Each episode thus far has had some relative focus on one of the girls, and this round it’s time for Dorothy to shine. Since Beatrice has become the viewer’s perspective character when it comes to backstories and understanding the Albion world- it’s time for another adventure featuring the adorable Bea and a spy friend!
Dorothy and Beatrice have always gotten along quite well, and that’s likely because Dorothy has emotion and empathy compared to either Chise or Ange who lack both. Of course, Dorothy also has a similar childhood to Bea where her father abused her which also helps foster quite a friendship.
The set up for this episode is very interesting, and at the end of it all, perfect. Dorothy is called on by Control to intercept a cipher before it reached the Duke of Normandy that is supposed to appear at a morgue in London. The reason Control is using Dorothy is that her father, Danny McBean, is working for the Duke to find this cipher.
Saying it lightly, Danny McBean isn’t a pleasant individual. He blames his misfortune on others, drinks far too much, and is crass beyond belief. It’s, honestly, a wonder how he is able to maintain a job, even at the morgue, with his terrible temperament. We learn that the morgue is a very busy place that hires people from all walks of life for this terribly unpleasant work, so the morgue is probably so busy they can’t afford to let Danny go or just very understanding of the frustrations of being in a bad place.
As the days go on, at least two or three, Dorothy is able to get information out of her father about the cipher’s look and location. They are waiting on a body with a large cross-scar on its hand and a gold molar, the molar houses the cipher. Danny offers this information willingly in a drunken stupor, but his intentions are that of a father wanting to reconnect with his lost daughter. Even though his behavior is often terrible, Danny legitimately wishes to rekindle his relationship with Dorothy and wants to give her some of the money he will receive in return for the cipher.
The cipher case aka dead body, appears that next day in the morgue and Dorothy copies the cipher down before giving the tooth to her dad. She pities his position and hopes that he can get back on his feet by receiving payment for providing the cipher to the Duke. Danny is so uproariously happy that they found the cipher that he leaves work early to give it to the Duke’s sidekick.
Before we see this meeting, Dorothy and Beatrice go to meet Danny at a pub he mentioned only to find the debt collectors that have been harassing Danny. After a misunderstanding and altercation, the girls learn that Danny truly loves Dorothy and would never use her to pay a debt he owes- which is great because I think we all thought that Danny would sell out his daughter before now.
Next comes one of the best execution of scenes I’ve ever seen in an anime- seriously. Its perfection, and the music and timing work so well together. If you aren’t already watching Princess Principal, please do. You don’t need any context for this episode. Just watch the whole thing and see where I’m coming from here.
While Dorothy and Beatrice are in the pub waiting for Danny with newfound respect and care, Danny is meeting with the Duke’s messenger. Stupidly, he asks for more money, but pleads his case stating he just wants to give his daughter a beautiful dress to wear around town. Danny wants to treat his daughter like a queen, and he just wants a little more money to do so. However, the Duke was likely going to kill Danny in the first place, and as such his messenger does the job. Danny is killed and ferried to the morgue all the while the pub is singing Danny’s favorite sing. It’s a sad, goose bump inducing scene that is handled so well that I was blown back by the movie-level execution.
I really think that PP outdid itself this episode and has finally found its footing after a few episodes of staging. While we still don’t know the exact background of Ange and Charlotte besides a little blip from a few rounds back, I know now that PP will be able to deliver whatever they’ve gone through with finesse considering the tear jerking they just did for a terribly misunderstood man while balancing a budding friendship and consistent story momentum.