The 23rd episode of Pirates is largely devoted to flashbacks as Marika tries to bring together a Pirate’s Council. In the conclusion to last week’s battle, the pirate hunter ship Grand Cross is driven away stylishly by the Parabellum, which is a pirate ship registered with the Galactic Empire. Chiaki returns to get Marika to share battle data on the pirate hunters and to search for a legendary chef. Marika immediately knows where to look and the Pirate’s Council is called. However, the Grand Cross would reappear before the Bentenmaru could get there.
After last week’s surprising return to decent story telling, it was followed up by this rather forgettable episode to set up the conclusion to the story. The only part I found interesting that was a key to the plot was Gruier’s conversation with Marika and Chiaki in the cafe. There she reveals that the technology used in the Grand Cross was being developed by a four different companies inside of the Empire. In order to test the technology, they were picking off pirates for real combat experience.
I couldn’t help but think that this seemed rather absurd. The pirates are registered with a government. The Grand Cross is affiliated with another government. Surely systematically destroying a component of the Sea of Morningstar’s tourism industry would have caused some concern for the government. Then again, maybe the shipping and insurance industries haven’t lobbied the right people.
There was also the fact that the Parabellum was a pirate ship within the Empire which is worth noting. If anything, it means that the pirate universe exists far beyond the numbers that were hinted at last week. Unfortunately, I think it only means the numbers that get involved in the final battle will be that much greater rather than having any sort of political implication.
There were also quite a few moments that bothered me; many of which had to do with the Parabellum. The full name of the ship is long probably just for the sake of the joke where Coorie could say it twice. Then there was the spectacle of the ship and it’s captain. The hologram projection of Ironbeard and a flag outside the ship was a mystery to Sandaime. However, judging by the bizarre flashback later in the episode, it was commonplace back when the Pirate’s Council met. Then there was the sound effects pumped through, which is just silly. Also, there was the way the pirate radio machines were introduced that bothered me. Rather than just have Chiaki tell her what it was, she had to quiz Marika’s knowledge of pirate ships to get to the answer. Then there was the chef, who was the son of the person they were looking for, but had to put Marika through a series of questions before telling her that. There was lots of padding of episode length here.
Next week’s episode should have been a clash between the Bentenmaru and the Grand Cross, but that looks as though it isn’t going to happen. First, there probably has to be so lengthy introduction to the pilot who operates it and how she is evil or has some sort of grudge against pirates. Misa and Kane probably know who Ironbeard is, but I don’t think that will be revealed until the very end, though I’m confident my guess last week is correct.