Episode 13: Catherine’s Tears
Zechs is conducting a test run of Tallgeese by having his men fire anti-aircraft missiles at him. He shoots them right out of the air. Tallgeese is fast and deadly.
Elsewhere, possibly Somalia, a battle is taking place, led by two OZ officers known as Alex and Meuller. The former Alliance base they’re attacking surrenders, but they keep going. “This is an execution!” Anyone who clings to the ways of the Alliance is suspect and must be “disciplined.” With death. They’re super nice guys.
They have another target to go after and they head to Lake Victoria for backup, but there are no battle-tested soldiers there. It’s not that kind of base anymore, thanks to Noin’s orders. They are deeply offended, as Noin was their teacher. They are certain Zechs must have twisted her arm or something. (Why can’t she have autonomy? Huh? Jerks.)
There is ONE soldier on base who’s ready to fight… Zechs and his Tallgeese. They approach him and he agrees to go. As their subordinate.
They go to attack the base. Zechs was intended as a decoy but he damages the base so badly that they surrender. Alex and Meuller show up and keep wiping people out anyway. Another execution! Discipline! Zechs warns that this is not what His Excellency wants. His refusal to fight leads to an OZ soldier’s death, and Alex and Meuller turn their weapons on him. He takes out Meuller and then literally rips Alex’s suit in two, shouting, “FOOOOOOOOOLS!”
Zechs returns to Lake Victoria and turns in his report on the battle and Alex and Meuller. He suggests they give Noin a message about how it’s “a mistake to teach just tactics.”
On a different OZ base, the circus is performing. Trowa has confirmed that they have a lot of supplies he wants to take out. The curtain goes up on… Gundam Heavyarms. Everyone thinks this is a neat trick til he starts shooting. Trowa takes out carriers and buildings while everyone else flees.
Catherine is one of them until she realizes what he’s doing. He’s ready to die in this battle. She runs toward the gundam and calls out to him to stop. A Leo fires on her and Trowa makes that suit JUMP AND FLIP so he can block the shot.
Trowa takes out the offending Leo and Catherine’s still shouting at him. He opens the cockpit door and she climbs up to continue yelling at him.
Starting with punching him in the face.
Crying angry tears, she yells at him for not thinking about all the people who would be hurt if he killed himself. Her tears move him, and he decides not to self-detonate.
The next day, Trowa and Heero set out on their own. Before they go, Catherine rather testily accuses Heero of being, “the one that brainwashed my Trowa with your strange ideas.”
Trowa says to Heero that he, Heero, wouldn’t have stopped for anything. So he’s stronger. Heero replies that “the only way to live a good life is to live by your emotions.”
A lot can be explained by this ‘live by your emotions’ crap, mainly that they’re all crazy.
Catherine gets mega-points here for gutsiness. Who else would charge up to a gundam and cold-cock the pilot? Now, this is, of course, cited as evidence of True Love, but I think it fits better into the Sibling theory. Punching your brother is kind of par for the course.
Alex and Meuller (yes, that’s how the subtitles spell it) are really messed up, creepy guys. Worse, they think they’re carrying out Treize’s ideals. It’s hard to be sure at this point, what ARE Treize’s ideals? Peace through war? Oppress all dissenters?
As for Zechs, he basically calls Noin out long-distance. He didn’t like the way she taught before and now he sees proof in the massacring pudding. (Tomorrow’s dessert, Massacre Pudding with whipped cream…) One has to wonder if the reason he avoids Noin is because he doesn’t think their ideologies mesh. That makes me sad.
No Relena tally.
Episode 14: The Order To Destroy 01
Heero and Trowa have gone to a library (!) to do some hacking. Heero drops the (floppy) disk he’s trying to put in the (ancient) computer. His arm still hasn’t finished healing. Trowa gets it for him and the bring up a profile of Sylvia Noventa, granddaughter of the pacifistic Marshall Noventa Heero killed at New Edwards.
“Outside Bremen” the Romefeller Foundation is having a meeting. They’re a group comprised of former European royalty, who use their money and influence to have a hand in international affairs. Their money backs OZ, which makes Treize beholden to them.
Relena, dressed as a formal representative of the Sanq Kingdom, and escorted by Noin who’s also in Sanq dress, sail in to attend this meeting. Relena is highly irritated that the place is guarded by a dozen mobile suits.
Relena: Why was Romefeller so set on using mobile suits?
Noin: Because people have a tendency to fear large machinery, but at the same time they have a strong admiration for it. And, mobile suits walk on two feet. The Foundation must’ve preferred a human battle rather than one played out with buttons and switches.
