image
image
image
imageimage
image

image

 

 

Episode 4: Agony

 

Review by Joel Jankiewicz

April 1, 2006

 

Summary

 

The ship that Yuji and the others were aboard has finally arrived at the Korean shore. Now docked, Joey works on getting the truck off the ship with a crane machine. However, while the others wait for Joey to finish, a Spring Worm type Blue comes at them from the distance. Joey finally lowers the truck and jumps out of the crane compartment just as the Spring Worm crushes it. Everyone gets on the truck and they drive away as fast as they can. Joey says he’s lucky on his timing, and Robert asks Marlene if the Spring Worm is on file, and Marlene tells him the “Core” is on the head. The Core is what Marlene and the others have been shooting for to kill the Blue instantly. Robert tells them they should avoid fighting any Blue, as they don’t want to be delayed with meeting the Recovery Squad. The city they travel through is just as bad, with ruined buildings and no one seeming to be around. They finally get to where the squad should be waiting, which his another Sleeper Facility. However, they find nothing but soldiers and Sleepers wrapped in cocoons, with badly damaged Armor Shrikes lying about. Yuji sees an open necklace on one of the cocoons and sees a portrait of a family, angered by the loss. Marlene advises them to keep going. They get back into the truck and move in, with Marlene adding that they now need to find another way to get to Second Earth. Robert tells her they need to get in contact with Second Earth on their own, or they may never get rescued. Yuji suddenly hears barking, and tells Joey to stop the truck. Yuji sees a girl and a dog out the window, but then sees a young Spring Worm, which has trapped against a wall. Yuji tells Joey to stop the truck, but he seems to keep driving like nothing’s happening. Marlene tells him to ignore what he saw, but Yuji can’t stand it, and jumps out of the truck. Joey finally stops the truck, but while that’s happening, the girl’s dog attacks the Spring Worm, but it gets tossed to the side. Yuji shoots a few rounds into it, drawing its attention. He gets dodges out of the way and kills the Spring Worm by hitting its Core, killing it instantly. The girl and her dog get back together, and she looks strangely at Yuji. He tells her it was a close call but she’s safe, and tells her his name. He asks her name and she tells him it’s Yun, and just when Yuji sees the truck pull up, Yun suddenly panics. Marlene and Joey come out, and while Yuji is talking about how he killed the Blue, Marlene slaps him. She tells him what he did was reckless and now other Blue, hearing the gunshots, will likely swarm around the area they’re in. Yuji apologizes but says he needed to rescue the girl, but when he turns around, Yun has vanished from sight. Joey tells them they’d need to find a place to hide, and Marlene tells Yuji that getting out the city just became harder because of his actions. Joey drives the truck around a waterway, wondering if there is a safe place to hide since the girl was in the area. He finally sees Yun with her dog, crossing the waterway with metal beams aligned broken pieces of what used to be a stone bridge, connecting to another section of the city. Marlene realizes the truck and Armor Shrikes can’t get across, so Joey parks the truck in a garage and closes the main door. The crew gets out and follows the path Yun took and get to the isolated section. Yun is hiding in the shadows and runs away again, but Yuji follows her. He eventually finds dozens of people, and he is overjoyed to see more survivors. He tries to talk to one of the survivors, but he looks at Yuji with a not-so-happy face, and Yuji realizes they’re all looking at him the same way. Marlene and the others catch up, and she tells Yuji to get back with them. Yuji finds Yun again hiding behind a corner between buildings, but runs off again, with Yuji trying to follow her. Joey, carrying Robert, asks Marlene what they should do now, and she tells them they need to set up camp. Yuji wanders into another street and finds what looked like to be an apartment street, but it’s in ruin, and Yuji wonders why it’s like this.

