[Description]: My thoughts on Flip Flappers episode 4.
As expected of Flip Flappers variance, we go from a high-action, reference-filled, romp through Pure Illusion to a relatively grounded, relationship building episode this week. I’m glad the show is able to exist outside of its most fantastical elements and it’s episodes like this one that will matter the most later on. The episode itself, baring a few minor insights, was pretty straightforward in its approach for a change – using the excuse of Cocona and Papika’s impedance in order to get them to know each other better and strengthen their bond. It makes about as much sense as anything else surrounding Pure Illusion and we already knew they had to exhibit a synchronized mental state to get in, so I think this reasoning is contextualized perfectly well within the show.
How the episode portrays their bonding is pretty classic as well. You have instances like the bathing scene at the school juxtaposed to the scene near the end of the episode where they share a bath. On every level, it’s about tearing down barriers and getting closer to one another – at first isolated and later sharing the same space. The bathing scenes are used to bookend their progress as they begin to live together, get lost, and ultimately endeavor to do what they can by themselves where Cocona comes up short. Through their bonding, it’s reemphasized how empty and purposeless she feels as she recalls her conversation with the monster last episode. It’s interesting how this feeds into the wish-granting aspect of the crystals. She moves towards this goal of granting a wish without actually harboring one herself, though she does mention her parents at the end of the episode.
Outside of their relationship building, there isn’t too much else that happened. We met up with Yayaka in the real world though the fall out wasn’t nearly as severe as one might have expected. Her organization’s goals for world domination certainly fit their image though given how she skirts the question of how many stones they have collected and her matter-of-fact response, it remains unclear whether this is a good or bad thing.
We also revisit Cocona’s dream partway through the episode which we haven’t seen since the show’s premiere. It plays out just the same though this time we get just a bit farther in – discovering a mysterious tree with gnarled roots twisted into something resembling prison bars at the base. What this image means is just as uncertain as the illusionist woman in the boat though hopefully we come to understand these things in time. The music in this scene was particularly striking and I wanted to add that between this and the girls’ conclusive bonding scene under the stars at the end, that this episode had some pretty great music.
The effect of the sun transforming into a portal to Pure Illusion looked cool and just like the week before last, we end just as our heroines are sent once more into that strange other world. Cocona’s claim that she will never leave Papika is just as unsettling as it is endearing and proof of the time they’ve just spent together.