Episode 10: Heero, Distracted by Defeat
With a title like that, you’d think the episode would be more… explodey.
Treize and his people gather to debrief. Une does not like Zechs or Noin. She doesn’t like sharing Treize’s good opinion. She sees no reason for Treize to have to thank his own soldiers and that they are shameless in accepting that thanks.Treize and Zechs take a private moment to speak of Milliardo Peacecraft, Zechs’ true name. He doesn’t want to use it, but Treize looks forward to the day he takes off his mask.
Une gives a briefing to the assembles OZ soldiers. Turns out their next plan is to move the new Taurus suits to a new secure location because of the “lack of security” at the Victoria base, a direct slight against Noin.
Zechs opines that the gundams won’t be able to come into OZ territory to attack this convoy but Une wants them to. In fact, she believes she knows how to defeat them based on the latest data. She outlines what they know about each gundam.
She then assigns Zechs to battle 01 alone. Noin immediately volunteers to back him up, but Une dismisses her. She’s assigned to HQ with Une. Assisting. Any problems with that? Noin does have a problem but of course can’t say anything. If Zechs fails this will be all his fault. Zechs saves Noin’s feelings by saying he’ll need her at HQ to give him good intel.
Heero is hacking away when a video comm appears on his screen. Dr. J. Turns out the new Tauruses are capable of analyzing battle data and moving on their own, overriding the pilot. Eliminate them!
Duo gets the same mission. OZ is planning to send a decoy as well as the real convoy, one by land and one by air. Duo suggests they split up and have a strategy, they’ll need one.
Trowa figures the air convoy must be the real one. Quatre decides that he and the Maguanacs will attack the land convoy so they can quickly inform the others which is real. Wufei stands before his suit and says, “I’m sorry. I am no longer fit to pilot. Denounce me, Nataku.”
Noin joins Une in central command. Noin wants to know which convoy is the real one, and Une says both are important.
The gundams move in and battle commences. Zechs flies in to engage Heero, one-on-one with their not-light-sabers.
Things are looking bad, so Noin suggests back up. Then Une makes a play. She orders all missiles stored in space to be aimed at the colonies. Any of them, all of them. To the gundam pilots she makes the threat: surrender or the colonies will be destroyed.
Zechs dislikes this. “Helluva time for tasteless tactics. You guys can fight. Well, can’t you!?” he tries to engage with Wing again, but all the gundams have stopped.
Une orders for a missile to be fired, she doesn’t care where. Zechs calls in.
Zechs: That is not what His Excellency [Treize] wants.
Une: I am doing nothing more than fulfilling His Excellency’s ideals.
Zechs: You clearly don’t understand His Excellency.
Yes, with OZ taking over Treize has become His Excellency. Deal.
Une cuts off Zechs’ call and then Noin steps in to try to stop Une. Une slaps her. (Bitch!) Une has no respect for the colonies and she wants to wipe out the rebel scum.
Dr. J patches a comm link into their HQ. He never thought OZ would be so stupid. He says that this fight is his personal battle. He surrenders. But he will not surrender the gundams.
Heero accepts the mission: destroy his gundam. He self-detonates, knocking himself unconscious. (Hey, he finally did it!)
Trowa scoops up Heero’s lifeless body and Zechs promises not to fire on him while he escapes. The others pull back as well.
The parting shot? Noin’s got a call from His Excellency on the line. No, no, he doesn’t want to speak TO Une, he just has a message for her. “Be more graceful.”
I love how everyone immediately adopts calling Treize “His Excellency.” Because he’s excellent. Of course.
Une is a serious loose canon. She doesn’t just want to take out the gundams she wants to annihilate them and everything around them–literally. Her methods are insane.
And how dare she slap Noin! I love Noin! And I love that Noin gets to verbally slap her back.
Heero has finally gone and done it–destroyed his gundam, and maybe himself. He’s damn lucky Trowa is on site and compassionate enough to take care of him, or he’d be in enemy hands again.
