At Hoshika’s insistence after seeing Furuya’s actions, the matter of Fukuda’s broken glasses is solved as Mutta’s team goes about as usual, talking with the doctor in the control room who appears to have heard Mutta’s story about shampoo bubbles.
However on Kenji’s side of things there appears to be some dissention brewing within his team as an alarm heightened by Yamato’s refusal to allow him to take any role of leadership puts Yamato on edge and even leads to him assuming that Kenji is directly acting against him. Around this time Kenji also realises the flaw in their current judging system.
While Mutta’s team may have resolved the matter of Fukuda’s broken glasses they find themselves faced with another problem, someone among them has broken the clock but no one is stepping forward to take the blame. To make matters worse their challenge for the day involves solving a blank jigsaw puzzle within a time limit which they now have no way of keeping track of, so as they set about putting their jigsaw puzzles together they begin to argue and accuse one another of breaking it, Furuya accusing Serika as she was the one awake first and that he had seen her stand atop of a chair.
Knowing who the real perpetrator is however, Mutta takes charge by declaring such but instead changes the topic to how time is relative and that if they really do end up going to space, remaining fixed on Earth’s standards of judging time will only serve to hinder them, as just what constitutes a day varies drastically elsewhere. Back on Kenji’s side of things, Yamato steps up his attack on Kenji by subtly attacking the fact that he has a daughter, and thus someone who would grow up without a father if something happened to him or if the expedition to Mars turned out to be a one way trip. And as the episode ends Mutta wonders just why the real perpetrator, Fukuda, would intentionally destroy the clock.
Kind of lacking in some ways but still a good episode overall, seeing the matter of Fukuda’s broken glasses resolved only to have the clock be broken, and then a food shortage in the next it may seem as if the show is turning towards a drama of the week format, but it still isn’t all that bad. It’s hard to believe that there wouldn’t be as many issues like them when five people are confined to one space for multiple weeks.
Other than that it was interesting to get another look at Kenji’s side of things to see how things and with it the flaw in their way of picking out the two team members who should move on from the third exam. Where by choosing to judge each other through a score system, they may have upped everyone’s efforts but they’ve only intensified the competition and potential for conflict, only serving to weaken them as a team by putting them at odds with one another. And while we didn’t particularly see much of this between the other members of his team, we did see it occur between Kenji and Yamato where the latter’s paranoia towards the former taking a leadership role has led to some dirty attacks on Kenji.
Moving back to Mutta’s side of things the drama could get tiring if it keeps a format of having one ordeal show up next week, a cliffhanger at the end of the episode, and then solving it in the next episode before starting all over again, but if it at least serves a purpose, whether it be to bring up something interesting or develop the characters I don’t exactly have a problem of it. It’s the same as the monster of the week format, on the surface it seems stale and bland but as long as it accomplishes what it sets out to do each time it works well. With this episode using the clock being broken to illustrate the relativity of time and that even though we’re all pretty much hardwired to a 24 hour clock that dictates everything from when we wake up, when we eat, and even when we sleep, remaining fixed on it when it loses its practicality is more likely to hinder them than anything.
Sure, they would abide by some form of a 24 hour clock for a number of reasons but they would be bound to be much more arbitrary and practical about it, using it as more of a way of keeping in line with things on Earth, scheduling, and for a few other things while maintaining more flexibility as to when and how long they eat, rest, and work. It really has me wondering about how this would evolve if colonies were eventually established on places like Mars, the difference may not be that much but it’s still an entire forty or so minutes extra with a year almost twice that of Earth. Would these theoretical colonists simply adjust to their new home with indifference or would the concept of how long days, hours, and minutes, which have been with civilisation since its infancy in Egypt and Babylon/the Fertile Crescent, be cast aside for something more practical beyond Earth? Let alone just how this would affect them.