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Last Exile: Fam, The Silver Wing - "Touch and Move" Recap

Millia is dumbfounded to find that Fam made an agreement with
Silvius’ captain, Tatiana, to seize 15 of Ades Federation’s ships in
exchange for their freedom
.

A short while after the end of “Dubious Move” last time, Princess Millia reveals her identity to the Silvius‘ Captain Tatiana, but she’s disinterested and informs her of the deal made with Fam. Millia is aghast at Fam’s bold pact to capture 15 ships, which she made without even consulting her, but what’s done is done and Fam and Giselle are already planning to pursue their first target. They can’t leave and can’t contact their home at Kartoffel, but they do have the Silvius’ resources at their disposal. Later on word gets out about the Ades Federation’s intent to annex the kingdom of Turan in three days, a fulfillment of Sara Augusta’s expressed intent from “Light Square” to reestablish Gonia and return its original inhabitants to their ancestral home. So Millia faces a moment of truth: is her dream of restoring Turan about to die, or can she go on?

The reasoning for resignation offered by Tatiana’s first officer Alister, who astutely points out that both Turan’s Government and military are no more. But when Millia opens up to Fam about the situation, our heroine offers an answer. Millia can start anew, just as Fam feels that she and Giselle would try building a new Kartoffel if they were to lose their own home one day. With that thought in mind, Millia reasons that she can reestablish Turan with three things: a government (herself), a citizenry (her servant Teddy) and territory, leaving her the sole option of claiming a part of the Silvius for the latter requirement. At first she thinks to ask a favor to do just that, but ultimately she barricades herself in the ship kitchen and makes her declaration while the crew is otherwise occupied.

Millia’s actions are gutsy and a satisfying way for the story to resolve the issue, though it’d fall flat without justification for Tatiana and the Silvius‘ accepting this. Fortunately we get that thanks to Dio, who turns out to have been allied with the Silvius all along. He tells Tatiana and Alister everything about how the Ades Federation used an Exile vessel to attack Turan, and the trio ultimately conclude that making peace is impossible as things stand. So when Millia finally makes her play Tatiana opts to humor her good cause, having resigned herself to the idea that Silvius is going to have to fight the Federation head on.

Regrettably, the major B plot with Fam and Giselle isn’t on par with the rest. They capture their first ship with a cheap deception, fooling the very same incompetent captain the sky pirates humiliated in the first episode (ah, nepotism!). The affair is generally played for comic relief and stresses disbelief a bit, especially since Giselle has to intervene multiple times to stop Fam from messing up the plan with her outbursts. Some actual action would have been good here, or at least a smarter idea to avert the impression that it’s a trivial matter to capture these vessels. On another front, really now, why did Millia spend half of this episode running around in a maid outfit? It’s a rhetorical question of course, I know why – for a cheap laugh and maybe fanservice to a select group of fans. It’s silly and detracts from Millia’s good points in this episode more than it offers entertainment, I think. Even Fam laughs about its ridiculousness near the end!

Fortunately, “Touch and Move” is a good watch nonetheless thanks to Millia’s resolve and the plot advancement it delivers. I remain sympathetic to the Turan cause but I also see the apparent justice of the Ades Federation doing right by a wronged people, though I remain rather confident that Premier Hafez is much less noble than Sara Augusta is. Meanwhile, we get a little more information about the Silvius that raises further questions. Tatiana comes off as a reluctant warrior here, not a committed rebel. So how and why is the Silvius doing what it’s doing? What motivates Tatiana and Alister? And just what is the story with Dio anyway?

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