This may not have been the meatiest episode of SPY x FAMILY, but it made me laugh out loud several times, and that’s honestly what I needed today. Akane Tendou and other culinarily challenged anime and manga heroines have nothing on Yor when it comes to weaponized cooking, and after Loid’s extended bathroom stay last week, she’s suddenly feeling like the world’s worst mid-century wife and mother. Therefore, she does the only thing she can: ask her unpleasant coworker Camilla for cooking lessons.
There is a bit of confusion in terms of how the Forgers’ home life has been depicted up to this point, namely that we rarely, if ever, saw any indication of what a disaster Yor is in the kitchen. Loid’s been shown cooking a couple of times, but not to the point where we’d have any real reason to think that he was the home cook, and the fact that he and Anya are just waiting for Yor to come home without any indication that he’s got something simmering away on the stove only makes it more confusing. Both of them seem to know that Yor’s a bad cook, but that doesn’t line up with what she said at the start of the Bond arc, about her making breakfast that day.
The only potential saving grace there is how Camilla finally gets Yor to cook something edible: she asks her what she remembers her late mother making. The dish in question involves a fried egg, so when Yor is able to safely replicate the stew the egg sat on, the implication is that she could do so because of the associated memories. That means that she could be making perfectly safe breakfasts involving fried eggs, and possibly toast or cereal, because neither of those things involve any real cooking maneuvering. But it’s not a great way to explain away a plot hole of this magnitude.
Fortunately, the rest of the episode more than makes up for it. From the misstep when Yuri is invited over as a taste-tester (poison tester?) to Yor’s turd-on-a-plate special dish that takes out Loid and Anya, this is an amazing comedy of errors. Hands down, my favorite part is Yuri scarfing down Yor’s cooking while simultaneously throwing it up, which is in no small part due to some stellar voice acting by Kensho Ono, Yuri’s VA. But watching Yor slice meat into oblivion, cut right through the cutting board, and show up with a bag of crushed tomatoes and a look that bodes ill for anyone who gets in her way in her eye all contribute to making this a cut above your average “tee hee, the girl can’t cook” storyline.
It’s also a good reminder that Yor and Yuri really didn’t have a normal, safe childhood. When Camilla initially asks Yor about their mother’s cooking, she can’t remember anything, and that says something about how hard she had to work after their parents’ deaths to create something like safety for her brother. Yor took everything upon herself, which is in part why Yuri is so attached to her: she’s his entire family yes, but he also knows just how much she gave up to be that for him. He doesn’t need to know that she’s an assassin to understand how hard she worked to provide a stable life for him. He loves Yor’s cooking because it’s what he’s used to, but also because it represents her effort on his behalf. That her hard work eclipsed her life before she had to take care of Yuri tells us how important he became to her and how strongly she felt about caring for him in their parents’ place.
Anya, Loid, and Yor have all started to become that for each other, and even when Loid doesn’t want to help Franky with his love life, he’s willing to allow himself to be bribed into it and genuinely cares when things don’t work out. (Anya’s face when she reads his mind says it all.) The Forgers are all helping each other to become happier people, Bond included, and that’s something that can’t be hand-waved away no matter how funny this show is. Here’s hoping someday Franky gets that, too.
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