Emily and Ralph are walking through a hallway in the Deague warship when she accidentally bumps into a less-than-happy Barrow. After Ralph helps her back up and they continue on their way, Barrow continues to sneer at the Union traitor and espouses the Deague way of fighting. Meanwhile onboard the Libertad, Lottie is once again angry with Sara after a training simulation with their new formation and runs all the way over to Sara’s Strain’s hanger to yell at her for acting on her own. Sara, however, ignores Lottie and returns to her own room with Emily. Dickon and Carris later find Sara drawing and guess she’s working on a space monster or an abstract painting. They are dumbfounded when she tells them that it’s actually Emily’s clothes and then walks away, however the pair soon get a message from Lottie. Sara is back in her room talking to Emily about Lottie and showing the doll the new clothes when she hears Melchisedec talking to someone outside. It seems that Lottie had the idea to bring the entire group down for a party, though she insists that it’s a party for them and not a welcome one for Sara.
During the celebration, Sara sits off to the side with Emily and wishes that the doll could talk. Lavinia interrupts the festivities when she appears in a bunny outfit looking for Sara, having not been informed that there was already a party going on. When she manages to trip after her heels break, everyone has a hearty laugh and raise their glasses for a toast. It is during this time that dormant Tumors are activating inside the broken hull of the ship. Unaware of this, the group continues their fun and Carris approaches Sara again. This time, he comments on how precious Emily is to Sara and sits down beside her. As she watches those two together, Jessie wonders aloud why Sara’s Mimic is a doll. Melchisedec explains to her with death always nearby, Reasoners need a partner whose heart is responsive to theirs – this is the original meaning of existence for Mimics. He then gets the idea to work on Jessie’s Mimic and chases her around.
Everyone’s laughter reminds Sara of Mary, Colin, and Cedie, and she’s further reminded of her past when Dickon turns on the music. As she’s recalling happy times of doing the box step with Cedie, Sara opens her eyes and sees that Carris has extended his hand to invite her to dance. He offers to lead, but she already knows the moves and the two start dancing in front of Emily. However, Carris then asks who taught her, triggering painful memories in Sara. She starts walking away from him in silence, but everything gets interrupted when the ship’s alarms go off because of the Tumors. The Strains are sent out in response, but at first they don’t see the enemy from outside the ship. It’s only when Lavinia investigates a hole in the hull that the Tumors start pouring out and attack her. Sara sees what’s happening and goes to save Lavinia as the other Strains also come under attack. After getting the Tumors’ attention, Sara starts a steep climb that takes her Strain away from the ship and Lavinia. She and Lottie manage to coordinate several maneuvers where they use their high speeds to rush at each other and get all the Tumors to explode together.
After finishing off the rest of the enemy, Sara looks into the void of space behind the ship and thinks to herself that her brother is out there. She then looks over to see all of her friends’ waiting Strains and suggests to Emily that they return to the ship. With the battle over, the party resumes, but now Lavinia can’t thank Sara enough for saving her life. Lottie comes over to Sara’s spot and offers her hand for a handshake. Sara is reluctant to take it, but Lottie grabs it and then pulls her towards the party.
It feels like the pacing of this series has slowed down dramatically. It might also be due to the fact that this seems to be another episode where Sara realizes that she’s got a new group of people around her who she can call friends. It’s not necessarily a bad thing, but I had been hoping for Ralph or Deague to act again after they didn’t last episode. If nothing else though, the Tumors this week demonstrated that Sara and Lottie can indeed work together and can maybe face Ralph without getting themselves killed. That feeling that the pacing has slowed might also be because no one’s died in a while. There was a point in this episode where I thought that maybe Lavinia might, but it seems that not only will she live on a bit longer, she’ll also get a lot of screen time next week. And perhaps the death expectation is unfounded – for all I know, everyone remaining might live and the deaths from the first episode were just to show the toll of war and to emphasize Ralph’s betrayal. We’ll just have to see in the second half of this series.
On that note, there is a scheduling alert: Soukou no Strain will not be airing on December 27th, January 3rd, January 17th, or January 24th. The show will take two weeks of break after Episode 09, return for Episode 10 on January 10th, then take another two weeks break before finally returning again on January 31st for Episode 11.
If that made no sense to you:
December 6th – Episode 07
December 13th – Episode 08
December 20th – Episode 09
December 27th – Not airing
January 3rd – Not airing
January 10th – Episode 10
January 17th – Not airing
January 24th – Not airing
January 31st – Episode 11
February 7th – Episode 12
February 14th – Episode 13
WOWOW’s schedule shows the first two week break being taken by a movie and then a New Year’s drama special, while the second two week break is because of tennis coverage for the Australian Open.