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Episode 14: Rebecca

 

Review by Dustin Corallo

May 5, 2007

 

Summary

 

After being knocked unconscious from her crash landing, Rebecca Hunter awakens to see James and Dolores looking over her. Immediately she gets up and activates her AlterNeith’s self-destruct, claiming she’ll never hand it over to James. Acting quick, Dolores forms an arm blade and severs the cockpit. Some distance away, Noel stops the truck as they hear the resulting explosion, she, Leon and Cindy spotting the smoke trail. Noel attempts to contact James through the radio, but there’s no answer. Cindy demands that they drive over to it, and when Leon objects, she asks if he’s worried about his father. That’s enough to get Noel to move the truck, but she tells Cindy up front that they’re not helping her with her story. At the scene of the destruction, Dolores holds the AlterNeith’s cockpit in her hands, shaken by the explosion. James comes up from the cockpit and notices Dolores isn’t acting right. He looks over the once more unconscious Rebecca, but Dolores orders him not to touch her as she’s still a child. Dolores goes into a fit, enough that fluids start to leak from her eyes like tears, before she finally hits her head to calm herself down. James amazed to see how Dolores could fix herself like that, but knowing that a search party would be out there any minute, he orders Dolores to take off again. Back in the forest, Axel and his brother Rully attempt to use one of the ruined AlterNeith’s radios to contact their allies, but the transmissions aren’t going through. Rully assumes that the tremor they felt earlier was Rebecca’s AlterNeith self-destructing, but Axel doesn’t believe it. Rully states is the correct decision, as it prevented the AlterNeith from falling into enemy hands, but this only upsets Axel. Axel begins to run off to find Rebecca, but Rully asks him how they could do it since their frames are totaled and they don’t know the location of the explosion. He suggests to wait for the rescue unit and search for Rebecca after they show up. Axel states that Rebecca is their commanding officer, but Rully simply replies he doesn’t have the same feelings for her his brother does, so he doesn’t care. Elsewhere, Dolores flies over the wind power plant the Links family had passed earlier, which is still experiencing a sandstorm. However, her thrusters cut out in mid-flight and she ends up falling to the ground. She tells a bewildered James that she still wasn’t feeling right, but James thanks her for her hard work anyway. They then enter the plant. Dolores wonders if they’ll get people upset over their intrusion, but James says wind power plants are unmanned, but during inspections people will stay there for a few days, so there are resting areas inside the plant. As well, the enemy wouldn’t be able to move through the sandstorm easily, so James explains Dolores will have plenty of time to repair herself. Dolores puts down the cockpit and James carries Rebecca out of it. Dolores asks James what he’s going to do with her, to which James explains he’s going to check her for wounds in the medical office. Dolores calls James a pervert, saying that James is going to take her clothes off, but James says Rebecca’s less of a woman than Noel so she’s not his type. This only angers Dolores, who tells James that she will look after Rebecca, and orders James to go fix dinner or something after he drops Rebecca into the medical area. Sometime later, Rebecca wakes up and finds herself on a medical bed, with one of Dolores’ wires plugged in nearby. She attempts to get up, but a comm. screen opens with Dolores on the other end. Dolores sees that Rebecca’s awakened, and informs her that her body was fine. Rebecca is confused to see Isis, but Dolores corrects her and introduces herself as the orbital frame Dolores. Rebecca wonders if there’s something wrong with Isis, causing Dolores to move her head forward into the camera and correct her again. Dolores asks Rebecca for her name, but Rebecca ignores her and tries to contact Axel and Rully through her helmet’s radio. The radio isn’t working however, so Rebecca asks Isis for a situation report, causing Dolores to go into a tirade about her name. Rebecca continues to order Isis for a sitrep, but again the frame states her name as Dolores, and the two end up arguing over the names. Eventually Rebecca sees it’s pointless and calls her Dolores, much to Dolores’ joy. Seeing that she got her name right, Dolores explains that she and James brought her to a wind power plant, and right at that moment James knocks and informs dinner is ready. Rebecca draws a pistol from her pilot’s suit and aims it at James just as he enters, but James claims he took the bullets out. He then moves over to her and disarms her. James is amazed that Rebecca was hiding a gun and ejects the magazine to reveal it still being loaded. Rebecca is angry that an old man tricked her, but Dolores says James isn’t an old man since he’s still forty-nine. In the dining area, James hands Rebecca a plate of curry while Dolores plugs into another socket. Rebecca says she has no intention of talking, and James remembers she’s a BAHRAM soldier and frame runner. Rebecca restates angrily that she has no intention of talking, but James ignores it and says to eat first before her dinner gets cold. The teenage runner states she won’t eat food made by an Earthling, and Dolores wonders if she doesn’t trust James’ skill, but Rebecca clarifies she won’t accept charity from the enemy. This confuses Dolores, making her wonder if James is the enemy of all women, to which she asks Rebecca if James did anything to her, much to James’ displeasure. Rebecca finally exclaims enough and asks why Dolores is so naive, to which James says she’s been that way since she came to him. Rebecca then wonders if there was a defect when James stole it from Nereidum, and James immediately catches that she’s referring to NUT Ltd. He grins at the fact Rebecca had inadvertently given him a clue, and even more when he hears Rebecca’s stomach growl. He tells her to eat, and again Rebecca tells him she won’t talk, but James says he won’t interrogate a child. Rebecca states she’s not a child and then begins eating.

