Kugel is on a mission to change the world and he wants Ledo to help - but will our protagonists beliefs in following his commander waver in the face of a planned assault to assimilate Gargantia into this almighty fleet?
Even if Ledo's final decision is uncertain, we're soon treated to signs of dissent elsewhere - pirate Lukkage has clearly tired of her role in the midst of this cultish fleet, and although Pinion is thrilled with his new role and the toys he gets to play with shoots of doubt begin to spring from his mind as well. The true moment of clarity for all and sundry comes as we witness what can only be described as a "purging" of the elderly and unhealthy from the fleet - a shocking moment that makes it clear that there's no place for Kugel's ideals in this world no matter how closely it ties into the Galactic Alliance's own belief set.
Thus, the wheels are set in motion for a more full-scale rebellion - having made his decision to fight back against the injustice he's seen, Ledo sends Melty off to forewarn Gargantia of the planned attack so that they might escape while steeling himself to take on Kugel in a one-on-one battle. Not that he's fighting alone when push comes to shove, as Pinion and the other members of his breakaway fleet do all they can to assist in overthrowing the commander. With Pinion's efforts in particular serving to turn the tide of Ledo's airborne battle, it seems as if Kugel is cornered... but is he really even the mastermind behind the "cult" that follows him?
At the end of it all I'm a little on the fence about this week's Gargantia on the Verdurous Planet and where it's taken the show as a whole - I can't fault the areas that it's trying to discuss, whether it's a harsh treatment of the fleet's elderly populace or the dangers of religious cults, but all of this is brought into the episode with all of the subtlety of a sledgehammer, and come the end of the episode its big reveal is (for the first time in this series) something that I saw coming a mile off. Perhaps the message is more important than its delivery you could argue, and the second half of the episode and Ledo's battle as the starting point of a rebellion were visually fantastic and great to watch, but no matter which side of the fence you sit on regarding your feelings about this episode you can't help but acknowledge that it's a far cry from the material which made the first half of the series so fascinating, for better or for worse.