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The Regime - Midnight Feast - Review: The Butcher, The Prisoner, and The Lover

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Zubak Out Of The Picture?

After the events of episode three, The Regime continues on with Corporal Zubak being detained in an undisclosed prison close to the palace. Chancellor Elena Vernham continues her power tripping and have driven the country to the brink of economic collapse while the council around her are debating if removing The Butcher from the picture was a good choice.

Herbert Zubak has been taken to a prison cell, away from his beloved Chancellor after attacking her and the other guests in the banquet. Beaten and bloodied, The Butcher has little time for rest as Elena's propaganda speech is churning on and on from the cell's speakers, driving Zubak to utter insanity and sleepless days.

Zubak's mind is quite restless as well, day in and day out he hears the Chancellor's voice echoing inside his chambers, forcing the guards on duty to beat him mercilessly as he goes mad hearing her familiar yet distant voice. Day in and day out, sleepless from all the turmoil, Zubak is sometimes given respite after taking painful blows from the prison guards.

Former Chancellor Edward Keplinger,The Antagonist?

Lurking in the shadows of the prison, however, is a familiar yet unknown face. Played by Hugh Grant, Former Chancellor Keplinger was the other prisoner in their private facility. Though not apparent at first, Edward Keplinger had a significant role to play in Elena's continued grip on her political power.

As Zubak slowly loses hope for ever getting back Elena's love, Edward, meanwhile, slowly tries to gain the Butcher's trust, telling him about the smoke and mirrors Elena is hiding from her people. According to the former Chancellor, Keplinger is taken from his cell to a manor house out in the country for some promotional propaganda, to give more weight to Vernham's fight against the oppressors.  Little do they know that Elena herself is using Keplinger to further her own agendas, which was why Edward was so keen in getting Zubak to his side and away from Chancellor Vernham's manipulative grasp.

Agnes, The Traitor?

While everything else is going on, Agnes receives and unsolicited message from her phone. An anonymous messenger brings her news about her situation and pledges to help her and Oskar, Elena's son and Agnes' biological son as well, in the hopes of rescuing the two from the dangers looming in the country. Agnes relentlessly ignores the messages though in the back of her mind, the country is looking to consume itself in a civil war, eating out her conscience as she navigates her loyalty to the Chancellor or her love for Oskar.


Consequences For The Chancellor?

After the events of the previous episode, Elena Vernham had another one of her compulsive reactions and once again turned the palace over its head. After her recent problems with microbe germs fluttering about in her residence, now the temperature seemed to be disagreeing with her, making her decree absolute freezing conditions on every inch of the palace. Everyone had been walking on egg shells, metaphorically of course, as they navigate the Chancellor's ever changing mood and physical comfort.

In terms of ideology, Both Vernham and Keplinger are exact opposites of each other. Edward is advocating more new ways of thinking outside conventional party politics and diversity in managing social responsibilities, while Elena constitutes her power through gaining political allegiance and loyalty no matter the consequences.

As the episode rages on, Edward can be seen having little freedom inside the walls yet is treated with absolute deference, like a cog in a wheel of machinations that Elena is churning. Zubak enters the picture as Edward becomes interested in the current Chancellor's favorite pet turned outcast. Both Edward and Zubak share a meal and trade ideas about the country's well being, showing more evidence to the Butcher's continuing loyalty to his master, even after casting him aside.

As Elena handles her unusual heat problem, her council is concerned about the economy circling the drain as the Chancellor's policies do its worse to the country. Seemingly unperturbed by the problems around her, Chancellor Vernham is acting nonchalantly on ever crises and even got the time to post to social media about her perfect daily life as a ruler of the country while simultaneously reflecting on how she's one with her people. Amidst her hectic routine, she still inquires, perhaps non-affectionately, about Zubak's well being inside her prison.

Tension grows as the civil liberty of Elena's countrymen is pushed to the brink after the army's escapades in the Faban Corridor. Annexing another country in the guise of reuniting their lands did not sit well even with the people in Westgate. The Chancellor's alliance with China had proven ineffective and practically useless as the cobalt mines and other productions have ceased while flooding their local economy with Chinese goods, rendering their production inadequate and pointless.

Because of the Westgate protests, Elena is tasked in performing a Q and A with children from Westgate in the hope of revamping her image as their benevolent leader. Though the program did more harm than good, Elena was forced to double down and prove her convictions are right, to the point where she even secretly visits Edward Keplinger in his cell to mock him. The ridiculing did not have an effect, however, as Keplinger begins to point out to Elena her flaws and weaknesses, embarrassing her in turn. As she leaves the prison, Elena and Zubak shares a glance once more through his prison window, hinting of sharing thoughts to one another like they had always did from before.

Elena, Westgate, and Another Death

After the mishap with the Chancellor's Q and A program, Elena and her husband is now forced to visit one of the sugar beet factories that are slowly closing down one after another because of China's unconsolidated market power over the locals. The visit turned well yet measures are needed to be taken. Mr. Laskin is cordially invited to a one on one meeting with Elena hinting a possible planting of evidence to union leaders, to exact her control over the populace. While that mission was in motion, Zubak on the other hand decided to give Elena what he feels that she wants him to do. During the night, Zubak disposes of his two guards and proceeds to Keplinger's quarters with intent to kill him for Elena. After his own mission, Zubak is requested again back to the Palace where Elena is waiting for him. Both their sexual tension, as well as their appetite, is consumed as the council closes the door while the two consummate their transcendental connection with each other through their bodies.

About the Author - Alvin Asiaten
Alvin is a multifaceted creative who finds inspiration in binge-watching various TV series and immersing himself in the world of video games. As a skilled graphic illustrator and video editor, he brings his unique vision to perspective and is well informed in the art of captivating visuals and storytelling.
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