Yeah, every single reader knew how this scene was going to go as soon as Iwatani and Taro showed up. Just look at Taro, doing his best to arrange his smile so that it reads as “charmingly boyish” and not “Moohoohahaha MOOHOOHAHAHA MOOHOOHAHAHAAA MURDER MURDER MURDER!!!”

Persson, like Pardo, adds some interesting nuance to our series’ eat-the-rich themes. He’s a sort whom I have met in real life: someone who retained his position by hard work and thought generously of those underneath him. He is proof that power need not corrupt, and therefore that the corrupt and powerful bear responsibility for their own corruption. The fact that the Altruists don’t want this guy is the clearest sign yet that their consolidated government will not be benevolent. “Political will” can be a convenient euphemism for “naked ambition.”

This poor medic. She’s never met an aristocrat except Persson, so she thinks they’re all like him. “Your Grace,” she will learn, is more a title than an accurate descriptor.