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Episode 4: Dense Jungle

 

Review by Chris Guanche

June 11, 2004

 

Summary

 

At the ruins of a Mayan temple, Nora tortures Shin for information. She asks him where he found the relic he had before, but he only tells her his name, rank and serial number. She continues to assault him and asks what the UN did to the women and children. She accuses him of murder and rape, and she shows him a massive scar on her chest that was caused by a UN soldier. Sara shouts at Nora to leave Shin alone. Nora turns her attention to Sara, and Shin warns Nora not to touch Sara. In the skies above the island, Roy hooks up to a U.N. Spacy airplane to refuel his Phoenix. He asks the other pilots to transfer the gunpod to him, but they answer that it's against regulations to do so during refueling. He tells them they'll die young if they always follow the rules, and the plane suddenly explodes after being shot by D.D.'s SV-51y. As the plane's wreckage falls through the sky, Roy chases after it to retrieve the gunpod. D.D. chases after Roy and fires missiles, but Roy reaches the gunpod in time and destroys the missiles. At the Mayan temple, Aries is brought in and is shocked to see Dr. Hasford. When she asks him why he is with the Anti-UN, Nora slaps him. Hasford asks Nora to untie the hostages and not harm them. He asks Aries if she knows why he chose this place for them to be reunited, and he says Sara probably knows why. Aries looks at her surroundings and notices many Mayan wall paintings. Hasford tells the story of how the Bird Human was ordered by Procacha, god of the heavens, to sing the song of destruction. To prevent this, the Bird Human severed its own head so that the song would never be sung. However, according to the legend, when bonds are broken between humans, the Bird Human's head slowly moves back towards its body to reconnect and sing the song of destruction. Elsewhere, Roy dodges missiles and D.D. notes that his student's skills have improved. Hasford shows Sara a pearl necklace and tells her he has plenty if she wants them. She has a vision of her past and causes the surrounding rocks to levitate and fly. Shin breaks free of his bonds and jumps onto a flying rock. He grabs onto Sara, and Nora has her soldiers shoot at them. Roy looks towards the area of the disturbance and is hit by D.D.. With his main engine damaged, he heads for the ground. Shin and Sara fly towards two Octos units, and Roy crashes into one and destroys the other. He ejects from the Phoenix and runs away with Aries before it explodes. Nora fires at the flying rock with a high-powered sniper rifle and blasts it to pieces. As Shin and Sara freefall, a yellow light surrounds them. Later, Shin wakes up in a cave and finds that Sara has wrapped his wounds with bandages.

 

Elsewhere, Nora and a soldier named Hassan rappel down a cliff to track Shin and Sara. She orders him to call the Auerstadt and have them prepare fuel-air explosives. On the Asuka II, the Mayan villagers harass a doctor and ask him why Mao is still sleeping after the operation. Nutuk tells the villagers that they will perform the Kinuha ritual to help Mao. Aries asks Roy why he's there, and he thinks she should be thanking him for saving her life. She then ridicules him by asking him why he doesn't shave and why he flies so much, or why he didn't see her off to Oxford. He thinks that's a bit too abrupt because back then she rushed off to become Hasford's apprentice. As they walk through the jungle, Aries runs towards the ocean and steps on a landmine. Shin and Sara find a wrecked Phoenix in the jungle, but inside the cockpit they find a corpse and some snakes. At a waterfall, Sara looks at her cut arm and blames all the current problems on her sin of giving Hasford her blood. Shin tells her that's just a coincidence and that people break rules all the time. He tells her about some pranks he pulled as a kid, and she thinks he's strange. Roy uses a knife to dig away the dirt around the landmine, and Aries recalls a trip they took to China. Roy remembers the fossils of a dinosaur they found, and he thinks his desire to fly may have come from that. Aries panics when Roy lifts her off the ground, but the landmine doesn't explode. She asks him when he disarmed it, and he says he did it a long time ago. Shin nearly falls off a cliff near the ocean, but Sara saves him. As the Asuka II sails in the distance, Sara complains about technology and the Mayans who leave to the cities. Shin thinks she wants to go to the city because she has the same adventurous eyes as Mao. As Nutuk and the villagers perform the Kinuha on Mao, the body of the AFOS regenerates. As Sara sings, Shin realizes that her singing has the power to regenerate life in the forest. Shin begins to sing and tells Sara he is doing it because no one ever bothered to heal her. Sara begins to cry, and Shin kisses her. Mao wakes up and senses the approach of a Kadun. Three SV-51s fly over Mayan and drop fuel-air explosives. The bombs explode on impact and begin to level the surface of the island.

 

Commentary

 

After another half year wait, the fourth episode of the series has come and gone. Given the long wait between episodes and the fact that this is a short series, not much happens to move the story along. Shin and Sara are still on the run on the island. Now Roy and Aries are stranded too. Plus there's the massive bombs that the Anti-UN drops on the island. Nora blames the U.N. Spacy for killing her family and raping her when she was younger, but what the Anti-UN is doing in massacring the Mayans is no different. Shin makes his move and kisses Sara, but that was to be expected. Roy encounters D.D. again in battle, and we see he isn't quite the perfect pilot he was depicted as in the TV series. Speaking of Roy, there's two cliches that are used in connection with him that could have been avoided. He and D.D. are enemies, but now it's been clearly stated that D.D. used to be his instructor. Also, as expected, Roy had a previous relationship with Aries that ended badly. His relationship with Aries displaces what he has with Claudia, because it seemed in the TV series that he was just a womanizer until he met her. Finally, what happened to Edgar? He has a habit of mysteriously disappearing all the time. There's still a lot of story to tell in the last episode, so hopefully it won't disappoint.

 

Overall Rating

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3.5 out of 5 stars
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