 

Yuji wanders through the street, checking out the different buildings that seem to have people living in them. But he only finds the old and infirm. A ball rolls out of a building next to him, but when he goes in to see if it’s Yun, he sees a young boy and her mother, but she’s holding him as if Yuji was going to hurt him. Yuji drops the ball back into the building and leaves, but stumbles backwards and sees a decaying body next to him. He’s shocked, but sees Yun again. When she tries to run, he manages to catch her this time, and asks her if she remembers him. Yun is surprised to see her dog, Maru, growing attached to Yuji. Yuji pets Maru, and Yun is surprised to see how kind Yuji is. Another man pushes Yun aside and tells her that she can’t trust him, even though she was saved by him. The man goes on by saying that the people from Second Earth won't help them. Yuji looks at him in shock, and turns around to see other people have gathered around, and have a look of distrust on their faces. Camp has been set up, and Marlene points out on a map to Robert that all the bridges in this section of the city have been destroyed, except for the small scaffolding they used. Robert believes that humans have survived here because they are no flight type Blue, but Marlene says it’s only a matter of time before the people here are found out. Yuji returns to camp, and Marlene chews him out for conducting unauthorized activity. But Yuji ignores her comment and demands to know why the people here hate him, and demands to know what Second Earth did to them. Marlene tells him that food and energy in space is limited, and that selected groups of people could only make it into space. She adds that if they run across any survivors, that they should be considered already dead, as whether they are alive or not has no bearing on their missions. Yuji remembers what the man from earlier told him, and Yuji realizes that the people of Second Earth abandoned them, and he tells Marlene in anger that she can’t tell him what to do or who to talk to, and he runs off. Nighttime eventually comes, and Yuji is sitting by himself on a bench, wondering why Marlene is acting so cold. He suddenly finds Maru trying to cuddle with him again, and sees Yun come by, and offers him some food to eat. Yuji asks he she is ok with it, and she nods at him. Yuji takes a cracker from a package, and gives the rest for her to keep. Later, Maru is snacking on what isn’t eaten, and Yun tells Yuji that he’s different from the other soldiers. Yuji says he is because he’s from a different time, since he had been sleeping for a long time. Yun says she wishes she could sleep like he did, saying the Blue can’t get you if you’re asleep. Yuji walks up to Yun and says he’ll protect her no matter what. Yun asks him to make it a promise, and Yuji says he promises, which puts a smile on her face. Yuji heads back to camp, wondering how he could save her and the others. He then gets the idea that if they contact Second Earth and send a rescue party, he feels confident that if they see the survivors that they’ll be rescued. He gets to camp and finds Robert sleeping in his tent, and when he goes to check on Marlene and Joey, he finds them hidden in a corner of a brick wall making out. Yuji feels embarrassed and walks away, but when Joey unzips her jacket, she stops him and looks away, as if she knew Yuji was watching. Yuji thinks to himself alone, leaning against a building. The next day comes, and Marlene shows Robert on a map that there is a large communications antenna a short distance from where they are, and that they could use it to make contact with Second Earth. Robert agrees to the plan, and everyone gets ready to go, with Yuji telling himself that he’ll do whatever it takes to save the people. The truck eventually stops at the abandoned building with the communications antenna, and Yuji can tell the building has been turned into a nest. Marlene, Yuji and Joey go into the building and eventually find a hatching chamber with Blue eggs inside. A Blue hatches from one of them, and Joey is shocked, since he can’t find the core on the newly hatched Blue. Marlene points out it’s under the skin on the forehead and tells Yuji that the Blue are evolving as she said.

 

Commentary

 

Aside from the introduction of the Spring Worm Blue, this episode delivers some more harsh facts and realities to Yuji. The people of Second Earth have abandoned any and all survivors, only concerned about their missions and themselves. That means that probably a majority of the human population was left behind when the Blue first invaded. Yuji runs into Yun, a girl with her dog Maru. What surprised me was that the Blue only tossed the dog aside and ignored it, which means they don’t seem to target other forms of life aside from humans. It’s good to see Yuji finding some strength in promising to protect Yun, but I can’t help but wonder if something horrible will happen now. The crew is off to make contact with Second Earth, but also find that new Blues are hatching, and that their Cores are now being shielded until they open their mouths. This will no doubt make things harder in the future.

 

Overall Rating

Full StarFull StarFull StarHalf StarNo Star

3.5 out of 5 stars
Spacer

 

Blue Gender Episode 4 Blue Gender Episode 4

image
Buy the collection (eps 1-26, movie) on DVD from Amazon

image

image

image

image

image

image

image
image

image
image