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Episode 9: Friendly Fire

 

Review by Chris Guanche

June 15, 2008

 

Summary

 

Michael positions himself on an asteroid and attempts to line up a shot as Alto grapples with Brera's Lucifer. As Alto struggles with Brera, he tells Michael to take the shot, so Michael fires. Earlier, Alto complains about Sheryl's promotional pictures in EX-Gear cutting into their practice time. Grace thanks them for allowing Sheryl to shoot on the roof, and Michael tries to hit on her. Grace recognizes his name and says what happened to his older sister was unfortunate. On a mission in space, Alto criticizes Michael for letting Sheryl into their group, but Michael remains silent. Alto wonders if it was all to hit on Sheryl's manager, and Michael tells him to shut up. Michael then criticizes Alto by calling him a princess who ran away from home and is playing war. A NUNS pilot then calls for reinforcements when he comes under attack from the Vajra. Alto rushes in and attacks a red Vajra mecha, chasing it into an asteroid field. Luca sends data from his Ghosts to Michael, who anchors his Messiah against an asteroid. He tells Alto to stop the Vajra mecha from moving so he can shoot it, but Alto is determined to defeat it on his own. Alto closes in and stabs the red mecha with his knife. With the two locked in close combat, Michael zooms in to take the shot, against Alto's wishes. Just then, Michael remembers what Grace said and fires after the momentary distraction. His shot cuts between Alto and the Vajra, searing the head of Alto's Messiah. The Vajra mecha escapes, and Alto yells at Michael for firing on a teammate, asking if he did it on purpose. On the Macross Frontier, Howard holds a meeting with government officials, and Leon suggests they find and attack the Vajra base. Howard is worried about the current strain on resources, and unbeknownst to everyone, Grace eavesdrops on the meeting. On the Macross Quarter, micloned Klan sits with Nene and Raramia Rerenia, discussing the situation with the Vajra. Alto continues to yell at Michael and tries to punch him, but Luca holds him back. Alto asks if he's going to excuse it as an accident, and Michael punches him. The two begin punching each other, but Michael eventually knocks Alto down and punches him repeatedly. In the miclone chamber, Klan returns to Zentradi size and thinks about Michael. Elsewhere, Ranka and Nanase walk home from school, and Nanase hears someone playing the harmonica, which reminds her of Brera. Canaria bandages Alto's face, and he asks why Michael is with them, but Canaria says everyone has their reasons. In space, Michael practices sniping and is reminded of his sister Jessica's funeral and the events that led to her death. Klan comes out in a spacesuit and tells Michael he should stop, but he tells her not to meddle. She asks if he's thinking of Jessica, but he says he's just lonely. He jokingly asks if she wants to be his companion, but he says he'd be arrested if he touched her in her miclone form. Klan slaps his Messiah and cries as she floats away.

 

Alto speaks to Sheryl over the phone, and she tells him her promotional video is designed to make sure people don't forget about the Macross Galaxy, but he thinks it's stupid. Sheryl asks him why he goes to school and is in SMS. Alto looks at his damaged Messiah and thinks about what Michael said. Klan asks Alto if Michael's back, but Alto says he isn't. She then asks him if he likes Michael. Ranka stands on the street and hands out promotional items. Elmo is happy with Bobby's makeup work, but Bobby thinks the promotion is dull. Elmo says they put up a website, but it was hacked. Ranka looks up and sees Brera watching her across the street, but he vanishes into the crowd. In space, Ozma tells everyone that their job is to find anything related to the Vajra and bring it back. Luca asks Ozma if it's ok to put Alto and Michael together, but he says that a frightened sniper and a pilot who won't trust his wingman are useless. Brera launches from his Lucifer and receives orders from a woman to destroy the Vajra nest and ensure that SMS doesn't recover a sample. Klan spots a wrecked battleship which has a Vajra nest inside of it. Ranka continues to hand out promotional items and is watched by the green creature. Klan fights a Vajra mecha, but Brera destroys it and then attacks her. Brera chases after Klan and easily dodges her shots. Michael tells Alto to stay out of his way, and they rush in when they spot Klanin danger. Alto spots the Lucifer and remembers it from earlier. Klan destroys an asteroid to damage Brera, but he emerges unscathed and fires at her, damaging her Queadluun-Rhea. Alto rushes in as a decoy and tells Michael to do it on one shot for Jessica's sake. Michael anchors himself to an asteroid, and Alto unleashes a missile barrage, which Brera easily dodges. During the explosion, Alto opens fire and blows off one of Brera's legs. Alto grapples the Lucifer and tells Michael he can surpass his sister. He recalls what Klan told him - Michael lost his parents as a boy and was raised by his older sister, Jessica. Jessica was a NUNS sniper, but during a mission she was involved in a friendly fire incident. The man she fired on was her superior and her lover - who had considered breaking up with her. Because of that, Jessica was court-martialed and committed suicide. Michael takes the shot and damages the Lucifer, forcing Brera to break off. Before escaping, Brera uses his long beam gun to destroy the battleship and Vajra nest. Later, Michael visits Jessica's gravestone, and he's joined by Alto and Luca, with Klan watching nearby. Alto says they'll be late for class, and Luca notes that Alto used for the first time the French pronunciation of Michael's name, which only his friends do. Michael thinks to himself that someday he'll find the truth about Jessica.

 

Commentary

 

With the series mostly focused on the developing love triangle between Alto, Ranka and Sheryl up to now, it's nice to see a change in focus to Michael. Although he passes himself off as a playboy, it appears to just be on the surface to cover up what he really feels. I wonder if he became a sniper as a way to redeem his sister's reputation. This comes to the forefront when Grace mentions her, leading to his friendly fire incident with Alto. That raises the question of why Grace knows who his sister was, and more importantly, how and why she was eavesdropping on the government meeting. Since Brera gets his orders to destroy the Vajra nest - the subject of that meeting - from a woman, it's certainly possible that woman was Grace. For whatever reason, Brera is still watching Ranka, along with that green creature. In the end, it was good to see Alto and Michael use some teamwork to take on Brera, but in the end Brera still won by destroying the Vajra nest. That also raises another question - who is Brera working for, and why are they trying to impede the Macross Frontier from learning about the Vajra?

 

Overall Rating

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4 out of 5 stars
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