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Episode 4: Kidnap

 

Review by Arshad Adel Abdul-Aal

June 6, 2010

 

Summary

 

On the plane, Sousuke and Shinji browse an arm slave magazine. Kyoko notices Chidori spacing and asks if something happened between her and Sousuke, to which she denies. The plane rocks a bit and Chidori finds it strange because the weather is normal. In the cockpit, Gaulon has shot the pilot in the head and is torturing the co-pilot when another man takes the gun from him. He reminds Gaulon that his country is providing the equipment and won’t allow him to jeopardize the mission. Gaulon orders the co-pilot to change course to an island named Khanka in the middle of China and Russia’s borders. Shinji notices a UN Force F-16 flying by, and Sousuke tells him not to draw attention to it. After a while the students start to get suspicious. When the plane lands in a military base, Shinji notices some vehicles as well as an RK-92 Savage arm slave. Gaulon announces that he’s taken over the plane and that the passengers are hostages. He warns that anyone who attempts to escape will be shot. Tessa realizes that they’ve been deceived and that someone other than the KGB is pulling the strings. Political extradition is impossible because the base is on disputed territory. Tessa priorities the hostages’ safety over Chidori’s, and Kalinin remarks that Sousuke is with them and they will await contact from him. Gaulon forcefully takes Chidori away. When the teacher tries to stop him, he pulls a gun to her face, but Sousuke distracts him by dropping his food tray. After Gaulon and Chidori leave, the teacher faints. Sousuke rushes to the luggage compartment to get some equipment. When the cargo door opens, he hides under some bags.

 

Three men enter the compartment and install a motion-sensitive bomb. Elsewhere, Chidori is strapped to a machine to extract the Whispered knowledge from her head. Gaulon orders the scientist to hasten the procedure but she tells him he doesn’t understand how the Whispered work and scoffs at him for bringing the other children, calling him a coward. Gaulon replies that they’re a precaution in case the country changes its mind. He holds her by the throat and tells her to shut up and do her job. Sousuke takes a look at the bomb and is horrified. He sneaks out of the plane and contacts the Tuatha de Danaan with his portable satellite link up. He informs Tessa and Kalinin that the terrorists’ plan to sacrifice the hostages to cover Chidori’s kidnapping. Tessa tells him that they’ll explore their options and Kalinin orders him to prioritize the hostages’ safety. Sousuke informs Kalinin that Gaulon is the leader, which shocks Kalinin. After cutting communications, a guard holds Sousuke at gunpoint. Kalinin tells Tessa that during his and Sousuke’s days as guerrillas, they were hunted by the KGB with Gaulon as the pursuer. He used arm slaves to slaughter their entire camp, woman and children included. In retaliation, Kalinin lured him to an area where a young Sousuke sniped him clean in the head. Tessa remarks that ransoming the hostages from him won’t work and says they should send him an expensive bill. The guard tries to interrogate Sousuke, but he throws the satellite link up at him. Sousuke disarms the guard and knocks him down. He tasers him and takes his gun, saying that he’s the garbage collector. Chidori asks the scientists to stop the sleep learning process, but she tells her that she already knew this stuff before she was born. Kalinin briefs the troops about the rescue mission. They will deploy arm slaves with air support to distract the enemy from detonating the bomb. Meanwhile, two transport planes will land and evacuate the hostages within five minutes. Should one get shot down, they’ll load as many hostages as possible onto the transport helicopters, which means the troops must self-destruct their arm slaves and abandon them. Sousuke binds and covers the guard then runs to the truck where Chidori is held. He remembers the tortured girl from before and reminds himself not to rush in mindlessly. Tessa is worried about Sousuke and Kalinin tells her that Sousuke’s never made a rash decision for as long as he’s known him. Sousuke and the guards hear two shots from nearby. Sousuke is unable to bear the thought of Kaname being tortured like the other girl and rushes in.

 

Commentary

 

It’s about time things got serious. We learn a bit about Gaulon’s past and ruthlessness, evident by his massacring of the guerrilla camp and hijacking a plane full of high school students. We also learn of Sousuke and Kalinin’s pre-Mithril days. Sousuke’s been a mercenary for most of his life now, and just barely avoided being recognized by Gaulon. I’m interested in hearing what outlandish explanation they’ll offer for how Gaulon survived a rifle shot straight to the head. It seems that Chidori, as a Whispered, has some secret knowledge hidden inside her head, and forcefully extracting it will lead to her ending up the same as the other Whispered girl from the first episode. This also probably won’t be the last time Sousuke’s emotions get the better of him when it comes to Chidori.

 

Overall Rating

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3.5 out of 5 stars
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Full Metal Panic Episode 4 Full Metal Panic Episode 4

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Buy the collection (eps 1-24) on Blu-ray/DVD from Amazon

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