Relena: There’s no formality when it comes to killing men. If there were, it’d be in the form of a game in which people’s lives were toyed with. In war, a frenzied death is the most honest way.
Noin pats Relena down before they go in. Just in case.
They arrive in time to hear Duke Dermail, Romefeller’s leader, going on about how dangerous and wrong-headed things like equality have been for humanity. He introduces Treize, who agrees with him, and also throws in this bit about how God grants humanity free will, but humanity needs to be ruled–thus it needs a force superior to God’s.
Relena is not impressed by either speech and sneaks away from Noin to grab the mic and inform them of how wrong they are. The gundams will come for them! Noin ushers her off stage where they run into Treize. He recognizes the spirit in Relena’s eyes as being similar to Heero’s.
To the Romefeller guests he apologizes–the sister of a friend. Nothing to worry about. Dermail also has a note for him, he thinks Treize is giving Zechs too much leeway. Is it true Zechs is reconstructing a gundam? It should be destroyed!
Back at Lake Victoria, Zechs is indeed doing just that. Noin calls him to let him know that Treize agreed to have the gundam destroyed. Zechs makes plans to do so.
In Bremen, Relena watches the mobile suits outside her rooms and considers burning everything to the ground. But God would never forgive her for that. Meanwhile, at the party still, Treize wonders if he’ll be punished for his little God spiel, but figures God’s not real so whatevs. He’s also drinking what appears to be a pomtini.
Trowa and Heero travel to Marseilles, where Sylvia Noventa lives. The city houses yet another holdout Alliance base, which is now a target for OZ. Sylvia’s people are trying to get her out of the city ASAP but she’s clinging to her grief over her grandfather’s death.
Trowa knocks out a downed Aries pilot and he and Heero listen in on the guy’s comm. Their goal is to go unnoticed–they don’t want OZ to know they have a gundam here. So, Trowa will hide in the city’s tunnels and Heero will go find Sylvia.
He finds her alright. Just as she’s exiting her house, a Leo falls on a building, and Heero comes screaming through in his truck and almost runs her down.
Heero wrenches the truck so hard to the left it rolls 360° and end up back on its wheels. He survives, naturally. Oh, and so does she.
Deep in the tunnels under the city, Trowa takes out a bunch of OZ suits. The Alliance base isn’t sure what happened, but they’re grateful for it.
Heero and Sylvia go to Marshall Noventa’s gravesite, and Heero lays down flowers. Then he offers Sylvia his gun. He’s offering her the chance to kill him, in retribution for the death of her grandfather. She grabs the gun and certainly looks like she wants to do it, but she calls him a coward. “You coward! It’s obvious you just want to take the easy way out of this!”
To which Heero says, “It’s [war is] the only way I know how to live.”
Heero waits a bit, giving her one last opportunity, and then leaves to seek out the next family member and the next. Trowa’s supporting him through this, but clearly he finds it at least a little questionable.
At Lake Victoria, Zechs and his men destroy what’s left of Wing while an OZ investigator watches. This guy doesn’t trust Zechs, and wants to collect the last of the debris himself. His instincts are good. The real Wing is on the bottom of the lake, nearly complete.
Relena begins her work as a Peacecraft with very un-Peacecraft-y beliefs. They advocated pacifism; Relena’s talking about arson. She has a long way to go.
Heero’s plan to give each of Noventa’s family members a chance to kill him is noble, if misguided. He can’t bear that he screwed up, and he feels a need to be punished for it. No one else is doing it, so he’s presenting himself to people who would have good reason to want him dead.
In other news, Treize is arrogant as all get-out, and Noin is the one who needs a blessing since she’s now babysitting Relena. Godspeed, Noin.
Good Things Relena Does: Instincts on point, Romefeller sucks.
Dumb Things Relena Does: Instincts a little scary… no arson, ‘Lena. Also, the mic incident.
Good: 14, Dumb: 22
Episode 15: To The Battleground, Antarctica
Yes, Antarctica. We use exotic locations in Gundamland.
Speaking of, Heero and Trowa are wrapping up the list of Noventa family members in Italy. A black car follows them. Heero is still injured, so Trowa offers to take care of things. He gets all James Bond about it, too. Motorcycle, car chase, runs both off the road, and he does a backflip onto a laundry line.
Because he’s badass like that.
While the two boys are trying to work out their next move they are approached by Noin. She’s there on behalf of Zechs, inviting them to come with her. Zechs wants a chance to fight Heero again. Heero agrees.
