Beastars season 2, episode 24 recap – “The Taste of Rebellion” giving a leg-up
This recap contains spoilers for Beastars season 2, episode 24, “The Taste of Rebellion”. It also contains an open discussion of the Beastars Season 2 ending.
The Beastars season 2 finale, “The Taste of Rebellion”, was a decent closer, all things considered. But it was also a lot of material compressed into a single episode, with a lot of internal justification stripped from the source material. Since it’s not just the climactic fight between Legoshi and Riz but a crystallization of many of the show’s ongoing themes, character arcs, and dynamics, it’s worth trying to unpack some of the layers of meaning.
The finale opens with Ibuki essentially sacrificing himself for Louis so that the latter could be allowed to leave the world of organized crime; a bit tropey, admittedly, but meaningful. There’s some earnest affection between these two, and certainly an element of tragedy in Ibuki’s doomed-either-way decision. The ultimatum he presented was that either Louis kills him or he eats Louis, but he had Free on standby to kill him if it seemed like he was flipping out. It was suicide, essentially, either by Louis or by Free, but either way, he engineered Louis’ exit in a meaningful gesture.
The rest of Beastars season 2, episode 24 revolved around the fight between Legoshi and Riz, and throughout most of it, Legoshi had the brakes beaten off him. Luckily, though, both spare time for plenty of chatting – at one point Legoshi even lays down and asks Riz to lay out his point of view. It’s a bit ridiculous for a climactic sequence, but it does allow “The Taste of Rebellion” to really hash out its themes and perspectives so the stakes of this fight are really clear. In summary, then:
Riz is delusional. He murdered Tem because he was hopped up on suppressing drugs and he mistakenly believed that the only real way for a herbivore and a carnivore to form a real, meaningful connection was for the latter to eat the former. Because deep down he knew this idea was nonsense, he had contorted Tem’s murder in his mind as an extreme act of friendship, and he saw Legoshi as trying to corrupt that friendship by avenging Tem’s death. This speaks to something essential about the carnivore-herbivore divide, and it’s something that a later scene – more on this soon – doubles down on. But really the idea is simply that understanding, empathy, and compassion can help to heal the rift between even the staunchest allies. Before eating Tem, Riz needed help, and couldn’t get any. Had he gotten that help, things might have turned out differently. This is also setting up Riz’s eventual standing-down, but first, let’s go over that second important scene reiterating this same point.
So, at one point, Louis returns and interrupts the fighting, and he and Legoshi take a breather. In my spoiler-free season review, I alluded to Louis’s arc being the best of the season, and it really reaches its apex here, when he willingly allows Legoshi to eat his leg so that he can gain enough strength to end the fight with Riz. This is a big moment, since Louis is sacrificing part of himself to help a carnivore, and because Legoshi, having sworn never to consume meat, is finally giving in to his nature. But the crucial part is that he only eats Louis’s leg, and does so consciously, not in a fit of bloodlust. He is able to embrace his true nature while also compromising; in this act of friendship, Legoshi and Louis are also proving that carnivores and herbivores can co-exist, reach understandings, and form meaningful connections.
And Riz sees this. In seeing it, he also sees his own delusions. He sees that Tem didn’t want to be killed and that he has been lying to himself to justify that act. But he also sees that what he wants to be true is possible. The connection he believed he had with Tem is the very connection Legoshi has with Louis. This is enough for him. It’s a beacon of hope.
After such a thematically complex encounter, Beastars season 2 ending with a kind of low-key “and everything was fine!” epilogue feels like a bit of an anti-climax, but there’s no real sense that the story is properly over at this point. If there’s more to come, though, it’ll be coming on the back of a meaningful conclusion.