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Episode 14: Set

 

Review by Joel Jankiewicz

May 8, 2007

 

Summary

 

Marlene calls out to Yuji, trying to see if he recognizes her, while a camera in the corner of a room monitors what’s going on. The guard holding down Marlene tries to drag her away, but Yuji calls out her name quietly and starts taking off the equipment strapped to him. The scientists in the room are surprised that he’s moving, and as the guard is distracted by what’s going on, Marlene tosses him down. He quickly gets his rifle, but before he can fire, the lights in the room suddenly go out, and as he fires, he hits the glass cover to the room Yuji is in instead. Alarms start going off, and Amick orders her men to open the door. From a room which seems to be monitoring the entire station, Victor and Lu talk about how they can’t avoid what’s happening any longer, and Victor tells Lu to bring it in. As Marlene hangs on to Yuji who’s still tired and disoriented, the floor starts rising to another level. Seno is tracking both of them through his computer, but gets frustrated when he loses track of them, knowing it’s the council. The elevator that lifts the floor comes to a halt and a wall opens up to reveal monitors, and the High Council appears on the monitor screens. Victor says he’s at a loss for her actions since he gave her orders to re-train, while others say that what she’s doing is rebellion. They cruelly joke about her having to steal Yuji for a sexual partner, and while Marlene looks with disgust, Lu appears and demands she answer their questions, or her punishment will be more severe. Victor asks her for an answer, and Marlene says she doesn’t know, which surprises the council. She says she simply couldn’t stand for Yuji to be alone in the lab, and couldn’t turn her back on him. Yuji looks at her with surprise as well, then Marlene asks the High Council what they had intended to do with him, and says she has a right to know since she fought with him to make it to Second Earth. Certain members of the High Council want a vote to decide Marlene’s fate, but Victor says he’ll make Marlene an exception and tell her their intention. But he asks that if she has her questions answered, that Yuji be returned to them. Marlene doesn’t completely like it, but lets Victor talk. He says that two years ago, when a team was investigating an abandoned Sleeper facility is when they first found out about Sleepers in general. He goes on about how at the time, Sleepers were diagnosed and had to be put in deep sleep with the chance a cure would be discovered in the future. The cells that created ‘harmful’ cell abnormalities within their cellular tissue were named ‘B-Cells.’ Lu continues and says that the dormant B-Cells within Sleepers could actually be the key to defeating the Blue, which surprises both Yuji and Marlene. Lu says that the B-Cells act as an ‘overly powerful anti-body’ - they kill whatever germs invade a body, but if left alone could even harm the body. She goes on to say it could be possible to harness the aggressive nature of the B-Cells and link those instincts to the nervous system of an Armor Shrike. She says the pilot could harness those aggressive instincts to become a weapon to kill the germ infestation known as the Blue. Other Council members go on to add that the new Armor Shrike made for Sleepers can stimulate the B-Cells, but has a moderate inhibiting system as well. They also add that a Sleeper’s injuries would heal more quickly. Victor says that because of Yuji’s Sleeper abilities, they could all benefit, and that with Yuji, they could take the Earth back. Yuji thinks to himself, saying how he was so used to being helped, but now he can help others because of his illness. He says he can now do this for all the people he’s come across. When Victor tells Marlene to keep her end of the deal and leave Yuji to them and go back to her duty, Seno suddenly comes into the monitor line and says that Yuji and Marlene should work together. He says that in order to continue their work, Yuji’s ‘unique environment’ shouldn’t be changed, which he means is Yuji’s partnership with Marlene. The Council says that Marlene shouldn’t get away with disobeying orders, but Seno says that the Sleepers are also under the authority of the science division, and that it shouldn’t be completely judged in the military sense. The Council doesn’t agree and wants Marlene to be re-educated and disciplined, but Yuji then speaks up, asking what about what them. He says he’ll work for the Council, using his body that they see fit, but he only wants Marlene as his partner. The High Council goes quiet, looking at the two of them.

 

