Story, foreshadowing, and floaties! This episode takes a slightly different route than we’re used to. It’s a lot more story driven than previous ones, and there are a few darker themes throughout. On top of all of that, there was surprisingly little fanservice. The focus was entirely on the characters, their pasts, and preparing for prefecturals.
The episode leads off with Gou/Kou finding an old flier for a past Iwatobi Swim Club chapter. It describes their training regimen, which included swimming 1 kilometer between several islands, running circuits of the islands, and then swimming back. Gou/Kou suggests that they use this training regimen to prepare, and; in agreeance, they set off, preparing for the trip. They’re short on funds though, so they have to borrow a lot of camping supplies from Mako and his family. They also have to recruit their ex-swimming coach-turned-pizza-deliveryman Goro to take them using his squid fishing boat. He also supplies them an ice-chest full or pizza for free.
While they were on the island they saw that Samesuka swimming club, including Rin, were also there. And even though it was just a coincidence, it inspired the Iwatobi Swim Club to train as hard as they could. On their first day they only completed half of their training regimen with everyone swimming and Rei using a paddle board. Rei couldn’t keep up with the rest and he thought he would be the one slowing everyone down.
At the end of the day they made pizza and the boys head to the tents as Gou/Kou and Miho head to the lodge. While coming out of a convenience store, Gou/Kou runs into Rin and his friend, and they start talking about the rest of the group. Rin seems surprised that Mako is okay with swimming in the ocean, some heavy foreshadowing that gets more serious as the episode draws to a close. After their conversation, we’re taking back to the boys, who are sleeping in their tents on the beach. That is, all but one of them is sleeping.
Rei has taken it upon himself to go out on the ocean by himself with a paddleboard at night, and the water quickly begins to get rough. It starts storming, and Mako wakes up, and when he goes outside, sees Rei in the water. He then runs and jumps in to save him, and the screen fades to black.
This episode was one of the more suspenseful episodes, and actually lacked that fan service all those girls crave (Gates…). So more suspense = less fan service :p. There is also alot of back story that’s about to emerge from Mako. Is Free! really going to be okay with the fans if there is a lack of fan service? We think that the story of Free! will be more than enough to please, at least us.
-Tyler and Gates