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Episode 19: The Time of Reunion

 

Review by Dustin Corallo

February 25, 2009

 

Summary

 

Continuing their pursuit of the Links, Rebecca and Rully come across Nikolai’s grave, where Rully wonders aloud who made them. Rebecca says it was Dolores, and that the Links family had been there not long ago. Later at the NUT Ltd. Facility, the Sobek team stands before Napth and Sir Yan while Rully gives him their report on Dolores’ battle with Nebula. Napth compliments their work and then orders them on standby, much to Rebecca’s displeasure. She argues that they can still pursue James Links, but soon backs down when Napth repeats the order. After they leave, Sir Yan apologizes to Napth over the loss of the Nebula, but Napth says he doesn’t mind. In the hallway, Rebecca fumes over Napth’s orders, and when Axel tells her to calm down, she reprimands him for not being frustrated like she is, as Napth had practically told them they weren’t needed now. She starts to break down at that thought, and when Axel tries to comfort her, she slaps his hand away. At Nokuteisu, Rachel waters a rose bush while thinking about her encounter with Rebecca and her claim to killing James and their children. Unconsciously she over waters the bushes. Meanwhile, the James and company analyze Dolores’ AI core, with James directly interfacing with it. The virtual reality of the core is that of a fairy tale forest with fruit trees and flowery bushes, as well as James appearing like a giant pink bunny and Dolores as a princess. After wandering through the forest, James and Dolores come across a large hole in the ground, which is the hole to Isis’ battle program. Although Dolores is reluctant to go on, James takes her hand and they both jump into the hole. At the end, they land in front of a large castle under a stormy sky; as Leon explains, the castle is a data block and the battle program is sleeping in the lower levels of it. After entering and exploring the castle, James and Dolores find a large locked door, which makes James feel like he’s in Ali Baba and the Forty Thieves, even yelling “Open Sesame!” when Dolores unlocks and opens the door. Both are surprised to see that the room contains numerous golden eggs, which is the form and shape word array. Just as they take several eggs, they are noticed by a group of microchip-shaped guards, who then proceed to chase them out of the castle. James and Dolores manage to escape back in the forest, although Dolores is concerned that they dropped several eggs. James tells her not to worry and that there are plenty of eggs left. Just then, the eggs begin to hatch, revealing numerous “baby” Raptors, throwing James in confusion. Back in reality, the group are settled in a small canyon, with Leon and Noel are looking over the battle program with the analyzer Nikolai had left them while Cindy and Raiah are away getting provisions. James himself comes out of the VR and asks Leon if it will work, which Leon confirms it will. Noel wonders if they’ll be able to use Isis’ power now, but Leon tells her it’s impossible to use all of it because he doesn’t understand Metatron technology, but that would change once they find Rachel. Dolores becomes excited at the prospect of finally learning the secret of her creation and not long after, but James explains that their main problem is a BAHRAM base along the way. Just then, Raiah and Cindy drive up in a humvee and rejoin the group. With everything assembled, James has Dolores send her wires into one of the BAHRAM base’s underground network lines to begin hacking. Leon wonders if the plan will work, and James tries to reassure them that it will, but neither he nor Noel are convinced. Later on, Raiah and Cindy drive to a BAHRAM checkpoint posing as BAHRAM officials from the Public Relations Division. They show the guards their forged IDs, which check out, but one of the guards questions them about the civilians (Leon and Noel) in the back of the humvee. Cindy explains that they seemed to be spying on the base, and so they brought them in for questioning. When the guards recognize the Links siblings, they try to contact the base commander, but they are stopped when the base’s air raid siren sounds, thus forcing them to let the group through. Meanwhile, James and Dolores fly toward the base to attract attention away from the group, who are now inside the base looking for Rachel’s whereabouts. Soon Raptors are deployed after Dolores, and a battle ensures. At the NUT facility, Rebecca and her team take off to intercept the Nokuteisu attacker, which Rebecca immediately recognizes as James Links. So obsessed about killing James, Rebecca ends up flying the Selkis at full speed, leaving Axel and Rully lagging behind her.

 

