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Episode 4: Watermelon

 

Review by Tony Myers

May 9, 2013

 

Summary

 

The U.F. Force's Council of the Sages convenes to discuss the Nirvash typeZERO's awakening and the Seven Swell that followed. One of the sages, Kuzemi, says that everything is happening according to the Ageha Project, a research plan that was authored by Adroc Thurston and said to have been destroyed. Another sage, Braya, wonders whether the ghost of the past is haunting them again. The third sage, Coda, advises that they take action by summoning back Dewey Novak, who took over Adroc's plans for the Ageha Project. Kuzemi objects, reminding Coda that they were the ones who had Dewey imprisoned. Nevertheless, Coda says, he is the man they need. On the Gekko, Hap and Stoner are enjoying a break from their duties when they hear a report on the radio of a tectonic shift. Hap pulls out a map and locates the reported site of the shift, which turns out to be Stroholm, a nearby area with a famous geyser. In the hangar, Renton lies on the floor and reflects on having been with his idols in Gekkostate for seven days. He is happy to be with them but can't figure out why they never go lifting. Talho comes in and accuses him of slacking off when he should be helping her. She tells him to take a cooler and deliver two refrigerated Compac Drives to the workshop. Renton wonders why they would be refrigerated, but he agrees to deliver them. On the bridge, he asks Holland why they don't go lifting. Holland says he wants to, but Hap says they don't have the money to dock near a good lifting spot. Holland asks Renton if he has any ideas for making money. As Renton takes the Compac Drives out of the refrigerator, he remembers how Axel told him that reality is different from ideals. Despite having been prepared to accept that, he is still confused by everything. Eureka's children, watching him from the hallway, throw a marker at his head and run off. Renton takes off after them but finds the kids hiding behind Ken-Goh, the Gekko's owner, and Mischa, the ship's doctor. Mischa takes Renton to her office and hooks up electrodes to his bare chest. She tells a bewildered Renton that they need to run tests on him because the Nirvash seems to perform better when he's around. Eureka walks into the office, saying she is ready to begin her test. Renton clutches his clothes and cowers against the wall in embarrassment. Eureka and Renton go out in the Nirvash, and Renton thinks that the cockpit feels cramped and uncomfortable. He tells his sister that the sky below him seems fake, and Mischa reminds him to stay focused. Renton asks Eureka if he can switch the canopy to invisible mode, but Eureka says he'll get used to it. Mischa tells Holland that the Nirvash seems reborn, especially after the Seven Swell. Holland asks her if Renton is the reason for this. Mischa says the Amita Drive can't be the only factor. She adds that she left the military and came to Gekkostate with Eureka to study the typeZERO's secrets. Holland decides that Renton and Eureka should continue piloting together for that reason. Mischa says to herself that trapars are said to affect human emotions, and she wonders whether the reverse could also be true. Later, in the hangar, Eureka tells Renton that the Nirvash says it was fun flying with him. She says she is happy that the Nirvash is in a good mood and wishes that she could always have this much fun flying. Renton feels that Eureka's smile is what keeps him going. In the dining hall, Holland asks the crew for money-making ideas and says that the winner will get a kiss from Talho. Renton thinks he would rather have a smile from Eureka as a prize instead. Talho tells him he won't get a kiss anyway because he owes her a favor. Renton suddenly remembers the refrigerated Compac Drives, which have thawed out. He worries that he is losing everyone's trust. However, his face lights up when he sees a magazine advertisement for a lifting competition in Flint Franc that promises a first prize of 1 million yen.

 

In the dining room, Hap discusses his plan to the crew: smuggling goods to Stroholm. He explains that flying by the ley-line won't allow them to make it in time, but it will be possible if they take a direct route that passes near a military base in Orland. Holland approves of the plan, but Hilda, the Terminus typeR808's pilot, asks how much the job pays. Hap sheepishly admits that the reward is paltry because it was a rush job and he took it from another group. Talho asks if anyone else has an idea. Renton suggests the lifting competition from the magazine ad, but his idea goes unheeded, and Holland has everyone prepare to launch. Gekkostate's contact charges Holland and Hap with the delivery of a cooler containing some unseen items. Renton, as the "delivery boy," is dressed in a cap and apron. Hap tells Renton that he is to take the goods in the Nirvash because it is their fastest LFO and because he has plenty of free time. As the Nirvash, 606, and 909 take off, Renton senses that something is fishy. A group of soldiers at the Orland Valley military base talk about the Bell Forest Airport incident and how Gekkostate wouldn't bother passing through their area with the unstable trapar currents. Suddenly, the Gekkostate LFOs swoop across the base and into a canyon. A team of KLFs attacks them, and Holland destroys one with one of the 909's boomerang knives. As the LFOs race through the canyon, the Nirvash is rocked by an explosion. The cooler's lid pops open slightly, and Renton briefly glimpses a red object in a plastic bag. The team passes over several trapar eruptions created by the tectonic shift. Renton is amazed by the sight, and Holland says the fun is just starting. Stoner tells Renton about the tectonic shift that happened earlier and says that a ref boarder like Renton should know what will happen next. Ten seconds later, an enormous trapar burst erupts from the Stroholm geyser. Renton is enthralled by the sight of Holland and the others lifting for real. In the midst of this spectacle, he accidentally drops the cooler and discovers that it was carrying black-market organs. Later, Renton yells at Hap for not explaining what the cargo was and how their mission was to save someone's life. Stoner says that this business is really about selling off one's organs to pay debts. Holland walks in and says that their contact tried to swindle them on the payment. Hap says he'll go easy on Talho for his prize and just have her clean the bathroom. Talho insists that Renton do the latrine duty because he couldn't come up with a good idea. As Renton cleans the bathroom, Matthieu comes in and explains that it wasn't worth it to enter the lifting competition because the trapars at Flint Franc are really weak. Their mission that day, by contrast, took them across a huge geyser. Besides, he says, Gekkostate never does exhibition lifting for money. As he leaves, he tells Renton that Maurice, Maeter, and Linck aren't Eureka's real kids. Renton thanks Matthieu for his words. Talho, who has been listening in, asks Renton what he would have done if the trio really were Eureka's children. Renton isn't sure how to answer. At a military prison, Dominic explains to Dewey that with the typeZERO's awakening and the appearance of the Seven Swell, "they" will soon appear. He promises that the Council will reinstate Dewey to the military. Dewey says that this world's current king keeps running from his sins in order to live on, but that king will have to die one day to atone for those sins. On the other hand, he says, if the king willingly seeks death, he should be granted death.

 

Commentary

 

This episode gives us some interesting new developments. The military is shown to have a mysterious council working in the background, and we get a few hints about the research Renton's father was working on. Mischa reveals that she and Eureka were originally in the military, and she and Holland drop some vague hints about the Nirvash changing due to Renton's presence. Renton starts becoming the Gekko's resident chore monkey here, and he's still not taken seriously by the others. It would have been nice to see why Compac Drives would need to be put on ice, but that's never explained. Renton also gets to see Gekkostate lifting, but he learns some lessons about their sometimes dirty business in the process. Matthieu reveals that Eureka's kids are indeed orphans, although how this wasn't obvious to Renton is beyond me. Finally, we're introduced to Dewey, who clearly looks cut out to be the central antagonist of the series, although we don't know how he ended up in prison. He was there at the council's behest, though, and it looks like he's planning to stage some kind of coup. Dominic looks like he's supporting Dewey, too, so we'll see what this means for him.

 

Overall Rating

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3.5 out of 5 stars
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