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Episode 17: The Swarming Machines

 

Review by Chris Guanche

July 27, 2014

 

Summary

 

Arthur scans the Skull Gunners and notes that they're different from what they've fought before. Roanne gets into the Buldy and informs Eiji that several enemy units are near them. Eiji is in the same situation, as both Layzner and Baybull are hiding in the main plaza. Clayton asks Joey and Marcus to take him to the space fighter's cockpit and serve as his eyes. Elizabeth asks Clayton what he's doing, and he answers that he intends to fight. She asks him to leave things to Eiji and David, but Clayton says he's fighting for the sake of those who survived. A Skull Gunner approaches the tripod carrier, so Roanne jumps out to attack it by surprise. David and Eiji open fire on several Skull Gunners and are chased through a long corridor. Eiji tells David to aim for the head sensors since they're unmanned. David destroys one sensor, but the head casing opens to reveal an inner sensor. Skull Gunners chase Eiji and David around, and Clayton opens fire on one that approaches. The Skull Gunner returns fire and hits the space fighter, but Clayton keeps firing. Eiji and David are cornered in the same corridor as Clayton. Elizabeth runs over and grabs the children before the Skull Gunner's laser kills them. Clayton opens fire and destroys the Skull Gunner, but he keeps firing so much that he also hits Eiji and David. Clayton asks where the enemy is, but Elizabeth stops him and says he's shooting at allies. One of the Skull Gunners rams into Eiji and pulls him away, and David gives chase to the unit that follows. Elizabeth tells David and the kids that they're going to evacuate to the tripod carrier. Eiji slams a Skull Gunner against a wall and destroys its head. Roanne fights another in the hangar and destroys its head. A decapitated Skull Gunner head targets Eiji, and its body opens fire on Layzner. David kicks the head down a shaft while Eiji blasts the main body.

 

Eiji calls the tripod carrier to inform them that eight kids and an American soldier are coming. Arthur asks if they can carry that many people, and Eiji answers that they have to drop some excess weight. Clayton tries to bring up the past, but Elizabeth notes that it isn't the time to talk about that. Eiji takes point with David as rear defense as Elizabeth's group walks through the habitat. Several Skull Gunners smash through the walls to attack them, so Elizabeth leads Clayton and the kids down another path. Clayton asks if Eiji and David will be ok, and she says going back now would only make them a burden. They reach a room that Elizabeth oxygenates so that everyone can remove their helmets. Elizabeth asks two boys to stand guard as she unwraps Clayton's bandages to examine his eyes. She tells him that he hasn't changed, and he says the same about her as he passes his hand over her face. Clayton asks if they can start over and tries to kiss her, but she examines his eyes and tells him they'll heal over time. A girl finds an escape hatch, so Joey de-pressurizes the room after everyone puts their helmets back on. Elizabeth calls Eiji and reports that they've found a path that should lead to the airport. Eiji and David keep fighting the Skull Gunners and destroy two of them. Clayton asks about Grados, so Elizabeth explains that they're preemptively attacking out of fears of Earth's military expansion in space. He knows she hates him being a soldier, but he notes that wherever you go, the fighting never ends and soldiers are needed. She answers that that sort of thinking led to the current situation, and he thinks she's naive. Elizabeth finds a grate and a ladder that leads to the surface, but a Skull Gunner is tracking their movements. The airport lays across from where they surfaced, but they suddenly come under attack from a Skull Gunner. Elizabeth calls Eiji and David for help and throws a small girder as a distraction while everyone runs. Eiji and David smash through a wall to try and reach the surface. Elizabeth keeps throwing girders as distractions while the kids move. Clayton runs out on his own and starts firing his machine gun, which makes him a target. Eiji and David smash through the ceiling and destroy the Skull Gunner before it can shoot Clayton. Afterward, the children cheer at the news that they'll be heading to Earth now. Anna is happy that even amidst the destruction they were able to save the kids.

 

Commentary

 

Getting off the Moon is no easy task with the unmanned Skull Gunners lurking around every corner. Since they're programmed to kill, they don't hesitate at all in trying to shoot civilians, and they move in ways that no manned SPT can. As we see, they're so resilient that they can operate even when decapitated. Given all the trouble they cause, they really do live up their classification as "terror strikers." We see that Clayton and Elizabeth did indeed have a past relationship, and some of that anger is still there when they squabble over war and the current situation. Simone had mentioned last episode that 30,000 people live on the Moon, and from the looks of it, all that's left is Clayton and the eight kids. That should normally be very depressing news, but after everything this group has been through, saving even one person has to be greeted as a positive development.

 

Overall Rating

Full StarFull StarFull StarHalf StarNo Star

4 out of 5 stars
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SPT Layzner Episode 17 SPT Layzner Episode 17
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