We arose today to the second act of Arcane. This act was a little slower than the first one, but we had a lot of development in the character's stories. As before, we had many easter eggs, references and foreshadowings in these three episodes, and in this article I'll point out everything I've caught. In this act Riot confirms they are already rewriting many Runeterra stories with a lot of changes already confirmed.
As in this article about the First Act of the show, I won't be resuming the episodes, but I will contextualize the scenes in which the references show up. So this article CONTAINS SPOILERS from the first six episodes of Arcane.
4th Episode - Happy Progress Day!
The first episode already starts mentioning Progress Day, a local holiday that celebrates the city's inauguration showing new inventions and displaying big parades and festivals. On this occasion the city will be celebrating 200 years of existence. This already shows the rewriting of the history of the city.
As in the actual story, at the times of Shurima, the city was called Oshra Va'Zaun, and when the first empire ended with the demise of Azir, it turned to only Zaun, which means the city was founded at least before 2000 BN (in Runeterra the calendar refers to Before Noxus and After Noxus), which was the year of the attempt of Azir's Ascension.
However, in 772 AN, in an attempt of improving commerce creating a passage between Runeterra's two oceans (As Panama's Canal is in the real world), the excavation of the canal created a seismic shock that sank part of the city. This way, the richer habitants moved to the ground level district, Piltover, while Zaun sank with the poorest habitants.
It might be that the 200 years that Heimerdinger refers to are related to this event, since the actual Runeterra year is around 995 AN, that would put Arcane in 972 AN, but some dates must be altered, or the city took a couple of years before considering an inauguration.
As Heimerdinger is talking about the Piltover's History, and Stanwick Padily, a man that only created a legacy to himself showing the importance of teaching about only inventing, we can see Heimer's companion, the Porofessor, which appeared in the game Splintered Worlds. Stanwick's history reflects itself in the relationship between Heimerdinger and Jayce in other episodes, when Jayce prioritizes his inventions over his mentor.
Next, we see Jayce's most impactful invention: The Hexportal. In a scene where a blimp (thanks, Caitlyn) is sent to Noxus through the portal, we can see it is Noxus through the globe right behind it. This must have been one of Jayce's first inventions because the teleport created by the magician was the magic that saved his life.
The first conflict of the arc shows the Firelights fighting against Silco's gang. There are some theories about who is their leader, if it is Ekko or a new character. But in this scene we can already see some of the clues that it might be the first option, since we can see the leader has an attachment to their watch.
One of Firelight's members uses a mask that looks a lot like a mouse, and, with the ears and the fact that they come out from the sewers, it must be a reference to the rat, Twitch.
In the Progress Day festival, we can see a diving equipment that is a reference to Nautilus, and the tentacles right behind his poster, representing other sea monsters, such as the Devourer of the Depths.
In Viktor and Jayce's Laboratory, we can already see that Viktor is looking a lot worse than in the end of the first act, a sign that his health is deteriorating. But we can also see the tech they've created, among them Vi's future gauntlet, originally created for mining, and the Hex-Claw, which Viktor will incorporate into his mechanical body to work as a third arm that shoots the Death Beam.
As Cailtyn tracks down the blimp, we can see that Marucs, the Enforcer that shook hands with Silco, is now Piltover's Sheriff, in the place of Grayson. We know this will be Cailtyn's post in the future, so we can imagine this character's end.
Showing Zaun again, we can see that the city's atmosphere has changed a lot, or at least it is what is shown to us. Before it wasn't shown how there was inequality among Zaun itself, but now we can see the presence of the Chem Barons and how "Pure Air" became a product in the city.
Besides, in the transition we can see a lot of references. The first is the statue of a turtle man, possibly a reference to the city's Shuriman past, which must represent Xuuyan, an ascended in the shape of a turtle. In his hands we can see the Eye of Zaun. Next, we have a man having a Pentakill tattoo done, Riot's metal band.
Before giving his speech to Piltover, Jayce puts his cup on the table. From the image's angle, he puts himself in front of Viktor. An indicative of the arrogance he will show and how he will put himself as a priority over his friends.
