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Episode 24: X-Rounder

 

Review by Chris Guanche

March 29, 2012

 

Summary

 

Grodek has a drink in a bar and greets Flit when he comes in. They have a toast, and when Flit calls Grodek a true hero, Grodek says an admiral like Flit shouldn't be calling him that. Flit says it's because of Grodek's efforts that they can fight the Vagan now, but Grodek says his journey ended when he was able to avenge his family. He thought his war ended then, but while in prison he received intel from some inmates that someone within the EFF is in contact with the Vagans. He tells Flit they should meet again tomorrow after he acquires the evidence for his allegations. On the Diva, Arisa sneaks into the brig to give Asemu food, but he doesn't want it. Woolf then walks in and tells Arisa she's lucky that he was the one who caught her. He then opens the cell and tells Asemu he's free to go. Arisa slaps Asemu on the butt and tells him he should go out into the colony for a change of pace. She suggests going with him, but when he says nothing, she gets the message. Daz informs Zeheart that they'll be entering the perimeter of Solon City soon, and Desil asks Zeheart if he's going there to meet Asemu. He then mentions that he's having engineers upgrade the Khronos because it couldn't keep up with him, and Zeheart criticizes him for not following maintenance procedures. Zeheart states they're operating under a precise plan and tells Desil to follow his orders, but Desil laughs it off. Elsewhere, Asemu walks alone through the streets of Solon City and watches several teen boys horse playing, which reminds him of his time in high school. Asemu walks over to a lake and recalls Woolf's words that it's himself he needs to surpass. Zeheart then walks up to Asemu and says there's something he wants him to understand. He says he's destined to live his life in battle, but that Asemu can choose a path that doesn't involve fighting. Asemu asks what happens if he does that, and Zeheart says he can remain being himself. Asemu says he can't do that because if he doesn't fight and produce results, no one will acknowledge him. He then says he's jealous of Zeheart's power, and Zeheart recalls telling Daz what he'd do if Asemu refused to stop fighting. Zeheart then pulls out a gun and says he can't be himself on the battlefield while Asemu is there. Romary then runs over and tells Zeheart that she's wanted to see him for a long time. Asemu uses the distraction to knock Zeheart down and take his gun. He tells Romary to call the Diva and report that they've captured a Vagan soldier. Instead, Romary stands in front of Zeheart and tells Asemu to put down the gun. Zeheart knocks Romary aside and runs to the shore as the Zeydra emerges from the lake.

 

The Diva goes on combat alert and launches the Woolf team as the Zeydra escapes Solon City. Asemu catches up with the AGE-2 Normal's G-Strider and targets the Zeydra to shoot it down, but Zeheart dodges his shots. Asemu then pulls out his beam saber, but Zeheart uses his X-Rounder powers to keep Asemu at bay. The two vow to destroy each other, but Woolf's G-Bouncer fires a shot in between them, and he tells Zeheart that the Gundam isn't his only opponent. However, four Zedas M units piloted by Gren, Dole Frost, Mink Layden and Zel Brant appear and join the fight. Flit launches in the AGE-1 Flat and manages to hit the Zedas Ms from extremely long range. Flit tells Asemu that the situation has changed and orders him to back up his teammates. Asemu then flies off as Flit attacks Zeheart with his beam saber. Zeheart is impressed by Flit's skills and presses his attack. He attempts to blast the AGE-1 Flat in the face with his beam vulcans, but Flit kicks him away. The Diva picks up four more Vagan mobile suits approaching, and Flit can't believe how strong Zeheart is. Dique calls Asemu and tells him that new wear parts are ready: the AGE-2 Double Bullet. Zeheart orders Dole to go after Asemu, but Woolf blocks him, thus allowing Asemu to dock with the wear parts and form the AGE-2 Double Bullet. Dique tells Asemu he can fight multiple enemies at once, and the cockpit's control sticks change into a new configuration. Asemu fires a blast from the cannons and destroys a Zedas M. Gren and Zel attack Asemu simultaneously, but he blocks with beam sabers and generates beam sabers out of the cannons to slice them apart and destroy them. Mink rushes in to attack, but Asemu fires missiles at her, which Zeheart blocks. He tells Mink to retreat and says he can't lose more subordinates. As Zeheart retreats, he says that the Gundam's abilities saved Asemu. Max's Adele stabs a Dorado in the chest, which triggers its self destruct mechanism. Flit then rushes in and slices off the head and kicks the Dorado away before it explodes. Back on the Diva, Asemu wonders what he's supposed to do if Zeheart is an even more powerful X-Rounder than Flit. He sees Romary in the corridor and passes by her without a word. In the hangar, Dique tells Flit he's impressed that he was able to slice off the Dorado's head without having it be destroyed. The crew pull out the Dorado's pilot, who is already dead. Flit then removes the pilot's helmet and examines it. Later, Flit waits in the bar to meet with Grodek. As Grodek walks through an alley, he gets stabbed in the back by Alabel. Alabel says that he's been waiting his whole life to get revenge, and Grodek recognizes him. With his dying breath, Grodek says that Alabel must be tired from carrying the burden of revenge, but now he can be free. Alabel panics and runs away, and Grodek deletes the evidence on his phone, saying it's better this way. Nearby, Alabel is shot by several men in black, who tell him he's served his purpose. He then calls someone on the phone and says nothing leads back to him. Flit sees a crowd outside the bar and is shocked to find Grodek's body in the alley. He runs over and holds Grodek's lifeless body in his arms and cries.

 

Commentary

 

Well, there's quite a lot going on in this episode, but unfortunately it's marred by some issues. First, we have the confrontation between Asemu and Zeheart in the city. I don't think I've ever seen a Gundam protagonist and his nemesis both be so untruthful with themselves about their own motives. Zeheart tries to act like some devoted warrior when it's clear that he cares about Asemu. Meanwhile, Asemu claims he's fighting to protect people, but here he's forced to admit it's all about selfishly catching up to Flit and Zeheart. Their confrontation doesn't make much sense - Zeheart feels he can't be himself while Asemu is on the battlefield, so he's going to shoot him? Isn't it worse to kill your friend face-to-face rather than in a mobile suit? And how the heck did he sneak the Zeydra into a heavily populated colony and hide it in a lake? Also, I know Romary overheard Arisa suggest Asemu go out, but she has impeccable timing to always show up at a dramatic moment. However, her character and her motivations don't make any sense, especially here. Given how major a character Grodek was, his appearance and death here feel almost tacked on. I wish he'd gotten some more screentime, but I guess it was fitting that he gets killed by Alabel. Of course, this creates more emotional turmoil for Flit. Grodek's lonely death in an alley from stabbing is also evocative of Kinue Crossroad's similar death in Gundam 00. This episode also gives us the debut of the Double Bullet, which Asemu uses to great affect. However, Zeheart responds with the classic Gundam retort of "You won because of the Gundam's abilities, not your own!" The capture of a Vagan cockpit and a special pilot helmet is bound to cause Asemu trouble in the future in his quest to catch up to Flit and Zeheart.

 

Overall Rating

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3.5 out of 5 stars
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Gundam AGE Episode 24 Gundam AGE Episode 24
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