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Episode 20: Venom's Flame

 

Review by Arshad Adel Abdul-Aal

August 13, 2010

 

Summary

 

Tessa meets with Chidori in her quarters to discuss her abilities as a Whispered and reveals that she is a Whispered as well. Whispered are referred to as Treasuries of Black Technology, which provide very advanced scientific theories when properly accessed. Chidori has displayed this ability twice so far but is unable to control it. Another ability of the Whispered is the Resonance which allows them to convey their thoughts to each other but it is a dangerous ability because it could fuse the two minds together and become inseparable. Tessa tells Chidori that there are people like Gaulon who are trying to extract the Whispered’s information by force and that Mithril will do its best to protect her. Chidori asks if that refers to Sousuke and remarks that he ends up doing more harm than good though she doesn’t mind. Out of jealousy, Tessa says that his assignment to her wasn’t random and lies about meeting him frequently when they were on land. Chidori denies having any feelings for Sousuke. Kalinin briefs the troops on their mission to suppress the terrorists and rescue the hostages in the chemical weapons factory and preventing it from exploding. He shows them footage of the Shadow arm slaves and the Venom. Kalinin orders them to avoid fighting the Venom at all costs should it appear. Corporal Guen Bien Bo and Sergeant John Danigan scoff at this and Weber asks them if they want to die. Kalinin assigns that task of taking down the Venom to Sousuke and tells the troops to back him up when the time comes. Sousuke asks what would happen if he was taken out first and Kalinin replies that the Venom will destroy the rest and the mission will end in failure. At the hangar, Weber remarks that Kalinin was being cruel about Sousuke despite what happened to the Indian Ocean unit in Helmajistan and Mao says that Sousuke must be wishing he had died back there as well. Weber cuts her off when he notices Chidori and asks the latter if she’s worried about them. Mao elbows him and Chidori asks about Sousuke. Mao replies that nothing is wrong and that Sousuke is just a bit tense from his last mission. Chidori apologizes and leaves. As the Tuatha de Danaan approaches the operation area, the crew prepares to launch the arms slave squads underwater split into three teams. Sousuke and Gail on frontal offense, Weber and Guen on sniping, and Mao and Danigan on demolition. The arm slaves launch from the underside hatches.

 

Sousuke is feeling overwhelmed with his responsibility. Mao contacts him on a secure line and tells him not to worry about it. Gail announces that they’ve passed the 3rd way point and orders them to split into their assigned teams. The demolitions squad blows up debris covering an underground tunnel. Danigan jokes that even if the factory blew there’d be no harm done, except that the hostages would be screwed. Mao tells him that that wasn’t funny and he says that he’ll do his job properly anyway. Weber and Guen get in position and Weber wonders if Mao is okay. Guen complains that despite having advanced equipment, Mithril’s methods take too long. Sousuke and Gail surface in front of the island and Mao reports that they have defused the bombs planted under the factory. Gail orders all units to attack and they both charge towards the island. Weber and Guen starts shooting and Sousuke takes out a Shadow while Gail destroys an anti-air bunker. The Tuatha de Danaan receives word that the attack has begun and Tessa orders for them to surface. At sunrise, all enemies have been suppresses and the hostages have been rescued. Nobody saw the Venom yet until Mao spotted him on top of a building. Gaulon yells out to Mithril that he has missed them, especially Sousuke. Gaulon fires his Gatling gun and everyone disperses. Weber can’t snipe him and Guen is out of missiles, so Gail orders Sousuke to charge ahead while they provide support. Gaulon blocks their machine gun fire with a barrier and Mao tells everyone to aim for his weapon. Sousuke is momentarily distracted by flashbacks of the Indian Ocean unit’s death at the hands of Gaulon and Gail yells at him to snap out of it. They manage to land a successful hit and destroy the Venom’s gatling gun. Gaulon jumps down and charges at Sousuke with his monomolecular cutter. Sousuke tries to activate his Lambda Driver but is unable to and Mao pushes him out of the way of Gaulon’s lunge. Gaulon uses his Lambda Driver to damage Mao’s cockpit. Sousuke picks up her M9 and runs while Gaulon chases him. He sets her down behind a wall and informs Gail that she got hit. Sousuke continues to run from Gaulon and asks Al in vain why he can’t activate the Lambda Driver. Weber contacts Sousuke and tells him to lure the Venom back to the building. Gaulon tells Sousuke he’s disappointed in him and destroys his shot cannon. Just as he’s about to stab Sousuke, Weber snipes his monomolecular cutter and shoots the building continuously causing it to collapse on top of the Venom. Gail asks if they got him, and Sousuke takes his gun to go and confirm it. The Venom is intact but immobile because the Lambda Driver overheated. Gaulon comes out and surrenders. He asks Sousuke if he’ll shoot him and warns that he’ll regret it if he doesn’t. Guen tries to contact Mao.

 

Commentary

 

The battle that’s been built up to for two and a half episodes finally happens. While the new Shadows fell pretty easily, Gaulon’s as deadly as ever with his new arm slave, though the Codarl’s weakness still carries over to it. Sousuke’s hesitance nearly cost him his life if it wasn’t for Mao and quick thinking on Weber’s part. He’s picked a really bad time to enter his self-doubt phase. Mao may have been injured but it’s not as bad as the poor M6 pilot from two episodes ago whose cockpit outright exploded, so I wouldn’t prepare for a funeral yet. On the other hand we have two more named soldiers who give cryptic remarks about their discontent with their jobs, and unlike death in this show that’s no red herring.

 

Overall Rating

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3.5 out of 5 stars
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Full Metal Panic Episode 20 Full Metal Panic Episode 20

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