Last Exile: Fam, The Silver Wing - "Dubious Move" Recap
“Dubious Movie” continues the character building “Light Square” began last time and follows up on Fam’s bold declaration that the sky pirates will capture the Silvius, a mysterious warship with a reputation as a so-called “ghost ship” due to its hit-and-run tactics. It can attack its target and disappear before anyone has much of a chance to track it down, and it’s been a thorn in the Ades Federation’s side since it’s been bringing down many of their ships. Fam figures it’s the perfect prize to help Millia win her kingdom back, brushing aside concerns about the risk of the operation with her typical enthusiasm. Over a meal Fam and the others study surveillance pictures provided by Dio to form a plan. Though there isn’t much to go on, Giselle displays her technical genius and great analytical skills when she crafts a strong theory about what kind of vessel the Silvius, giving the group the intelligence they need to go forward with their operation. The pirates immediately launch when the Silvius is sighted near the Sacred Lake, and Millia gets Dio to take her along in his vanship.
However, the Silvius and its crew proves formidable and beyond what the group had planned for. Their usual tactics are either ineffective or countered, and the Silvius’ Captain Tatiana personally takes to the skies and pursues Fam’s vanship. Fam is able to hold her own in that encounter, but while she and Giselle are occupied everyone else is surrounded and detained. In a last ditch move Fam tries to fly into the ship so they can take the bridge from the inside, but Giselle realizes too late that the Silvius isn’t just an airship – it can submerge underwater. The crew shut everything tight and proceed to submerge, leaving Fam and Giselle trapped and beaten.
Later on, aboard the Silvius the pair are promptly informed that they can’t be allowed to leave the ship now that they’ve witnessed its secrets. A smug Tatiana appears to offer them a deal; they’ll be given their freedom if they can capture fifteen Ades Federation ships for her. Despite the situation and this apparent mockery, even as Dio and Millia arrive on the bridge Fam declares that she will achieve just that.
Here in “Dubious Move” a familiar element returns with the Silvius, seemingly a lone ship fighting the odds against a greater power rather like the Silvana in the original series. In Tatiana and her second-in-command Alister we see two more namesakes returning, albeit promoted in rank; in the original story Tatiana was an ace pilot and Alister was her navigator. If the role of the pair and the Silvius is anywhere near as important as the Silvana and its captain Alex Row, then it’s safe to say Fam’s association with them will be anything but brief. It’s too soon to judge much about Tatiana and Alister, though it’s at least clear that
the new iteration of Tatiana is distinct and not the ice queen she
initially was last time.
One shortcoming I’ve noticed is the degree to which Fam seemingly does whatever she wants in this show. Here we have this very risky attack on a ship that’s already doing damage to the Ades Federation as it is, but Fam doesn’t really think this through. Instead her reckless nature is exacerbated by her eagerness to help her new friend, and nobody so much as seriously debates her idea. Supposedly it’s Giselle’s father leading the sky pirates, but he’s neither seen nor heard from in this episode and it’s really been Fam that’s been showing initiative since the series began. To be fair, we have learned that the sky pirates are always moving around and this operation seemed limited to Fam’s close associates. But even for such a decentralized group as this, the autonomy that this fifteen year old girl enjoys is an awful lot to take for granted without even a little rationalization being offered in the story.
On another front, it’s unsubtly demonstrated yet again that there’s much more to Dio than he’s letting on. We learn that he’s been with Fam and the others for only about six months, suddenly appearing out of nowhere, and when he presents information on the Silvius he casually deflects queries about how he could have gotten his hands on such intelligence. While that lingering plot thread develops, in the short term will be interesting to see how the Silvius and its crew treat Fam’s request and how they respond when they learn more about the pirates’ association with Millia. We’ll soon find out whether this is a ship with a serious and righteous cause, or something else altogether.