Good Things Relena Does: Stays out of the way again.
Dumb Things Relena Does: Nothing, she pretty much stays out of the way.
Episode 11: The Whereabouts of Happiness
Duo and Quatre have retreated to a desert in the Middle East. Quatre offers Duo help, a chance to shelter with the Maguanac Corp’s home base. It’s an underground base attached to a city, somewhere in their undisclosed homeland. The locals welcome the Corp and the gundams as heroes. Duo and Quatre formally introduce themselves to each other.
At the site of the last battle, Noin and Zechs are overseeing the retrieval of the pieces of Wing. It’s ruined and the pilot is presumed dead. But Zechs believes he may yet be alive, somehow. “As a fellow mobile suit pilot, he is someone that I was destined to do battle with.”
Lady Une apologizes to Treize for involving the colonies without consulting him. “Well, that’s all water under the bridge now,” Treize says magnanimously. Une accepts all his orders with, “Yes, I’ll eliminate them at once!”He takes her hand in an intimate gesture. She’s taken aback. Treize continues by telling her she can “do away with some of your formalities.” Next stop: Moscow.
Relena arrives in, we presume, Moscow. Alone. She sees Une giving a press conference on TV, now with a rose pinned to her lapel. Relena decides the rose doesn’t suit her at all and turns it off. That night there is a big fancy party, which Relena attends though she doesn’t have an invitation. She’s rescued at the door by a man named Marquis Weridge, who bluffs that she’s his granddaughter to get her inside.
Interestingly, when Weridge first sees her, he mistakes her for a woman named Katrina. Katrina Peacecraft was her grandmother.
Weridge is just starting to tell Relena what he knows about the Peacecrafts when Une enters, complete with rose. Weridge comments to Relena that flowers don’t belong on military uniforms. But Relena has plans of her own. When Une gets close, Relena pulls a gun from her sash, shouts “Here’s for my dad!” and shoots the rose off Une’s lapel.
It’s unclear if she was aiming for the rose or Une, but the result is very cool. Relena flees the party before the OZies can catch her.
In a desert far, far away, Duo and Quatre are comparing notes. Their missions are the same. Alas, OZ pays the village a visit and plants timed bombs all around town. The Maguanacs get their civilians out and prepare to counter-attacked when the bombs go off. Their mission is to fend off OZ long enough for the gundams to escape. Duo and Quatre both feel pretty terrible about this. They vow to do better, win, etc. As they make their escape, Duo fires down onto the battlefield and helps clean up.
Relena is running for her life, in party shoes. She’s cornered by a couple of mobile suits and more OZ soldiers. They get the gun away from her and are about to haul her off when Noin shows up. “I’ll be taking care of her from now on.” She shoots the hat off a soldier’s head.
Her orders come from Treize, overriding Une’s. The soldiers back off. Relena wants to know why an OZ officer is ‘rescuing’ her. Noin shoots the gold logo off the soldier’s downed hat.
“I have come to help you, Miss Relena Peacecraft.”
I love Noin, she’s such a badass (when not mooning over Zechs). And now she’s on a special mission.
There’s some very fancy shooting in this episode. Noin’s is definitely deliberate, even if Relena’s isn’t. I do think Relena meant to kill Une and only Une moving back saved her.
I’m starting to wonder if Treize isn’t also a little high when he does things, because he is just so chill. Une has screwed up twice now and he’s like, “Meh. Whatevs. Where’s the wine?” On the whole I do think he’s sober and a deep thinker, but wow. (Next in fanfiction: Treize stoner fics!)
The Maguanac city bit is a bit strange. It alludes to this whole history Quatre has with them without actually telling you anything about that history. (You can find it in the manga Episode: Zero.) It also shows that stereotypes are really freaking pervasive–the village includes half nekkid dancing girls. All the other stock characters there are male or faceless.
Good Things Relena Does: BE A BADASS (shoots Une).
Dumb Things Relena Does: Go to Moscow alone for unknown purposes. Try to get into a party with no invitation. Carries a gun into said party.
