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Episode 7: Absolute Defeat

 

Review by Tony Myers

May 9, 2013

 

Summary

 

The Norma KLF squad arrives at the area where another team, the White squad, disappeared earlier, but they are unable to find any survivors. Suddenly, two of the Mon-Soono pilots detect several approaching targets, but they are killed when their cockpits are pierced by large, green projectiles. The Council of the Sages, watching footage from the third KLF's cockpit, note that this is the sixth in a string of mysterious attacks upon the military. They wonder where Dewey is amidst these high-profile incidents. On the Gekko, Renton is sleeping in the brig with his picture of Eureka when Hap and Moondoggie wake him up and tell him it's time to work. In the common room, Renton asks Stoner whether it's okay for him to be out so soon. Hap and Stoner say they have an important job for him, one that only he can do. They show Renton a small, white box and tell him not to touch it with his bare hands because it's dangerous. Hap has Moondoggie put on a pair of rubber gloves and open the box, which contains an ordinary bowl of pork ramen noodle soup. Hap says that this soup is actually an important item that Renton needs to deliver to a certain client. Renton, believing this story, happily accepts the job. Matthieu hands him a magenta-colored jersey, which Stoner describes as a type of camouflage. Moondoggie looks upon his crewmates with contempt as they brief Renton on his phony mission. Some time later, Renton, wearing a strange-looking outfit, sits on a city bench and talks to Hap over a radio set while the crew and the children watch him through a feed from a hidden camera. Renton worries that his outfit is making him stand out and that he's being watched. He spots Moondoggie taping him, although he doesn't recognize who it is before Moondoggie ducks behind a tree. Hap tells Renton that he'll try to have the contact point changed. Stoner says that although Moondoggie insisted on running the camera, he isn't any good at it. Hap radios Moondoggie and tells him to keep up with the mission. Eureka walks up to Hilda, who is taking inventory of the Gekko's food supplies, and asks her where Renton is so she can give him his lunch. Hilda says that Renton went out on an errand. Renton enters a sauna in order to meet up with his contact, whom Stoner describes as a man with a legendary creature tattooed on his back. However, Renton sees several men who fit that description, so he asks Stoner for more details. Maurice suggests that they have him look for a man in a wig. Stoner relays this advice to Renton, who protests that it will be too hard to find the right person without angering the others. Stoner says they'll have to abort the mission, and he tells Renton to return. However, Renton decides to follow through on his task. Hap returns from the bathroom, and Maeter tells him what Renton is trying to do. Hilda walks in with Eureka and notices that the crew are hazing their rookie again. Stoner, Maeter and Maurice tell her that Holland and Talho were in on it, too. Moondoggie follows Renton into a room full of tattooed men, and Renton is surprised to find that he was the cameraman. As Linck drags Eureka over to watch, Renton wonders whether Moondoggie came to help him.

 

Dewey and Dominic visit the site where the Norma and White KLF squads were destroyed. Dewey walks to the edge of a cliff and shows Dominic the wreckage of Norma unit 01, which is covered in a coral-like formation. On the Gekko, Matthieu asks Gidget what Moondoggie is trying to do, but she doesn't know. Hilda thinks that Moondoggie, who was the team's previous rookie, is jealous of the attention Renton's getting. The camera shows Renton and Moondoggie having parfaits together. Renton wonders whether the camera belongs to Moondoggie, but Moondoggie warns him not to touch it. From their table, Renton can see some people lifting. He says he believes Moondoggie came to help him because he was too unreliable to do it alone. This thought moves him to tears. Stoner and the others wonder how Moondoggie will react, but Hilda refuses to join in their games. Moondoggie accuses Renton of pretending to cry in order to make a fool out of him. Renton calls Moondoggie a nice guy. He says he was so afraid that someone would get hurt by his delivery of the cargo that he lost sight of his responsibilities, including his vow to help Eureka. He thanks his "Brother Doggie" for teaching him about the value of tough love. Moondoggie hears the Gekkostate crew laughing at this nickname through the receiver in his helmet. He yells that he is not Renton's brother and pushes Renton to the ground in a jealous fit. A group of lifters tells Moondoggie to stop fighting with Renton. Renton notices that one of the lifters, a tall and burly man, has a tattoo of Holland on his back, and he figures that this man is his contact. While Stoner and Matthieu laugh hysterically, Hap tells Renton to say a key phrase, one connected with his short stature. As Moondoggie resumes filming, Hap and the others are awestruck by the tattooed man's physique, and they worry that Renton might be in danger. Undaunted, Renton walks up to the man, makes a funny face, and asks what the man ate to get so big. The man picks up the cargo container and dumps the ramen soup on Renton's head, warning Renton not to mock someone who just saved him. Later, Hap, Stoner and Matthieu congratulate Renton on completing his mission. Renton wonders if Eureka was watching him, and Hap says it was hard to tell. A dejected Renton walks away, and the others wonder whether they went too far. Renton asks Moondoggie if he knew it was a prank and was laughing the whole time, but Moondoggie says he couldn't laugh because he was hazed like that once. Still, he adds, his crewmates' laughter made him feel like they were his friends. He says that he got annoyed because he was jealous of Renton's enthusiasm. Admitting defeat, he shakes hands with Renton and vows to do better next time. Renton has no idea what he means. Talho and Holland are troubled by Dewey's release from prison, but Hap offers to cheer them up by showing them the video of Renton's "mission," saying it's even better than the one they did with Moondoggie. Dewey speaks in a hologram conference with the Sages about the fight against the U.F.'s enemy, the Coralians. He argues that they have no chance for victory if they remain organized as a syndicate, and he says that the Corallians have not evolved because they have not awakened. Back on the Gekko, the children say tease Renton because he's too embarrassed to see Eureka. Eureka walks up and gives Renton a bowl of ramen soup, and Renton wonders whether she's being kind or taking pity on him. She tells Renton that he's amazing because his presence has made everyone happier. She asks what "uncool" means, but Renton tells her not to worry about it. As she leaves, she asks Renton to check on something with the Nirvash. Maeter tapes a piece of paper to Renton's back that says he's stupid and uncool. As Holland watches Renton's confession to Moondoggie, he calls himself the uncool one.

 

Commentary

 

The show continues to drag out the lame subplot of Renton getting hazed and humiliated. The main events of this episode don't really accomplish anything, and they actually feel like a step backward, especially with the children, who go right back to being snotty little brats. Renton makes friends with Moondoggie, not that it matters, because he's strictly been a background character up to this point and will most likely stay that way. I was relieved whenever Dewey managed to make an appearance and break the tedium for a short while. We're reintroduced to the Scub Coral, which were brought up back in the first episode. Whatever these Coralians are, they're going to be a third player in the series' main conflict. Dewey said something about them awakening and evolving, so they're probably connected to LFOs like the Nirvash and possibly to Eureka. Fortunately, it looks like the series will drop the sluggish filler and start getting back to furthering the plot like it should.

 

Overall Rating

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2.5 out of 5 stars
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