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Episode 14: Trapped by Aliens

 

Review by Chris Guanche

July 27, 2014

 

Summary

 

The tripod carrier clears the Soviet ships as they explode, but enemy SPTs are picked up on radar. David wants to launch, but Eiji explains that he used up the energy on the Baybull and Buldy so they could escape. In his Grimekaisar, Gale thinks that the tripod carrier's energy should be nearly depleted by now. Eiji launches in Layzner and comes under fire from Karla's Dimarge, despite Gale's order to stay back. Karla blasts Eiji's rifle out of his hand, and she targets his cockpit. Gale fires a warning shot to stop her and orders his SPTs to surround the tripod carrier and hold fire. Gale calls Eiji and asks him to surrender peacefully, but David cuts in that there's no way they'll surrender. Eiji agrees to surrender on the condition that Gale not harm the Earthlings, and Gale promises to treat them fairly. Eiji agrees to surrender and returns to the tripod carrier. David grabs Eiji and angrily demands to know why he surrendered when they're close to Earth. David wants to fight, but Eiji grabs him and says to let him do it his way this time. Simone notes that surrendering now doesn't mean they're not going to plan a counterstrike. Anna knows that they won't survive if they don't surrender right now. Gale's shuttle ejects one of its three tripod carriers to allow Eiji's to dock. Soldiers transfer everyone over to the shuttle. Karla reminds Gale that Gresco's orders were to eliminate everyone on Mars, and Gale counters that leaving them adrift in space is the same as killing them. He doesn't see a need to kill people who have lost the will to fight, but Karla prefers a more literal interpretation of Gresco's orders. Everyone is locked away except for Eiji, who is escorted to Gale's quarters. Gale comments that he never expected to have to fight him. Arthur is surprised that the Gradosians look just like them, and Simone thinks they might've both had similar evolutionary paths. Arthur wonders what will happen to them, and Roanne says they have to think about a counterattack. Gale informs Eiji that his father has been imprisoned for his actions, while his mother and Julia are under house arrest. He asks Eiji why he's going to such lengths when Grados is his home, and Eiji explains that both Earth and Grados are his home. The Earthlings are just like them, and though he's never seen it, he's heard his father describe how blue and beautiful Earth is. Gale asks why Earthlings are fighting each other, and Eiji answers that they live under a bad system and don't deliberately want war. Gale counters that Grados wants to change Earth rather than destroy it, but Eiji thinks provoking a massive war will have that effect. Gale notes that the system can only be changed by force, and this is the decision reached by the Grados main computer. Eiji thinks that decision is wrong, but Gale insists that it isn't. Karla encounters men bringing food to the prisoners under Gale's orders.

 

Eiji is brought back to confinement with everyone else and reports that nothing happened to him. Arthur chomps down on the bad tasting rations and thinks of a plan to escape. Karla secretly contacts Zuhl to give a report on the prisoners and is interrupted by Gale. Zuhl tells Gale to make sure that the prisoners are executed. He notes that this is the will of Gresco, and Gale asks if it's necessary to execute women and children. Zuhl asks Gale if he's questioning Gresco's wisdom or if his judgment is clouded by Eiji's family. Gale answers that he isn't, and Zuhl tells him to make sure the prisoners are executed. Gale asks Karla why she did that, and she answers that he just seemed too busy to make a report. He then asks if she supports the executions, to which she answers that she only follows orders. She then tells Gale that he'll be branded a traitor if he disobeys Gresco, but he yells at her to leave. David pounds on the door and tells the guards that Arthur is sick, but they laugh and ignore him. David criticizes Arthur's plan, and Arthur comments that it always works on TV. Gale wonders if Julia will forgive him if Eiji dies. Karla arrives and has everyone taken to the airlock. Eiji asks if Gale ordered this, but Karla answers that it's Gresco's orders. David refuses to get in and tells the Gradosians to kill him now. Eiji pushes David out of the way, and Roanne throws a helmet at the guard. They disarm all the guards, and Arthur wildly shoots a rifle until David stops him. The guards quickly recover their weapons, but Eiji holds Karla at gunpoint. Karla orders her men to shoot, but they hesitate and are again disarmed. Gale is informed of their escape when the alarm goes off, and soldiers begin searching for them. Eiji tells David to get to the tripod carrier and recharge their energy. Karla asks Gale to shoot both her and Eiji over her failure. Gale explains that he covered for Eiji not just because of his love for Julia, but also because he liked Eiji and thought they could serve together. Eiji apologizes and says that no matter what, he's heading to Earth. David informs Eiji that they're ready to go, and Gale warns that he'll regret this. Eiji asks for an extra helmet for Karla and pushes her into space as their tripod carrier escapes. Gale thinks to himself that any bond between him and Eiji has now been cut. Arthur actually feels sick from the food that he ate. Anna is worried by the dark expression on Eiji's face.

 

Commentary

 

Eiji and Gale come face to face when a no-win situation prompts Eiji to surrender. We learn that as a result of his actions, his father Ken has been jailed while his mother and Julia are under house arrest. Gale was willing to cover for Eiji up to a point, but now Eiji has crossed the line of no return. Karla is so intent on killing the prisoners that she goes around Gale's back and brings in Zuhl, which forces Gale's hand. She apparently sees no problem with executing women and children as long as it's an order, and she tries to space everyone, which ends poorly for her. Up to now, the Gradosians we've seen have been dismissive of Earthlings and view them as lower beings. However, Gale has been the exception who sees their similarity and wants to show some compassion. On a lighter note, it's amusing to see Arthur try the old TV trick of pretending to be sick to distract the guards, but I guess Gradosians know about that cliche too.

 

Overall Rating

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3.5 out of 5 stars
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SPT Layzner Episode 14 SPT Layzner Episode 14
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