Crap. Even when she’s being awesome she’s still being stupid. Damn it, Relena! Good: 13, Dumb: 20.
Episode 12: Bewildered Warriors
Open on a wounded and bandaged Heero, asleep in a bed. Someone’s been looking after him. He wakes to the sound of the TV giving us a little recap, and sees a woman by his bed. “Relena?”
Nope! It’s Cathy! I’m actually not sure why there isn’t more Heero/Catherine fanfiction… Because there certainly is a lot of Heero/Trowa fanfiction based on these two looks.
Trowa informs Heero that he’s been unconscious for a month, and in that time Trowa’s not received any more missions. OZ believes Heero is dead. It’s not so simple for Trowa.
Heero: In that case I’ve got one warning for you. It hurts like hell.
Okay, so maybe it’s that, Trowa’s full-throated laugh, that really gets the 1×3 fangirls going. They also agree that it’s best to “follow your emotions.”
The main plot for this episode takes place in the former China, which has remained an independent nation despite OZ’s taking over everything else. Former Major Sally Po has roots in this region, and so when the Alliance falls she heads back home. She falls in with the rebels who reject Bundt, the militaristic guy who is controlling the nation.
Bundt’s forces attack the rebels near where Wufei has stashed his gundam. Wufei doesn’t feel he has a right to fight, but he does protect the “weak” rebels. He can’t understand why they would fight when they are so weak. Sally asks him to join them, to rest. He does, and the next day the two of them go into a town for supplies. There they find Bundt’s soldiers harassing a shop keeper. Sally tells the soldiers to step off and gets her butt kicked. Wufei moves in and takes the guy out. By then the whole town has come together to beat off these soldiers, and the men flee.
Wufei then goes off by himself. As Sally tries to go after him, he explains that he is too weak to pilot his gundam. Weak and a coward. Sally calls after him that people join the rebels because they’re weak.
At the HQ, Bundt and his men are discussing their next step. They want to wipe out the rebels, but the majors don’t want to ask OZ for help. Bundt agrees.
Bundt’s people attack the rebel camp, killing many of them. Wufei reaches them in time to see men he was getting to know die in his arms. Sally walks right toward an armed mobile suit. She wants Wufei to fight. And inspiring him is more important than her own life right now. Damn her, she’s right. Wufei gets in his gundam to fight.
Also, number of times someone shouts “IT’S A GUNDAAAAAM!”: 4, total.
Bundt has a surprise for his majors. He’s made a deal with OZ. They will set him up as the local despot if he cooperates with them. Which means his dissenting majors need to be taken out. He’ll tell everyone they joined the rebels. Bye bye. They take out the majors.
But they weren’t anticipating a gundam being there. Wufei takes out the OZ forces, saving what’s left of the rebels. The next morning Sally tells him she’s going to continue fighting for the nation’s independence, and she hopes he’ll join them again. Wufei wonders, though she’s so weak she’s still going to fight? Yes, she replies, “The most important thing is that my heart is in it.” Wufei smiles.
Jump back to the circus, where the Ringmaster announces that they’ve got a gig on an OZ base. He wants to put on a special show for the occasion, something big. Trowa volunteers to be in charge of this special show. “I promise, it will be a real blast. … It’ll be my last grandstand show.”
Wufei’s logic is a mess. If you’re weak, you don’t deserve to fight. But if you’re strong, you should only fight people stronger than yourself, otherwise you are a coward. How do you get from weak to strong, though? Who decides who is weak and who is strong? Right now he’s the sole arbiter of this as far as I can see. Judgey!
The Heero and Trowa scenes are cute. It’s nice to see Heero show some feeling, even if it’s just, “Owwie.” In their case, “follow your emotions” seems like dangerous advice. What if they get it wrong and, I don’t know, kill the wrong people? But I suppose it’s also good advice, in that they have to follow their guts about who to trust.
No Relena tally for this episode, obviously.