As Dolores charges through the Raptors, James asks if she’s able to use the battle program, but Dolores says she tried but nothing changed. James wonders if the program was useless after all, and Dolores continues to dodge as the Raptors fire beam shots at her. Seeing that Dolores is cornered, the BAHRAM base commander orders all remaining Raptors to be deployed. As hundreds of Raptors take to the air and attack, Dolores warns James that her shield is failing. Her shield soon disappears, and Dolores yells at the Raptors to stop firing as she is pelted with beam shots. Surprisingly, the Raptors comply with the order and move to fly in formation with Dolores. James looks on in confusion, and Dolores, feeling embarrassed, orders the Raptors not to stare at her, causing them all to turn away, making James realize that the Raptors are following Dolores’ orders. At the base, the BAHRAM commander demands an explanation from the Raptor controller as to why the Raptors aren’t responding to them, and the controller explains that the Raptors have switched over to slave mode and that a higher-level control system than the base’s is being used. The commander then realizes that the intruder is Isis. Now in full control of the Raptors, Dolores sends them to break into and attack the base from the inside. Observing the attack, Rebecca approaches to intercept in stealth mode, but Dolores is able to detect the Selkis anyway with her anti-stealth optics. Hearing this, James jokes that battles are the place where Dolores’ brain works, which Dolores takes offensively. James is relieved by her response that Dolores is acting normally, but that’s when Rebecca swoops in and attacks them, destroying several Raptors in the process. Dolores explains to James that they won’t be able to take a direct shot from her, so James states that they’ll take it down first, and a dogfight begins between the two frames. Rebecca launches homing lasers at Dolores, but she is able to evade and fire back with her beam shots, which are repelled by the Selkis’ shield. Watching the Selkis fly, Dolores realizes that Rebecca is the runner, which angers James greatly. Back at the base, Cindy and Raiah convince a guard to let them and the Links siblings inside Rachel’s holding area, knocking the guard out after he entered the security code. As the door opens, Pete runs into the greenhouse and finds Rachel in her rose garden. Rachel wonders what a cat is doing there. Noel and Leon walk up, but Rachel doesn’t recognize them until Noel calls out “Mama” to her. Seeing her two children still alive, Rachel is thrown into a state of shock. In the dogfight, James is trying to contact Rebecca, but Dolores tells him she’s cut off all communication from her frame. Infuriated, Rebecca launches wire guided geyser lasers at Dolores, but Dolores is able to evade them. Dolores sees that Rebecca is fighting irrationally, and James wonders if they can use that to their advantage, but Dolores doesn’t know how to do that without hurting Rebecca. James then asks if Dolores can use her shield, and when Dolores replies she can, James says he has an idea. As Rebecca continues her attack, Dolores charges up to the Selkis and activates her shield at point blank, which overpowers the Selkis and causes it to crash into a canyon wall. James and Dolores both wonder if Rebecca is alright, and in the cockpit, Rebecca slowly comes to realize that she’s lost and that she’s failed Napth. Remembering both Napth’s and James’ words, Rebecca manages to get the Selkis back in the air and flee from the canyon. Soon after, James and Dolores meet back up with the others as they’re driving through the canyon in the humvee. James tells Leon not to drive so fast since they’re no longer in trouble: Nokuteisu is in shambles and Dolores has the Raptors on lookout. However, Noel notices a lone Raptor flying behind Dolores, and James also wonders what it’s doing there. Dolores explains that the way she sees it, the Raptor wants a friend, so it’s following her. In the back of the humvee, Rachel ponders the whole situation that James and her family are in. Later, when James finally comes face to face with his wife, she calls him an idiot and hits him square across the jaw in a fit. As James and the group look in confusion, Rachel explains that she told him to hide Dolores, but he did the opposite of that bringing Dolores back to Mars and dragging Leon and Noel along. James tries to explain, but before he can Noel slaps Rachel herself. Noel says Rachel has no right to hit James, as she was the one that left first, all without saying goodbye. As Noel cries, Rachel sees all the damage she had done with her leaving, and Noel demands to know if she feels bad for any of it. Rachel replies through tears that she does and the Links family comes to embrace each other once again. Cindy takes the opportunity to take a shot, but when both Dolores and the Raptor try to get in for it, mayhem ensues.

 

Commentary

 

And through all of their misadventures, the Links family finally gets their payoff: finding and liberating Rachel from her imprisonment. However, she’s less than pleased about it. I was wondering how she was going to react to James upon seeing him again; looks like I got my answer from the slap she gave him. That was pretty demeaning of Rachel, especially after everything James and company went through to find and rescue her, but it all went together to make a powerful and emotional scene, so I won’t complain. Other than that, we see Rebecca again, and with her issues with Napth, she’s gone from the professional child soldier to borderline psychotic and her fight here shows it. Compared to how she usually fights, Rebecca was all over Dolores in this one, but she wasn’t able to damage her once because of her rage. That said, I have to wonder is this really part of her personality or is her instability a product of Napth’s raising her? Considering that neither Axel nor Rully are as emotional, it’s probably the former, but I can’t help but think that Napth is somehow responsible. As for the battle itself, we see that Dolores is not only a more powerful than average orbital frame, but she’s also able to control BAHRAM’s Raptor forces, and even convert them to her side if the one that followed her is any indication. I get the feeling there’s something more there, and with Rachel now back with the group, we’ll likely hear the explanation to that, among other things, soon enough. Overall, this was a great episode, and yet it has a lower rating than I would give it. Why? For one simple: James dressed as a large, muscular pink bunny. Call me biased, but I really didn’t care for the whole Alice in Wonderland thing at the beginning, and seeing James in that outfit just didn’t seem right, even with the usual comedy element. If not for that, I would have made the rating a grade higher.

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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 19 ZOE Dolores, i Episode 19

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