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Episode 35: Seal of Grados

 

Review by Chris Guanche

October 7, 2014

 

Summary

 

Eiji and Anna board an airplane while coming under heavy fire from Gradosian hovercraft. He received intel that Grados is running a secret excavation in South America, and while Anna only intended to see him off, she was forced to join him when they were attacked. Their plane later crashes in the jungle, so they spend three days wandering around until they find the excavation site where the Seal of Grados is supposed to be. Eiji uses binoculars to survey the area and spots multiple soldiers and Bravers. Anna wants to come with Eiji to scout, but he tells her it's too dangerous and gives her a gun. Karla yells at her men about the excavation progress and tells them to grab workers from the nearby city. She then drinks from a flask and vows that she'll kill Eiji to avenge Gale. Eiji changes into worker's clothes and pats dirt on his face to give himself a tan. He's immediately spotted by a guard and pretends to be sick, but is told to move along. Eiji and the other workers pull a rope that's tied to a stone block in the ground. The guards bring in Anna and start slapping and kicking her, but Eiji does nothing. When Karla recognizes Anna from somewhere, Eiji pulls out his tonfas and attacks the guards. He then disarms Karla and runs away with Anna, but all three fall into the nearby hole when the ground gives way. They find themselves in a deep underground chamber full of skeletons, and Anna realizes that she's sprained her leg. Eiji tries to call Rei through his wrist communicator. As they walk through the chamber, Eiji sees a design that looks like the Seal of Grados, which might prove that the two races are related. Karla follows them and doesn't believe it, so Eiji asks what the Gradosian army is here for then. Eiji insists that he's telling the truth, but Karla dismisses him as a traitor who killed Gale. She pulls a knife and attacks Eiji, asking why he killed the man who would've been his brother-in-law. Eiji jumps to dodge her attack and holds onto an emblem, which causes the floor to lower at an angle. The three lose their grip and slide deeper down into the pyramid. Karla vows that if she's going to die, she'll at least bring Eiji with her. She attempts to slow her descent with her knife, and Eiji uses his tonfa as a hook and grabs Anna. Karla barely holds on and nearly falls into a lava pit until Eiji tosses a rope around her. She doesn't want his help, but he slides down and catches her when the knife gives way. Eiji knocks her out to stop her resistance and climbs back up to safety. She then wakes up and spots an open room at the end of the hall.

 

Eiji thinks the secret of Grados is in that room, so Karla decides to check it first. Eiji tells her to stop and tosses a rock ahead to test for traps, which include a trap door and descending ceiling spikes. He tells everyone to run and jump over the trap door. Anna is scared and tells Eiji that she can't make the jump, but he assures her that they can. After making the jump, they barely reach the room before the spikes hit the floor. Karla wonders what purpose such a big room has, and Eiji believes it's to protect something important. Eiji slowly approaches a golden tomb and tries to remove the lid. Although Anna helps, Karla refuses and doesn't want to know Eiji's "truth." He calls her a coward, which convinces her to help. They lift the lid off the tomb, which causes several gears to move in the room. Karla laughs when they find that the tomb is empty, but Eiji notices a spot in the base to place a medallion. He recalls that it's the same design as the pendant that Julia was wearing in New York. Karla grabs an ax, and Eiji realizes that the room is slowly descending into the lava pit. Karla attacks Eiji, and Layzner approaches from the air and fires missiles to fly into the pyramid. Eiji uses his tonfas to block Karla's attacks while Layzner tries to hold the room up from below. Karla damages the wrist communicator with her ax, and Eiji tells her that he's lost the ability to remote control Layzner. It can't hold the room up indefinitely on its own, so now they'll all die together. As the room descends, Rei requests new orders and gets no response. Anna pulls the gun and shoots Karla while Eiji tries to break through the floor to reach Layzner. Karla doesn't take Anna's threats seriously, but Anna insists that she'll shoot because she loves Eiji. Eiji detonates the explosives and gets into Layzner's cockpit. Anna drops into the cockpit, and he lifts the room up to the surface. Karla crawls out and watches as several Bravers give chase. As they fly home, Anna wonders if Eiji heard what she said in the confusion.

 

Commentary

 

I don't know when the show's production schedule was disrupted by the cancelation, but this seems to be the most likely point. We went from fighting the Death Demons in the last episode to a sudden Indiana Jones-style jaunt to South America to search an ancient pyramid. Anna's narration mentions that Eiji has been looking for the Seal of Grados, but since when? None of the 1999 episodes so far have shown him doing anything other than fighting Le Cain's occupation in New York. It's never been mentioned at all. We see Karla for the first time since the timeskip, and here she's randomly in charge of this excavation, but she's also a drunkard still obsessed with Gale. So they all go on this forced journey together, only to discover a slot to stick the pendant that Julia wears. The bigger revelation is Anna openly confessing her love for Eiji in a moment of desperation. But since it happened in the confusion of his explosives going off, it's not clear if he heard her. The show still has a lot left to cover, and there's only three episodes to do it in, unfortunately.

 

Overall Rating

Full StarFull StarFull StarHalf StarNo Star

3 out of 5 stars
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SPT Layzner Episode 35 SPT Layzner Episode 35
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