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Episode 8: Frozen Prison

 

Review by Chris Guanche

September 24, 2008

 

Summary

 

On Galeade, Gilgamesh soldiers delete computer data and prepare to withdraw from the M7 base. Wapp reports for duty and gives a status report on PRL to Logwood, the new base commander. Logwood promotes Wapp to second lieutenant, and Wapp is surprised at the news. Logwood then informs Wapp that he'll have to stay behind and find out who murdered Yugunt and Fuller, since they suspect is was someone in the Berkoff squad. In his quarters, Wapp tries on his new uniform and gets a call to come to an empty room. When Wapp enters the room, a man from the Gilgamesh Purification Committee approaches him from behind and gives him a file folder with mission instructions. The man says they want him to find the criminal, and if he does he might get another promotion. Wapp runs back to his room and reads the file, which has dossiers on the Berkoff squad members. Elsewhere, the Berkoff squad marches through a frozen tundra to reach a frontline base. Berkoff is worried that their PRL will freeze since it's -50 degrees outside, but Kochak assures him they'll be ok even if it goes up to -100. On Kuzsuk, Pailsen asks Wockam what he wants, and Wockam tells him that Chirico and the others are heading for a frontline base on Galeade where it goes to as low as minus 85 degrees. He says that's nothing compared to what the squad has faced before, but he wonders how they'd survive an abnormal weather phenomenon. Wockam explains that the explosion of the PRL tank has damaged Galeade's poles, and Pailsen concludes that the explosion is blocking out the sunlight and creating extreme cold air masses at the poles. Wockam explains that their forces are withdrawing, but the cold air masses are quickly strengthening and will have temperatures of -185 degrees, freezing everything it hits. Wockam asks how they will survive this environment they created, and Pailsen answers that if they do survive, they are abnormal survivors. As he flies toward the frontline base, Wapp reviews the files again and is surprised to find that Berkoff was demoted from first lieutenant. At the northern frontline base, Gilgamesh forces continue their evacuation as Wapp arrives. Wapp reports for duty and is informed that the Berkoff squad is four days late. The frontline base is also withdrawing, meaning the only ones left on the base will be Wapp and the Berkoff squad. Wockam tells Pailsen that the interesting part of the weather phenomenon is that'll give the illusion of things returning to normal after a while.

 

Later, Wapp tells the Berkoff squad to report to the hangar when they finally reach the base. Godan comments that the base seems quiet, and Kochak thinks that's odd. The entire squad is surprised to see Berkoff, and Kochak says it's not fair that Wapp got a promotion. He says he was sent there to straighten them out, and Berkoff asks who they're supposed to report to. Wapp says he's in charge, and when Chirico asks where the other soldiers are, Wapp tells him they've withdrawn. Zaki comments that it's five-to-one now, and he says he hasn't forgotten how Wapp beat him earlier. Wapp says Logwood knows they're with him, so if anything happens to him they'll all get court-martialed. Wapp comments that they must've done something to get stuck with him, and he intends to find out what it is. Wapp takes Berkoff aside to a computer data room and comments that Berkoff probably doesn't want the others to know about his demotion. He tells Berkoff that he wants his help to find out who murdered Yugunt and Fuller. Berkoff looks at weather data being printed out and agrees to Wapp's request. When Wapp leaves, Berkoff takes a closer look at the data. Later, Godan asks Berkoff what kind of deal he made with Wapp, but Berkoff lies and says they discussed recon data. The next morning, the entire squad launches in their snow combat customized Scopedogs. Berkoff breaks off and tells everyone they need to get away as soon as possible instead of going to the Balarant base. Kochak points out that they'll be court-martialed for desertion, but Berkoff contends that something worse is waiting for them than the Balarant. He explains that a powerful storm is coming their way based on the data he saw. He explains that a downburst is coming that's cold enough to freeze an AT, and Godan realizes that Wapp was sent to the base knowing nothing about that. Just then, a squad of Balarant Chabbys closes in and attacks. The Berkoff squad fires back and digs into the snow to hide from the Chabbys. They manage to sneak up on some and destroy them while speeding through small ice trenches. The remaining Chabbys are eliminated, and Berkoff comments that the weather has gotten too bad for them to try and run. They'll have to return to base, and Berkoff asks Kochak if he knows the polymer ringer mixture that would keep it active at minus 200 degrees. Godan points out that there's a large Balarant force on the horizon, and Berkoff wonders what they could be up to with such horrible weather coming.

 

Commentary

 

Once again, Wockam is pulling the Berkoff squad's strings to see how they can survive an impossible situation. However, it's interesting that this time the impossible situation is one of their own creation since they blew up that PRL tank and screwed up Galeade's atmosphere. Wapp also returns, and he's so clueless that he doesn't realize he's being setup as a patsy. In an interesting nod to the TV series, we see a picture in Wapp's room of him posing with Kan Yu, the dastardly mercenary from Assemble EX-10 who had it out for Chirico. Given that both these guys are jerks, it's not surprising at all to see they're friends. We learn a couple of details about Berkoff, including that he was part of a weather analysis team and was demoted from a higher rank. That weather knowledge comes in handy, because he's the only one to realize something is horribly wrong. But making things even worse than that is an impending Balarant attack. Between a horrible snowstorm of -200 degrees and an enemy attack, I'm not sure which one is worse.

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Overall Rating

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3.5 out of 5 stars
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VOTOMS Pailsen Files Episode 8 VOTOMS Pailsen Files Episode 8

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