Seno and Amick escort Yuji, who’s in a wheelchair being pushed by Marlene into the Sleeper Brigade Training Facility. Marlene gives her thanks to Seno, but Seno says he did it out of scientific curiosity, and that if she proves she can train with Yuji in the facility, the data will be more valuable. As they enter the facility, the High Council watch from their monitors and don’t like the idea of Seno having a say in the matter. Victor says they simply need to take the appropriate measures to deal with this, and Lu smiles in agreement. Back at the Training Facility, the four of them come across an Armor Shrike training area, where a stripped down Grapple and Sniper type have a training duel. A girl in the Grapple type can’t seem to handle it well and gets pushed over, while a woman in a control booth tells the pilot of the Grapple type, Alicia, that she should be able to win since her machine has more power. Amick tells Brenda to have the pilots in the Grapple type change out, and points to Yuji and Marlene. Seno introduces Marlene and Yuji to Brenda Mirren, the Sleeper Brigade’s first Division Commander, while her assistant next to her is Ben Davis. He says that for the time being they’ll listen to her, and Brenda tells Alicia and her partner Rick Kilmer to switch out. As Marlene is called up to set up, Yuji hears Rick and Alicia arguing and is surprised when he sees that Alicia is a teenager who is a little younger than Marlene. As Marlene walks by them, Rick actually whistles at her, seeing her get into the cockpit of the Grapple type. When Alicia asks if she’s a Sleeper as well, Yuji is surprised in that what she meant was, is she a Sleeper like her. Yuji is surprised someone as young as Alicia is training to fight the Blue, but Seno says that a Sleeper’s fighting ability is not related to their age or gender. Rick introduces himself to Yuji, and Alicia practically goes all over Yuji, hugging him and asking what it’s like on Earth, saying she first woke up on the station. He tells her she’s hurting his arm, and as Alicia apologizes he tells her not to worry. Yuji asks Brenda if the Armor Shrike Marlene is in is a two-seater, and tells her he’s going to pilot it too. Seno asks him if it’s wise, but Yuji says Marlene is his partner and it wouldn’t be a test without her. Alicia and Rick aren’t sure if it’s a good idea either, and Alicia wishes him luck, although her face shows hints of being a little frustrated from being ignored. Yuji straps in, telling Marlene him getting in is ok, and Brenda tells them to start the battle drill. Both the Sniper type and Grapple charge at each other, but the Sniper dodges a punch and tries to hang onto the Grapple from behind, using its rifle to hold it as well. The Grapple type gets ahold of it and tosses it down, but as it tries to stomp on it, the Sniper type gets out of the way and holds its rifle up. Yuji and Marlene manages to dodge the Sniper’s shots, which both surprises and actually gets the Sniper A.S. pilot to smile. The Sniper Type tries to keep out of melee with the Grapple by rolling away, trying to gun the Grapple, as its rounds bounce around and hit obstacle boxes instead. Rick and Alicia are impressed by both Marlene and Yuji’s skills. But when Amick tells Rick not to get too familiar with her, Rick tells her that calling someone like Marlene by her code name has no sex appeal. The Grapple lands a solid hit on the Sniper, smashing the right shoulder to stop the movement of its right arm. Rick is further impressed and says he likes a strong woman, and surprisingly Amick says she’s happy that Rick feels this way and tells him to meet with her in her quarters later in the evening. She gives his butt a grope, and Rick is surprised by what she’s doing. Alicia isn’t impressed and hopes that something like that isn’t the only way to go up in rank in the army. The Training Facility door opens, and someone looking like Lu appears. She walks up to Seno and salutes, identifying herself as Soo Lee Chan, saying she was transferred from the science division to report to Seno. He tells her to forward the data of the simulation to him when they’re done, and he takes his leave. The battle goes on, and Yuji tells Marlene that his gun is useless since he can’t use the arm it’s connected too. Just as they try to pin the Sniper against a corner, it swings its dead right arm into the Grapple’s left arm, smashing it into the join directly, causing the rifle to fly loose. The Sniper pulls back, causing its right arm to rip off, while the Grapple falls back off balance and onto the floor. The Sniper Type up its rifle and points it at the downed Grapple, but Brenda tells them that the simulation is done. Yuji realizes they got beat, and Marlene says that the way the Sniper pilot fought had to make him a Sleeper as well. The Sniper pilot gets out, telling them that it was a spirited battle, then Marlene recognizes him as the man she saw that one time when she was looking for Yuji. Rick and Alicia run toward the Sniper pilot, while everyone else simply looks over the outcome of the drill.

 

Commentary

 

We finally get some important information here regarding not just Yuji, but Sleepers in general. It seems the High Council has found a way to harness the B-Cells in a Sleeper’s body and focus it to make the Sleepers better pilots through use of the Armor Shrike. The drill at the end of this episode showed a Sleeper’s potential, since the Sniper Type pilot alone beat both Yuji and Marlene. Although I can’t help but wonder if something like the B-Cells could backfire, since they did mention that the new Armor Shrikes would have inhibiting the B-Cells as well. We meet a few new people here, and get more insight into others. Seno seems to be a man of foresight, but he’s showing a lot of interest in both Yuji and Marlene, going to great lengths to keep them together. But the High Council doesn’t seem to like Seno interfering, and might have plans in the future have certain strings pulled their way. We see Brenda and Ben, who seem to be the acting commanding officers of the Sleeper Brigade. Rick seems to be the usual blond playboy, since he’s already trying to hit on Marlene. Alicia seems to be the hyperactive, teenaged girl, who doesn’t seem to fit the military life despite how she is. And the Sniper Type pilot as well, who we still have yet to know more about, is an excellent pilot, and a Sleeper for certain as well. What the heck was with Amick? First she shows herself as completely unlikable, calling people by numbers rather than names, is cool hearted and almost uncaring. And now she goes as far as to compliment Rick for what he said and grabs his butt? What’s with these people on Second Earth? Now the story is starting to make sense, but we’re just over halfway finished, and we've still got plenty to see.

 

Overall Rating

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3.5 out of 5 stars
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