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Episode 11: The Whereabouts of Happiness

 

Review by Chris Guanche

Original Review: December 21, 2000
New Review: November 26, 2009

 

Summary

 

Duo hides in the desert and realizes that with such tight security he won't be able to steal a transport plane. He's then surprised when he sees a light signal from Quatre. Quatre tells him that they're planning to cross the desert during a sandstorm, and he asks Duo to join them. In Siberia Zechs supervises the collection of the Wing Gundam's wrecked remains. Noin tells him they picked up what they could, but all the important parts were destroyed. Zechs says that the Wing Gundam's design was based on the Tallgeese, so the same principles should apply. He then asks Noin if he can take the wreckage to Lake Victoria, and she asks him why he would bother to fix it. She says that Heero is dead, but Zechs says he has a feeling that Heero is alive, and that he's destined to fight him. Une apologizes to Treize for her tactics, but he says they now know the Gundam attacks were planned by a specific group of people. However, it is still OZ's goal to destroy them and keep their supporters from becoming more powerful. Treize tells Une she has to soften up because the colonists won't react well to her militarism. He tells her she should announce a trip to space in Moscow, where many OZ sympathizers live. Quatre, Duo and the Maganacs march through the sandstorm, and Duo wonders what's to be found in the middle of nowhere. Quatre explains that there's a base unaffiliated with the Alliance or OZ, and an underground door opens. Commander Sadaul greets Quatre and criticizes OZ's actions. Rashid then begins repairs on all the mobile suits, and Quatre introduces himself. Duo realizes that Quatre is the heir of the wealthy Winner industrial family, but Quatre explains that he disinherited himself to become a Gundam pilot. Elsewhere, Relena lands at the Moscow airport and watches Une give a press conference on TV about the Gundams. Later that night, she arrives unaccompanied at the OZ party. A man tries to block her for not having an invitation, but Marquis Weridge arrives and vouches for her. Weridge takes Relena inside and comments that it's rare to have someone as young as her at these parties filled with old people. Several men ask to dance with Relena, but Weridge takes the first dance. Une then arrives with two Leos posted outside as an escort. Weridge tells Relena that he can see the Peacecraft in her. He tells her about how he was close to the Peacecrafts until their fall. Their ideas conflicted with other groups, and even the Romefeller Foundation began weapons development. Weridge invited Treize to question him about his motive, but he sent Une instead. The music stops when Une enters, and she walks over to see Weridge. She's surprised to see Relena, who pulls out a gun and shoots the rose on Une's chest. Relena then runs away and Weridge blocks the OZ soldiers from chasing her. Weridge thinks people need Relena's courage to move forward.

 

Duo and the others head above ground to the village, which is celebrating the return of the Maganacs. Rashid explains that the country opposes the Alliance and is defended by the Maganacs. Quatre and Duo then leave to speak alone about the Gundams. Quatre thinks that the five of them and their missions are all very similar. Duo says he's on a mission of revenge against OZ, and Quatre says the same goes for him. Quatre is surprised by Heero's sacrifice and says he's the perfect model for the colonies. Rashid is informed that OZ troops are on their way and heads underground to meet with Sadaul. Sadaul explains that its a recon squad and suggests having the soldiers hide underground. He then meets with an OZ soldier to give his cover story, and the soldier asks for supplies. The OZ soldier explains that they are looking for rebels, and soldiers plant bombs across the entire village. After the OZ soldiers leave, Abdul examines the 20 time bombs and concludes that they can't be moved. Abdul says the bombs are set to explode at midnight, so OZ must be planning for a night battle. Duo thinks the Gundams must be to blame, but Rashid suspects that OZ has been watching the town for a long time. Rashid tells the Maganacs that they have to get the Gundams safely away so they can fight against OZ in the future. At midnight the bombs explode throughout the village, and the Maganacs emerge from the base with Olifant mobile suits that open fire on the Tragos units. Several Tragos units are knocked aside when the second secret entrance opens underneath them. Abdul and the other Maganacs emerge from another exit and spot several OZ transport planes. Duo thanks Rashid and feels ashamed that he can't do anything to help. Several cute girls give flowers to Duo, and Rashid explains to him that the Gundams are their heroes. The Maganacs continue fighting OZ to give Duo and Quatre enough time to load their Gundams onto the carrier plane. After takeoff, Duo asks Quatre to swing around just once so that he can do something. The Gundam Deathscythe uses a bazooka to destroy several Tragos units from above, giving the Maganacs a chance fire blinder flares and retreat. Relena runs through the streets of Moscow and is spotted by OZ soldiers and several Leos. Several soldiers grab Relena, and Noin arrives to take Relena into custody. They refuse at first, so Noin shoots of one of their hats and explains that she has orders from Treize. After the soldiers leave, Noin explains that she has come for Relena and addresses her by her real last name.

 

Commentary

 

Following Une's devious tactics in the last episode, the Gundam pilots have no choice but to lay low. This episode focuses on Duo and Quatre, who escaped together from New Edwards. They seek shelter at a Maganac-aligned town, but unfortunately OZ tracks them rather quickly and sets up a trap. The Maganacs are prepared for this and are able to beat back OZ with only a bit of help from the Gundams at the end. Meanwhile, Relena embarks on an ill-advised quest to seek revenge on Une for Darlian's assassination. It certainly takes some courage to walk into OZ territory and try to assassinate an OZ official. However, I wonder why Relena went for the showy route of shooting Une's rose off rather than just giving her a bullet to the head. Things obviously don't work out well, so she's lucky to be saved again by Noin with some help from Treize.

 

Overall Rating

Full StarFull StarFull StarHalf StarNo Star

4 out of 5 stars
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Gundam Wing Episode 11 Gundam Wing Episode 11

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