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Episode 17: The Rising Wind in the Homeland, Part 3

 

Review by Arshad Adel Abdul-Aal

August 13, 2010

 

Summary

 

Gaulon tells the Codarl’s AI to search for Sousuke’s communication wavelength and orders his troops to stop. Sousuke takes out the Hinds and notices that the enemy arm salves have stopped. Gaulon contacts him and says he doesn’t like being interrupted while doing business. He tells Sousuke to die and orders his troops to fire. Gaulon tells Zaied to take care of the rest and asks how it feels like to kill a former comrade. Zaied replies that it’s just his job and Gaulon finds his answer boring. Using the cover of the valley wall, Sousuke tries to transmit a message back to the team and charges at the Savages but is interrupted by Gatling gun fire from Zaied’s Shadow. Sousuke wonders who is able to get behind him and Al is unable to transmit. Zaied fires again, interrupting another attempt and Sousuke remembers Zaied’s words about losing if one gets caught in the back. The cliff Sousuke is hiding on eventually crumbles under fire and he falls to the bottom. At the camp, Gray notes that she lost transmission from Sousuke and Andy asks if she managed to receive anything, to which she says no. Andy deduces that Sousuke must have been attacked from behind. Batiste comments that God likes to give cruel hands on the battle field, and tells Gray that she must have felt the moment God looked the other way when fighting in East Europe. He gets up and says that he doesn’t belong in a coffin. The Savages are having trouble locating Sousuke due to the sand cloud. Before they could use their infrared sensors, Sousuke appears and disables them by destroying their sand filters. The rest fall into panic and start shooting blindly until Zaied orders them to calm down and synchronize their data transmissions. Sousuke asks Al to locate the arm slave with the Gatling gun and slowly starts to realize who the pilot is. He senses someone behind him and finds himself face to face with the Shadow. Andy says that five minutes have passed since the last transmission and asks Gray if they should retreat. Jackson thinks that Sousuke is dead and Gray says that they can’t retreat and leave him behind. Suddenly the Codarl decloaks in front of them and Andy wonders why they couldn’t detect it. Gray orders her AI to set off the trap and the Codarl is engulfed in an explosion. Gaulon quickly jumps out of the smoke unharmed and Andy dashes towards him. Gray tells him that they need to hold their position and gather data. Andy says that he’ll give them their data and gets obliterated by a telekinesis shot from the Codarl. Gray tells Jackson to provide cover fire and charges at the Codarl. Batiste steps out of the truck. Sousuke is surrounded by Savages while facing the Shadow and Al finishes analyzing the Shadow’s gatling gun. Sousuke wonders if the pilot is actually Zaied.

 

Sousuke tells Al to contact the Shadow, but Al can’t pinpoint the wavelength. Sousuke receives a transmission from Gray telling him that they’re engaging Gaulon. She says that they still have the nuke and that Andy is dead. Gaulon kicks Gray’s M9 and the transmission is cut. Sousuke tries to break through but gets knocked down by the Shadow. The Savages open fire and Sousuke dodges behind them, getting them hit by their own rounds. Gaulon knocks Gray down and says that they’d get angry too if their merchandise is stolen. Jackson fires at him. Gaulon dodges and charges at Jackson, slashing his M9’s torso. Jackson’s M9 falls down and the cockpit hatch opens. Gaulon is about to kill him when Gray grabs him from behind and attempts to suplex him but he escapes. Jackson fires at Gaulon while trying to get his hatch to close. Batiste grabs Jackson and throws him out, saying that he can’t beat Gaulon with those moves. He asks Jackson to not hand over the nuke no matter what, and fires a warning shot when Jackson protests. Batiste apologizes for not being able to return the money he owes. Sousuke runs through the valley chased by Zaied. They fire at each other and Zaied remembers playing with Sousuke in the river. Zaied inwardly apologizes to Sousuke and says he wants to win. Sousuke manages to graze the Shadow and Zaied notes he’s as good as he was before. Sousuke hides behind some rocks and reestablishes communication with the team. He hears Gray asking Batiste what he’s doing, and the latter replies that he’s taking Gaulon down. Jackson drives the truck away and Batiste says that God has dealt them a bad card because he regrets creating humans. He asks Gray to tell Sousuke to become a great soldier and activates the M9’s self destruct mode. He confirms its activation and sets the timer to ten seconds. Just as he’s about to grab the Codarl, Gaulon blows the M9 in half and jumps away from the explosion. Jackson charges through and Gaulon comes down on him, slamming his monomolecular cutter through the truck’s roof. Gaulon turns to face Gray. While dodging fire from the Shadow, Sousuke hears the whole thing and turns to face Zaied. He charges and tries to shoot Zaied at close range but Zaied kicks him to the ground. Gray vainly tries to shoot the Codarl and pulls out her monomolecular cutter when she runs out of ammo. Gaulon grabs the M9’s hand and breaks it then smashes the monomolecular cutter through its cockpit. Zaied has Sousuke held at gunpoint and says that nobody is at fault. This frequently happens on the battlefield and Sousuke should understand. Gray tells Sousuke not to worry about her and to return to his homeland. Sousuke dodges Zaied’s shots and stabs through the Shadow’s cockpit, fatally injuring him. Sousuke heads to the battle site and finds Gray’s M9 held up against a rock with the nuke at its feet. He yells At Gaulon to come out. Gaulon tells him to get the nuke if he wants and Sousuke says he wants to kill him first. Gaulon jumps at him and Sousuke activates the Lambda Driver. Sousuke blocks Gaulon’s blast and the barriers soon overload and explode. The Codarl is reduced to pieces and Sousuke is still standing. Suddenly the Shadow appears behind him and Al detects bullets still left in its reserve magazine. Zaied says he told Sousuke before that victory belongs to the soldier who has ammo left. He shoots all his ammo into the air and dies with the Shadow still standing. Sousuke drags the nuke away and returns to Japan. He finds Chidori asleep at the safe house’s door and sits down next to her. She leans on him and asks him to say something. Sousuke says that won’t be a problem.

 

Commentary

 

This arc served to give us some insight on Sousuke's past life as a guerrilla fighter, which would have been nice if they hadn’t wasted so much time on the mercenary team getting helplessly slaughtered. However I did find it deliciously ironic how Batiste set himself up for a heroic sacrifice only to die in complete and utter vain. Sousuke’s fight with Zaied was too short and the one with Gaulon was even worse because it ended almost the exact same way as the last time. Since that annoying cockroach has survived death twice already, his current fate is up in the air as far as anyone’s concerned.

 

Overall Rating

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3 out of 5 stars
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Full Metal Panic Episode 17 Full Metal Panic Episode 17

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