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Episode 23: The Suspicious Colony

 

Review by Chris Guanche

March 22, 2012

 

Summary

 

Grodek prepares to leave a military prison, and the warden calls him a true unsung hero as he and his men salute Grodek. At Downes, three pilots from the Magicians Eight led by Gren Raize criticize Zeheart, telling him that his incompetent leadership led to their defeat. Zeheart responds that he'll keep it in mind, and after they leave, Medel apologizes for his failures. Zeheart says it's ultimately his responsibility as commander, and he mentions a report about the Diva heading to Solon City, which Medel says could pose a problem. The Diva arrives at Solon City and begins docking at the colony. Millais recalls a conversation with Flit after the last battle, where he told her they acquired some Vagan mobile suit parts. An analysis determined that some of the raw materials could've only been manufactured by Techno Solon, an Earth Sphere company. Flit decided to carry out an investigation with a few reliable people to avoid arousing suspicion, with him coming along. Millais opposed the mission due to the potential for civilian casualties, but Flit said they couldn't show any weakness to the Vagan, or they'd take advantage and take away things that can't be replaced. Millais thinks to herself that Flit's hatred for the Vagans hasn't faded at all. A Techno Solon employee speaks with a Vagan named Igor Ehans and is worried that the military is involved, but the Vagan tells him not to worry. Igor says that if the military has come to investigate, it means they don't have any hard evidence. Millais tells Woolf that she's going to meet with the higher ups at Techno Solon to buy him time. In the Diva's hangar, Remi mops up the launch catapult for the AGE-1 Flat. Obright asks what she's doing, and she tells him it's amazing to see the legendary mobile suit up close. Obright mentions that the catapult is cleaned automatically, and Remi insists that a doorstep should be cleaned by hand, saying that if the ship were a house the catapult would be the doorstep. Remi says the ship feels like a home to her and its crew her family, and when Obright asks if that makes him a big brother, she tells him he's the person she feels she can talk to more than anyone. Asemu comes to the bridge and tells Romary he wanted to talk to her, but Flit interjects that standby alert isn't free time, so he orders Asemu back to the ready room. Millais meets with the Techno Solon employee and starts asking questions. Elsewhere, Woolf knocks out an employee and steals his uniform. He finds that a computer station is a dummy and sneaks down to another level. He hides by suspending himself on the ceiling and enters a hangar with a Gafran, Dorado and Baqto. Woolf pulls his gun on Igor, but he's suddenly surrounded by armed men.

 

Igor orders his men to fire, but Woolf jumps over the railing and uses a grappling hook to swing down to safety. He runs as the men shoot at him and ducks into a corner for cover. Woolf activates a signal on his watch that signifies he's found evidence. The Diva picks up the signal, and Flit takes command of the operation with Irissya Murai in charge of the ship. Flit announces that they're going to take control of the facility and puts the mobile suits on standby for launch. Irissya asks about the mobile suits, and Flit says it's confirmed that Techno Solon is working with the Vagans, so that makes them enemies. Asemu objects and says fighting in a civilian area could cause casualties, so he thinks mobile suits can't be the only option. Flit says he's not asking for Asemu's opinion and orders him to launch immediately. He says that if they don't eliminate the enemy it will cause greater damage, and Asemu says they should think of a way where nobody has to die. Flit says that's not Asemu's decision to make and that a moment's hesitation can lead to the worst outcome. Asemu refuses to launch, and Flit orders Obright to take command of the mobile suit team and for the Adeles to be equipped with Titus wear parts. Romary follows Asemu after he storms off the bridge. At Techno Solon, Woolf drives around in a jeep and is chased by Igor's Dorado. The employee cries and tells Millais that the Vagan forced him to help them. Woolf pulls up in the jeep to pick up Millais, but the employee says he has to evacuate his staff. The Dorado opens fire on the jeep, but Obright blocks the attack with his Genoace II. Max and Arisa then arrive with their Adele Tituses and knock back the Dorado. The two sides trade fire and cause damage as Asemu walks through the city. Romary catches up to Asemu, but several buildings explode around them. Asemu asks why his father would stand his ground after seeing this, and Romary says she agrees with him, but points out that this is war. She says everyone has to bear that sadness, including Flit, and she thinks even Zeheart must feel the same way. Asemu counters that Zeheart is different and isn't sad at all. He shouts that no matter what, Zeheart is a Vagan and the enemy. Asemu then jumps onto protect her from a nearby explosion. He gets a call on the AGE device from Dique and remembers what Flit said earlier about hesitation. Asemu answers and tells Dique to send the AGE-2 Normal to his location on autopilot. Asemu apologizes to Romary and says he didn't mean to hurt her. He then takes off in the G-Strider after it arrives and heads for Techno Solon. A Baqto knocks Arisa's Adele Titus to the ground while the Gafran engages Max and the Dorado tries to attack Obright with a beam saber. Asemu arrives and knocks the Dorado away. Asemu uses his beam saber to slice apart the Baqto, and he jumps into the air and destroys both the Gafran and Dorado. The entire factory then explodes around them, destroying all evidence of Vagan involvement. The employee makes a call on his cell phone and tells someone that he's destroyed all evidence and confirmed the death of the Vagan man. He then tosses the phone away and runs off. On the Diva, Romary asks where Flit went and is told he just left. Arisa asks Dique where Asemu is, and he tells her that Asemu is in the brig, which is a shame because he wanted to show him a new weapon devised by the AGE Builder. In the brig, Woolf asks Asemu if he found any answers from running away, but Asemu counters that he didn't run off. Woolf tells Asemu that he's a failure as a soldier and that a man doesn't act that way, but he did get into the Gundam. He says people like them can only find answers by fighting, and he says Asemu doesn't have to surpass Flit or anyone else except himself. Elsewhere, Flit walks into a bar and greets Grodek, who tells Flit it's been a long time.

 

Commentary

 

This episode opens and closes with all too brief appearances by one of the last major unseen characters from the first generation, Grodek. It must've been tough for him to spend more than 26 years in jail, but at least he didn't get executed or a life sentence. At least the staff of the prison are aware of what he really did. The main thrust of this episode is that Flit wants to investigate a company that is collaborating with the Vagans, and this brings him into conflict with Asemu. Asemu has this naive belief that it's possible to fight a battle and not kill anyone, but that's just not feasible. You can do as much as you can to minimize civilian casualties in a war, but there's no way to reduce them to zero. By running off with his temper tantrum, Asemu only proved Flit's point about hesitation. If he'd launched when ordered, he could've quickly dispatched the Vagans and reduced the collateral damage that happened in his absence. Also, it bothered me that the rest of the MS team was completely useless. Even with Titus equipment, Arisa and Max were unable to take on old suits like a Baqto and Gafran, which makes little sense since the Titus was precisely designed to fight Baqtos. There's definitely a wider conspiracy at work here, since that Techno Solon employee clearly wasn't talking to a Vagan. Perhaps there are elements within the Federation that are sympathetic to the Vagans, but we'll have to wait and see.

 

Overall Rating

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3.5 out of 5 stars
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Gundam AGE Episode 23 Gundam AGE Episode 23
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