This episode begins with a battle between the Franxx and a Klaxosaur. During the altercation the Klaxosaur spits acid on all the Franxx, the blue substance leaks into the cockpit of the Franxx. The acid corrodes the parasite suits of the females, resulting in the boys getting to perv out at their expense. The boys refrain from telling the girls that they’re exposed, the Klaxosaur is destroyed and Hiro informs Zero Two of her exposure.
The boys unconvincing stated that the only reason they didn’t say anything was “because they didn’t want to distract the girls during battle.” Zorome dismisses the girls feelings suggesting that “it’s not like being seen hurts you or anything.” Miku’s not having it, but Hiro tells everyone that according to Zero Two she believes that it’s okay to be a little pervy. Miku suggests that they quit, she uses tape too create a symbolic separation between the genders.
Nana, Hachi and Dr. Franxx discuss the fact that so many of the squad members have hit puberty at once. Dr, Franxx calls it “unprecedented,” while Nana suggests that they follow the procedures in APE’s manual and intervene. Dr. Franxx says that they should just observe them and report later. Zero Two finally joins the girls but on her terms, and tricks the boys into using the bathroom while the girls are inside. Unsurprisingly, a fight breaks out with the boys stating the truth that they were tricked, however, due to the previous deception the girls don’t trust their word. Nana arrives and tells everyone “knock it off.”
The boys and girls separate into their respective rooms, where the lesson of the episode comes to it’s head. This were I have the most issue with this episode, Hiro states that the girls are “frail.” This doesn’t make sense considering the fact that as he later explains they also “take the brunt of each battle.” You can’t be both frail and take the brunt of damage during each fight, right? This episode is largely fun of cliche’s about gender role, girl are weak, so boys must be strong to protect them. Boys can’t control themselves so you can only expect them to minimize their ogling, not stop all together. That said at least the boys do realize that ogling the girls while they risk their lives is something they should stop doing.
The episode takes an abrupt turn when Miku leaves and hides in one of the former squad rooms. While looking at a picture of the squad she breaks down, the rest of the squad find her in tears on the floor. They ask what room their in and Zero two explains that it was likely the room of the former squad 13. Zorome wonders why their not here and Zero Two tells him it’s likely because they we “wiped out.” They realize that if they don’t get to know each other better and reconcile they will die like the previous squad did. The part of the episode wasn’t completely inconstant with the themes of early parts but it’s dark tone did clash with the previous humor. Regardless, Darling in the Franxx continues it reductive view on gender, but I liked this episode overall.
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