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Episode 16: A Sign

 

Review by Joel Jankiewicz

March 24, 2011

 

Summary

 

On Second Earth, Amick makes an announcement about a large drop operation that is being carried out, centered on a Blue nest in Tanzania in Africa. Yuji, Marlene, Rick, Alicia and Tony are on a drop ship, while Amick continues her speech, saying that Earth belongs to them, and that they now wage a Holy War. With that, the campaign to retake Earth begins, as forces from Second Earth begin the attack. Drop ships from Second Earth drop Armor Shrikes into battle, with locations like Zaire, Tanzania, Zambia and Namibia are all attacked at once. The council is paying attention to the assault, with the Blue counter attacking with greater than expected numbers. Meanwhile, a Dropship commander is trying to issue orders to the front, but his soldiers keep pulling back. His ship carries new style Armor Shrikes, but damage in the descent is keeping the hangar of the ship closed. He watches in shock as a new style of Blue, the Doubleboard (a large, two-bodied Blue), continues to push forward, with a random Armor Shrike pilot unable to find the core and seemingly unable to hurt it. The Armor Shrike is crushed in a large stomp, then the Blue moves to attack the Dropship. Suddenly a gunship cuts one of the appendages off the Blue, and the hangar door’s forced open. The new Armor Shrikes, the Double Edge, come out of the hangar, with Yuji and Tony leading. Yuji’s confident, but he doesn’t know where the core on the new Blue is either. Tony attacks on top of the Blue and cuts open its back with one of the new model’s back-blades. Tony rips open the back, finds the core, and finishes it off. Yuji’s surprised, since Tony knew the spot out of intuition. Brenda gives them orders to follow, but Tony suddenly goes off on his own, with Yuji ordered to follow him. Marlene, a pilot named Su, and the rest of the squad head out to provide back up. Yuji wanders the streets of a city in his Double Edge and is shocked to see the amount of Blues Tony killed all by himself. Yuji says he’ll do the same. Alicia and Marlene, in Heavy Duty A.S.s, patrol the streets, but Alicia is too slow. A Chopper attacks Alicia and Marlene shoots it a couple of times, but it doesn’t get of Alicia’s A.S., who’s still panic-stricken. Another couple of shots finally kills it, and Marlene is surprised that it was Yuji, who then kills another two Choppers with a single shot each to their cores. Meanwhile, Tony finds the Blue nest, but is surrounded. He kills a Blue that tries to attack him and fires RPGs into the Blue nest, which causes the entire nest to explode. Everyone catches up to him, only to see what he did, and Yuji’s in disbelief that Tony did all the damage by himself. Brenda tells everyone to mop up, while Tony looks at the destroyed nest with a crazed look in his eye. Later in a camp, the team is assigned to destroy G-Nest, the biggest nest in Africa. As the 7th Special Division, they’ll infiltrate the nest, and destroy it from the inside using an old tunnel system. She says the mission will start in 30 minutes, and Yuji goes to make sure his Double Edge is working. Alicia comes to talk to him and tries to give him a drink, but Yuji seems obsessed with performing like Tony, saying he himself can do better as well as his Armor Shrike. Alicia disagrees and says he needs to relax, but Yuji tells her they have to go. Yuji walks away, which seems to tick Alicia off, saying he’s no fun, and she walks away.

 

