Coverage of the rout on Skylos slows to a crawl as we monitor simultaneous events on the mud whale – primarily the fight between The Captain and bob-cut there, the latter of which gets some in-universe nous-powered backstory. Also, a couple of Ouni’s underlings are accosted by other delinquents who don’t seem to appreciate that there are dozens of armored soldiers in sight and earshot who are actively seeking to kill them, and – just in case you weren’t paying enough attention last time – we get round two of Ema singing in the sand (not necessarily in this order).
Back on Skylos, Ouni manages to get the jump on Enemy-Commander-Eyepatch (I wonder if he and Captain Eyepatch had the same thing happen), and covers Chakuro’s and Lykos’ approach to the nous by holding him hostage. The kids get about to the door when Captain Why-was-I-wearing-a-facemask-while-standing-on-the-bridge-of-my-OWN-ship-in-my-introduction-when-I-clearly-don’t-even-need-one-in-actual-combat reasserts control over the situation and threatens to drop some more exposition. Ultimately, this episode is mostly a bunch of people on both vessels making cryptic comments (in varying states of active conflict), although Liodari does probably die.
Spoilers, I guess. Also, I say “probably” because I wouldn’t put it past most anime to reanimate as anomalous a character as him as a giant sand golem or something, especially if there’s some sort of ancient garden-like place somehow still intact at the bottom of the sand sea. Glad to see him go, though (especially if he doesn’t come back) – he’s wayyyy too intense to be a believable character, even in the context of getting backwash from everyone who successfully fed their emotions to the local nous. I’ll note that we don’t get to see any part of his backstory that explains why anyone trusts someone with his obvious instability with numerous lethal weapons.
Beyond that, though, the episode moves around too much to do anything but tease its other plot points. What “objective” are the soldiers talking about that isn’t “slaughter everyone on Falaina” and doesn’t seem to be “kill Falaina” either? What does the delinquents’ prisoner want with Ouni? What’s up with the hundreds and hundreds of spectral hands?
This is on top of continuing to raise questions that we already have: How connected to Falaina is the Captain? Does Falaina actually eat emotions, but only from one person at a time? Did the Captain get married before inheriting his current position? What’s up with the giant fish?
Of course, the most interesting new question (I mean, assuming no one’s thought ask it already) is based on Captain facemask’s rant at the end: Could it be that Falaina actually eats the life of the Marked? That would be a rough situation to get used to, even if it kinda makes more sense than the “normal” nous.
Offing Liodari is a step in the right direction, but there’s still an overabundance of mystery, and honestly I’m not sure that the show was really salvageable coming into this episode. I doubt I’ll be able to recommend it even if that one girl that Lykos saved from the ambush buckles some swash and saves the day out of nowhere.