Princess Principal: Season 1/ Episode 4 “Roaming Pigeons (Case 9)” – Recap/ Review (with Spoilers)

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Princess Principal, after a very strange delay, hits us with a very curt introduction of Chise and us learning that there are some who wonder if the Princess is a double agent.

The Next Mission/ Fears of a Double Agent: Dorothy, L, Princess Charlotte, Ange, Chise, Beatrice

As Beatrice, Chise, and Ange practice trailing, we finally get to know Dorothy’s purpose. It isn’t just seducing guards but being the main contact between her team and L. The man who gives Dorothy’s team their missions. The next one deals with getting a Cavorite prototype. Something which won’t be an easy mission, especially since it is believed the Princess maybe a double agent.

This, with however much time has passed, leads Dorothy to question this information. But with time of the essence, and this prototype perhaps having the ability to end the balance between the Commonwealth and the Kingdom, Dorothy has no time to contemplate and must be on her way.

Commentary

I really do hope I’m not the only one confused by this show’s timeline. Between episodes, is it days or weeks that pass? Have we jumped forward to the time episode 1 is at or are we just on the cusp of reaching that? The main reason I ask is because Chise swoops in and while it seems to be her early days as part of the group, at the same time with no season, month, or year markers, who really knows?

Though, on top of that, I think it was a bit of a disservice to the character to kind of just plop her right in. Especially since, I don’t know about you, but I completely forgot about her. So with her just being part of the team like it was just a new day and different mission, that really threw me off. Much less, low key upset me since I thought, from episode 2 on at this point, we were being introduced to these girls so that, eventually, our bond with them would be stronger.

The Mechanical Fortress: Dorothy, Princess Charlotte, Ange, Chise, Beatrice

As usual, Princess Charlotte’s title creates the entryway to the mission’s location. During that, she learns that she may end up in a arranged marriage to a Russian as the rest of the girls pursue the mission. Well, all but Chise who is left behind. As for why? Well, Ange makes it seem because she is a loaner. Not loner, but loaner. For she is part of the group because of Lord Horikawa. A man from an unnamed country, but let’s just assume Japan. With that, while she is allowed to be involved, she doesn’t let her get to be part of the nitty gritty bits of the mission. That is, trying to retrieve the prototype or do anything which would give Lord Horikawa’s country power to sway things for either the commonwealth or kingdom of Albion.

But, with that said, that means Ange is more heavily reliant on Dorothy, whose only use seems to be seduction and Beatrice who, outside of changing her voice, isn’t of much use. Yet, strangely is very much into playing a spy now. And, for the most part, the mission goes well. The prototype isn’t where it is supposed to be, it gets moved to a ship, but as soon as Ange realizes this, she signals the girls and they are on their way.

Commentary

A part of me is a bit miffed by the fact Chise’s backstory either isn’t going to be covered, we got all we will ever know, or maybe we have to wait until a later episode to learn. For with Lord Horikawa clearly being from another country, one which seemingly wants to weigh in on which side of the conflict to support, there are so many questions. For one, how did his team get in contact with L, much less agree to Chise becoming part of Dorothy’s group? Also, are most nations training child, or rather teen, spies? Is that just a thing?

But that isn’t the only thing worth noting. I found it so weird how Beatrice went from being very anti-spy and all that Ange is about to being willing to accompany her on a mission. Much less, also train to do future missions. Which is also part of the reason the lack of time stamps is jarring for she was just warming up to Ange in the last episode but now she goes with her alone into a secured area? Much less, seems worried about her when she doesn’t quickly finish her task?

As much as I like this show, between Amazon Strike not sticking to a regular schedule, which threw me off, and some of the things I feel like they are rushing through, I think only optimism may get me through this.

The White Pigeon: Dorothy, L, Princess Charlotte, Ange, Chise, Beatrice

 

In the end, they come up with the name “White Pigeon.”

 

With the room where all the research equipment being empty, so comes the fear there was a leak. Of which, naturally leads Dorothy to think maybe Princess Charlotte is a double agent. However, with her willing, and desiring, to be more than a key for the spies to enter a room, but an actual participant, this eases Dorothy’s mind. After all, her being caught destroys any type of disassociation she could attempt if Ange, Dorothy or the others were found out. So her wanting to jump on the boat and assist, that seems to say something to Dorothy.

 

However, despite the mission being a success, and even Chise being allowed to use her skills to participate, L is still on edge. For, in his mind, there is no Black or white. There is only Black and grey. Of which, even as the girls seem to have made these close friendship, there is seemingly an effort to remind Dorothy that everyone has their own agenda and be it their spy organization, or the girls themselves, may not always benefit from it.

Commentary

I feel like what L is saying is supposed to foreshadow a grand betrayal. One of which, likely, Ange would orchestrate. However, to me, there still remains this disconnect with these characters. We do know something about them, often get to see them do cool and daring things, but it isn’t so significant that whenever the fallout happens, we may feel torn or want to take sides. Which maybe a long standing problem here. Understanding these girls are spies and are professional liars to each other is fine. But it just seems strange that they are as much of a mystery to us as each other. For outside of a tidbit here or there, alongside Ange and Princess Charlotte knowing one another, it is like we are meant to be kept in the dark.

Which, if this show played up the mystery of the girls more would be cool. We could theorize who is a 2x agent, what their agendas are, and etc. However, we have been working on a mission per episode structure and the only thing to theorize going forward is when Ange will be discovered. Outside of that, there isn’t a storyline to really look forward to or present a theory on. For I doubt we’ll see the girls push Princess Charlotte to the front of the line for the crown. Much less, probably, truly, get to know these girls better than we do now. Maybe Ange maybe revealed a bit more, but I doubt we may end up seeing Beatrice’s dad, knowing how Dorothy became a spy, how this program started, and etc.

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