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Episode 13: Catherine's Tears

 

Review by Chris Guanche

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

 

Summary

 

Zechs launches from his SST in the Tallgeese to perform an engine test. The Tallgeese descends at a high rate of speed, and a soldier named Meiser asks Zechs if he's ok. Zechs begins speeding up and the Lake Victoria Base fires missiles. Zechs shoots the missiles and rushes toward the control tower with his beam saber, but he stops himself at the last second. Meiser congratulates Zechs on mastering the Tallgeese, but Zechs points out that the super vernier engine is functioning differently from the blueprints. Meiser explains that going by the blueprint would affect the suit's operations, and Zechs counters that it's a pilot's responsibility to overcome those shortcomings. Elsewhere, two OZ pilots named Alex and Meuller attack an Alliance base in Somalia with a Cancer and Aries. They both launch a wave of missiles that destroy the base's mobile suits. The base commander calls to announce his surrender, but Alex tells him this is an execution. He then unleashes a volley of missiles that kills several ground troops. Meuller opens fire and tells them that their deaths will baptize the new age. The base commander tells them that they're causing a massacre, but they kill him and laugh about it. The next day they land at Lake Victoria Base and wonder how Noin is doing. Meiser informs them that Noin is in Moscow for a mission, and Alex asks for supplies so they can attack the Alliance's Mogadishu Base. After landing Meuller isn't happy to hear from Meiser that there aren't any troops to spare and asks when Lake Victoria became a repair shop for old suits. Meiser says that was Noin's decision, but Meuller thinks Zechs must have pressured her. Meiser says everyone at the base supports Zechs, but Meuller thinks the only person they should be loyal to is Treize. Alex suggests they can solve their problem by taking along the base's only experienced soldier: Zechs. Elsewhere, Zechs and another soldier examine the data from his battle with Heero. According to the computer the pilot wasn't human, and Zechs concludes that Heero must've had special training in space. Alex and Meuller enter the Tallgeese's hangar and mock it as an antique, as well as Otto's death. Zechs asks them what they want, and Alex says they need help with their attack on Mogadishu. Zechs agrees to go with them as their subordinate on the basis that they lead the frontline battles in Somalia. The next morning, Zechs takes off in his SST while Alex and Meuller travel down a river. Alex's camouflaged Aries suits emerge from their boat, and he plans to use Zechs as a radar decoy to cover him.

 

The SST reaches the drop off point and releases the Tallgeese. The Mogadishu Base immediately picks up the Tallgeese on radar, so the base commander orders his men to fire the powerful Noventa cannon. The cannon is fired at Zechs, but he emerges unscathed at high speed and begins firing on the Leos. With the speed of the super vernier engine, Zechs is too fast for the Noventa cannon to lock on to. Alex attacks the base from underwater while Meuller and his wingman come in from the air. Zechs calls the base commander and asks him to surrender and disarm. The base commander agrees, but Alex and Meuller continue to attack. Zechs tells them to stop firing, but Alex answers that Zechs is overstepping his authority. He tells Zechs to leave the execution to them because these Alliance soldiers opposed the changing era and need to be swept away. Meuller's man hits the control tower, and Zechs tells them their behavior is disgraceful. The dying base commander fires several missiles, destroying the Aries. Alex and Meuller blame Zechs for the death and open fire on him. Zechs jumps into the air and slices Meuller's Aries in half. Alex then fires several missiles that knock Zechs into the water. Alex closes in for another attack and hits the Tallgeese again. The Tallgeese reappears behind the Cancer and grabs it. Zechs comments that Alex's skills are impressive, but as a student of Noin he lacks intelligence. Zechs wonders if the era has made Alex insane and says these men have no right to have power. He then calls Alex a fool and rips the Cancer apart. Later, Zechs returns to base and reports to Meiser that the super vernier worked perfectly. He then tells him to pass a message to Noin to reflect on the error of only teaching techniques. Zechs then goes inside a hangar to have a look at the Wing Gundam's reconstruction. Elsewhere, Trowa observes the OZ base and sees that OZ is getting ready for a space invasion. Trowa appears at the circus show in the Gundam Heavyarms and fires through the tent to destroy a transport plane. He then exits the tent and destroys more planes. Because this will be his last battle he doesn't care about running out of ammo. He destroys several Aries, Tragos and Leo units as Catherine and the manager run away. Catherine realizes that Trowa wants to die and runs over to him. He tells her to leave because he plans to self-detonate, but she refuses. A damaged Leo fires its beam cannons at her, but Trowa saves her and destroys the Leo. Catherine runs up to the cockpit and punches Trowa, telling him his life is too valuable for that. She asks him if he's thought about the people he'd leave behind in sorrow. Later, Trowa and Heero leave the circus, and Trowa comments that Catherine's tears stopped him. The manager is sad to see Trowa leave, but Catherine thinks he'll be back.

 

Commentary

 

This episode switches the focus to Zechs for a nice shift away from the Gundam pilots. He's put into the unfortunate situation of having to deal with two murderous buffoons, and the results aren't surprising. I think it's a bit odd that trigger-happy guys like Alex and Meuller who have no regard for the rules of war could've been students of Noin. Given all her previous talk about training her soldiers, these guys should've stuck out. But, as Zechs said, this failure results from her merely teaching techniques. Obviously, these clowns didn't have any moral guidance on what do to with their skills. So their fate is completely deserved. The remaining bit of the episode focuses on Trowa's attempted suicide mission, and it feels tacked on given that most of the episode focuses on Zechs. In the span of a handful of minutes, Trowa attacks the OZ base and is ready to self-detonate until Catherine's tears stop him. This seems like the sort of thing that could've been expanded into a full episode, rather than be attached to the tail of this one.

 

Overall Rating

Full StarFull StarFull StarHalf StarNo Star

4 out of 5 stars
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Gundam Wing Episode 13 Gundam Wing Episode 13

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