The 5th episode of Pirates wraps up a number of plot lines as an actual battle breaks out. The episode begins with a change of flight plan suggested by Marika and other adjustments made to make sure the plan goes off without a hitch. The enemy then attempts to engage in electronic warfare and believing it had done so successfully is foiled by the efforts of Lynn and Chiaki. However, they respond by trying to shoot down the Odette II before Marika’s secret weapon and some help ultimately save the day.
This was truly the episode that Marika’s prospects as a captain would be put to the test, and she passed. The first test was showing adaptability to situations, which is where her change of plans came in. Instead of having the Odette II sail behind the planet as planned, they would cut the route and go in front. This would force any enemies to move to go after them, plus it could be blamed on Marika’s own inexperience if she was punished by the teachers. It also worked because conventional logic is to be closest to the star, which becomes important later.
The test of her abilities was sticking to her plan under pressure. In this regard, she managed to keep an inexperienced crew within her deceptive plan. This meant making it look as though only two girls were working on the bridge of a ship while in their first journey. So adjustments to radar while being jammed had to look slow and performed by beginners. Fortunately, she had the perfect crew for the latter. Then, when it came time to prepare for the counterattack, she let Jenny, Chiaki and Lynn perform their roles to the fullest.
The final test came with improvisation when the situation was looking bleak. After the Lightning 11 had disabled all of its computers, the manual shots with its beam cannon were getting closer. Marika then acted quickly to aim the sails in such a way as to blind the Lightning 11 completely. Rather than running away and exposing their position as Chiaki had initially suggested, this proved to be the right call. The Lightning 11 couldn’t fire blindly, and the two pirate ships in the area as well as the military vessels were able to move in. Marika definitely proved herself here.
On to a couple of other points that I had from this episode. First was the big reveal that Chiaki is the daughter of the captain of the Barbalusa. This explains why she knew so much about pirate ships and the charters that really made them privateers. She would also know how a captain would act, and as someone scouting a potential rival she had a stake in Chiaki’s abilities as well. I was also impressed at the fact that Kane and Misa never had to get involved at all. It allows them to maintain their cover at the school longer should they need it.. Also, the design of the military ships is really, really camp. Designing them like blades? Maybe this does have the feel of a 50s science-fiction movie.
Next week should see Marika learn the real truth about being a pirate. I’d imagine there will be some cultural issues to overcome between her background and theirs