During another exercise, Libba Swythe’s (Abigail’s nemesis) unit helps Abigail, and they come to a place of mutual respect and kinship. Back at base, Alder has been surveilling the Spree, and when the cell makes a move, Alder directs Anacostia to send the cadets to intercept. Their citydrop turns into a real mission, against real enemies, who we know are lethal. The Bellweather unit is solid again, and going into this op in a good place with each other, and the other units. Raelle is finally able to accept the fact that Scylla is Spree, and all that comes with that, which I think she only hesitated to because of what it means for their relationship. Admitting Scylla is Spree also means admitting that what they have isn’t real, and all her feelings, and all the things she’s done in service of those feelings, have been meaningless.
The Spree destroyed their own munitions factory and loaded two trucks with explosives to distribute in any number of places. The cadets stop the first truck, and Raelle takes out a fleeing Spree leader, disguised in Scylla’s form, which doesn’t stop her— good for her! When the second truck is approaching, Tally uses her abilities as a Seer to get Intel, she recognizes civilian hostages on board. At the base, Alder is also made aware of civilian hostages, but she orders Anacostia to stop the truck anyway. Tally raises concerns when the order is given, but Anacostia insists, and the cadets destroy the Spree truck loaded with explosives —and innocent civilian hostages, unbeknownst to most of them. Libba also takes shrapnel to the heart, and dies as a result, something Abigail is affected by.
Tally doesn’t make a secret of what happened during the op. She tells her unit about the hostages, which changes things for all of them in different ways. Tally could see and, as she described, feel the hostages, so this will probably be a traumatic experience for her in the way Charvell’s wedding was for Abigail, and Porter’s death was for Raelle. But this was… Avoidable. Adil comes to Abigail, to support her, and she tells him, “someone told me I was ignorant of the world. I’m a little less so now.” How this experience alters the girls perception of the military, or their roles within it, is something I hope is explored in the final two episodes.