Arcane’s act 3 ending explained

Season one ends with a bang.

Image via Netflix for Riot Games

Our time following the various characters in Arcane, Riot Games’ first animated Netflix series based on the world of League of Legends, has drawn to a close—at least for a short while. After nine episodes, the lives of the champions we’ve grown even closer to were filled with more uncertainties than when the series began, leaving them further removed from becoming the champions we’ve known them to be over the past decade.

What started as a story bringing together the unexplained pieces of Jinx (then Powder) and Vi’s relationship as sisters blossomed into a tale exploring the uneasiness between Piltover, the city of progress, and the undercity that appeared little more than crime-ridden and backward—before it was known as Zaun. By connecting these two cities, we saw the lives of beloved champions in ways we’ve never seen them before. From Caitlyn, Jayce, and Heimerdinger to Viktor, Singed, and Ekko, the stories in Arcane brought new depth to these familiar faces and tied them more closely together.

Yet as act three came to its conclusion, only one thing holds true for the future of citizens of Piltover and Zaun: mayhem. In typical Arcane fashion, just when order seemed to be on the immediate horizon between the two cities, unprecedented circumstances made themselves known while fans were forced to ponder the impact of one perfectly-aimed Super Mega Death Rocket.

A blast from the past

With some final Hextech adjustments, Jinx’s new weapon finally reached its completion. It took the form of a rocket launcher, resembling a shark, and inside was a missile capable of bringing about the mayhem that she and Silco had planned on bringing to Piltover for years: the Super Mega Death Rocket, what League players will recognize as Jinx’s ultimate ability.

Despite increased attempts by Vi to pull back the bits and pieces of Powder that she knew were still inside Jinx, she ultimately failed to bring back the sister she once knew. The warnings from Caitlyn and Ekko rang true, but Vi didn’t want to hear them: Jinx was too far gone. There was no way to bring back the fun-loving, adventurous, clumsy girl that Vi remembered so vividly in her mind. That one act of hatred, shrugging off Powder after she accidentally killed so many of their loved ones, spiraled Powder into trauma-driven madness—the only way she now knew how to live.

After killing Silco at the dinner party she held in the abandoned factory where she killed so many of her friends, Jinx set her eyes on Vi and Caitlyn, sitting at the other end of the table. Caitlyn, who had been knocked unconscious in a previous fight with the crazed blue-haired criminal, was all that Jinx needed to validate her actions. Her sister sided with an enforcer, the people that they had actively spoken out against due to how they treated their fellow people in the undercity. With the attraction between Vi and Caitlyn now readily apparent, it was too late for Jinx to look back.

She aimed the Super Mega Death Rocket at the tallest building in Piltover, where inside that room negotiations were concluding to give Zaun its independence. One click of the trigger and, boom. Then, credits, and nothing but uncertainty in regard to the lives of the council members—including Jayce.

Checking in with some old friends

While the rocket continues on its trajectory toward the council chamber with their vote ongoing, we’re greeted with scenes depicting the current status of other important characters, letting us know where they stand as the end of act three approaches. While we don’t know what the future has in store for any of these characters, these few scenes give us a better idea of how much they’ve grown as characters throughout these nine episodes and how they may be included in future seasons of Arcane.

The first of these scenes depicts Sevika, one arm less than we first met her thanks to Vi and her Hextech Gauntlets, in Silco’s office—forebodingly alone. Sevika is the only one of Silco’s lackeys who we know to still be alive seeking some sort of retribution at this point since Silco’s fellow high-ranking officers have been driven away by his nefarious schemes and Jinx’s recklessness. The last we see of Sevika, she’s using the lighter from the fellow officer she killed after not falling for his plans to usurp Silco, yet seeming to also possess some guilt for not heeding his warnings.

We’re then given a peek at Heimerdinger and Ekko’s newfound friendship—two scientists from completely different lifestyles coming together under a common cause. It seems like Ekko is explaining to Heimerdinger exactly how he built the community around the one tree in the undercity in such a short time. But something else quickly takes the focus away from them: Ekko’s stopwatch. Much of Ekko’s recognizability as a champion in League stems from his ability to control time. In Arcane, however, this was only briefly mentioned in his fight sequence with Jinx. The short yet apparent focus on his stopwatch makes it appear that we may learn in the future how Ekko acquired this time-warping technology and that Heimerdinger may have had a hand in creating it.

Singed takes center stage in the following scene and it’s arguably the most important one in this short collection. Though he appears to be doing little more than reflecting on his decisions, the locket in his hand depicts a character that League players are familiar with—Orianna. Though it’s never been explicitly mentioned, Singed may now be confirmed as the one who turned her into the mechanical Lady of Clockwork that we know her as, saving her life after being overexposed to the fumes from Zaun. (Sounds familiar, right?) Yet then in a move similar to Heimerdinger and Ekko’s scene, the camera zooms out to focus on something else, something beast-like. We see a claw and the face of a bearded man molded into some sort of animal—what we can interpret as the origins of Warwick.

The final character that returns in these scenes is Mel’s mother, who made quite an impact upon her first appearance in act three. Though brief, she stumbles upon Mel’s painting of Noxus, desecrated by large orange swipes of paint that were done in frustration. Here, it becomes clear that Mel is entirely disconnected from her Noxian roots as a result of her mother’s philosophy on war and bloodshed, though her mother can only now truly understand how difficult it is for Mel to repress these memories. Yet because of the targeted attack on the council chamber by Jinx, we may never know if the mother and daughter pair can find their resolution.

Vi and Caitlyn look out from the destroyed warehouse at the sky completely defeated. There was nothing they could do but watch as Jinx toyed with the lives of the most important people in Piltover. Right as the council members agree on Zaun’s freedom, Mel’s back jewelry reflects the incoming Super Mega Death Rocket.

The lives of all of these characters are entirely in Jinx’s hands, though whether they survive has been left as the looming question. Arcane season two should bring the next chapter of this story.

Make sure to follow us on YouTube for more esports news and analysis.