A couple of weeks ago one of my colleagues made a joke that all of the cartoons I cover end up being queer. I thought this was a funny little joke, but after the second act of Arcane, I’m convinced I might have a legitimate superpower. A trio of new episodes dropped this past weekend, and the second follows Vi and Caitlyn as the latter frees the former from prison to help solve an unfolding conspiracy. Years have passed since we last saw these characters - now they’re weathered, older, and have a more mature outlook on life. These girls are also gay, so very, very gay. You love to see it.

The internet was aflame with adorable fan art and sapphic speculation the moment these episodes released, with Vi and Caitlyn’s partnership ripe with a sense of chemistry I wasn’t expecting from a show like this. Vi is a hardened woman, having spent years in prison being subject to unfair beatings and a corrupt justice system eager to abuse her. Caitlyn is her opposite, occupying a societal status that punches down on those beneath her even if she doesn’t believe it. But working amongst the Enforcers has seen her develop a kinder heart, one that wants to get to the bottom of the evil threatening to tear her world apart.

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When Caitlyn springs Vi from prison you’d expect the pink-haired girl to run away, punching her captors in the face and fleeing in search of a new life. But she doesn’t. She cracks wise and teases the other girl in a way that feels playful and endearing. I think one of the best examples of this is when the duo begin their descent into the underground. Caitlyn entertains the idea of taking an elevator, but within seconds Vi has begun parkouring her way across rusted pipes and slanted rooftops, looking ridiculously hot while doing so.

Caitlyn follows, but with the dainty presence you’d expect from a girl accustomed to riches. Yet she doesn’t give up, she chases after Vi and trusts her, which is what makes them work so well together. It’s a classic ship dynamic. A reckless girl coming from a life of crime and a rich one who isn’t used to all the hustle and bustle. Yes, I am a hopeless romantic.

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Once they arrive, Vi beats up a couple of thugs and throws a jacket to Caitlyn, providing her a disguise to keep her out of harm’s way. She cares, even if she needs to use violence to show it. Caitlyn leans on Vi’s shoulder in more ways that she could ever expected, even as she exchanges weird glances with her partner as she scoffs down food and expresses herself in a wonderfully butch way - it’s this juxtaposition that helps all of their scenes shine.

Arcane

The scene everyone is going wild over comes a little later in the episode. Vi and Caitlyn are talking about how to best infiltrate a gentlemen's club of sorts and extract information, and the appeal of sexuality inevitably rears its head. Vi makes it clear that to get on top (even though she’s clearly a bottom) in this world Caitlyn will need to understand her appeal, coming to terms with the fact that she has something that people want.

When she presses Vi, she gets a simple, gay response: “You’re hot, Cupcake” she says while circling around her, glancing up and down as she gets an eyeful of her figure. She moves in closer as Caitlyn backs up against the wall, shocked at the sudden admission of attraction as Vi places her arm beside her, pinning her so they’re totally in smooching distance. It’s so honest, and I can see why the internet lost its collective mind.

I’m unsure if this moment will lead to an actual relationship in the show or is instead a cheeky bit of queer baiting, but either way it’s refreshing to see sexuality approached in such a fluid way. In this single moment Vi makes it clear she has an attraction to women, and isn’t afraid to be bold in her advances. Yet she also has a caring side, wanting to uncover Powder’s location even if it means working with someone she might have once labelled an enemy. It’s a cliche, but opposites attract, and this dichotomy works so well here.

These characters could grow even closer or further apart as Arcane continues, I just hope that connection isn’t lost or has been used as a quick moment of flirtation only to be forgotten. We’ll have to wait and see, but with any luck my superpower isn’t a fluke and things are only going to get spicier.

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