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Episode 2: Elevator to the Gallows

 

Review by Dustin Corallo

April 1, 2005

 

Summary

Shortly after the battle between Dolores and the Phantoma, UNSF forces salvage the abandoned Ender and pick up the three corpses of the Space Force inspectors and the Phantoma pilot. An investigator named Sameggi reads a report of the incident to Chief Investigator Baan Dorlfoum, a report that puts James Links as the primary suspect, and that he’s wanted back on Mars as well. When Sameggi asks Van for instructions, Baan just gripes about the details of the report and orders all regions to be searched. He then dubs James with the name ‘John Carter’, and when Sameggi tries to correct him, Baan claims it’s a reference to science fiction writer Edgar Rice Burrough’s John Carter of Mars and orders Sameggi to review “John’s” history. Sameggi reports that James retired from the UNSF in 2167, and shortly after separated from his Martian wife, the latter of which immediately catches Van’s attention. Van wonders how Earthlings can be so stupid, and decides he’ll direct the case personally. On Earth, Leon Links reports to the President of the Rozen Trading Company. The President informs him that he’s being suspended from office activities, and when Leon asks why, the President activates a monitor that displays the news report on James Links. Leon is shocked to hear his father killing three inspectors and a LEV pilot, but he claims that he broke ties with James a long time ago. The President counters with now the company will break ties with Leon. Not much later is Leon tossed out of the company building by security guards. When Leon is about to protest, a squad of security guards barricade him from the building entrance, forcing Leon to run off while Van watches him from a car. Leon soon arrives at a construction site where his sister, Noel Links, is hassling her workers to move faster, while riding on top of a construction LEV. One of the co-workers reports Leon’s arrival to Noel, and a LEV pilot picks Leon’s car up with a magnet. Noel asks what Leon wants, and Leon tells her about the situation with James, much to Noel’s shock. Leon then informs her he was fired because of it, and just as he’s about to ramble, Noel gets into the car and kicks him over to the passenger side. She then has the LEV pilot drop the car, and the two drive off the site. At a cemetery, James looks over Rachel’s grave and says he wishes she were still alive. When he hears a car pull up, he hides in the bushes. Leon and Noel approach the grave, looking for James, and the kitten jumps out and wanders over to Noel. Immediately, Noel notices the cat and picks it up caringly, while Leon notices the "Happy Birthday" tag on the cat’s tail. James starts flipping over his How to be a Daddy book for advice on reunions, which tells him to hug them and smile. James decides he’s going to do it, and Leon appears behind him. James jumps when he sees his been found, and Noel asks what is he doing in the cemetery. James remembers the book’s advice, and tries to hug them, but Leon punches him. James tries to explain, but Leon just picks him up and punches him again. Leon blames James for Rachel’s death, but James states that Rachel’s alive. Leon doesn’t believe him, and James tells him to calm down. As Leon raises his fist again, Baan shoots a gun and signals a squad of police to surround the three. Baan then tells them they are under the custody of WIRED, the UN’s defense and surveillance organization. Sameggi pulls out James’ warrant while Baan quotes the murder of three inspectors and the LEV pilot. At first, James is confused because Baan calls him John Carter, but Baan clarifies he’s the suspect. James denies the murders, but Leon pushes him toward the police, telling them to arrest him. Baan says he’s grateful, but he decides to arrest Leon and Noel too. James protests that his children aren’t affiliated, but Baan just calls him raw sewage and an Ender. Despite the police holding him down, James manages to uppercut Baan into the air for a second. More police pile onto James, and Baan points a gun at him. Sameggi jumps into stop Baan, and Baan lowers the gun, saying he’ll give James his fill of pain. James again protests his children have nothing to do with it, but Baan claims since they’re related by blood, it’s all the same. Leon again states he doesn’t consider James his father, and despite that comment, James begs Baan to let them go. Baan simply laughs and says if James comes quietly, he’ll think about it, then kicks him in the groin for punching him. On the Moon, Dolores is singing Rachel’s song again, and thinking about James. Before he left her, James asked who the assassin that came after him was, but Dolores doesn’t know. He demands to know what Dolores is and she just reintroduces herself. He then asks what an orbital frame is, and Dolores just says “it’s me.” So, he asks what is she, and again, Dolores reintroduces herself. James groans in frustration and asks what idiot made Dolores, then tells her he’s going to see his children, and that Dolores is to stay on the Moon. Dolores wants to know if he’ll come back, and he gripes again, to which she replies it’s lonely without him. James suggests to Dolores to try and remember where she learned the song from. In the present, Dolores still can’t remember where the song came from. As she’s sitting there, she notices something float down from outer space, and when she takes a look at where it landed, she sees the UNSF’s lunar base. Back on Earth, James, Baan and Sameggi are on an Orbital Elevator linear train, which is headed for the Elevator’s Central Station. James again claims he didn’t kill those men, and Sameggi reads over James’ explanation. Baan just dismisses it as a lie, and sticks the report board against James’ throat, claiming he and his family are Martian spies. Baan then smirks and says he’ll question Leon and Noel first, which causes James to grab Baan by the shirt collar. Again, Baan kicks him in the groin, and then kicks James across the face. Baan reminds James not to touch him with his "dirty Ender hands" before he and Sameggi leave.

