Arcane Act 3 can fix the Netflix show with one critical change

Bring the focus back to Vi and Jinx.

netflix arcane

The end of Arcane Act 1 is heartbreaking. After spending the majority of three episodes watching sisters Vi and Powder protect each other after a heist in Piltover goes wrong, they are separated following an explosion that leads to disastrous consequences. It’s a cliffhanger that might make you anxious to watch Act 2, which makes it that much more disappointing when the sisters are relegated to supporting character status in the second part of Arcane. For Act 3 to truly tie things up and cement Arcane as a top-tier animated fantasy series, it needs to redirect the focus towards Vi and Powder, who now goes by a more iconic name: Jinx.

Now it’s Personal

Arcane Act 1 felt personal and relatable. The way it explores family and relationships in the wildly fantastical world of Runeterra is compelling. Anyone with a sibling — not just League of Legends fans — can relate to what Vi and Powder experience. Their separation really tugs at the heartstrings.

Arcane is at its best when it's about Vi and Jinx.

Riot Games

But Act 1 also had a subplot about the creation of Hextech, a magical technology that powers the weapons and tech used by many of the League of Legends champions. While this storyline includes Champions like Jayce, Viktor, and Caitlyn, it mainly serves as a connection to lore relevant to Vi and Jinx’s story.

That’s why it comes off as odd to see so much of Act 2 dedication to what was originally the B-plot. We follow Jayce as he’s manipulated into mass-producing Hextech by councilwoman Mel Medarda and Caitlyn as she’s trying to prove Silco’s connection to crimes in Piltover, something we already know is the case.

Overall, Act 2 is far too concerned with worldbuilding and the bigger picture stuff related to Piltover and Zaun. As a result, it’s less interesting unless you’re already into League of Legends, and we don’t get to spend as much time with Vi or Jinx.

The B-Plot

Whenever the show cuts away to show Jinx, her relationship with the manipulative Silco, and her fragile mental state, it’s upsetting to see how far the once innocent Powder had fallen. It’s just clearly the subplot of Act 2 instead of the main one.

As for Vi, she’s barely in the fourth episode. She’s also mostly relegated to being a supporting character in Caitlyn’s by-the-numbers story about a cop who works outside the law to overcome corruption and truly deliver justice. Arcane Act 2’s political drama and crime investigation were more cliched than the sisterhood story of Act 1, which worked to these episodes' detriment.

Act 2 was at its strongest when Vi and Jinx finally reunited.

Riot Games

Those few minutes at the end of Episode 6 where Vi and Jinx reunite, question each others’ motives, and briefly team up to fight the Firelights represent the best part of Act 2, which speaks to the strength of these characters. It’s a shame that the Firelights defeated them and Vi was kidnapped so quickly.

The majority of Act 2 churns the plot along to get the technology and Piltover characters in the right place for Act 3. Now that all of that legwork is done, Arcane Act 3 needs to refocus on Vi and Jinx so that all the humdrum of Act 2 becomes a worthy sacrifice for a more explosive and emotional finale.

Arcane Act 3 premieres on November 20, 2021.

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