After reaching an unfortunate climax at the end of episode three, episode four gives the fans a breather from the action and heart-racing moments. The episode starts off with the Spearhead Squadron hanging around their base. The team recognizes that Theo acted immaturely after Keia’s death, but reassured that they didn’t necessarily disagree with him either. They comfort Theo and move on from what occurred.
Shin (Undertaker) gives Theo some harsh, but loving, criticism for how he acted. He reminds Theo that his former commander wouldn’t have acted the way he did. And, despite Theo saying the Fox Commander would’ve done the same, he knows deep down that he acted in a way he shouldn’t have.
Shin returns to his room at night and stares at the remaining fragment he took from Keia’s juggernaut. The look in his eyes gave off a cold “how much more do I have to take” look. Suddenly, he receives a direct call from Lena. This is when the episode begins to pick up.
Lena and Annette’s argument
The episode cuts to Lena in the morning getting ready for work. She’s sitting down with Annette (real name Henrietta Penrose) and begins to discuss her situation. This scene becomes one of the highlights of the episode.
While Annette is eating away at her pudding, Lena just sits there thinking about the mistakes she made.
Annette begins to tell Lena that she needs to accept the world she lives in and stop worrying about the 86. Despite Lena still trying to develop a relationship with the Spearhead Squadron, Annette tells Lena how she truly feels about everything – the world is what it is, accept it.
Lena responds with, “That’s not okay. I could never forgive myself if I did that” letting the audience know she won’t let anyone, even her closest friend, change her views on the messed up republic she’s living in. A strong resolve coming from the show’s main protagonist – an honorable trait.
While Annette is claiming the world is wonderful, Lena fires back with her own view of reality telling her that it’s not a wonderful world. She realized that she wasn’t treating those in the Spearhead Squadron like humans by not asking their names. However, Annette didn’t see any wrongdoing in that and tells Lena she doesn’t need to know them.
However, it’s not like Annette doesn’t care for the 86, she just believes that there’s no hope for them. “There’s pudding here. But not there. We’re different from them,” explains Annette. But her views on the word and ideas aren’t enough to break Lena. In fact, it almost seemed as if it strengthened Lena’s resolve.
Lena leaves in frustration and remorse. The camera then focuses on Lena’s pudding with Annette’s in the background. While this can be interpreted in one or two ways, it definitely can resemble what kind of characters both Lena and Annette are.
Lena’s flashback, discussion with Uncle Jérôme
The next scene, while brief, shows us the day of the incident her helicopter went down over the 86th district. This shows the audience that while she’s not on the battlefield, Lena does have PTSD herself. It was a traumatic incident that killed her father.
Her uncle sees her in the hallway and brings her into his study to have a chat. Much like Annette and her views on the world, Lena’s uncle, Jérôme, gives her the reality about her father.
In short, Jérôme basically calls Lena’s father, Vaclav, a good man, but soft. He called the incident of bringing Lena over to the battlefield an act of “ignorance and stupidity”.
He commends Lena on her ability as a major, but reiterates that “ideals are ideals precisely because they are unattainable.” In other words, accept reality.
The next scene is one of the most symbolic in the entire episode.
Lena is standing at a crosswalk in the middle of the city. She hears the newscast announcement that there were zero human fatalities in the recent battle. Meanwhile, you also hear Theo’s voice crossing over with the newscast reminder Lena how many people have died.
A-1 Pictures nailed this scene and perfectly amplified the pressure amounting on Lena mentally.
Lena apologizes, learns everyone’s names
The episode is now in the present time at the moment Shin receives the call from Lena. The first thing she does is apologize to Shin and tells him her name, Vladilena Milizé. She immediately asks Shin for everyone’s name. But before he does, Shin lets her know that not everyone agrees with what Theo said.
Shin proceeds to let Lena know that the names of those who died in the 86 don’t receive a grave. And look who’s the last name on the grave in the picture below… “Vaclav Milizé”.
Shin explains his promise from his days in his first unit. The promise is that when someone died, they would carve their name into a fragment on their own juggernaut. Lena realizes he’s been doing this over and over for the past five years. Shin tells her that he’s been the last of his unit and that’s now his duty in the Spearhead Squadron.
Lena learns that 561 people have died fighting alongside Shin and that he intends to take them all with him to his “final destination”. Shin connects Lena to everyone so she can personally apologize to all of them. Despite Shin having told her all of their names already, she wanted to hear it from them personally. This just shows Lena is truly worried about them and that her resolve is still unwavered despite what she endured in the episode.
Conclusion with a shocking epilogue
We learn that Theo’s first unit commander was also called Laughing Fox. That Lena reminds him of his former commander. Raiden apologizes to Lena, as well, for calling her a “wannabe saint” and “hypocritical pig”. But he reiterates that he still doesn’t think of Lena as an equal or comrade.
The scene then cuts to a wide camera show of the Spearhead Squadron’s base then fades to black. What comes next is shocking.
We’re shown Shin walking back to his room. He tells Lena his real name – “Shinei Nouzen.”
Lena immediately jumps after hearing the name. She asks if Shin knows someone named “Shourei Nouzen“. This stops Shin right in his tracks.
All of a sudden, flashbacks begin to pop up left and right of someone with their face covered.
What’s concerning is during this flashback, you can clearly see someone being choked on the ground. Shin pauses for a moment after these flashbacks and says with a menacing smile, “He’s my brother.” Will we find out more about his brother next week? Does Shin have a dark side none of us know about? So many questions running through every viewer’s head after this shocking scene.
Episode 5 will air next Saturday, May 8th, on Crunchyroll. If you thought episode four was the best of the week, you can vote for it on our weekly poll!
All images via Crunchyroll