 

Back at the original scene of the battle, a BAHRAM recovery team moves through the sandstorm and begins salvaging the remains of Rebecca’s AlterNeith. Axel calls out to Rebecca, but Rully tells him to stop. The team leader walks over and informs them that they’ve been ordered to abort, which angers Axel since Rebecca hadn’t been found, but Rully explains it’s the first sandstorm since Kimeria had been established and if they push too hard they may get casualties. The team leader also tells them the cockpit had not been recovered, and that it’s fair to assume Rebecca had been captured by the enemy. Axel vows to save Rebecca at all costs. Elsewhere, the Links siblings anchor their truck as the sandstorm intensifies. Cindy demands to know why they’re stopping, and Leon tells her it’s too dangerous to move any further. Cindy then suggests that they go into a town, confusing Leon since it’s a change from what Cindy was after before. Cindy explains she won’t be able to sleep in anything but a real bed, causing an annoyed Noel to state if they move any further she’ll be able to sleep forever. This causes a small argument between Noel and Cindy, but later Cindy caves in and makes a bed from the kitchen table and goes to sleep. Leon notes she’s cute as long as she’s quiet, which makes Noel frown. Leon clarifies he’s not into loud, selfish women, but Noel says it’s okay since he has bad luck with women anyway. Noel then looks out the window and wonders if James is alright, but Leon tells her that as long as Dolores is with him he’ll be fine. Back at the wind power plant, Dolores sits in a LEV rack to recharge herself while James again reads How to be a Daddy in one of the rooms. He wonders if Rebecca has any parents, to which Dolores tells him from a comm. window that if she does they must be worried. James says that at Rebecca’s age her parents shouldn’t be worried, but Dolores says that’s not true since he worries about Noel. James states that Noel is his own daughter so yes he worries, and then reads from the book “while children are still young it is imperative to make as much interaction as possible.” James remembers that he didn’t really do that with his children, but Dolores thinks other things at the word "interaction." She asks if James is thinking about taking a bath with Rebecca, annoying James. He decides to go to the bathroom and Dolores reminds him not to get any funny ideas. While pretending to take a shower, Rebecca rewires some circuits that cause the plant to blackout, trapping James in the bathroom. Wearing nothing but a towel, she runs out of the shower and comes to Dolores’ hangar, to which she climbs into her cockpit. She informs Dolores that she’s locked all the doors to the wind power plant, and that if she wants to let James out, then Dolores has to return to BAHRAM with her. Dolores refuses, but Rebecca tells her that James will die from lack of oxygen otherwise. Dolores attempts to plug a wire into the nearby computer terminal, but Rebecca says she changed the password. She then says Dolores could try to destroy the power plant to forcibly save James, but if not done right Dolores will just end up killing him. Seeing no choice, Dolores agrees to go with Rebecca. Moments later, Dolores blasts her way out of the hangar, fully in combat mode, with Rebecca flying her around in the sandstorm. Rebecca notes how powerful Isis is, but burst of wind knocks Dolores around, forcing her to land. However, she lands near a broken windmill, which falls on top of her. Dolores attempts to push the windmill off, but it entraps her in the sand. Rebecca sees that Dolores is functioning only at ten percent normal power output, and that they’re being buried. Rebecca berates Dolores for not dodging, but Dolores explains even if she wanted to her thrusters are still damaged from the last battle and she wouldn’t have been able to. Dolores suggest that she dig a hole so Rebecca be able to climb up, but Rebecca tells her a hole would just be covered up faster with all the sand, and that she wouldn’t be able to breathe anyway. Rebecca thinks Dolores has a strange AI, especially since she wants to save a worthless Earthling, but Dolores tells her James is a wonderful person. Rebecca retorts that Dolores was programmed to think that way, but Dolores tells her she learned this from traveling with James all this way, as she found him brave and caring. She confesses to Rebecca that she wants to be James’ strength and continue to help him. This causes Rebecca flashback to her first meeting with Napth Pleminger, where he reaches out to her. Back in reality, the windmill’s wait continues to drive Dolores further into the sand, and Rebecca sees it’s only a matter of time before they won’t be able to move. Rebecca orders Dolores for a systems re-check, and the cockpit begins to flood with diagnostic screens. She sees that the thrusters are still underpowered, even with reserve power, and that the active laser is useless, so she asks Dolores if she can use a vector trap. Dolores doesn’t understand, so Rebecca explains a vector trap is an area of compressed space around the orbital frame that can hold ten times the weapons and equipment Dolores can carry on her person. She thinks that using the vector trap to swallow the nearby sand, Dolores will have space around for a moment, enough for her to move around the windmill. Dolores doesn’t know if she can do it, but Rebecca reassures her since she’s used a vector trap before with her AlterNeith. Quickly, Rebecca activates the vector trap and draws in the sand, allowing Dolores to fly up just as the windmill sinks further. However, Dolores is having trouble stay airborne with the weight of the sand, so Rebecca tells her to do the opposite of what she just did, and Dolores drops the sand away. Dolores thanks Rebecca, but Rebecca doesn’t think it’s anything to get excited about. Dolores asks Rebecca if they should go, since she did promise to take Rebecca back to BAHRAM, but Rebecca smiles and tells her to return to the power plant so that she can finish her repairs. Dolores is confused, but Rebecca asks her if she wants to see James’ face, to which Dolores replies yes. Returning the hangar, Rebecca tells Dolores that since James is still trapped they are still his prisoners. However, James is in the hangar waiting for them, much to Rebecca’s astonishment. James says that power plants are made so that if an emergency happens the locks will automatically release. He tells her not to do something stupid like that again and orders Dolores to watch over Rebecca this time. Rebecca sighs and drops back into Dolores’ cockpit, and James tells her if she goes to sleep like that she’ll get cold, but she tells him to leave her alone. James then tells Dolores to turn the heater on for her and to sing her Rachel’s lullaby so she can sleep easier. As Rebecca wonders about the song, Dolores starts singing, and eventually Rebecca calms and falls asleep.

