Thoughts & Feelings Column: Princess Principal – Episode Seven

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This week’s mission takes place at another warehouse, and we even have a cameo from everyone’s favorite loan shark: Franky! This episode seems to focus on Chise’s feelings, her cultural exchange, and newfound understanding that the life of spy is lonely one. We’ve settled into a rhythm of “mission of the week,” which I don’t consider a bad thing at the moment; however, I do feel like Princess Principal has the ability to do more than offer us this slow life spy story.

Control calls on Team White Pigeon to capture the criminal, Poison Gas Jack, who is assassinating important Commonwealth personnel (possibly at the Duke’s behest, though that is never confirmed). PGJ isn’t using just any poison gas, either- he’s using nerve gas which has been illegal for some time in the region. However, like most governments, The Kingdom has kept stores of nerve gas in their London Wall under the military’s supervision. Control asks the girls to infiltrate the wall in some way and find out PGJ’s true identity.

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After some discussion, the girls decide to use the laundry mill that washes the military uniforms so they can perform a pyridine test on all the clothes in an effort to expound the killer. The show is claiming that pyridine has the ability to bring out any invisible evidence of nerve gas, like a blacklight on dirt. I did some quick Wiki-ing on pyridine, but I didn’t see anything about this type of application. Furthermore, I double checked to see if you could detect nerve gas on clothing, and I didn’t see any evidence of this. So, it’s possible this set-up by the creators was a way to give Princess Principal a cool plot line to follow since nerve gas is a terribly scary thing, even today.

Regardless, I think we can all suspend disbelief for the glorious ganger act that Ange puts on during her time at the mill. While the girls work to oust the killer, Chise begins to see the girls who at the laundry mill as lazy because they take so many breaks. Later, Chise learns that the equipment is too dangerous to run for long periods of time which is why the women are always taking breaks.

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Now, I don’t know a lot about laundry mills, but the idea of a laundry mill makes perfect sense. This mill in particular is one losing money constantly due to shoddy equipment and poor management, and even though the laundry mill works largely for the Kingdom’s military, the mill isn’t a government subsidiary- so, it’s completely reliant on the revenue generated from washing clothes as a whole, not just the military uniforms.

Unfortunately, when we first see the laundry mill, we can see that it’s in a terrible state of disrepair and planning because the foreman doesn’t possess the impetus to correct issues. After the altercation with the loan shark we now know as “Franky,” Charlotte owns the mill on Control’s dime. She is able, with the help of her dear spy friends, to create a more efficient workflow and perform much needed maintenance on all the washing equipment. Profits for the mill are up by over 200% after the girls optimized this place and generated more contracts. That’s crazy.

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Though this entire section, Chise learns that the women aren’t lazy and she becomes quite close to the matron of the mill, Marilla. However, just as their friendship began to reach peak, PGJ a.k.a William Ricard, attacks the laundry mill to obtain his tainted military uniform.

It turns out that William knew his jacket would show signs of nerve gas, and he began to wash his own clothes to hide the evidence from prying eyes. After the very short fight, our three fighters (Ange, Chise, and Dorothy) never return to work at the laundry mill. Charlotte only stays for a few days after in the mantle of foreman before handing that over to Marilla- which was probably just to ease any suspicion that the girls were all working in tandem.

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While we didn’t get anywhere plot-wise this episode, we did get to see the human side of Chise again. I feel like this was important to further differentiate her from the stoney cat that Ange is on average, and this whole affair did help me come to like Chise as a character more. However, because we didn’t really move forward in any way, I do wonder where Princess Principal is going.

It truly feels like this world could be explored a little more, but we are stuck in this meta-London doing menial jobs for easy targets as of late. I think the girls can be used for tasks that require more skill and finesse than what we’ve been given the past two episodes, and I really hope Control takes advantage of the talent they have at their disposal.

The Duke is no match for Team White Dove!

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