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Episode 15: Container for Sand

 

Review by Dustin Corallo

June 2, 2007

 

Summary

 

As the sandstorm continues, the Links siblings and Cindy continue their search for James and Dolores. Cindy has Leon stop the truck thinking that she has wrong directions, and Leon and Noel both complain that it’s the seventh time she told them. Cindy replies that it’s not her fault since the truck’s navigation system isn’t working and that she never used a map before. Leon says they should stop and wait for the storm to pass, but Cindy whaps him with the map and says Martian sandstorms can last up to weeks. While the two bicker, Pete and Noel notice another truck driving through the storm. Noel takes out the radio and contacts it for directions, but the driver doesn’t answer, instead signaling for them to follow, which the Links do. They end up following the other truck into a large mine that’s filled with inactive construction LEVs. Noel is amazed at the sight of the LEVs, but Leon reminds her everything on Mars is big. While taking pictures, Cindy explains the resources that are mined are sent to Earth to benefit the lives of Earthlings, which makes Leon cringe at her. Both trucks soon enter a nearby sphere and the party disembarks. Noel walks over to the opposite truck to thank the driver, who turns out to be a handsome man named Nikolai, and is immediately smitten with him. Later, Noel checks up on Leon and he’s fixing their truck, and she asks where Cindy went, to which Leon tells her she left without saying thanks. Cindy can’t believe this, and thinks how different Cindy is to the other truck driver. At the wind powerplant, Rebecca, now fully dressed in her runner suit, is reprimanding Dolores for not listening to her. When James walks in asks what it’s all about, Dolores explains that Rebecca wants to be tied up with a rope. Rebecca reminds them that she’s their prisoner, and that prisoners should be restrained. Dolores wonders how Rebecca will be able to go to the bathroom while tied up, and again Rebecca can’t believe Dolores’ naiveté. Rebecca demands to at least be tortured a little, to which James wonders what kind of education she was given to demand that. James explains he never intended to take her prisoner and will let her off at a nearby town. At the same time, Dolores notices that Rebecca is wearing a pendant underneath her runner suit. James thinks it’s too flashy for her, but Dolores thinks it’s beautiful. When Dolores asks where she got it, Rebecca changes the subject and tells them that she’ll use it to pay for their using the facilities at the plant. Later on, Dolores takes off from the plant with James and Rebecca in tow. James wonders why Rebecca chose to leave her pendant behind, but Rebecca tells him it doesn’t matter, since it was just something someone gave to her. James still thinks it’s in bad taste and Rebecca agrees, but Dolores claims that she will buy a new pendant as a replacement. The reason for this is because Dolores used the most electricity and it wouldn’t be right for Rebecca to take all the responsibility, but again Rebecca reminds her she was a prisoner and it didn’t matter. When Rebecca asks how Dolores would buy her something like that, Dolores claims she’d work part time, which makes James imagine Dolores working as a waitress and construction worker in bewilderment. Rebecca and Dolores end up arguing over it, which ends with Rebecca slamming her fist on James’ hand in frustration. Elsewhere around a BAHRAM convoy, Axel returns from a reconnaissance run with his repaired AlterNeith and asks Rully if they had located Rebecca yet. Rully tells him no, but there was a report of a suspicious trailer entering the Mexico sphere, and Axel immediately wonders if Rebecca was on it. Rully isn’t sure if Rebecca is there, but he explains the size of the trailer could accommodate an orbital frame, so there is a chance it’s carrying Isis. Both runners decide to check it out. At Mexico, Noel and Nikolai end up meeting at a supermarket and start walking around the sphere. Again, Noel thanks him for helping her, but Nikolai doesn’t think anything of it. Noel in turn asks Nikolai what kind of work he does, and he explains he’s a maintenance worker for Martian nests. Nikolai then ends up asking for her name, and Noel slips and ends up telling him, but Nikolai just comments it’s a beautiful name. At a nearby hotel, Cindy finishes a shower and goes over to check her pictures. She goes through the pictures she took at Exsaton, only to find that Dolores and the AlterNeiths had disappeared from the shots, as if they had been edited out. This makes her wonder about the Links and the mysterious LEV that was with them.

 