 

Commentary

 

Yet again a fast paced episode is followed by a slower paced episode, not that it’s a bad thing since the episode was good all the same. After the earlier battle, James and Dolores end up separated from the rest of the Links family and end up taking shelter from a sandstorm. As well, we’re introduced to Rebecca Hunter, a young frame runner, as well as her two subordinates Axel and Rully. Strange that BAHRAM is using teenage soldiers, much more as frame runners. Usually teenagers are put into battle out of desperation, but BAHRAM hasn’t shown any signs yet. Even so, Rebecca comes off as highly professional, as well as clever and resourceful if to a fault, which makes her uncomfortable around the lightness of James and Dolores. This all of course leads to her attempted escape, which was pretty unconventional; I might be wrong, but I think this is the first time someone tried to hijack a mecha in nothing but a bath towel. And making it even weirder is that Rebecca seems more physically developed than your average fourteen year old, but oh well. Other than that, Dolores seemed a bit more naive than usual here, from taking James’ care for Rebecca as signs of pedophilia (not that I blame her) to misunderstanding words at random more than before. Perhaps the AlterNeith’s self-detonation did more damage than expected? We’ll have to wait and see.

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Overall Rating

Full StarFull StarFull StarHalf StarNo Star

3.5 out of 5 stars
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ZOE Dolores, i Episode 14 ZOE Dolores, i Episode 14

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