(Catch up on previous episodes here)
Yesterday morning I buckled up and climbed back onboard the Silvana after being away too long. I'm officially entering the middle of the 26 episode series and as I suspected, these three episodes started to provide some answers to the many mysteries raised in previous episodes. As I've mentioned in the other posts, the storytelling is following a the narrative style of a novel. And as I wrote in a post last week, one of the key elements of a novel is the middle. Traditionally the middle is where some questions are answered, only to bring new questions to light. Last Exile achieves that nicely here.
When I last left off, the Silvana had apparently sunk--not that I truly feared it's destruction. We soon discover that it is simply hiding, playing possum until it is repaired and ready to set off on its real mission which has been kept vague until now. Meanwhile, after crashing their vanship in the desert, Claus and Tatiana (a sideline character who emerges more to the center of the plot in these episodes) grow closer and manage to repair their ship. During their time together, we learn that Tatiana was an 'abandoned noble', a member of a noble family in one of the conquered towns in the ongoing war. We also learn that Claus and Lavie's fathers were famous vanship pilots who attempted to cross the still mysterious Great Stream in order deliver a peace proposal that would have ended the war. They failed nobly and the war still rages on. Claus and Tatiana encounter that first hand as they run into the Disith and learn that Lavie and Claus's hometown has fallen.
Following another novelist's trick for storytelling, the middle episode is devoted almost solely to telling the story of Claus and Lavie's fathers and how they were friends with the Silvana captain, Alex Row. One rule to telling a long story is never to bore the audience in the beginning with tons of back story. You always want to jump into the middle of the story and reveal important pieces of the back story over time. That's what this episode is, we see Claus and Lavie as children who soon become orphaned children. We watch them teach themselves to become pilots. We see as they first become messengers and build the house in which we first encountered them. Basically we learn everything about how they ended up where they were in the beginning of the series. This segment not only provides us with some key clues to the larger story, but it also serves as reminder of just how close these two characters are, especially since they have been drifting apart in the the last few episodes...which leads us to the next episode.
The last of these three episodes is where all the new questions start to rise, just as the Silvana rises once again into the skies. Almost unaware of it, Claus is the center of a love triangle between him, Tatiana, Lavie, and possibly even the first officer Sophia. In a whirlwind of revelations, the Silvana's true mission is revealed when Claus confronts Alex about knowing his father. Alex admits to having been on the mission and seeing Claus's father die. He also confesses that his mission is to steal the Guild's exile and destroy it, thus ending the Guild's control over the world. In another twist, it is revealed that Sophia is actually the Emperor's daughter and has been asked by a close advisor to step in and stop the Emperor from waging a war with the Guild as he's planned.
The second half of the series promises lots of action and shifting character alignments. Should be a great finish. Stay tuned.