Last Exile: Fam, The Silver Wing - "Distraction" Recap
Following up on the prior episode’s cliffhanger, “Distraction” is a fully action-oriented episode that depicts the the Silvius‘ struggle to survive against the onslaught of the Ades Federation’s 1st fleet. Despite the ship’s resilience and the use of some clever tactics to disorganize the enemy, the vessel is hard put to it and takes quite a beating for its part. Fortunately the Silvius and its brave crew aren’t quite standing alone, as the firefight is taking place near the border of Glacies and has not escaped the notice of its military (incidentally, the people of Glacies apparently speak Russian). They deploy in force to guard against any encroachment, and Captain Tatiana shrewdly pulls off one last trick by drawing part of the enemy fleet near Glacies’ border. As intended this provokes the Glacies ships to immediately attack, forcing the fleet to withdraw lest they start a major battle the Federation isn’t ready for.
“Distraction” is first and foremost a demonstration of what the Silvius and it’s stalwart crew are capable of, as they survive against imposing odds that Fam and her friends couldn’t even hope to deal with in the prior episode. Even the enemy Admiral is forced to acknowledge its prowess and its nickname as “the reaper”. However Fam also does her part here, launching a sortie with Millia in tow in a bid to cripple the enemy flagship. This they accomplish, with Millia even delivering the shot to strike the vessel in its critical weak spot; the Federation Admiral has no choice but to abandon the vessel. Prior to that Fam also manages to rescue a damaged Glacies vanship from crashing, giving its pilot Primura and her navigator Magnoriva time to recover and get their ship under control again. It remains to be seen what significance this act might have for the future but these two characters were a focal point throughout the battle, and odds are strong that they were introduced for a reason and that we’ll be seeing them again.
The success Fam and Millia have against the flagship marks the capture of Fam’s fourteenth and final vessel, and for Millia it’s a particularly happy moment as she was feeling “useless” as a spectator with all the fighting going on up to this point. Troubles lie ahead also though, as Giselle also witnesses this and can only completely break down and cry. She blames herself for the debacle of the prior episode and for leading the Federation to the Silvius to begin with, and salt was rubbed in the wound when Fam argued for being allowed to sortie in part by obliviously insisting that the battle was their fault. Combined with her partner triumphing without her while she was numb with shock over the day’s events, Fam’s long-time friend is now left feeling severely inadequate and suffering deep despair. Thanks to this “Distraction” stands as an exciting but ultimately bittersweet adventure, and one definitely gets the sense that this matter will be coming to a head very soon.