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Episode 3: Believe in His Eyes

 

Review by Chris Guanche

July 11, 2014

 

Summary

 

Eiji is interrogated at gunpoint by the remaining UN personnel. Arthur asks Elizabeth if Eiji is really from space, but she doesn't know yet. Simone thinks that's a ridiculous idea, but Roanne notes that he's never seen machines like the ones that attacked them. David yells that he doesn't care and blames Eiji's arrival for Juno's death. Gale returns to Admiral Gresco's flagship on the tripod carrier, and Gresco expresses his disappointment. His orders were to dispose of the traitor, but Gale thinks convincing the enemy can also accomplish the same goal. Zuhl thinks that Gale failed because Eiji is an old friend and notes that he's half Earthling, but Gale believes that Albatro Null Eiji Asuka is Gradosian at heart. Gresco thinks that Eiji's betrayal is driven by his Earth blood and notes that Earthlings have carved out a bloody history. Gale can't disagree with that given the Cold War between America and Russia. Rear Admiral Zuhl reminds Gale that if their presence becomes widely known on Earth, it would jeopardize the entire mission. Gale asks for another chance to speak to Eiji, but Gresco orders him to be taken away. Gale is passed in the corridor by Gosterro, who will be taking his place on Mars. Gosterro mentions that he analyzed the combat data and found that Eiji was deliberately avoiding lethal shots, which he thinks makes Gale even weaker for not beating him. Gale recalls that Gosterro holds a grudge over what happened with Julia. On Mars' surface, UN personnel use a Manipulator Suit to examine Layzner during a sandstorm and conclude that it can't be from Earth. Arthur eavesdrops on the interrogation, where the UN people refuse to accept that Eiji is the son of astronaut Ken Asuka. Arthur gets caught and babbles that he thought he could get more information out of Eiji. He then runs back to the group with the gossip that Eiji is an Earth/Grados half breed of the first man on the Moon, which Simone notes was Neil Armstrong. Roanne thinks Eiji is crazy, but Elizabeth recalls an old Project X that involved the disappearance of an astronaut. Arthur says that Eiji's father was named Ken Asuka, and Elizabeth recalls the astronaut being Japanese. Simone notes never having heard of this in history books, which Elizabeth attributes to a government cover up. Arthur points out that Layzner is not of Earth origin, but David can't believe a guy like Eiji. Eiji tells the UN people that the Gradosians intended to destroy the base entirely, and they wonder what will happen if the Americans and Soviets misinterpret events. Eiji is locked away in the room despite protests that he has to get to Earth. Gosterro's Bullgrenn is loaded into the tripod carrier and takes off for Mars. Eiji's pleas to be released go unheard until Anna walks into the hallway. She turns to run away, but Eiji asks her to listen to his story.

 

The UN people try to radio the American base again and decide to head there in the morning. Anna walks into the control room and asks the adults to let Eiji go to Earth. The adults explain that they'll use the radio at the American base tomorrow to contact Earth. Their conversation is interrupted when Eiji's helmet starts beeping. Elsewhere, David breaks into the interrogation room and holds Eiji at gunpoint, blaming him for Juno's death. Anna runs off with Eiji's helmet and is followed by Elizabeth. David yells at Eiji to beg for mercy, but he's interrupted by Anna and Elizabeth. One of the UN people grabs David and tries to disarm him, but the gun goes off and almost hits Eiji. His helmet starts beeping again, and he asks Anna to give it to him because it's sending a warning. Eiji issues commands to Rei remotely and runs through the sandstorm to get back to Layzner. Two Bravers launch from the tripod carrier, followed by Gosterro's Bullgrenn. The Bullgrenn's AI notes that Layzner can be destroyed immediately due to its hampered movement, but Gosterro wants to take it slow. Layzner finishes clearing out sand from its systems, and Eiji returns fire on the SPTs. Eiji asks them to stop, but Gosterro tells him that what he's doing is useless. Eiji wants to protect the civilians, but Gosterro doesn't care and says he's not one to talk things out like Gale. Gosterro mocks Eiji's aim and opens fire while the Bravers attack the UN base. The UN people decide to evacuate the base, but a Braver spots them in the corridor. Layzner takes off and comes under fire from the Bullgrenn, which puts Eiji on the defensive. Gosterro sees that Eiji refuses to kill and vows to tear him apart. Simone thinks that everyone is going to die, and the Braver starts smashing deeper into the base. One of the UN personnel decides to stay behind and blow the base's generator while everyone else escapes. Gosterro laughs and continues attacking, resulting in damage to Layzner's right leg. Everyone loads into two buggies and break out of the base just before it explodes. In the confusion from the blast, Eiji sticks his rifle against the Bullgrenn's head and tells Gosterro to retreat. Gosterro takes off and tells Eiji that one day he'll regret not taking the chance to kill him. Anna thinks to herself that they'll all have to trust Eiji because they can't survive without him.

 

Commentary

 

This episode features quite a few developments, plus the introduction of new characters. First, we meet Gradosian leader Gresco, who is not at all happy with how Gale showed Eiji mercy last time. We also meet the disagreeable Zuhl, who fits the bill for barking lapdog. Gale is replaced with the vicious Gosterro, a pilot cut from the same cloth as men like Zeta Gundam's Yazan Gable. Gosterro is aware that Eiji only uses nonlethal tactics and intends to turn that against him. It almost works, if not for the destruction of the UN base. The sandstorm provided an interesting environmental hazard that worked to Eiji's detriment. We learn that Eiji's father Ken Asuka was an astronaut in a secret project that predated the Moon landing in 1969. Most of the cast is warming up to Eiji and his story, but David is still lashing out with rage over Juno's death. Since he's acting completely irrationally, he can't see that it's not smart to threaten to kill the only guy who's keeping them alive. Now, the students and remaining UN staff are out in the open with few options available, so they'll have no choice but to trust Eiji.

 

Overall Rating

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4 out of 5 stars
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SPT Layzner Episode 3 SPT Layzner Episode 3
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