Back on the Moon, Dolores looks around the base via wire camera. She comes across a recreation lounge, with a TV monitor playing a soap opera. Dolores is taken by the soap opera, but a news report interrupts, stating James’ arrest. Two UNSF officers come into the room and comment on how fast James was caught while the reporter states James is to be transported through the Orbital Elevator. Dolores hacks into the TV monitor and freezes the picture, then asks the two officers where the Elevator is. One of the officers tells her it’s over by Earth, and then Dolores asks what a "destined person" is (referring back to the soap opera). The officer hesitantly explains that a destined person is someone you will always have a relation with, no matter what happens. Dolores says thanks and returns the TV back to normal, leaving the officers to wonder what just happened. She retracts her wire camera and takes off for the elevator, but not before having some fun flying. On the elevator, James fakes suicide by choking himself with his handcuff chain, to attract attention. Sameggi sees this from a security camera, and immediately rushes down to James’ room, only for James to ambush him. In another room of the elevator, Baan is enjoying a glass of wine when the door opens to reveal Sameggi. When he asks for Sameggi to report, the unconscious man falls over, to reveal James Links standing behind him. James tells him since he didn’t keep his promise, then there’s no way he’d go quietly. Baan asks him if he wants to die that much, and James says that’s not going to happen. As James lunges, Baan draws his gun. In outer space, Dolores finally makes it to the Orbital Elevator, and for some reason, Dolores thinks she knows that place. The Elevator staff detect her, but they think she’s a meteor of some kind. Meanwhile, James has managed to grab ahold of Baan before he could get a shot into him. He asks Baan why he hates Enders, to which Baan says everyone hates filthy things. James slams him against a wall, but Baan knocks him on the back with a lamp. He’s about to shoot him again, but James kicks the gun out of his hand and punches him. Baan kicks him back and tries to rush for the gun, only James to grab him in a choke hold. Baan counters with an elbow to the face and again, rushes for the gun. In outer space, Dolores is still flying around the Elevator looking for James. She places her hand on the Elevator’s side and hacks into the Elevator’s security system. She then tracks James’ signal to the train, where he’s still fighting Baan. When she sees Baan is about to turn the gun onto James, Dolores hacks into the room’s TV monitor and calls out to James. With Baan distracted by Dolores, James kicks him in the groin hard enough that Baan drops the gun. When he falls over, James continues stomping on that part of Baan’s body until he faints, to which James says they’re even. James asks what Dolores is doing, and she replies she’ll pick him up. Dolores then back flips and goes into a dive toward the train. The elevator staff continue to track Dolores, and although they do not detect on radar, they capture images of her flight. However, Dolores is moving so fast, that she only appears as a pink blur. When the operator tries to verify, he finds that Dolores is going over four million kilometers an hour, and is still accelerating. He calculates that Dolores will impact on the Earth in three minutes. On the train, James dons a space suit and gets out on the train’s side so Dolores can pick him up. However, Baan has managed to regain consciousness and heads out after him. Baan shoots at him, but his gun runs out of ammo, so he climbs after James and grabs his leg. Dolores attempts to grab James, but she’s moving too fast and cannot stop herself from the dive. The Earth station is evacuated in preparation for Dolores’ impact, which is calculated to be in twenty seconds. Dolores slams into the ocean, and manages to take off again while unintentionally causing a tsunami. The resulting shockwaves and tsunami ravage the city surrounding the elevator. On the elevator, James slips on the latter due to Baan’s grip and the two of them fall of the train. Dolores catches them as she ascends, and Baan freaks at Dolores’ appearance. Dolores remembers Baan as the one who attacked James, so she places him on the elevator railing as punishment. Dolores tells Baan to regret his immoral actions as she and James take off. On Earth, the tsunami caused by Dolores’ impact floods most of the city around the elevator, while Leon and Noel are transported on an airplane. Leon is moping that his life is over while Noel is playing with the kitten, which she named Petronius (or Pete for short). She spots a shooting star, but jumps when she sees the ‘star’ change direction to fly at the airplane. Dolores grabs the airplane and forces it to land on an island, while she takes Leon, Noel and Pete in her hand. Leon and James continue to fight, until James tells Dolores to sing that song. Leon and Noel both recognize the song as the lullaby Rachel used to sing to them.

 

Commentary

 

I have to say, this is quite an episode. First, we’re introduced to James’ two children, Leon and Noel, and just like their names, they’re polar opposites. Whereas Leon is a high profile corporate executive (or was) that seems to be out for himself, Noel follows her father’s down to earth/tough as nails attitude, and even dresses like James (same type of white tank top, gloves, jeans, etc.). As expected from episode one, they both hate their father, with Leon even going as far as to sell James out to Baan and his thugs. James really has his work cut out for him if he wants to get his family back together. As well, we meet Baan Dorlfoum and his assistant Sameggi, who remind me of Zapp Brannigan and Kif Kroker from Futurama with the way they act. Baan’s an amusing character, because one minute he’s a ruthless, cruel, arrogant kind of guy that hates Enders with a passion, and the next he’s a bumbling, annoying idiot that got his crotch stomped on by James. It’s pretty funny how he constantly refers to James as John Carter and expects the name to stick, even when James and everyone else don’t get it. As for Sameggi, though he hasn’t done much in this episode than follow Baan around, I suspect he’s a lot smarter than Baan but he still has to work for the guy, much to his frustration. We also see the massive Orbital Elevator which stretches from the Earth’s surface and almost to the Moon. Although we don’t see the interior, the Elevator strikes me as one big O’Neill island-like colony that the Earth uses as a spaceport, much like Deimos Station on Mars. I suspect the Elevator will be focused on later, but for now, James, Dolores and the rest are stuck on Earth, so they’ll have to find a way back into space first.

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Overall Rating

Full StarFull StarFull StarHalf StarNo Star

4 out of 5 stars
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ZOE Dolores, i Episode 2 ZOE Dolores, i Episode 2

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