The 3rd episode of Pirates sees the attempted cyber attack on the Odette II come to a rather abrupt end before the ship eventually sets sail. In the middle of the episode a temporary halt to activities involving Marika from the groups chasing after her is declared just in time for exams at the school. The trip planned by the upperclassman goes ahead afterwards, but they run into issues immediately after leaving port. The younger students have to go outside the ship to make repairs where Marika once again proves herself.
One of the first things that struck my attention in this episode was a can of beer and what it meant for Kane’s dual roles. After Marika’s lame excuse for turning on the Odette II’s cyber warfare defenses, his conversation with Misa was entirely on the topic of piracy. Therefore, he thought it was perfectly fine to be drinking after classes. Later, as he’s adjusting to his role of teacher and having to grade the tests, he refrains from drinking the beer that Misa handed him. I’d suggest that means that he’s not the light-hearted character he seemed to be in the earlier episodes. He takes whatever role he is doing with all seriousness.
Secondly, the relationship between Chiaki and the rest of her new classmates seems to be changing. It all started with the rather innocuous -chan being added to her name by Marika on the Odette II which pretty much established that Marika saw her as a friend. That name quickly spread to Mami calling her that in the cafe as she grabbed another one of her parfaits.
It still looks like a one-sided friendship at this point though Chiaki isn’t very hostile at this point anymore. However, it’s already as though they know each other very well. Marika knows that doing things with a noble cause motivates Chiaki to help her. Chiaki, on the other hand, knows just by Marika’s actions that the decision to become a pirate has already been made even if Marika doesn’t know it yet. The relationship between the two continues to be one of the best aspects of the series to date.
Finally, Pirates continues with a realistic portrayal of space as the Odette II sets off. Last week, I compared it to Odin in pushing the boundaries of boredom in portraying maintenance routines. Fortunately, there was enough happening in this episode to make it feel fresh. Communication on the bridge seemed to be rather mundane as they exited the port up until the moment when the ship’s sail failed to deploy properly. At that point, it started to become a bit of an adventure.
Obviously, there were the customized space suits for all but Kane, Chiaki and Marika. I think coming after the banter between girls in the locker room this helped establish that this wasn’t going to be a normal repair job. The decompression in the airlock had a surprising amount of tension. Then came the amazement of the girls as they first looked out into the void of space and then at the wonderful background. Upon seeing the problem with the mast, Marika is put in charge because she knew what to do immediately. It’s another good moment for a future captain.
There was still a concern I had with one particular aspect of this episode. I think the next twist in the story is being completely telegraphed. Chiaki told Marika there would be trouble on the cruise, which is easy enough to dismiss. Then when discussing which channels to use, Kane told Jenny to use discretion when changing communication channels particularly when there were people outside that no one should know were outside. I have a distinct feeling that scenario may come to pass.