Let's watch Last Exile!

Sapphire Blue

Episode 4: Zugzwang

Yeah, itís been a while. Iíve had a lot of other things Iíve been wanting to do, and I kept forgetting about this liveblog. Sorry.

Before I begin, I should mention that the sequel series, Last Exile: Fam, the Silver Wing has started airing. Iíve been watching it on the Funimation website, and they have three episodes up so far. I wouldnít watch it if you havenít seen this one first. If you have, though, then go watch it! Itís good so far, and it looks like itíll keep getting better.

That said, letís get started on episode 4! If you want to watch along with me, you can do so here.

First thing we see is Claus and Lavie back at their house. Since the star-shaped ship can detect the sound their engine makes, they need a way to get to their destination without flying. This seems to mean taking the waterways. Claus already has a course mapped out, but Lavie thinks they should quit. The mission is seven stars, and sheís never even heard of a seven-star mission. Claus cheerfully says he hasnít either, so thisíll be his first. Lavie is still worried, but Claus seems to think they can handle it. Besides, Ralph trusted them with this job because he thought they could handle it. Itís their responsibility to live up to those expectations.

The title card appears, and after that we see them outside. Claus is convinced that the ship that was chasing them was destroyed in the explosion. No One Could Survive That!, right? Lavie says sheís going to go run the engine to get the water out. Claus seems nervous about that. He asks her to wait a bit longer.

Right after that, we see Alvis wake up.

Back to Claus and Lavie. Lavie thinks the worst part is where they have to take her. Apparently there are a lot of nasty stories about the Silvana. Claus says theyíre probably just rumors, but Lavie is still worried. She says something about the ship stopping for fuel in a nearby village, and everyone who saw it dying later. The more she talks, the sillier it sounds. She says something about Fat Chickenís grandma being the last one to die, but Claus says he saw her before the race. Lavie doesnít seem to care. She freaks out and says she doesnít want to die yet.

All of a sudden, Alvis shows up in the doorway. Claus remarks that sheís awake. The first thing she asks? "Whereís Gita?" You know, the woman who was with Ralph? The one who died on the way? Yeah, that Gita.

The scene changes, and it looks like theyíre about to have dinner. Claus introduces himself and Lavie, and explains that they were asked to take over the job. Alvis asks again where Gita is. Claus hesitates, and Lavie cuts in saying that she went back because she had a lot to do.

Niiiice. I mean, sure, it canít be easy to tell a little kid that someone they knew is dead, but itís still not a good idea to lie.

They start the meal, but it doesnít look like Alvis has had much to eat. She asks if Gita is coming back. Claus still isnít sure what to say. All of sudden, Lavie yells at Al, asking if she can do anything on her own. Obviously the poor kid looks upset. Lavie, Iím sorry, but you suck at this.

They hear a vanship taking off, and Al seems to think itís Gita. She runs outside, yelling and waving her hands. Claus tries to tell her itís not her. Back inside, Lavie mutters that she canít do this.

Claus tells Al that Gita wonít be coming back today. When Al asks why, he hesitates, and then says itís because theyíll go see her tomorrow. She seems excited about that. Man, this is just painful. I mean, come on. She looks like sheís about eight, maybe nine. Sheís not stupid. You canít keep secrets forever. Keep doing what youíre doing, and itíll just hurt more when she does find out.

Meanwhile, Lavie is getting the water out of the engine. Claus comes in and freaks out a bit, but she reminds him that they need to be able to fly if they have to. He seems to accept that response.

Later, we see Al looking at some pictures on the wall. A lot of them appear to be of Claus and Lavie when they were younger. It looks like Lavieís hair was a lot longer then. Like, down to her waist. Itís a pretty major contrast with how short it is now. Claus walks into the room, and she points to the bulletin board. Claus says that thatís him and Lavie in the pictures.

Al seems tired. She curls up on the bed and goes to sleep. Claus goes out and tells Lavie. He seems concerned as to why a little girl would warrant a seven-star mission. Lavie says maybe itís better if they donít know. She still doesnít want to get too involved.

We cut to everyone sleeping. Al suddenly wakes up, and notices a cute little goat plushie sitting on a shelf. She goes over and takes it. Then she notices something. One of the pictures shows Lavie looking scared and holding onto the same goat. Al starts to look at it. When she turns it over, it makes a sound like a real goat. This kind of freaks her out, and she drops it on the floor. She stares at it for a while, and then pokes it with her foot. When she turns it over again, it makes the same sound. She freaks out again, grabbing the goat and putting it under the sheets. She seems to realize itís harmless, so she picks it up, shakes it, and turns it over again. It makes the goat sound once again.

