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Episode 22: Northern Cross

 

Review by Chris Guanche

September 16, 2008

 

Summary

 

Leon speaks to Grace over the phone and asks about Brera, and she says she's surprised Brera would ignore orders and run off like he did. She then tells Leon she won't forget his kindness for taking her people in after the loss of the Macross Galaxy. Leon then gets a report from the environmental support bureau stating that under current conditions, the fleet can only sustain itself for three more months. Inside a hatch somewhere, Grace tells herself that Leon should enjoy sitting in his chair while he can. Alto and Luca fight the Vajra and are joined by a NUNS squad using the upgraded VF-171EX Nightmare Plus. Alto tells the Nightmare Plus pilots to show them what their new machines can do, so they engage the Vajra. As Alto fires his missiles, Luca tells him they can't let any Vajra escape and report information on the new warheads or the upgraded Nightmare Plus. After the battle, Alto comments that the new MDE warheads are pretty effective, and Luca explains that it's because they use fold ore particles extracted from dead Vajra. Alto then asks about Nanase's condition, and Luca says she hasn't woken up, but perhaps it's better that way. Alto asks what he means, and Luca asks how they should tell Nanase that Ranka betrayed them and ran off with the Vajra. Alto answers that all they have to do is settle things and get Ranka back before Nanase wakes up. In the Macross Quarter lounge, Monica, Lam and Mena discuss the current state of the fleet. Monica notices Sheryl performing a smaller concert on TV, and Mena comments that she likes Sheryl better this way. In the city, Alto watches Sheryl on screen and Klan comments that it's a nice song. Luca is informed that they've detected a fold wave signature coming from Sheryl's song. Elsewhere, Ozma and Cathy walk through a ruined portion of Island 1 and run into Bobby, who happily embraces both of them. Elmo congratulates Sheryl for a good show, and she thanks him for helping her with the charity performance. A government agent enters the dressing room and says he has orders to bring Sheryl to President Mishima. At an observation port, Klan tells Alto that she and Michael weren't honest with each other and couldn't take a step forward. She then tells Alto that she doesn't want the same thing to happen with him and Sheryl. On the Macross Quarter, Ozma and Cathy explain to Jeffrey that Leon orchestrated the assassination of Howard. Bobby comments that it must've been hard for Cathy to hide in fear of being killed, and she begins to cry. Canaria then hands Ozma a letter from Ranka stating that she's regained some memories and is leaving to uncover the truth of what happened 11 years ago. Jeffrey then tells the crew that he got a message from Birla stating that SMS will be disbanded and integrated into NUNS. At Leon's office, Luca explains to Sheryl that she's been living for 10 years as a carrier of the V-type infection. He says it's caused by a bacteria found in Vajra bodily fluids, and if discovered early, it can be treated. However, if the infection spreads to the brain, it produces a toxin that will eventually kill the host. Leon adds that because Sheryl's at this point, her voice produces fold waves like Ranka. Luca says it's not as strong as Ranka, but the fold quartz earring might be amplifying it. Leon asks her to sing for humanity's sake, and she later returns to the Saotome mansion and collapses after seeing Alto.

 

Cathy asks Ozma if what they're doing is wrong, and he tells her it's the only thing they can do to determine who their really enemies are. Across the fleet, members of SMS get calls on their cell phones. At the Saotome mansion, Alto asks Sheryl if she's ok, and she tells him that even though she vowed to quit, all she has are her songs. She says he showed that to her, but she hasn't thanked him for it yet. She continues to talk, but Alto tells her she's done enough already. She realizes he knows about her condition and says he's the one person he didn't want to know about it. Alto tells her she doesn't have to force herself to sing, but she tells him she has to because it's all she has left and is the only proof she was ever alive. She then begins to cry and says she's scared and lonely, so Alto hugs her and says he'll stay with her until the end. She then asks him to give her the courage to keep singing. In deep space, Ranka floats outside the cockpit of the Lucifer and is amazed by the size of the universe. At the Saotome mansion, Alto reads the message on his cell phone. Brera asks Ranka if she's decided on a course, and she tells him that Ai's home is up ahead. At his inauguration speech, Leon says that their dream of finding a new world to live on is collapsing because of the Vajra. Leon's soldiers enter the hatch where Grace is hiding, and an agent gives her a message from Leon stating that the galaxy only needs one ruler. She agrees, and the soldiers open fire. Leon says they only want to survive, so there must be a place in the galaxy where they can live in peace. He then swears as the fifth Frontier president that he'll exterminate the Vajra for humanity's sake. On the Macross Quarter, Bobby tells Jeffrey that about seven tenths of the crew have returned. Ozma asks Canaria if she's sure about what she's doing, and she answers that it's for the sake of Eddie's future. Jeffrey addresses the crew and says that everyone joined SMS of their own accord, so they're now going to become pirates instead of soldiers. The Macross Quarter's systems then activate, and the ship separates from its dock. As it flies away, Klan salutes the ship in space. Just as Sheryl arrives to sing for Leon's inauguration, he's informed that SMS has made its move. As Sheryl begins to sing "Northern Cross," a Nightmare Plus squad launches from Battle Frontier, including two units piloted by Alto and Luca. Luca orders Jeffrey to return to port, but Jeffrey refuses. Luca says their enemy is the Vajra, and Jeffrey answers that while everyone else looks to the right, they'll check the left. Leading a Messiah squad, Ozma challenges them to see if they can with with the crudely upgraded Nightmare Plus. Ozma fires missiles into an asteroid field that almost hit Luca, but Alto destroys them. Alto asks Ozma why he's doing this, and Ozma answers that he can't spill his blood for a president he can't stand. He says that's the best way to protect women, and Alto opens fire. He asks if that's what it means to be an adult, and Ozma answers that he's a man, not an adult. Ozma tells Alto that he's just being pulled by momentary emotions and circumstances and asks what he has wings for. They damage each other's Valkyries and fall back, and Ozma says that he and Ranka have chosen their own paths, so it's up to Alto to do the same. The Macross Quarter then folds out, leaving Alto and Luca behind. Elsewhere, Brera and Ranka fold in reach the Vajra homeworld. Fondling her breasts, Grace happily declares to her group that they've found the Vajra homeworld.

 

Commentary

 

As the series gets closer to its conclusion, there's a lot going on. Continuing the trend of previous episodes, this one is named after the second ED song. It's interesting to see how the tables have turned for some characters. Sheryl is doing small charity shows with Elmo as her manager, but she seems happier doing that despite her illness. It's also interesting that she is suddenly useful to Leon now that her singing has fold waves. Leon tries to kill Grace, but as we see at the end of the episode, she's alive and well. Earlier, she thanked him for taking her in after the loss of the Macross Galaxy, but we know that's a lie and that the ship is fine. It's very clear that she's playing him, and he's nowhere near as clever as he thinks. Everything is out in the open now with Alto about Sheryl's condition, and it's good to see him show some genuine emotion about her. The way the scene is edited may give the impression that they had sex, but given how dense Alto is and the fact that the series isn't over yet, I don't think that happened. Jeffrey takes the surprising move of deserting and stealing the Macross Quarter along with most of the crew. During their fight, Ozma is dead on when he tells Alto that's being swayed by what's happening now and doesn't know what he's fighting for. That fighting will enter a new stage now that Grace and her conspiracy buddies know the location of the Vajra homeworld.

 

Overall Rating

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4 out of 5 stars
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Macross Frontier Episode 22 Macross Frontier Episode 22

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