One Piece (Netflix) – Season 1 Episode 4 “The Pirates Are Coming” Recap & Review

The Pirates Are Coming

Episode 4 of One Piece starts with us back at the bottom of the well. Zoro wakes up and finds himself very much alive and (no pun intended!) well. It’s a miracle those swords didn’t pierce him though, eh?

Anyway, as he gathers his gear, Zoro creates a makeshift grappling hook and prepares to climb. As he does, we jump back in time to Shimotsuki Village, 7 years back. Here, we see more of Zoro’s backstory, including how he was trained to be the excellent swordsman that he is now. Of course, that’s not how he starts, given he’s bested by Kuina, who’s the real swordsman here.

The pair duel again, this time with real katanas, and Kuina accepts the challenge. She points out that Zoro needs to be ready to fight to the death. Kuina wins again and again, prompting Zoro to eventually give up. Kuina points out that Zoro is going to best her soon, given she’s only small and will grow weaker over time, while the men (like Zoro) will get stronger.

Zoro though talks her up and makes a promise to train up and best Kuina eventually. They keep the vow to one another and make a promise to become the best swordsman (or woman) in the world.

Unfortunately, an accident occurs and Kuina ends up dead. In the manga, she falls down a flight of stairs but here, we don’t get an explanation. Anyway, Zoro uses this motivation to press on and work harder than before, determined to be the best swordsman in the world for her sake. And as he trains, we cut back to the well and see Zoro slowly climb out.

Elsewhere, Koby goes on the hunt for Luffy and Kuro; the pirates on the island. Usopp, unaware of their intentions, leads them right up to Kaya’s mansion. Luffy is completely knocked out though after eating that strange goo from the slow cooker last episode. It’s not Koby who finds Luffy though, but it’s actually Kuro’s goons. Sham and Buchi begin bickering, until Kuro stops them and demands answers. Luffy eaten the entire batch of soup he was brewing specifically for Kaya, and believing him to be dead, decides he should be thrown in the well.

Nami overheard all of this while hiding in the kitchen cabinet. However, the door suddenly rings and the Marines show up. Kuro answers and points out that Usopp is mentally ill and he gains the fortunes of the soldiers through his helpfulness, especially when he agrees to give them Luffy. Usopp tries to talk his way out of this but without any proof that Kuro is a pirate, Koby’s hands are tied.

Koby knows more than he’s letting on of course, and before he goes, a loud clang from the kitchen sounds and alerts him to something else going on. This is Nami’s doing, and she knocks out Sham when she has her back turned. While this is going on, Usopp sneaks up to Kaya’s bedroom and warns her about Kuro’s true intentions and how he’s killed the butler. Kaya is having none of it though and slaps her old friend in the face, telling him this story is not fun and she’s not in the mood for games.

Usopp refuses to be swayed though and decides to sit on the sofa, telling his friend that he’s going to stick around until she’s safe.

As the time chimes midnight, Kuro sneers evilly and reveal that the girl has come of age and they no longer need her now, especially as they can inherit her fortune for themselves. Buchi is ordered to shut down the house, locking everyone inside with the pirates. Buchi and Sham go on the hunt with Kuro, while Nami points out exactly what she’s discovered to Kaya.

Kaya’s sickness is as a result of these pirates, who have been slowly poisoning her over time, making her sicker so they can take her fortune for themselves. Nami manages to convince Kaya of the truth, and they sneak through the hidden passageways to get away. Unfortunately, Kaya begins coughing while they’re moving and she gives away her position. Kuro is right on the other side of the wall though, and after a few swift jabs with his blades, begins properly going after her.

Luffy projectile vomits out the blue soup and regains consciousness. When he does, he weakly tells Koby to do the right thing, given Kaya is innocent in all of this. Helmeppo has heard enough and brandishes a gun. Before he can fire though, Zoro poops up and gets involved. He knocks out Helmeppo and the pair part ways, with Luffy vowing to Koby not to stop him trying to save his friends.

Back in the mansion, Zoro and Luffy show and split up, intending to track down and stop Kuro from his murderous rampage. However, it’s Usopp who gets involved with his slingshot, distracting Kuro long enough for Luffy to turn the tables. Down in the main atrium though, Zoro ends up fighting both Sham and Buchi.

Kuro taunts Luffy, moving around the room and slashing him with his knives. Kuro also boasts that he’s the man with a thousand plans… but he doesn’t have a plan for Luffy smacking the guy right in his face from behind a pillar. As the fighting continues, Luffy uses his Gum Gum Bell attack to smash Kuro right in the face and send him flying through the window, knocking him out and besting the guy once and for all.

With all the pirates gone, Kaya agrees to give the Straw Hat Crew their very own ship. He names the ship the Going Merry, in memory of Kaya’s faithful butler, while Luffy and the gang allow Usopp to hop aboard, given his selfless nature and excellent sharpshooting skills. Just before he leaves, Usopp and Kaya share a kiss.

Koby returns to the ship and bemoans his efforts. However, Garp points out that he always had a back-up plan, and that was to flush the pirates out. Mission accomplished on that account, as Luffy and his gang sail out and hit the open seas… and immediately come under attack.

As Luffy looks out at the approaching ship through his telescope, he’s shocked to discover he knows who’s following… it’s his grandpa! Wait, wait?!

The Episode Review

The adventures of Usopp come to a close with him hopping aboard the Straw Hat gang, who are sailing out for the Grand Line and bigger adventures now. Armed with a new ship and plenty of space to hang out, the adventures ahead look bright for our crew.

We do learn more about Zoro’s backstory here which is good, and peppering that in alongside his climb out the well and devotion to his friends is a surprisingly good bit of editing. Having said that, not learning about Kuina’s tumble down the stairs would lead one to believe we’re going to learn that she’s not really dead but we’ll have to wait and see!

There’s a good deal of fighting here at the mansion though, which is a nice touch, while the pacing is better here as we actually see the story move forward at a decent pace, even with an hour-long run-time.

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You can look forward to a full season review later this weekend!

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