Arcane – Season 1 Episodes Ranked

I was a little late on the Arcane train, but once I got into it I fell in love with the characters and worldbuilding. If nothing else, this show is a testament to solid writing and phenomenal animation.

It’s one of the most consistent show’s I’ve seen in recent times, but I can definitely pick my favourites. How would I rank all of the episodes?

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Good

9 – Welcome to the Playground (Ep 1)

“Welcome to the Playground” is a decent start to a series, and the action is definitely thrilling, but it didn’t hook me as much as I wanted to. I actually stopped watching after the first episode, and didn’t come back to it for 6 months.

That being said, it’s clear that a lot of attention to detail went into this show from the get go. The characters are compelling, the worldbuilding is immaculate, and in hindsight it’s a decent hook for new viewers.

A little side rant: I wasn’t a fan of Arcane’s use of music. The modern pop rock ballads felt out of place in this fantasy world – this will be a hugely unpopular opinion, but I would have preferred a more traditional orchestral soundtrack.

8 – Some Mysteries Are Better Left Unsolved (Ep 2)

A bit like with the first episode, “Some Mysteries Are Better Left Unsolved” hadn’t quite reached the top tier just yet. Luckily, some of the best characters are introduced.

Jayce’s arc was easily one of my favourite aspects of the show, and his interactions with Viktor and Heimerdinger were so much fun. You could tell the tension was being built up nicely.

7 – Happy Progress Day (Ep 4)

After the bombshell that was Episode 3, I was thrilled when “Happy Progress Day” jumped forwards in time – the more advanced world was exactly the kind of fantasy setting I was dying to see.

All of the characters have changed as well, and Jinx’s transformation shocked me considerably. It’s not the most fast-paced episode, but it got Act 2 of the season going.

Great

6 – Everybody Wants to Be My Enemy (Ep 5)

The Imagine Dragons cameo was completely immersion-breaking, but the rest of the episode is great.

The Caitlyn and Vi combo is electric straight out of the gate, and the fight at the end was brutal. A really solid episode.

5 – The Boy Saviour (Ep 7)

The back half of Arcane started to get really intense, and the final few episode had me on the edge of my seat the whole time.

“The Boy Saviour” has some really fantastic action that culminated in that iconic scene in the bridge. The music wasn’t my favourite, and the art style felt a little pretentious at times, but I can’t deny that I was in complete awe.

4 – When These Walls Come Tumbling Down (Ep 6)

I love how the relationship between Caitlyn and Vi is developed here, and it all ends in some fantastic confrontations with Silco and Jinx (that flare scene is one of the best moments of the season).

On the whole, this was lots of fun.

3 – Oil and Water (Ep 8)

That relationship between Caitlyn and Vi comes to a head in “Oil and Water”, and it’s impressive how they made me root for them even though they’d only known each other for a few episodes.

Also, getting to see Hextech in all its glory was awesome, and the ending scene served as one of my favourite action set-pieces in the season.

Amazing

2 – The Monster You Created (Ep 9)

I was a little disappointment by this finale when I first saw it – they were teasing an all-out war that I thought would get underway in this episode, but they ended up leaving it for Season 2. In hindsight, I’m glad they’re taking their time to build the story.

What we did get was a small-scale conflict with some of the most intense drama of the year, and an ending that left me speechless. Bring on Season 2!

1 – The Base Violence Necessary for Change (Ep 3)

The first two episodes were fine, but I wasn’t entirely hooked. That all changed with Episode 3 – “The Base Violence Necessary for Change”.

It immediately cemented Silco as one of the most complex villains of the year, and one of my favourite antagonists of recent times. The final battle in the warehouse blew me away over and over again, and the scene where Powder accidentally kills her friends left me gobsmacked. A phenomenal episode of TV.

Season Rating: B+

It’s a little annoying that the show peaked in episode 3, and the soundtrack felt out of place at times, but Arcane’s worldbuilding and storytelling were second to none. I reckon Season 2 will blow everyone’s socks off.

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