After Jinx attacks the festival, during the Council's meeting, we can see that Councilman Hoskel is still trying to solve the kid's puzzle that Mel gave to him years prior. Another important detail from this scene is that when Councilwoman Shoola mentions that the zaunites are part of the same people as they are, as I had mentioned before in the article talking about The Nation of Zaun.
When Jayce visits Cailtyn, she mentions about the mind behind it all in the underworlds and everything points to Jinx, we can see one of the cards that she's obsessed about is "The Truth" card. In the card, we can see a man that has half of his face hidden in a skull, highlighting a single red eye, showing that the person responsible for the undercity's attacks isn't Jinx, but rather Silco. Besides, at this moment we can see one of the best Piltover maps.
5th Episode - Everybody Wants to Be My Enemy
The second episode from this arc starts with Caitlyn participating in a shooting competition against Grayson, the old Sheriff. In this scene we can see how she always had an interest in shooting and how she started to develop her interest in Enforcers and we can assume the death of Grayson was her kickstart into the police. Another detail that might be important in the future is how her father seems to support her interest in shooting, showing her gun to his friends, while the mother, the family's matriarch, disapproves.
When Jinx starts to test out her new Hextech equipment, she causes an accident using the gem that triggers her memory and her traumas. In this moment, a box is knocked down, revealing her childhood's belongings: the stuffed bunny and the Signalizer that Vi gave her.
In Zaun, Cailtyn and Vi make a stop to eat at Jericho's place, which is also in Splintered Worlds. Besides that, another curiosity is that this is also the name of Swain, Noxus' General. In this scene we can also see that Vi and Caitlyn are wearing their Arcane Skins.
In the concert that Jayce and Mel are at, we can see that the history must be centered in Freljord from the style in the boats and constructions.
Next, we have Jinx's scene entering the gang's first hideout place from the first act, and we can see with more detail the serpent women's statues that were there before. Another detail from this scene is the crow that Jinx shoots at. Throughout this arc we had highlights in a lot of crows, as in the enforcer's funeral scene. It is possible this is a reference to Swain, as we had other commentaries contextualizing Noxus, as in Jericho's reference before. But, it is possible that the series is set in the period that Swain was resettling in Noxus and starting to orchestrate his coup d'etat, so do not hope that he will show up. But this doesn't mean we won't see noxians. From the series' chronology, it is quite likely that we will see Singed being hired by Noxus to start creating weapons for Ionia's invasion.
In the brothel, among other things such as a Yordle in golden clothing, we can see a reference to Kindred, one of death's incarnations in Runeterra. A couple is resting using the wolf and sheep masks.
When we see Marcus again, he is holding a blood stained coin. Besides representing the blood in his hands, this is the coin from when Grayson was killed by Silco. So it has a double meaning. Next, when Silco tells Jinx to finish studying the Hextech, she mentions the "doctor", which is probably Singed, who is still alive.
When Vi is looking for Sevika, we see the personification of the Imagine Dragons musicians again, this time, playing in the streets. As I had mentioned in the other article, Zaun is a lively city, including street music, and people have their favorite bands. A good example of that is also the card Chempunk Shredder.
As she battles Sevika, Vi calls her a filthy traitor. In case you don't remember, in the first act she was one of Vander's colleagues that was a regular at his bar and she was the one that asked Vander to lead them against Piltover. As he denied, she changed sides.
6th Episode - When These Walls Come Tumbling Down
The third episode starts showing how Viktor met Singed in a Flashback, as it also showed Rio, a salamander species, besides showing that kids played in factory waste contaminated waters. The series still hasn't shown the importance of Rio, but we can assume that she produces substances that Singed uses.
Right afterwards, we see Viktor reflecting about his life on what seems to be a water mill. At this moment, we see a butterfly being highlighted. As crows, we had plenty of butterflies showing up in this arc. They are symbols of change and transitions, and in this case it is showing the transformation that Viktor will go through to become his augmented version.
Next, Jayce says to Mel how he thinks Viktor's illness is related to the gas where Viktor grew up. As I had said in the first article, the air in Zaun is a problem to its habitants, due to pollution.