A group of Armor Shrikes on the surface begin to attack G-Nest, creating a distraction, while the 7th Special Division enters the tunnel system below. Alicia complains as to why they have to sneak in, while Rick, in a Remodeled Grappler, tells her that if they have 3,000 sleepers in Double Edges, they wouldn’t have to. Alicia gets angry at the comment, but Marlene tells them to both be quiet. Su tells the team that she’s changing their path to avoid Blue contacts, and they go down the clear path. Tony, the last person in the back, suddenly stops, and heads in the direction of the Blue contacts, as if something’s drawing him. Alicia comments on how she doesn’t like the dark, then Su tells them they’ve lost track of Tony. They find him on their radar taking the opposite path, but back tracking to catch him would waste time. Yuji says that he and Marlene will take the bomb to the center of the nest, while the rest catch up to Tony. Marlene agrees, and Rick hands the bomb to Yuji’s A.S. Rick, with Su, begin to pull back, but Alicia decides to go with Yuji and Marlene because she doesn’t like the call. While Rick and Su track Tony, Yuji, Marlene and Alicia reach the center of the nest. Marlene says they’re more blue than expected, but Yuji says he’s going to go in, and asks for cover, shocking both Marlene and Alicia while Yuji goes in gun’s blazing. Rick and Su find Tony’s A.S. in the middle of a large spawning ground chamber, littered with countless thousands of Blue eggs. Su magnifies the camera on Tony, and sees him holding a Blue egg. He simply stares at it for a moment, a weird look in his eye, then he drops the egg, watching it break upon the ground. Meanwhile, Yuji’s planted the bomb and the timer is counting down, as he, Marlene, and Alicia try to escape while a large horde of Blue cash them. They mow them down, but more keep coming. Alicia runs out of ammo, and Yuji tells her and Marlene to keep going while he kills the Blue. He charges into the wave, using the Double Edge’s Back Blades and Claw Hooks to rip apart Blue left and right while he guns down other ones. A Doubleboard charges into Yuji, but he stops it by the jaws with his A.S.s arms, and rips the Blue in half with one of his A.S.s Back Blades and tears it apart. Yuji stomps on the core, but Yuji seems to be lost in both rage and excitement over the carnage he’s created. Another Doubleboard catches him by surprise, grasping his A.S. in it’s jaws and tries to crush it, but Tony comes up behind and blasts it in half, saving Yuji. The bomb goes off, and the 7th Special Division and other Second Earth troops watch the nest as it crumbles to the ground. As it falls, Marlene looks at Yuji with concern over his actions. Later at camp, Brenda chews Tony out for disobeying orders, despite the mission’s success. He suddenly smiles and she asks him what’s funny, and Tony says that if she doesn’t like what he does, then too bad. He says that the Sleepers were awakened to fight the war, and that if she doesn’t like what he does, then she should try to win the war without him. He walks away, leaving Brenda steaming in anger. Meanwhile, Yuji’s making adjustments to his damaged A.S., and Marlene checks up on him. She asks him if he was trying to catch up to Tony, and Yuji says that they are both Sleepers, with the same A.S., and yet he’s vastly better. Marlene says he’s stronger than that, but Yuji disagrees, saying he wants to become stronger to save the Earth from the Blue. Marlene gives him a concerned look, seeing the frustration in Yuji, as she simply sits with him.

 

Commentary

 

With this, the campaign to retake Earth from the Blue has begun. Second Earth starts in Africa, sending out the Sleeper Brigades as well as the new Armor Shrikes, the Double Edges, into the field. The Blue also now have the Doubleboards, which are greatly tougher than normal Blue. This is also by far one of the bloodier episodes, as we see the Blue ripped to pieces left and right, so this one’s not for the faint of heart. We see how even though the 7th Special Division succeeds and wins the day, they’re not without major problems. Tony is prone to disobeying orders, and his skills are frightening to see as Blue are virtually nothing to him. Alicia can’t seem to fight well, and Yuji’s getting a bad habit of disobeying orders himself. He’s getting more and more aggressive, and actually takes on several Blue alone in G-Nest with ease, much like Tony did before. Makes me wonder if this is what the new A.S. models were to due in terms of using the Sleepers unique abilities? What is very strange though, aside from Tony’s habits, is the fact he stood in the middle of thousands of eggs. What’s going through his mind? Also, is ‘Su’ the same as Soo Lee Chan? Or is this someone else entirely? Either way, things are picking up, so now we’ll have to see what the Sleeper Brigades will do now that they’ve been set loose.

 

Overall Rating

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4 out of 5 stars
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