Despite the fact that this episode featured a rocket launch of sorts, it was very much a lull episode. Events were treated with little fanfare and passed by quickly. No surprise here. This show is far too polished to waste time building up obvious fakeouts.
The ground control team’s emphasis on concentration, and how the mission supervisor reprimanded the SRT, continues the show’s emphasis on how small mistakes can lead to big problems. Since they deal with a lower explosive payload, the instinct in dealing with moon launches is to take it comparatively easy. An understandable reaction, as the visual contrast between the launch this episode and the one in Rocket Road was striking.
More of a poomf than a boom
Mutta entrusting Pieco to Pico was a really badass way of declaring that all of group E would become astronauts. I really enjoy any chance this series takes to renew and redeclare Mutta’s convictions. Plus, Pico owning the rover sets up any number of potential inspiring speeches and callback moments in the future.
Because this series didn’t have enough of those already
Also notable this episode was the extremely fast pace of Hibito’s return to the moon. Compared to the earlier lunar landing, which took a solid 3 episodes, this was a one-and-done plotline. I think it’s very appropriate, as the show couldn’t well have gone Apollo 13 again with the same impact of the Lunar Crash arc. Plus, this way Pico’s character arc is neatly resolved, and the show is free to move on to perhaps the most succulent bit of character meat in 3 months: the reunion of a very changed pair of siblings. Mutta’s changes have been more obvious, but there’s no way his near-death experience hasn’t left an impact on Hibito.