When Vi and Caitlyn go down the fissures to hide from Silco's minions, we can see that the billboard that Vi spotted is the Eye of Zaun, a symbol to the city, as the cardback that is part of the battle pass in Legends of Runeterra. This symbol is a reference to the Eye of Horus, an Egyptian reference, which might mean that this is a shuriman symbol.
At Marcus' house, when Silco pays a visit, we can see that he likes to read horror books to his family, since the book is protagonized by no one other than Teemo.
In the laboratory, Viktor presents his new project, the Hexcore, to Heimerdinger. This is the card that the champion creates in Legends of Runeterra to augment himself, so we know this will be important to his transformation. What we don't know yet is how the core will interact with the augmentations, since it interacts with organic matter. But it is at this time that Heimerdinger has another premonition about the future of science and again mentions a great tragedy from the past, indicating that potentially Riot will change the date of the runic wars, since it is Runeterra's biggest magic tragedy.
Another important Heimerdinger line is the mention that Viktor looks different, possibly because the Hexcore already absorbed his blood and after touching it, he might have had an evolution because of that.
When Caitlyn leaves the house, she finds a figure that wants to help Vi, and says he is a friend of Vander's. This is Huck, the artisan that Vander protects in the first episode against the duo that didn't want to pay what was agreed upon. After helping Caitlyn, he goes to Silco, ratting them out in exchange for a reward, so for that he already says sorry for everything.
Next, when Caitlyn gives Vi the potion she is hallucinating and sees both Powder as a child and her mother, who died at the bridge incident.
After a flashback that shows Viktor having a fallout with Singed, we see him in the present back at the lab to ask for help with his Hex Core. In this moment we can see how he got after the explosion caused by Powder and that not only he survived, but he was injured.
What to expect from the next episodes?
We had a lot of preparation for the final act of each character, so we will still have plenty of events and a lot of revelations. Some things we can already assume from what happened and from the final act's trailer.
One of the first images from the trailer shows Mel and Councilwoman Kiramman waiting for a big person to come down a vehicle. From the red clothing and the discipline, we can assume they are noxians. However, from the armor, we can see that they are not from the Trifarian Legion, which means one of two things about the possible Darius feature: he won't show up, since he is the legion's general, or he will show up and the legion doesn't exist yet, since it was created by Swain.
Viktor and Singed
With the revelation that Viktor is Singed's apprentice, we can expect to see the results of their partnership. Maybe we will see the importance of Rio, but I think Riot will leave this open. We might see that Viktor will become someone colder and more practical due to his interactions with the chemist. But it is almost certain that Singed will have his importance in the Glorious Evolution. The only question remaining is if we will see Viktor as a robot in Arcane.
Jayce and Vi
In the trailer we will see that Jayce will forge his hammer and will team up with Vi to fight Silco. In this scene we already have both of them with their classic weapons. This must happen towards the end of this arc, in its final battle.
Conflicts on the Bridges
Through Marcus' manipulations, the bridges were closed. But we know that Vi will be able to go to Piltover to team up with Jayce, so we can assume that these barriers won't stop her. Maybe we will see the flashbacks from the last time there was a battle on these bridges, but maybe there won't be time in the last episodes for this.
Caitlyn and Vi
The series gave plenty of signs that this couple is confirming itself. Vi flirted with Caitlyn all the time, maybe even casually joking around, but still there were plenty of scenes where there was something between them. And Caitlyn has shown to be interested in women when they were at the brothel. So it might be that in the third act we will see this couple finally being confirmed.
At the end of the series, we will see that the Firelights will have a lot of importance, at least in the first episode, since Caitlyn and Vi are with them now. We are yet to find out who their leader is, if it is really Ekko or someone else. His rescuing Vi is a clue that it might really be Ekko, but him being so hostile towards Jinx indicates otherwise. There is a possibility that is a bit too crazy that this is another version of Ekko, from a different timeline or something like that, which would explain his behavior and would still allow it to be a different champion.
This week we will have the final Arcane act which, by all means, will be excellent. Unfortunately, after that we will be without Legends of Runeterra TV shows for an indefinite amount of time, but the success that the series is having makes sure that we will see other projects like this in the future. Anyway, next week I will be writing another article like this one to close the series.
But what about you? Which references have you seen? Which are your favorites? What do you think we can still see in the series?