Week four is already upon us, a third of the way through the season! So, episode 4. Episode 4 is both easy and hard to write about. So lets avoid the obvious things and talk about love.
Papika loves Cocona. Papika has loved Cocona from the moment they first met. In episode 3, Papika declares that she Loves Loves Loves Loves Cocona. Cocona does not really reciprocate. She brushes it off, tells her to shut up.
At that point, Cocona did not love Papika. Not in anywhere near the same way Papika loves her. Not to say she doesn’t care for her. She does. This is shown as far back as episode 1, where she first uses the power of her Fragment to save Papika. But thats not the same as “love”.
After episode 3, Cocona’s behavior around Papika changes, though only slightly. She’s a little more aware of her, right when they have their “camp” to help improve their synchronization. During their first night together, Cocona eventually finds herself outside Papika’s pipe-house, alone, clearly not sure if this will all work out. She’s overwhelmed by everything about Papika.
When on the deserted island, Cocona gets separated from Papika, and has a series of mishaps. When Papika finds her, Cocona doesn’t understand why she’s so useless, while Papika is good at everything. The unstated part being, why does Papika need her? Papika’s reaction is that Cocona is great at lots of things! They just aren’t things that are useful right at the moment.
In episode 3, Welwitscha accused Cocona of being “empty”, lacking in identity, unable to control her impulses. This is how Cocona sees herself. So how could Papika love her? What is there to love, in her empty shell? Well, sometimes shells that appear to be empty actually aren’t. Papika loves Cocona, because she sees the things inside Cocona that deserve to be loved. Through Papika’s love, Cocona begins to be able to love herself.
And eventually, to love others, and love Papika.