It’s another origin story episode, this time focused on Ange’s time in Control’s spy farm. But while the show presents a ho-hum backstory, the ending gives it the jolt it desperately needs.
The Farm: Ange, Eleanor [note]Also called Prefect. Real name not revealed. [/note], Dorothy
Princess Principal continues to fill in the missing puzzle pieces of Ange’s past by showing the place she was trained to be a spy. A place we don’t learn how she got into or accepted, but it is what it is. What matters here is learning Ange was top of her class, the mission this episode deals with whether their classmate, Ange’s #2, Eleanor, is a double agent, and learning Dorothy, who is a few years older than Ange, also was part of her class. Oh, and those three are the only ones still alive, or part of Control, when it comes to their class.
One Day I’ll Fly Away: Ange, Eleanor, Dorothy
All of which becomes important due to the idea in which it seems Eleanor may have feelings for Ange. Sort of pushing the idea, once more, that maybe Ange may be queer but of course they dance around this idea. Just like they dance around the possibility that there may be more to her and Charlotte’s relationship besides being long lost twins.
But I digress. Eleanor helps them with a subset of their main mission that is to see if she, Eleanor, is a double agent. Which she reveals herself to be. On top of that, she reveals that, despite this idea she had a thing, admiration, or what have you, with Ange, it was Dorothy she was truly worried about. Not in terms of competing with her, but admiring how free like the wind she was.
One particular day, a Christmas many years ago, the girls had a test to find someone. At a certain point, Eleanor was ready to give up and Dorothy was just relaxed about it. Not because she knew Ange would come through, as she did, but because she figured they wouldn’t get kicked out over one simple exam. So, to kill time, and take advantage of the rare opportunity to be out and about, she took Eleanor to a funfair (Carnival). That memory holds such a significance in Eleanor’s heart that when Ange and Dorothy, with poor Beatrice, chase her down, she kills herself so Dorothy wouldn’t have to pull the trigger.
New Boss, New Orders: Ange, Dorothy
L, the man we have occasionally seen meet with Dorothy is replaced by a man who refers to himself as the general. With the girls succeeding in their latest assignment he gives them a task which is quite shocking. That is, assassinating Princess Charlotte. No reasons are given, we are just left with Dorothy’s shocked face and Ange being stone faced as usual.
Question(s) Left Unanswered
- What happened to L and why does this man want Princess Charlotte killed?
- So, is this show going to consistently have half, or more, of the story in the past, with just baby steps toward the future? Is that why the case numbers, when they move forward, jump so high? That way they can make up for the rather slow pace of Operation: Changeling, among other things?
- Will we ever learn the true importance of any of the missions we have seen thus far?
A True Threat To Pique Interest
Sadly, like it’s Sunday companion Knight’s and Magic, Princess Principal waits till damn near the end of the season, maybe series, to bring a true threat. For with the Duke of Normandy seemingly long retired to the shadows, all we have gotten are multiple back stories or perspective episodes. So with the General calling for the death of Charlotte, maybe a well-needed jolt may hit this show. Thus making it so we don’t have to hope for a well written, and emotional, backstory to keep us going.
On The Fence
I Feel Like That Moment Should Have Led To More Emotion
I don’t know if I was reading too much into Eleanor’s feelings or not, when it came to Dorothy, but I just feel like there should have been more oomph. After all, there was some build toward it right? They are the last three of their class, Eleanor has lived off this memory of her and Dorothy having fun for ages. Shouldn’t that have made her suicide a really emotional moment?
It isn’t like this show is incapable of producing such. I’ve cried real tears over some of the back stories we have been presented. Yet, this one just felt a little bit forced. Perhaps making the fact this season will be over soon a blessing. For their old bag of tricks are starting to lose their effects.
Another Piece of Ange and Dorothy’s Background
I always feel so torn about the fact this show loves to dig into the past of its characters but at the sacrifice of pushing the overall story forward. Yet, as noted in a conversation with Karandi, when speaking about the last episode, episodically this show is excellent. It is just when you add all those parts together you get a show which is a bit of a mess.
If only because, the out of order cases just don’t lead up to any true meaning. A part of me wants to compare this to how How To Get Away With Murder handles its seasonal mystery. The parts revealed to us are out of order, but at the very least we are given something to consistently hype us up toward something. Be it who killed who, who did what, and etc. However, as of now, the only cohesion here is the consistency of seeing this character or that character. As for what we are truly working towards, be it Operation: Changeling, the reunification of the kingdom, Charlotte being crowned Queen or what? Honestly, there is no real push in any direction. We are reminded, sporadically, this is a goal for maybe an individual but it is never pushed so far to seem like a goal for the overall season.
Of which, with this being an anime, so comes this idea that if it the goal isn’t done by the end of season one, we just won’t see it happen period.
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