“SOTUS” finds Nanno and Yuri tackling hazing rituals and cyclical nature of petty revenge.
This recap of Girl From Nowhere season 2, episode 5, “SOTUS”, contains spoilers.
The word of the day is “tradition”. Just because something has been repeated for a long time, does that automatically make it good or worthwhile? Is tradition a good enough excuse to perpetuate harmful behaviors? The answer to both of those questions is, obviously, no, but apparently not to Kaye, a senior student who thinks that hazing is his God-given right and responsibility. His problem, though, is that the junior students he’s forcing to strip off and form a human centipede include Nanno and Yuri.
Naturally, the first hazing session gets filmed, and Kaye’s attempts to prevent the video’s release is to haze everyone even harder, which hardly stands up to scrutiny. Nanno very correctly hits on his motivation — it’s revenge for being hazed himself as a junior, and she immediately has power over him by figuring this out. She’s totally unbothered by the rituals; even when she’s covered in balloons and the other students are tasked with bursting them with baseball bats while blindfolded, she just laughs maniacally, as usual. That is until one of the students takes a bad swing and hits her in the head hard enough to pop out both her eyes.
Very similar to the premiere, the tables turn on Kaye and he quickly becomes the one being subject to the hazing rituals at Nanno’s insistence. Kaye is consistently, worseningly ridiculed, much to Nanno’s enjoyment, forced to consider the ramifications of these kinds of rituals, his strict adherence to tradition, and the petty vengeance he has tried to enact on younger students as payback for the violations he experienced. Girl From Nowhere season 2, episode 5 works on the same basis as the premiere, too, ensuring that it establishes Kaye as basically irredeemable before his comeuppance, so the audience isn’t tempted to feel any sympathy for him. Power and agency are, once again, concentrated in Nanno’s hands.
Kaye can eventually take no more and tries to escape from Nanno’s captivity and torture. He hides in the back of a Toyota flatbed and is driven away like a refugee, topless and desperate, but smiling and crying to himself. When he wakes up, though, he’s right back where he started, a representation of the cyclical nature of the torment inflicted by the hazing — he did unto others what was done unto him, and now the cycle repeats itself. This, it turns out, is Yuri’s idea — she’s learning from Nanno as she goes, but her methods are “low”, including killing dogs to pin the murders on Kaye and ensuring his own death by brutal beating. She smiles all the while. Girl From Nowhere season 2, episode 5 is clearly setting up a showdown between these two characters — will Yuri be able to take Nanno’s job of score-settling from her? We’ll have to wait and see.