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Episode 20: Hand-to-Hand Combat

 

Review by Chris Guanche

August 16, 2001

 

Summary

 

Bright and Sayla take some time to relax on the bridge, and Mirai sews clothes for the kids. Fraw tells Amuro to eat, and he gets into an argument with Ryu about Ramba's next attack. Ryu says he'll pilot the Gundam during an attack, and Amuro thinks he might as well leave the ship. He says no one cares about each other anymore, so there's no reason to stay. Ryu punches Amuro and tells him not to be so selfish and arrogant. Bright thinks that they should give Amuro some time to grow up because he came back and didn't give the Zeon the Gundam. Ramba plans his next attack, and he receives a message from Dozle stating that M'quve will give him three new Dom suits to attack the White Base. However, M'quve doesn't want Ramba to find out anything about his mining operations, so he decides not to send the Doms. Ryu is woken up by a call from Sayla, and she tells him that Hayato, Kai and two other guys have left the ship. Ryu jumps into a jeep and searches from them. Bright wonders why Hayato and the others left, and he admits to Mirai that he felt very uneasy as a commander when Amuro deserted. He also says he thinks Mirai is special somehow, but he can't quite explain to her what he means. A messenger from M'quve comes to Ramba and tells him the ship carrying the Doms was destroyed on re-entry. Ramba reorganizes his attack plan: Hamon will use the Gallop and a Zaku to act as decoys from the front while he uses Cui tanks to board the ship from behind. Ryu catches up to the others, and they say they're sick of the White Base and want to join with another Federation ship. Ryu punches Kai, and Hayato starts yelling at him. They hear the Gallop passing by as it heads for White Base, and they hide next to their jeeps. Elsewhere, Ramba and his soldiers approach the White Base with their Cuis.

 

As Amuro eats his food and exercises, the Gallop continues its approach. Bright and Sayla immediately return to the bridge when the Gallop enters their radar range. Sayla launches in the Gundam, and Bright orders Fraw to let Amuro go and have him man one of the port guns. Both of the jeeps jump onto the ship, and everyone gets their sidearms ready. Sayla has trouble fighting the Zaku, and Amuro tells her to put some distance between them. She does so and is able to destroy the Zaku. However, Ramba's Cui tanks have managed to sneak up from behind, and he and his men use jetpacks to fly up to the White Base and invade the ship. The crew uses machine guns and grenades to fight them, and Sayla can't use the Gundam's weapons on the ship. Fraw runs into Ramba, and he knocks away her gun and tells her to hide somewhere safe. Amuro fights a Zeon soldier hand-to-hand, and Bright shoots the soldier. He then tells Amuro to switch with Sayla and use the Gundam to get rid of the enemy. They switch places, and Sayla runs through the ship. She accidentally runs into Ramba outside the secondary bridge, and he recognizes her as Artesia Deikun. He tells her that his father Jinba Ral served her father Zeon Deikun. Ryu comes running down the hallway, and he and Ramba open fire and wound each other. Ramba locks himself inside the secondary bridge, and Bright orders Amuro to destroy it. Ramba calls Hamon and tells her to retreat because the mission is a failure because he forgot to fight in the middle of a fight. Amuro smashes the wall open with the beam trident, and Ramba sees that the Gundam is in his way again. He can't believe that he's fighting people half his age, and Bright breaks through the door. Ramba tells them they have fought excellently and that he will show them a soldier's fate. He jumps out of the ship with a grenade and explodes in the Gundam's hand. The Gallop attacks, and Hamon is forced to eject when Amuro destroys it with the beam trident. He thinks about Ramba and Hamon, and Bright and the others carry Ryu to the infirmary.

 

Commentary

 

This was a really good episode, and it was also featured in its entirety in movie 2. The story arc featuring Ramba is over, and it comes to a fiery conclusion with his sacrifice. In the end, he wasn't really a villain like Gihren or M'quve. He's simply a soldier doing his duty, but he has courage and compassion. He spared Amuro and Fraw in Sodon, and he spared Fraw again when he easily could have killed her. And despite M'quve's treachery, he fought on until the bitter end. Now M'quve wants to keep Gihren in the dark as well as Dozle, so what are he and Kycilia up to? It's also revealed that Ramba has a connection to Sayla, at least when she went by the name Artesia Deikun. That confirms what Char had suspected about her way back in their earlier encounter on Side 7.

 

Overall Rating

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4.5 out of 5 stars
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Gundam Episode 20 Gundam Episode 20
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