That’s not to say this was a bad episode. We did get the interesting nugget of information that privateers are listed in the phone book, and a funny little pearl of wisdom from Kane that gives the episode its title “Breakfast Beats Worrying”. True enough, but this isn’t a show that’s conducive to a whole lot of worrying as it snuggles around you like a nice, soft blanket of geekiness.
I wasn’t surprised to see Marika show some real strategic sense in devising the battle plan against the attacking drone – she clearly has the genes for it. A little more surprising was the fact that she spilled the beans to her clubmates so early, and that club president Jenny Doolittle (Satou Rina) was already aware of her secret (though Chiaki had no idea). As it does with everything, the episode went out of its way to explain every little detail of the plan, as well as the details of how Marika figured out that someone was plotting an attack in the first place. It’s interesting to see everyone testing her in their own way, and how she continues to be unruffled by it.
If you already liked the series I can’t imagine anything you saw this week will change your mind – if anything the ep might have been a hair more engaging than the last two, but mostly it was eerily consistent. People keep saying that the issue some are having with the show (including me) is that it’s “slow” but they’re completely missing the point. It’s isn’t the pace that’s the issue, it’s that I’m still not too engaged with any of the characters or what’s happening to them. There’s no sense of danger at all, certainly – the girls are treating this is a fun field trip, and everyone except Chiaki always has a nice big smile on their face. Basically, the mood of the show is a flatline – there are no peaks and valleys, no emotional highs and lows. Heck, I can’t remember an instance of anyone in the cast even raising their voice. I still enjoy the way the show treats it’s sci-fi elements seriously, and it’s cerebral tone is eerily reminiscent of some of the brainy sci-fi series of the ‘90s.
We may finally get some real movement next week, both in terms of the confrontation with the enemy drone – which Marika has resolved to commandeer and turn against its mothership with the help of Vice-President Lynn Lambretta (Hikasa Yoko) and in terms of the larger plot, as the preview suggests Marika will finally be making her decision (not much suspense there, is there?) That won’t change anything meaningfully in and of itself, because again, pacing isn’t the real issue. What’s going to speak volumes is the way the characters react to those events – will we finally see some emotional movement?