Book of Circus: Episode 3 Review -Come on, Smile!
Previously on Book of Circus:
Ciel and Sebastian started their investigation of the missing children case. They visited Abberline and Undertaker; neither had records of bodies being found, meaning that the children are most likely still alive.
They attended the circus, but the children weren't there, either. But it isn't a total loss because Sebastian got to play with a tiger, which bit him on the head, scaring everybody.
Joker, the ringleader, brought Sebastian to see the circus doctor, where Sebastian found out that many of the main cast were missing limbs. Sebastian offended Beast and as a result showed off his skills, getting himself hired as a new member of the circus.
Read my review of episode two, here.
Let's Get Into It:
The episode opens with a replay of what we saw at the end of the last episode: starting with Beast and Dagger fighting Sebastian in the tent and ending with Snake stopping Sebastian from snooping around the private tents.
The scene continues from there, however. Snake says that the area is off limits, then looks away and adds “says Wilde,” attributing the words to one of his snakes. Sebastian leaves and Snake bids him farewell with a different voice, attributing it to another snake.
Sebastian returns to the carriage and reports to Ciel. Ciel is less than thrilled that Sebastian volunteered him for the circus.
They arrive at Ciel’s town house and are ambushed by Prince Soma and Agni, whom Ciel had tricked into minding his town house while Ciel is at his primary mansion in the country. Soma is excited as ever to have Ciel back. Sebastian explains to the audience who Soma and Agni are, while clips from their first encounter play in a gilded picture frame.
Soma wants to play chess, but Ciel has no more patience, and he goes to bed. As Sebastian gets Ciel ready for bed, they talk about Ciel joining the circus.
Ciel complains that he doesn’t see why Sebastian can’t join by himself. Sebastian explains that this is primarily Ciel’s job and it wouldn’t do to have him completely removed from it.
There will be an entrance test for Ciel in the morning, which Ciel is concerned about, as he can’t do anything that a circus would want in an act. The next morning, Ciel and Sebastian return to the circus. Ciel is dressed in rags and says that he is a pageboy named Finnian.
His first test is in knife-throwing. Dagger gives him knives and Joker puts him far away from the target. Dagger remarks to Joker that he was mean to put him so far away, as “Finnian” wouldn’t be able to throw a knife that far.
Ciel throws a knife and it looks like it is going to fall short, but at the last moment, it soars straight for the target and hits the bulls-eye. Everyone is shocked. All the knives Ciel throws, no matter how weak or off target, always hit the bulls-eye, because Sebastian is secretly flicking pebbles at the knives to guide their path.
The next test is the tightrope. Doll ties a rope around his waist, but Ciel still doesn’t want to do it. When Doll asks whether he will quit, Ciel says “no.”
Ciel steps out onto the tightrope but doesn’t get very far before he starts to fall. A pebble hits him that keeps him upright. As he walks forward, Sebastian’s flicked pebbles keep Ciel from falling off, though it hurts to get hit by them.
Joker says the last test is for Ciel to smile a nice big smile. This might be the hardest test of all for Ciel, and it is something he’ll have to do himself. Sebastian is busy snickering in the background. Finally, after much prodding, Ciel smiles the cutest, most innocent smile.
Joker congratulates Ciel on making it into the circus, while Sebastian continues to snicker at his master’s expense. Joker gives them their circus names: Sebastian is renamed “Black” and Ciel is renamed “Smile,” causing Sebastian to laugh again.
Joker gives them a tour of camp, and says that the larger tents are for the main cast and are off limits. He goes on to say that Snake’s tent is the first one and he lets his poisonous snakes run loose: another incentive to stay away from the private tents.
As they walk, Joker notices Ciel’s eyepatch and asks how he lost his eye. Ciel explains vaguely that it happened in an accident. Joker is saddened and softly touches Ciel’s face, muttering how Ciel was “so young” to have been hurt like that. He brightens up and says that everyone in this circus is damaged in some way.
Later, Sebastian and Ciel talk about poisonous snakes as they limber up for their first round of training. Sebastian says that when he was walking around camp, he didn’t sense the missing children, though he did sense something else that he couldn’t quite place.
Dagger comes up to them and says they should be done stretching by now. He asks what their acts will be. Ciel decides on knives.
Sebastian, being the show off that he is, flies around the circus ring, doing all sorts of possible acts on a scale that is not humanly possible: juggling dozens of bottles, incredible trapeze tricks, acrobatics… Dagger stops him before he swallows a sword. Everyone is impressed except Ciel.
Dagger mentions that Sebastian is the second super-skilled new recruit they’ve gotten. The first one is up on the tightrope, named Suit. It is William T. Spears, the reaper, in disguise.
Sebastian explains what reapers are to the audience. He says that if there is a reaper hanging around, it means someone is about to die.
William jumps to the ground and confronts Sebastian, without any attempt at subtlety, throwing terms around like reapers and demons.
Ciel thinks that their cover is blown, but then Dagger playfully knocks William’s head, telling him to stop telling jokes with such a straight face because no one can tell they’re jokes. Dagger explains that Suit is a huge occult freak.
Sebastian says to himself that it is extremely rare for a reaper to go undercover and since William is undercover, something is seriously wrong.
What I Thought of It:
This episode was very fun and it covered a lot of ground. There's something really funny about Ciel having to do things he knows he's no good at. He's such a proud character and the front he presents to the public is always composed and in control. It almost seems out of character for him to be bad at things. But then again, he is bad at quite a few things.
It's his serious demeanor combined with Sebastian's miracles that makes him seem like he would be good at everything. But there's nothing Sebastian can do to make Ciel's entry exam for the circus go smoothly. He can make all his knives hit their targets and keep him from falling off the tightrope, but it's anything but smooth.
And then he can't do anything about giving him a circus performer's bubbly attitude and smile. So he just stands in the background and laughs at how hard this is for Ciel. He likes seeing Ciel make a fool of himself almost as much as Ciel hates looking ridiculous.
This episode shows what Ciel is really in for when joining the circus. A lumpy mattress in a six-person tent, commoner's food, and being the new kid, the bottom rung of a group of people he thinks are beneath him.
This infiltration mission is going to be more of a growing experience than Ciel anticipated or wanted. And Sebastian will be there to laugh at--er--assist him.
There's a lot of character development for Ciel in this episode, as well as a development of the relationship between him and Sebastian.