much as I love getting stories from the other characters’ POVs, it really feels like an awkward time to be getting only occasional outside glimpses of Juno’s development.

Which is frustrating because typically I adore the exterior POV. I mean I do here, too, but it also comes with a lot of “Wait, but that sounds important.”

I…am just gonna skip Mega-Robots of Ultrajustice I think, because Rita’s a sweetheart but I cannot take more than a couple minutes of her narration at a time.

But Tools of Rust and Shadows on the Ship WERE fantastic. Not shocking because Jet and Vespa are fantastic, but it’s good to see them getting stories as quality as they deserve.

I cheated and read ahead on the wiki for the general plots of season 4 so I’m good and spoiled, but that makes me feel just how much we’re missing here. We could really have done with more Carte Blanche domesticity, I think? And definitely more Juno and Ransom. And really Juno and everybody because we don’t really see his relationship with anybody as it develops, but then we skip to the end of the season and are simply informed “Oh these people are so important to him, they’re his family now?” Like…that’s a big, big BIG word for Juno to have it pulled out of the air like that.

That said, s3 as it stands is awesome. It could’ve just used…more, before it moved on to the next plot turn.

On a character analysis note I have an interesting love/discomfort relationship with Buddy. She’s amazing! I adore her! But sometimes she feels kinda too amazing. Like is there anything this woman can’t do? She’d be a mary sue if her name were on the show. But also that’s a hilarious setup? That she’s amazing and nigh-flawless and unstoppable and perfect but she’s not the main character! She makes the main character seem kinda childish and sulky and tawdry and not especially good at anything…which since we’re talking about Juno is a very fun and interesting turn.

It’s really fun and thought-provoking to have Juno positioned in the middle of this crew of criminal legends. Every one of them is remarkable. Mythical even. They’re all a bit past their glory days but over and over you see how improbably amazing they are. And it feels suitable for Juno to be comparatively mediocre in their midst. His inability to see his own appeal–his tendency to actively undercut it–is such an important, driving force for his character. Not a good driving force, but it’s behind so many of the decisions he’s made in his life that putting him in a situation where it’s not just in his head–that compared to these incredible people, you kind of objectively do ask what he really brings to the table–it’s such an intriguing choice.

So that makes it kind of frustrating that it doesn’t go anywhere? I would’ve liked the chance to glimpse more of his arc there, coming to terms with that and emotionally finding his feet there and coming to feel like he’s part of them.

I would not give up the stories we got. But getting one or two glimpses of his perspective in between would’ve been nice. Getting to check in with him on his climb back up from rock bottom now and then.

In particular I would’ve really liked to see more of Juno and Vespa settling in with each other. The way they strike sparks off each other is just the best. They are both so hard on themselves, they feel so much of their damage and they both internalize it and then become so sensitive to anyone else’s perceived judgment. Juno says he can’t stand the way Vespa seems to look down on him, and he drives her nuts because she thinks he’s a facile idiot who judges her constantly. (And, in her defense, he starts out saying a lot of awful shit to her–he’s definitely unloading his worst self onto her there for a while).

I want to SEE the part where they realize their problem is that they’re so much alike. They’re both capable of being such deeply empathic people. In fact that’s a fair chunk of why they’re both capable of being so cruel and abrasive. I wish I’d gotten to see more of them coming to terms with that.

Like at the beginning of Shadows on the Ship, I’m with Vespa. Some of the shit coming out of Juno’s mouth, Buddy should’ve just hauled off and punched him in it. As Vespa’s partner AND as captain. People who’re supposed to be backing each other up should not get away with spewing that kind of poison at their teammates.

He’s supposed to be working on getting better. He committed to that at the end of S2. And getting better is not a straight line, but I think there would’ve been value in seeing more of that journey of his.

It would certainly have been emotionally satisfying to see that for the scenes where he’s a writhing prick, he also sometimes manages to pull his head out of his ass and apologize at others.

And maybe see more of what Juno does bring to the table when he’s standing in the middle of all these living legends.

There are glimpses of his detective skills. Moments when he puts things together or notices stuff that’s genuinely fucking brilliant. He notices or infers things that even a boatful of paranoid criminal geniuses miss. I would’ve enjoyed seeing more of that side of him too, when he’s always so down on himself about any of his skills besides his sharpshooting.

Anyway! I liked it a lot! It just felt like it could’ve done with a couple more episodes.

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