Episode 5 of Mortal Kombat: Legacy continues with the conclusion of the Kitana and Mileena story arc, bringing the extra-worldly fighters up to the current time frame, as Emperor Shao Khan prepares to engage the Earthrealm in yet another Mortal Kombat tournament that will surely set up his inevitable invasion and conquering of the world.
Though she began with no memory of her original family, the story picks up with Kitana beginning her journey to shed the evil influence of Shao Khan and become the heroine fans of the video game series know her to be.
Mileena also begins to express the telltale signs of her future villainy, her disillusionment with her “twin sister”, fueled by Shao Khan himself, becoming a focal point of her hate-fueled outbursts.
As Shao Khan stabilized his new empire on Edenia, each woman was trained from infancy to become his personal guardians, crafted to be as formidable and deadly as the Emperor himself.
When Kitana and Mileena were ready, Shao Khan began a systematic extermination of everyone linked to Kitana’s past. Anyone who could shed light on the great lie covering Kitana’s true royal lineage was ordered assassinated by the Emperor’s daughters.
In secret, Shao Khan hoped to eventually locate King Jerrod, Kitana’s true father, who had long ago escaped the initial invasion of Edenia.
But the truth will never stay buried for long and with a dying man’s last words, Kitana’s eyes are opened and her path, though unclear, is now laid out before her.
Though the sudden drop into the fantastical for this series which began steeped in realism was a bit jarring, the transition was made easier by the Tarantino-esque depiction of Edenia and the struggles of Kitana and Mileena.
Though bloody action is the bread and butter of Mortal Kombat, Episode 5 continues the subdued and dreamlike essence begun with Episode 4. But the fifth installment does something better than its predecessor in the Kitana and Mileena storyarc did, and that is make clear that the entire sweeping change is done solely to present and enhance the nobler aspects of the series, namely the royal ties of Princess Kitana, her emotionally disturbed clone Mileena, and the hierarchy of Shao Khan’s army.
This isn’t the brutal street-battling origins of the standard MK fighter. This is a glimpse into the shady politics and maneuvering behind the spectacle of the Mortal Kombat tournaments.
Wrapping up this episode with the promise of vengeful bloodshed in the future is a strong maneuver for Tancharoen to edge back into the hard action soon to come in Episode 6 which debuts on 5/17/11 and features Ryan Robbins as the character Raiden.