Then she notices a blinking red light in the window. We see the light reflect in her eyes while she sits there looking scared. Cute scene is officially over. Things are about to get serious. Claus wakes up, and realizes thereís something going on. He runs into the room, kneels down next to her, and joins her in watching the light. Mightíve been a better idea to get her out of there as soon as possible, but whatever.

Obviously itís the ship from before. It puts a leg through the window. The noise wakes Lavie up immediately. The three of them frantically start gathering their things and get the heck out of there. They get in their ship and move it into the canal. Claus checks to see if Al is OK. She says that the ship has been chasing her forever. Guess sheís been on the run for a long time. Poor kid.

They make their way down the canal. At first, the ship tries to hit them by punching its legs through the roof, but after a while it stops. They keep floating. Lavie says that the fork up ahead is their last chance to get out of this. If they turn right, they can take Al to the Vanship Union headquarters and let them deal with the situation. Claus, of course, turns left despite her protests.

They enter into an enclosed area, and see a lot of blue rocks floating in the water. Apparently it comes here from the mines. Itís called Claudia, by the way. In this world itís used both as fuel and as currency. Al thinks itís really pretty. Claus says it is, but if you take it without permission youíll get arrested.

They continue down the canal. Eventually it stops glowing. Lavie lights a lantern and gives the others some sandwiches. Theyíre leftovers from dinner, but thereís only enough for one each. Al takes a bite. Upon being asked how it is, she says itís good.

Lavie says to take a right at the next fork. Suddenly, Al starts crying. The others ask her whatís wrong. It turns out sheís realized Gita isnít coming back. Claus has no choice but to confirm this. She keeps eating, but sheís still crying.

Told you she'd figure it out She's obviously upset, but she seems to calm down pretty quickly. Further down, they see a blue light in front of them. They figure itís the way out. Claus says that once they get to the forest, theyíll be at their destination Ė the palace ruins. Then the light blinks. Lavie looks at the map. Turns out theyíre not at the exit at all. Claus tells Lavie to get the engine ready. She runs to the front of the vanship just as the star ship rises out of the water. She starts turning a crank, and the gauges on the dashboard start to rise. As soon as she finishes, she runs back to her seat. Claus tells them to take a deep breath. As they draw closer to the other ship, it becomes clear what he means. The vanship dives underwater to avoid it. As they surface, the plushie makes its noise again. Claus briefly seems surprised that Al brought it along, but they have other things to worry about.

As they approach the real exit with the star ship in pursuit, Claus tells Lavie to get the hook ready. This means exactly what it sounds like. Lavie shoots a hook out and pierces the side of the star ship. This causes it to knock around against the walls. They fly out the top of a waterfall with the other ship dragging behind them. At the last moment, Claus pulls up out of the dive, knocking the other ship into the water.

Unfortunately, that doesnít seem to do them any good. The other ship starts shooting at them. It gets a few hits in, forcing our heroes to make a crash landing in the forest. Theyíre all OK. It turns out that the place they landed is the same place they were trying to get to. We see a shot of a foggy forest with lots of stone blocks lying around.

Next thing we see is Al sitting on a rock. Lavie tells her that someone will be there soon to pick her up. Al says thank you, and Lavie tells her to take care of herself. Itís not over, though Ė a spindly mechanical hand shoots out and grabs her. The ship is back. Claus tries to get Al back, but the ship knocks him and Lavie away with one of its arms. It starts to walk away, but Claus isnít done. He manages to stand up, pick up a rock, and start hitting the shipís arm. Heís knocked away again though, and when he tries to get up, it hits him another time. Lavie shouts his name as the ship advances. It picks up its arm, obviously readying itself for a killing blow. The scene zooms out, and we hearÖ a gunshot?

Some cool, triumphant music starts playing. The ship falls over, and Claus is shown unharmed. Al seems to be unconscious, probably due to shock. The shot pans up a flight of stairs, and we see a very Badass looking man standing there. He has dark, messy, shoulder-length hair, and heís wearing a uniform with a billowing cape. A close-up of his face is shown. His arm is extended, making it clear that heís the one who fired that gun.

The ending sequence begins to play. Episode over.

We now know what the little girl is like, but we still donít know who she is or why sheís being hunted. Considering that the ship picked her up instead of attacking her, they must want her alive. Whatís so special about her, anyway?

Thereís also the matter of the man who stopped the ship. Anyone whoís watched the series already will know, but right now he seems pretty mysterious. What role will he play in the story?

Weíll find out next time. See you then!