At this point, Taro starts to sound like a real mechanical savant, if not quite as gifted as the gnomes themselves, then still capable of appreciating their work on an educated level and even suggesting improvements.

This will not last. Part of me thinks that it should have, but another part thinks that Taro’s the kind of mind that yields brilliant insights early but burns out quickly because being always ahead of the class means you never learn the importance of putting in the work.

At any rate, Taro’s mechanical aptitude here is certainly a long way ahead of his strategy, which seems to be to bulldoze a path all the way out of Gnometown and through the rest of Gastonia until he gets back to Daddy’s house and can say “Look what I made!”