Patrick’s love for Emilico is destined for heartbreak

The following contains spoilers for Shadows House Season 2, Episode 7 “Individual Investigations,” now streaming on Crunchyroll.

One of the most interesting couples of house of shadows – although they see less screen time than the others – is Ricky and Patrick. Their relationship is different from a typical master-face bond. The purpose of a living doll is to act as the face of its master, to listen to him and do what he wants. The most extreme example is Sarah and Mia, where the former would even abuse the latter to make Mia understand her place.

Most other masters and faces of house of shadows have a somewhat equal relationship. Oddly enough, Ricky the Master seems to have a much less dominant role, acting as an advisor to Shadow Patrick. But when Patrick falls in love, he realizes to his horror that it’s something he can’t get Ricky’s help with.

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Patrick and Ricky are often characterized as being arrogant and rude to other Shadows and their faces. Since debut, however, the two have mellowed considerably – except Ricky is still the more confident while Patrick remains insecure; this explains why Patrick constantly turns to Ricky for advice. Ricky is calculating, already determining that they should ally with Louise and Lou, who ranked top of the class at the start.

Although it’s clear that Ricky was the one calling the shots and Patrick, ironically, was the one being driven, the Master of Shadows didn’t realize the implication of this until Sarah spoke to him. She compliments Patrick’s face, praising how confident he looks; Patrick instinctively looks up at Ricky, whose expression doesn’t represent what he feels inside. He uncertainly asks if Sarah likes Ricky, which confuses her. There is no difference between Shadow and face – if it compliments Ricky, it also compliments Patrick himself.

The conversation veers off to the theme of marriage, and Patrick’s understanding of what it means to be human seems to be strongly tied to the concept of love. He asks Ricky if living dolls are capable of falling in love, even if the only person a doll should be in love with is their shadow master. Patrick unexpectedly developed feelings – not for another shadow, but for a living doll.

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Patrick’s love of flowers was born because he fell in love with Emilico, ever since she found him trapped in the box in the Season 1 debut. The flower he brought her symbolizes the forbidden and unrequited love he has for her. As soon as he sees Emilico and Kate approaching, he immediately hides the flower behind his back. With Louise/Lou and Emilico/Kate standing in front of him, it represents how “cut in half” Patrick’s heart is. On the one hand, he has his duty as Master of Shadows and his loyalty to Patrick; on the other hand, he loves Emilico. Trying to keep the two apart, he breaks his heart.

Patrick has always followed in Ricky’s footsteps and hasn’t been shy about relying on his living doll to tell him what to do, but this is the first time he’s strayed from Ricky’s path. Patrick sees his feelings for Emilico as a shortcoming of him as a shadow master because shadows aren’t meant to fall in love with dolls.

If he was supposed to fall in love with someone, it should have been Kate. By falling in love with Emilico, Patrick unconsciously realized that she is a human being. She is not a reflection of Kate; they are entirely separate individuals – and in house of shadowsthat’s a dangerous thought to have.

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