Now it’s time for an inexplicable infodump. Relena has been left in the care of Pagan, the butler. Apparently he followed Mr. Dorlain out of Sanq, because he tells Relena about the Peacecrafts and an incident from Zechs’ youth. Pagan employs some magical hacking skills to a) track Zechs now, b) find out he ordered a crapton of gundanium, enough for two suits, c) that Mrs. Noventa is looking for Heero Yuy and d) she doesn’t want OZ to know about it BUT PAGAN DOES. How the butler manages all this, I do not know.
Pagan also says that Zechs “was a hero in the eyes of the Peacecrafts” which is kind of bizarre because he was six when the Sanq kingdom fell.
Anyway, Relena tells Pagan to reach out to Mrs. Noventa ASAP. Moving on.
Next comes a giant WTF moment. Treize is walking along by the lake, musing to himself. A woman and her toddler are on the dock. The woman gets distracted and her baby follows a moth to the end of the dock where he’s surely about to fall into the water. The woman moves for him but Treize stops her.
She is horrified but hangs back. Treize watches calmly as the kid is rerouted on his own and comes back to them, unharmed. Treize takes this as a sign that, yes, he should let Zechs continue to act on his own with little supervision. Because other people’s children are his personal Magic 8-Balls.
Noin puts Heero, Trowa and Heavyarms on a carrier to take them to Ant-freaking-arctica. The boys spend time getting Heero familiar with Heavyarms, which he’s battling with because of his injured arm. Heero apologizes to Trowa–normally they wouldn’t want someone else touching their suits. Trowa shrugs it off. Noin remarks that they’re just like any young pilots. Her underling proposes killing them now, because Zechs can be put in danger. “You still don’t understand him,” she says, “Zechs would never forgive us for doing such a thing.”
Mrs. Noventa forwards a letter to Relena to pass on to Heero. Naturally, Relena opens it and reads it herself. The letter absolves Heero for what he did, as it was a mistake in the heat of battle. Marshall Noventa worked toward a better world, and she wants Heero to continue to do so as well. Relena is relieved that Heero is alive, and makes plans to visit Mrs. Noventa at once.
Noin and crew are now over the southern continent. The Romefeller Inspector has caught up to them, wanting to expose Zechs’ lie about destroying the gundam. Noin will do anything to protect Zechs. She orders their two suits, a Leo and an Aries, out of the carrier so it can get to the base faster. She and one other will face three carriers each with a bunch of enemy suits on board. It doesn’t take long for them to be cornered and surrender.
The guy in charge of Noin’s carrier insists they go back. Trowa calls him weak for not following orders. Nevertheless, he takes Heavyarms and destroys the inspector’s forces. Only the Inspector is left. But Trowa’s orders were, those who see a gundam shall not live to tell about it. He goes to town on the guy. Way more than is necessary.
Trowa has to peel his hand off the controls. He went into this battle all business, but now he’s wondering how long he’ll have to keep fighting “like this.” Noin asks if he’s okay and he tells her to reload the gundam, for Heero Yuy.
So, the Relena parts of this episode make no sense. Somehow her butler has amazing hacking skills. If he has those why has he been content as a butler all this time? Maybe he’s been taking night classes since the kingdom fell? There is no reason for Relena to open Heero’s letter, except to be nosy. And, Mrs. Noventa sent it to Relena so she could give it to Heero. Relena’s reaction is, Let’s go to Noventa so she can tell me where Heero is! If Mrs. Noventa knew where Heero is, do you think she would’ve forwarded the damn letter to random rich girl taking too much interest in him? Hmm?
Literally everything about Relena’s scenes is meant to be convenient for the writers. They want an update on various things, so Pagan has magic access to it all. They want Mrs. Noventa’s letter read, so Relena gets that job. They need Relena flying again so they send her on an irrational errand. It isn’t fair to Relena to be used this way.
Treize’s actions show a really, really messed up psyche. (Hint: It is that.) It also shows just how much loyalty he engenders in his followers–that’s the only reason I can think of for that mother not showing him in the water to get to her son. If it were me, and the President were holding me back, I’d do whatever I had to to save my baby. Get with the program, lady!
Then there’s Trowa suddenly regretting the brutality of the way he fights. It’s an interesting turn of events. Why now? What about this fight set him off?
Good Things Relena Does: Point to balance out all the stupid crap the bad writers made her do.
Dumb Things Relena Does: Do we have to count these? Reads Heero’s mail. Flies off to Sicily when the letter was meant to go the other way etc.
Good: 15, Dumb: 24
Next week, Heero and Zechs face off again.