On one hand, Episode 2 of Mushoku Tensei: Jobless Reincarnation Season 2 feels like a deep dive into depression and how we slowly watch someone heal. On the other hand, it feels like a generic isekai or fantasy episode where the protagonist rescues the pretty girl against all odds. Depending on which side of the argument you fall on will likely dictate whether you enjoy this episode or not.
Apart from this, the production value is as good as ever, and we’re again reminded just how strong Rudeus really is, whether it be with slaying monsters in the forest or clearing snow from the streets. One area where the episode errs is killing off a background character who had just been introduced in the previous episode, and that falls flat, but the episode also introduces a potential new antagonist. Or at least, a rival figure.
Mushoku Tensei: Jobless Reincarnation (Season 2), Episode 2 ‘The Midnight Forest’ Recap:
Opening with a shot of Rudeus running around town in the winter snow, we learn that Rudeus has named his legs Tindalos and Baskerville. In his room, he is doing push ups and his voiceover reveals that it has been a few months since the last episode, and that he has been doing commissions around town as an adventurer. The goal is to build a strong enough and large enough reputation that word reaches his mother Zenith, since he has no idea where she is. He also calls his arms Hulk and Heracles.
After praying to his shrine containing Roxy’s panties, Rudeus heads to the adventurer’s guild just in time to see the leader of Stepped Leader, an adventurers’ party, announce their next quest confidently. They lock eyes with Rudeus as they leave, but nothing happens.
Other adventurers thank Rudeus for helping them out and promise to pass word about his mother Zenith should they hear anything, which Rudeus politely and happily accepts. They also call him by the nickname “Quagmire”, which Rudeus notes is more widespread than his full name. He chooses a commission and goes to complete it.
This particular commission is to shovel snow, and Rudeus uses his magic to melt it all and even heals a young girl who fell and got injured. As he does all this, Sara watches from a distance.
Later, Rudeus meets Sara who invites him on a commission with Counter Arrow, and Rudeus is unsure of how to refuse, annoying Sara. When Suzanne, Timothy and the others show up, Rudeus agrees to go with them.
Their quest takes them to Galgau Ruins, built during the first Human – Demon War and they are to gather scales from snow drakes, a monster. While walking, Sara is about to fall which Rudeus sees with his demon eye but he supports her, accidentally groping her in the process, and she is annoyed again and embarrassed.
Rudeus notices a statue of the Demon Empress Kishirika Kishirisu as the snow drakes unexpectedly show up, and they retreat with Rudeus blocking the monsters’ path using his earth magic. Momentarily thinking that the others have left, Rudeus then sees them attack from above and the Stepped Leader party shows up at that moment, and they work together to wipe out the monsters.
Their leader, Soldat, punches Timothy as he thinks that he stole their commission, only to discover that he is wrong once the details and their precise location is revealed to them. He bluntly apologizes and takes the monster corpses and leaves, while Sara invites Rudeus to the afterparty.
At the afterparty in the guild bar, Sara comments on Rudeus’s good luck, and Rudeus is grateful to the others for saving him as Sara says most parties would have left him and fled. However, Suzanne points out that she was the first to jump in and help Rudeus, embarrassing Sara. Just as some of them are saying that it would be better if Soldat does not show up, he shows up drunk at their table.
Insulting Timothy a little for not fighting back, while also admitting his own fault in the earlier incident, Soldat then turns his attention to Rudeus. He insults him too, saying that he hates people like Rudeus who hold back their true strength, think they are pitiable and fake laughter, amongst other things. Rudeus apologizes for being an eyesore, but this only angers Sol further and he breaks their table.
Sol’s companion, Conrad, holds him back as he is too drunk, but he continues his rant, telling Rudeus to go and die. They then leave, and Sara helps clean up Rudeus, calling Sol the worst. Rudeus, though, is shown to be very affected by what he said and the words have clearly struck a chord with him.
Some time passes, and a sober Sol still behaves with Rudeus in the same manner. Rudeus then notices some Counter Arrow members arriving at the guild hall to take shelter from the blizzard, only to discover that Mimir, their healer, is dead and Sara probably is too. They want to go out and search for her, but cannot, owing to the blizzard.
Mushoku Tensei: Jobless Reincarnation (Season 2), Episode 2 ‘The Midnight Forest’ Ending Explained
Who saves Sara in the forest?
Going to rescue her by himself, Rudeus wonders why he is doing so, despite having cleared the blizzard using his magic. He asks himself if he is doing it to stroke his own ego, initially thinking it does not matter if Sara is dead or alive, but then realizes that the choice he came to was simply that he did not want to abandon someone, as Eris abandoned him.
Killing monsters as he proceeds into the forest, he admits he does not know what he will do if he finds Sara, and also that he does not understand what he wants from all this. He examines a pile of bones and finds Mimir’s remains, confirming his death, and Sara’s earring too. Setting fire to the pile of bones, he thinks he might have gotten closer to her as she was less hostile than before.
Suddenly attacked by an ice tree monster, Rudeus then sees that it has taken Sara captive. He rescues her after engaging in combat, and jumps into a river to save them as Sara regains consciousness. In a cave, with both of them wearing light clothing since most of their clothes were drenched, Rudeus heals Sara.
Concerned by her injuries, he keeps asking her if she is fine, which she confirms. He then informs that while Mimir is now dead, the others made it out safely and Timothy was the one who told him that she was missing. As they are leaving the cave, Sara thanks Rudeus for saving her, saying that it made her happy.
In his voiceover, Rudeus feels like everything till that point is forgiven, and that he strangely feels that he was the one saved, despite the fact he rescued her. At the entrance to the town, they run into a surprised Counter Arrow, all of whom were just going to look for Sara. Sara hugs Suzanne and reveals Rudeus saved her, causing Suzanne to get upset with him as he might have died too, but Sara defends him.
Suzanne calms down, and Timothy, crying, thanks Rudeus and promises to repay the debt, but Rudeus is humble and declines. He feels that the members of Counter Arrow have helped him out a lot, and that they should call it even. Timothy accepts, and they each say that they are looking forward to working together again. Inside the town, they part ways for the day, and Sara says she will see him again, and Rudeus reminds her to rest for the day. She then thanks him again, and the episode ends.