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Episode 31: Fly, Garrod!

 

Review by Chris Guanche

Original Review: August 28, 2000
New Review: June 8, 2004

 

Summary

 

After the shuttle leaves the Earth's atmosphere, Nichola asks Tiffa what she thinks about seeing space for the first time. She ignores him, but he tells her that the colonies will welcome her. In Europe, Bloodman holds a meeting with his senior staff over the launch of the shuttle. No one knows what to make of it, and Bloodman is disappointed that the launch occurred before his announcement. He declares a state of emergency and orders all forces across the world to halt all operations and await further orders. At the Newtype Research Facility, the Balients continue their assault on the damaged Freeden. Shagia faces off against the GX Divider and figures that the pilot must be Jamil. Suddenly, the order to retreat arrives from Bloodman's office. Olba is disappointed that they couldn't destroy the Freeden, but Shagia is satisfied with at least having destroyed the Newtype Research Facility. Also, he's curious to know what caused Bloodman to issue his orders. After the battle, Rocogo and Rhine repair the hull just enough to allow the ship to move. Sala reports to Jamil that the flash of light originated from an Old UNE base, and he orders her to take the ship there once repairs are complete. At the Old UNE base, Garrod sits on the ground near the Double X and stares out catatonically at the spot where the shuttle launched from. In space, Nichola tells Tiffa that he's been studying her and understands that people have always tried to use her. He tells her that the people of the colonies understand Newtypes, and she tells him she will return to Garrod. The Freeden arrives at the Old UNE base where Garrod is still catatonic. Witz tries to literally knock some sense into him, but Techcs shows Garrod the fire-damaged portrait that Tiffa drew. When he sees the portrait he immediately breaks out in tears. Nearby, Ennil approaches the Freeden's position in her Jenice Kai. Witz tells Garrod that instead of crying he should get into space. Roybea asks how they would do that, and Shingo explains that neither the Freeden nor the Gundams can leave the atmosphere. Jamil thinks there is a way because he believes the New UNE is planning to go to space. Ennil fires a Vulture flare and comes aboard to tell the crew some news. She says that the SRA forces have taken over the New UNE's 8th base, which has a mass driver to launch into space. She heard about a plot to kidnap Tiffa, but she was too late to deliver the news. Jamil has the Freeden change course for the 8th base. Garrod finds Ennil in the lounge and asks her why she's helping him. She tells him that she lived recklessly until she met him and was amazed by his optimism in a dark world. She wanted him, but he already had Tiffa. She tells him she hated him for that, but many things have happened since then. Jamil thinks about his last battle 15 years ago with Lancerow Dawell's Febral and wonders if his old opponent is still alive. The next morning, the Freeden approaches the 8th base.

 

In Europe, an officer reports to Bloodman and the senior staff that they've lost contact with the 8th base. The senior staff panic because a spaceship is under construction there. Bloodman asks what forces they have in that area, and the staff suggests sending Kazov's 36th regiment. As the Bandaal heads for the 8th base, Shagia explains to Olba that their mission is to stop SRA spies from heading into space. At the 8th base Jamil tries to convince the SRA commander to let Garrod come with them to space. The commander insists that he cannot let anyone from Earth come up to the colonies. Jamil notices several Balients stored nearby and assumes they'll be taken to space to study the New UNE's technology. He suggests that taking the Double X would be a better idea since it is the New UNE's latest model. As the Double X is loaded onto the ship, the commander tells Garrod to board the ship. Garrod tells him he wants to say goodbye to his friends, but the New UNE suddenly attacks. Kazov orders the Frost brothers and the Balient forces to stop the SRA. Olba spots the Freeden docked at the 8th base, and Shagia vows that they'll finally destroy it this time. Garrod tries to run towards the Freeden, but Roybea stops him and reminds him that he has to go to space. The SRA sends out its Octape mobile suits to fight the Balients in the air. Jamil launches in the GX Divider, followed by Witz in the Airmaster Burst and Roybea in the Leopard Destroy. Witz notices that the Octapes pack powerful weaponry, and Roybea comments that he wouldn't want to fight them. In the air, the Frost brothers destroy the attacking Octapes. Jamil and Ennil attempt to attack the Bandaal and come under fire from several Balients. Kazov has the Bandaal fire its twin photon beam cannon at the hangar. As the hangar explodes, the ship emerges from the flames and begins speeding along the mass driver. Kazov orders the photon cannons to be fired again at the ship. As the cannons charge, Sala tells Jamil that she's going to ram the Freeden into the Bandaal. The ship comes under heavy attack as it charges towards the Bandaal. Just as the Bandaal is about to fire, the Freeden rams into it. As both ships explode, the Freeden's crew safely escapes in several jeeps. The spaceship clears the mass driver and heads for space. Elsewhere, Tiffa's shuttle approaches the colony Cloud 9 and prepares to dock.

 

Commentary

 

Well, this was certainly an exciting episode. Following the cliffhanger from the last episode, Garrod receives a substantial emotional shock from not rescuing Tiffa. Up to now, he's always been able to rescue her no matter what, but this time he wasn't able to. Given his catatonic state and his reaction to the portrait, it's clear that he wants to tell Tiffa he loves her. We find out that the SRA is active on Earth, and they're the strange guys that Nichola introduced Ennil to before. Now she's firmly on the side of the good guys and seems to have come to terms with her feelings over Garrod. Toward the end there's a nice tense battle where everyone fights to get Garrod into space. Though it doesn't happen too often in Gundam, the Freeden is sacrificed to destroy the Bandaal. Because this is Gundam, that can only mean a fancy new replacement is coming.

 

Overall Rating

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4 out of 5 stars
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Gundam X Episode 31 Gundam X Episode 31

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