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Episode 2: Cross the Path of Light

 

Review by Chris Guanche

November 7, 2006

 

Summary

 

On December 24th the Zeon forces lose control of the space fortress Solomon, leaving them only with the lunar base Granada and the space fortress A Baoa Qu. Oliver meets with Schacht, who asks him to evaluate the Oggo, a hastily-assembled mobile attack pod that uses leftover Zaku II parts. Oliver angrily asks what the point is of testing something that's already been approved for mass production. Schacht points out that the final battle is approaching and asks what they are supposed to do. He says that all of Zeon's experimental machines will gather around A Baoa Qu, and he'll try to help with the support of the Oggo if he can. On December 28th, Zeon command determines that A Baoa Qu will be the Federation's target and gathers forces to defend the space fortress. On the Jotunheim's bridge, Monique comments that the time has come for them to show their willingness to die, and Prochnow points out that the Federation fleet is much larger than theirs. In the hangar Washiya walks alongside Oliver and can't believe that the Oggo is designed for the final battle. Oliver says that it was created due to a shortage of mobile suits, adding that it can use existing weaponry and has higher mobility than the Federation's Balls. The Jotunheim then receives a gray Gelgoog piloted by Colonel Herbert von Kuspen. On the bridge Kuspen announces that the 603rd Technical Evaluation Unit is now part of the Kuspen Combat Battalion, under his command. He explains that all Zeon forces, even those of minor strength, must participate in the defense of the homeland. Oliver begins to object, but Kuspen cuts him off and says they aren't ending the 603rd's mission. Rather, units will simply be evaluated in actual combat. A transport vessel arrives to drop off the Oggo's pilots. Kuspen is disappointed to find that his elite pilots are all teenaged recruits. He grills them with questions, and a young solider steps forward and says they will try their best, despite their inexperience. Kuspen asks the young man for his name and gets it: Corporal Erwin Cadillac, Monique's younger brother. Monique walks over to mock Kuspen's speech, and she's shocked to see Erwin among the recruits. Elsewhere, the Federation fleet launches from Confeito (Solomon) and engages Zeon forces en route to A Baoa Qu. On the Jotunheim, Monique asks Erwin how their parents are, as well as why he enlisted. Erwin says there's a general mobilization back home, so eventually it wouldn't have mattered. Monique wanted him to stay home and protect their parents, and Erwin asks if she's the only one who's allowed to go out and do things. He then says he will do his best, and Monique says she'll assist him as best she can. On the bridge Kuspen announces that some of their forces will be sent to Granada's airspace to attack any Federation forces on sight. Prochnow asks why they would do that if the Federation's target is A Baoa Qu, and Kuspen answers that they will serve as a distraction to slow down Federation reinforcements coming from that area. The attack will be run by three Oggo units, led by Erwin. Monique is shocked, and Kuspen tells her she has an extraordinary brother.

 

In the hangar the recruits cheer on Erwin and his wingmen as they prepare for launch. Erwin sits in the Oggo's cockpit and asks for Oliver over the radio. He thanks Oliver for taking care of Monique and mentions that she often writes about him in her letters, calling him an engineering fool. Oliver quietly apologizes to Erwin for sending him out to fight in a machine like the Oggo, but Erwin says he believes in the Oggo. Erwin senses something, and space suddenly lights up when the Zeon fire the Solar Ray colony laser. The massive blast destroys a large portion of the Federation fleet and kills Zeon Sovereign Degwin Sodo Zabi. Just as the crew celebrates the firing of the Solar Ray, two Salamis class ships are picked up in lunar orbit. Kuspen orders the Oggos to launch, but Monique objects because the Solar Ray has already been used to deal a blow to the Federation. The Federation soldiers argue amongst themselves because their Ball pilots are fresh rookies. Erwin's Oggos launch first and open fire as the Balls launch from their ships. Kuspen notes that the Balls are using standard formations and that their pilots are probably rookies too. Erwin's group continues to fire and destroys a Ball. They then chase three other Balls, but the remaining two sneak up behind Erwin. Erwin flips his machine gun around and quickly fires, destroying both Balls. One of the Oggos is chased by a Ball, but its gun flipping mechanism gets stuck. Erwin heads over to provide support, but the Oggo is destroyed. Erwin screams out in panic, and the other rookies ask Kuspen to let them launch, but he refuses. Spaced out, Erwin wonders why the Oggo had to explode, and he comes under fire from two Balls. Monique tells him to get ahold of himself, and he quickly returns to his senses. He uses his claws to rip the cannon off one of the Balls and beat it down. The remaining Ball closes in from behind and fires, but its machine guns malfunction. The Ball then rams into Erwin's Oggo repeatedly. Erwin tells the Ball pilot to surrender because he's been abandoned by his ship and can't return. The Ball pilot accuses Erwin of being a cowardly Zeon hiding in space, and Erwin says he doesn't want to die either. He says there's no need for ridiculous theories, and the Ball pilot surrenders. The rookies on the Jotunheim cheer, and Monique is relieved. As Erwin returns with the Ball, he asks Oliver if he's done his part in defending the homeland, and Oliver tells him he has. Suddenly the Salamises open fire on the Jotunheim, and one of the shots destroys the Oggo and Ball. The Jotunheim takes evasive action, and the Salamises are destroyed by Zeon reinforcements from Granada. Monique says that no matter how the war ends, she thought she could do anything if Erwin was alive. She falls to the ground, crying, and Prochnow comments that only anger and sorrow are left when a loved one dies. Later, Oliver submits his report on the Oggo, and Monique cries alone in a corridor. Oliver then spots a gigantic mobile armor and wonders what it is.

 

Commentary

 

This episode finally brings IGLOO to the point fans have been waiting for: A Baoa Qu. This is the end of the line for the One Year War, and we see how desperate the Zeon are to field anything and everything in the face of the Federation onslaught. The original series made mention that many of the mobile suits piloted by Zeon in the last battle were in the hands of rookies. Here, we see that in action. There's a personal connection this time, since one of these rookies is Monique's younger brother. That sets this a bit apart from all the previous doomed test pilots we've seen in IGLOO. Of course, things end tragically when Erwin is killed, which sends Monique over the edge. Things are also different this time since the ship is under the command of Kuspen, a very strict, by-the-book kind of guy. His appearance and uniform practically scream "I'm an SS officer!", which furthers the Nazi-Zeon aesthetic that's been used in this series. With the final battle underway, there's only one episode left before this series comes to an end.

 

Overall Rating

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4 out of 5 stars
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