Recap: Zeppeli falls against Tarkus, filling Jojo and Speedwagon with renewed resolve.
Will Antonio Zeppeli, we hardly knew ye. As happens with like 99% of all mentor characters in every story ever, Zeppeli eats it while trying to save his pupil from Tarkus, fulfilling Tompetty’s prophecy, but not before he transfers his Ripple energy into Jojo. Newly empowered, Jonathan takes out Tarkus in mere moments. As the aging that was staved off by Ripple energy catches up to Zeppeli’s top half, master and student manage a tearful final exchange where Zeppeli reveals he once had a family – we haven’t seen the last of his crazy Italian bloodline. They cremate Zeppeli’s corpse, knowing that his legacy has passed on – his fabulous Ripple powers inherited by Jojo, and his sweet checkerboard hat claimed by Speedwagon.
Filled with purpose, the group marches forth to battle. After a surprise attack, Jojo and crew encounter the sage Tompetty himself, along with his pupils Dire and Straits. Together, they vow to avenge Zeppeli, but Dio has already succeeded in converting the entire town into his zombie minions. It’s gonna be a long night.
One of the problems when you’re making a show that’s as unashamedly dumb as JoJo is is that it becomes very difficult for the audience to take anything at all seriously, even when you want to. This factor, and the absurdly heavy foreshadowing, mean that Zeppeli’s death this episode doesn’t have quite the punch one would hope. It’s to the show’s credit however, that it has any impact at all – they stick to their guns and go big and over the top, and while I’m not exactly wracked with grief it’s still a shame to see him go. Heavy handed foreshadowing returns however with the revelation that he has a family – no doubt we’ll be seeing them when the next arc rolls around.
Otherwise this very much feels like a ‘loose ends’ episode. Tarkus is defeated in an impressive and literally face-melting fashion, bringing this particular arc to a close. It’s been an obvious stall, but also a highly amusing one, so I’ve no issue with that. We also get a truly disturbing scene of Dio messing with a woman from the village, before JoJo fights a man with a ten-foot tongue. The fact that that barely registers as a surprise is a testament to just how crazy we’ve gotten. I’m not sure how long JoJo’s newly found reinforcements will last – my gut instinct tells me they’re cannon fodder – but at the very least it should be a royal rumble to remember as we get closer and closer to the JoJo/Dio rematch.