Back in the sandstorm, Dolores enters a large canyon during her flight. Rebecca asks James why he is opposed to BAHRAM, especially how the UN torments Martians. James and Dolores both feel they understand, and Rebecca asks Dolores to come with her to BAHRAM again. She even claims that she can recruit James into BAHRAM since she’s an officer and her opinion matters to the higher ups. However, James tells her that neither he nor Dolores can go with her, and Rebecca angrily demands why. James tells her that he had been asked by his long thought dead wife to take care of Dolores, and that he can’t say no to her. Rebecca wonders why his wife would ask him that, and James tells her that his wife was the one who created Dolores. Rebecca doesn’t believe that as she never heard of an Earthling being involved in orbital frame development, but Dolores corrects her that James’ wife is a Martian. This throws Rebecca for a loop as she doesn’t believe a Martian and Earthling could be capable of love, but James tells her that he simply fell in love with a woman, and that he wasn’t thinking in terms of being an Earthling. Dolores cuts back in and says the electromagnetic waves had ceased, so she’s now able to reuse communications again. James is overjoyed at this and contacts Leon in the truck. After hearing that both James and Dolores are all right, Leon sends them rendezvous coordinates. Back at the hotel, Cindy applies lipstick to herself as she looks over the wanted poster for the Links family. She smiles over Leon’s mug shot, thinking it’s an opportunity for a big scoop. In a nearby park, Noel picks up some ice cream while Nikolai sits at a bench. Nikolai looks over Noel’s mugshot on his cellular phone, but when she comes back he closes it and accepts some ice cream. Noel tells him that she wishes she could treat him to dinner, but Nikolai says the ice cream is enough. He then hands Noel a chain he claims to have bought for his sister, but she didn’t like it, and he thought it’d look good on Noel. Noel thinks it’s expensive, but Nikolai tells her it’s cheaper than she thinks. Before she takes it, Noel gets a phone call from Leon, who tells her about James. As Dolores makes her approach, James tells Rebecca that they will be parting company soon, and Dolores is remorseful about having to leave Rebecca after becoming friends. Rebecca wonders what she means by that, and claims that she and Dolores aren’t friends. This makes Dolores start to cry, as well as fly erratically to James’ and Rebecca’s dismay. Just then, Rebecca catches a flash in her eye and tells Dolores to dodge as a beam shot comes straight down at them. The shot is followed by a full barrage as Rully attacks. Axel tells him to stop because Rebecca might be on it, but Rully replies a surprise attack is more efficient for recovering Isis. Axel tries to force Rully to stop, but Rully throws him back and claims Rebecca would have ordered them to do the same thing. Axel proclaims he wants to save Rebecca and descends, with Rully following him. On the truck, Noel returns to find Leon preparing to leave. She asks why they’re leaving since the original plan was to wait for Dolores to meet up with them, but Leon tells her there’s a change of plans as Dolores is under attack. Meanwhile, Dolores has entered the nearby mine and hides under a construction LEV while the AlterNeiths fly around. From there, Rebecca disembarks. James tells her he wished he could take her into town, but this is the best he could do, and then says to use the flare gun he gave her to signal her comrades. Dolores still wishes she could repay the pendant, but Rebecca tells her if she wants to be friends that badly then she can repay her later. With that, Dolores takes off again and Axel immediately detects her. As Rebecca watches, she manages to recognize Axel from how the AlterNeith flies. At the same time, Dolores hides in a rock pile and ambushes Axel, slicing off his AlterNeith’s arm blade and knocking the frame onto a conveyor belt, where he is buried under rocks. Not long after Rully attacks with a barrage of beam shots, but Dolores easily dodges them and counters with her own fire. The shots hit Rully’s sniper spot, forcing him to attack with the AlterNeith’s arm blades, but like Axel he’s easily dispatched. Rebecca watches all this, and sighs, knowing that neither Axel nor Rully are a match for Dolores. James then sees the Leon and Noel’s truck and descends to meet them, but by that point Axel has managed to unbury himself and moves to continue the attack. Rebecca stops him by launching a flare and gaining his attention. Rully orders Axel to go after Isis, but Axel replies that recovering Rebecca comes first and has his AlterNeith descend to ground level to pick her up. At the same time, Dolores lowers herself into the truck’s trailer and James gets out to meet Noel. They’re both dismayed when Cindy reveals herself and takes a shot of them. Leo asks why she’s back with them, and Cindy claims that she forgot something on the truck and came back for it, but then they started moving again. She then claims that it doesn’t matter since she didn’t want to stay in the town too long anyway, and she asks to stay with the Links family. James says they don’t really have a choice since they can’t go back, and Noel claims disappointedly that James and Noel are too soft. All the while from his trick, Nikolai listens to the Links family bicker through the necklace, which is really a tracer, he gave Noel. On the BAHRAM zeppelin that served as Sorbek’s mothership, Axel is relieved to see Rebecca is alright, but Rully is disappointed that they lost Isis. Rebecca then asks the two what they think of Earthlings, which causes Axel to go into a tirade about how Earthlings are the enemy. It’s then he notices that Rebecca is not wearing the pendant he gave her, and thinks the Earthlings took it from her, but Rebecca dismisses it and leaves. As the zeppelin flies to its destination, Rebecca thinks about the time she spent with Dolores and ends up singing Rachel’s lullaby to herself.

 

Commentary

 

While not the fast-paced episode I was hoping to follow the last one, a lot of things happen here. James and Dolores join back up with Leon, Noel and Cindy while Rebecca ends up back with BAHRAM. It seems that, despite her hard nature and strange demands, like asking James to "at least" torture her for information, James and Dolores have made a friend out of Rebecca and changed her entire outlook on Earthlings. This episode also introduces Nikolai, who Noel is immediately taken with. He comes across as a good guy, but obviously he wants a lot more than Noel’s affection, and I’m surprised that Noel didn’t think anything suspicious when he gave her that necklace. Obviously this isn’t the last time we will see him. Axel and Rully also appear again to meet up with their boss, and I’m starting to get annoyed with them, especially the former. It seems that there’s no more to Axel than his crush on Rebecca, as every appearance he’s made so far is around either his wanting to find her or acting like a complete moron around her, while Rully is the cold, calculating type that is only interested in recovering Isis. Neither of them are particularly good frame runners either, and Dolores beats them down even more easily in this episode than in their previous encounter. She never had it that easy with the Yans, and all they ever used were Raptors. On the other hand, I do find it amusing that while Axel’s universe is centered on her, Rebecca doesn’t think much of Axel, as she barely acknowledges him beyond being a comrade. Too bad he’s too thickheaded to realize it.

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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 15 ZOE Dolores, i Episode 15

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