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Episode 4: Critical

 

Review by Chris Guanche

August 26, 2010

 

Summary

 

Spaceships carrying pilgrims arrive on Jiagono and land at Alegium, where deliberations have continued for days about the pope's successor. A man addresses the elders and declares his opinion that Montewells would be qualified to lead the church. Another man then steps forward to slam Montewells, and a peasant enters the room to deliver a message to Montewells. Montewells then asks for a brief recess and explains that there's proof that the person who revived Chirico is in Alegium. He then implies that Noskowitz is responsible and has Fyana's capsule wheeled in. Montewells says that someone in Alegium commissioned a contractor to bring the capsule there, and whoever that was awakened Chirico to damage his candidacy. Baldec then walks in and asks Noskowitz to pay him what they agreed, but Noskowitz protests his innocence and claims there's a conspiracy against him. Noskowitz asks Cardinal Gounod to open an inquiry to establish the facts, but Gounod says there's no time. Elsewhere, Godiba enters the hangar where Chirico is working on a customized Burglary Dog. Chirico is almost done, and Godiba hopes they can make it in time to get to Fyana. Chirico tells Godiba that he doesn't want him to revive Fyana, but to refreeze her. Teitania asks medical technicians about Fyana's state, and they explain that she's unstable. She orders them to revive Fyana fully and hopes that Chirico comes after Fyana so they can fight again. Godiba pilots a helicopter carrying the Burglary Dog and takes off for Alegium. A technician reports that Fyana is fully revived and should wake up soon. Teitania watches Fyana wake up and imagines herself punching the glass out of the capsule. Fyana asks Teitania who she is and where Chirico is. Fyana thinks that Teitania must be similar to her, and Teitania insists that Chirico is an enemy who she'll kill. Fyana says there's nothing she can do if Teitania is intent upon defeating Chirico, but she asks Teitania to love him in her place. Teitania then hears the sound of explosions outside.

 

Alegium's defense systems activate at Godiba's helicopter approaches. Chirico gives the signal for Godiba to drop him on the ground. Chirico destroys a ground cannon, and Godiba takes some hits and crash lands, but he's able to jump out of the helicopter before it explodes. A battle alarm is sounded over the intruder with the AT, and Gounod thinks it must be Chirico. Noskowitz isn't sure, and Gounod explains that Chirico is never apart from Fyana, and now they've got her inside Alegium. Teitania runs outside and sees explosions in the nearby forest. She then enters the elders' chambers and hears the panicked old men beg Montewells to send her to fight Chirico. Montewells says he can't do that and explains that because the pope made her a Shield of Order, only the pope can give commands. Montewells then asks Pope Theo to name him immediately as successor so he can save Alegium. Pope Theo recalls years earlier that Montewells objected to classifying Chirico as the Untouchable One, having argued that they must do something about Chirico and not tolerate his existence. Pope Theo speaks through his attendants, but Noskowitz objects and falls to his knees when he's told to shut up. Pope Theo then decrees that Montewells will serve as the 730th pope. Outside, the church deploys its Erdspinne ATs to attack Chirico. Chirico dodges their fire by hiding behind trees and returns fire. Theo whispers to Montewells that he's finally made it, but there's no faith involved. Montewells counters that there's power, and Theo asks him if that's how he justifies turning his daughter into a living weapon. In his first act as pope, Montewells orders Teitania to defend Alegium from Chirico. An Erdspinne tries to arm punch Chirico, but he dodges the attack and destroys it with missiles. Teitania asks the defense force what the situation is, and they explain that Chirico has already destroyed seven ATs. Chirico gets onto the elevated highway and follows Godiba's directions. Teitania prepares to launch in her Order Buckler when Montewells comes to speak with her. He tells her the time has come to display the power of the new pope and Nextant. Teitania asks Montewells if he was the one who revived Chirico, and he explains that he did indeed do it so that he could rule over Alegium as the one who defeated the Untouchable One. However, Chirico's capsule was accidentally picked up before the plan was implemented. Noskowitz, Gounod and another man storm into the room, and Noskowitz shows proof that Montewells was lying about Chirico. Gounod vows to start an inquiry, but Montewells pulls out a gun and kills all three of them. Teitania then remembers that when Montewells killed the men who ran her over, they claimed to just be following his orders. She protests her father's actions, but he tells her to be grateful for becoming a Nextant. Teitania cries as she takes off, and Chirico destroys another Erdspinne on the highway.

 

Commentary

 

As the penultimate episode, things are starting to build toward a conclusion. Chirico and Godiba have arrived on Jiagono, which means he has to get an AT ready for battle. At the same time, Montewells makes a brazen power play for the papacy and succeeds. He manages to pin the blame for Chirico's revival on Noskowitz, although he later admits to Teitania that he did it himself. After killing Noskowitz and the others, he also admits to ordering the accident that crippled Teitania and led her to become a Nextant. All these actions show how much of a scoundrel he is, and that all he's concerned about is power, not religious faith. With Theo being aware of this, I wonder why he chose Montewells as his successor anyway. Fyana doesn't have much time left, and now that Teitania has launched in an AT, a final showdown with Chirico is inevitable.

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Overall Rating

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4 out of 5 stars
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VOTOMS Shining Heresy Episode 4 VOTOMS Shining Heresy Episode 4

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