「決断のとき」 (Ketsudan no Toki)
“The Decisive Moment”
The coming of this week’s episode of Suisei brings with it a new sacred duty for Pinion—restoring the treasure (weapons) that have been recovered—and it’s just another commentary on society to start things off. Indeed, what the beginning of the episode seems to bring is the notion that there are people out there whose loyalties are easily bought (and whose desires are easily satisfied)… and it’s something that admittedly applies both in someways to Pinion and to people you’ll probably meet in the workplace at some point as well.
As it turns out though, not even Pinion likes what ends up happening here—of course, you should never judge something entirely by its cover—and that ends up sowing the seeds for a revolt. And who but the GREAT PIRATE LUKKAGE to start things off!? Ultimately though, even her plan ends up relying on Ledo/Chamber…
…the former of which finds himself pleading for the cancellation of the planned attack on Gargantia at the beginning of this episode. His plead ends up going on deaf ears, but it’s an important sequence that notably ends up at the conclusion I discussed last week: the fact that what
Kugel Striker is doing is essentially recreating the Galactic Alliance—a second utopia—on Earth. To this end, Ledo finds himself struggling to decide between all that he’s ever known (the Galactic Alliance and its views) and the things he’s learned/experienced since coming to Earth, and it’s not a great situation to be in for him to say the least, but one that really powers the impact of this week’s episode…
…something which the flying squirrel’s appearance here also helps with greatly as well. In many ways, its appearance is symbolic of Amy, Gargantia, and of what Ledo should be doing… and it’s something that is compounded by the rain, which both triggers various memories of Gargantia and the ceremony where Ledo witnesses “people who serve no use to the greater good” being nonchalantly tossed into the ocean by the dozen. Generally, it’s amazing how this sequence of events played out, and it’s just a spectacular use of various storytelling devices here—especially so when you consider how it all culminates in the rain literally washing off the markings on Pinion’s forehead. To say that all of this made this episode really representative of its title (“The Decisive Moment”) is an understatement…
…and it’s a key moment that gets Ledo to realize what exactly he’s been doing all his life—which is rely on Chamber and others to make decisions for him. In this context, he realizes that he’s never once made any significant decision by himself, and it’s something that’s exceptionally significant as he finally breaks off his chains this week and asks Chamber whether or not it would be possible to fight Striker. And notably, it’s here where I can’t help but feel that even Chamber has acquired some kind of new autonomy as a result of his time on Earth, as his authorization for Ledo to fight Striker, his non-committal reply regarding his fighting the commander himself, and his asking of Ledo’s decision rather than just telling him this is something he has to do just reeks of some kind of change in Chamber. Admittedly, I could just be grasping at straws here… but if it is indeed true, there’s really a lot of commentary here about the potential of people changing as well, and it combines with the squirrel being present at this decisive moment to make this a truly spectacular episode.
Indeed, you know an episode’s spectacular when I’ve gone through so much words and haven’t even discussed:
And in the end, it’s just a testament to how much we’ve gotten with this series in terms of build-up and proper development, and how much we got in this one episode in particularly too. Really, it’s just an absolutely superb episode of Suisei no Gargantia this week, and I think at this point I’ll just leave things to you guys to discuss amongst yourselves.