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Episode 20: Upheaval

 

Review by Dustin Corallo

February 25, 2009

 

Summary

 

As the Links family and company travel through Mars on a train, Dolores cries to herself on top of the train after hearing Rachel’s explanation about her origin. As it turns out, Dolores was the heart of a BAHRAM operation to take over Earth’s Orbital Elevator, and that Rachel sent her to James to prevent that. As the Elevator controls 99 percent of the Earth’s transportation in space, if BAHRAM takes control of it the Earth will be theirs. Dolores herself was built to control the Raptor squadrons for the operation as Isis. As Leon and the rest come to realize that for their fighting they only put Dolores back into enemy hands, Cindy calls them all idiots. James responds that there was no way he would have known about this, and Noel does point out that all Rachel said was not to hand Dolores over to anyone, and Rachel realizes her own mistake in not being more specific. At that point, Rachel decides that everyone should know the whole story on Dolores. She tells them about the Deimos Incident, how it was caused by Radium Lavans and the orbital frame Idolo and so that orbital frames remained secret BAHRAM stopped Radium’s attack along with the UNSF. Rachel says that BAHRAM recovered Idolo’s remains, but Cindy says that they never found Radium’s corpse and that there are rumors of him still being alive among BAHRAM soldiers and still fighting against the Earth. James asks what that has to do with Dolores, and Rachel says Dolores was created from Idolo’s remains. Noel asks why Rachel chose the name Dolores, and Rachel tells everyone about her assistant Dolores Hayes, who helped her develop Idolo and was also Radium’s lover. Because Dolores sacrificed her life to protect Rachel during the Deimos Incident, Rachel took her name to honor her. Elsewhere, Napth has a nightmare of Sir Yan looking over Radium Lavans’ body, stating that he must live for the future of Mars. He wakes up when Sir Yan enters the room and informs him about someone’s condition. At a mansion, Napth and Sir Yan stand over the real Napth Pleminger, who is on his death bed. He asks the false Napth if he sees the Earth engulfed in flames like he does, and the false Napth replies yes. He then continues to say that the future is beyond those flames and that they must not be extinguished. The false Napth reassures him that he will not waste the name and fortune he has been given, and Napth replies that he is counting on him. Back on the train, Noel wonders about the plan to attack the Orbital Elevator, but Leon tells her since Dolores is with them, it’s stalled for now. Unconsciously Rachel takes off her glasses at that, and James says that her habit of doing that when she’s in trouble hasn’t changed. That said, he realizes the plan hasn’t stalled. Rachel agrees and says that they will be using the Hathor in Dolores’ place. When James asks, Rachel explains that Hathor is another orbital frame created from Idolo’s wreckage, and that it’s design is based on Dolores’ but expanded on. Thus it is likely more powerful than Dolores. Leon asks if Hathor is complete, but Rachel says no, because Hathor doesn’t have the Raptor mass control system that Dolores possesses. Noel says that they should leave Mars now, but Leon reminds her that they are being pursued by both BAHRAM and the UNSF, so it won’t be easy. Noel suggests they go to Zalgas, but Leon wants nothing to do with those crooks. Noel then berates her brother and demands to know if there’s another way, but Leon can’t think of anything. Outside the train, Dolores still continues to cry at her predicament, but she stops when the Raptor, who is now called Mr. Raptor, comforts her. Just then, Noel contacts Dolores and tells her that they’re going back to Earth together after all, and Leon says that since they’re not being pursued from Nokuteisu, they’ll be able to sneak into Geryon’s Nest spaceport and get a shuttle without any problems. Relieved that she’ll be able to stay with the Links family, Dolores hugs Mr. Raptor in excitement. At Vascilia, specifically in Napth’s mansion, the false Napth holds a meeting with Rutger and the other BAHRAM officials about a coup de tat. One of them claims that the timing is too early since the failure at Antilia hasn’t cooled down yet, but another one claims that Earth and Mars are moving apart from each other’s solar orbit, and if that the attack doesn’t proceed now, the orbital elevator attack would never come to fruition. As the group debates amongst themselves, another officer berates them all for being cowardly, especially when the soldiers that have heard the rumors of the attack have already begun to advance. He says if they’re going to attack, tonight is the best time to do it. Finally, when Napth is asked for his opinion, he reminds everyone that with Rachel Links out from captivity, it won’t be long before the plan is revealed to their enemies. With that, Rutger concludes that the attack will begin at midnight.

 

Later, before Rutger drives away from the mansion in his sedan, he asks Napth one more time if he will be able to take Isis’ mass control system, and Napth replies he will. When Napth re-enters the mansion, Rebecca asks him what unit will be pursuing Isis, to which Napth replies he hasn’t sent any pursuit. When Rebecca asks why, Napth tells her the plan has been set in motion, and that now their family’s bond will truly be tested. He orders Rebecca to begin her preparations, but Rebecca asks what will happen to Dolores. Napth is confused at the name, so Rebecca clarifies that it’s the name Isis had been referring to itself by. At that explanation, Napth’s Metatron scar begins to glow in anger, and he tells Rebecca to go. Filled with rage, Napth begins breaking objects with his Metatron fist. Once he calmed down, Napth entered a room with a portrait of Dolores Hayes at the side, and he states that he will not forgive Dolores for taking her name. At night, the Links’ train enters a city. After Dolores unloads the truck from the train, she and the Raptor both enter the cargo bay, and the two are immediately cramped together. Seeing that they’re in, Noel drives the truck down the station. On Deimos Station, Baan is an uproar that the UNSF isn’t pursuing John Carter, but UNSF General Magetsu explains that they are currently focused on looking over the Antilia Raid and that they cannot focus entirely on one criminal. Magetsu tells Baan if he can’t understand then he will have him leave Mars. When Baan straightens up, the official then tells Baan to do something about his manner of speaking, as he finds it disgusting. Later in his room, Baan begins breaking random objects in his rage. Sameggi tries to calm him down by saying that they need a reason for the UNSF to track James Links, but Baan reminds him that James was responsible for the attack on Nokuteisu and if they don’t act fast enough he will only get away again. At Vascilia, the coup de tat begins as several trucks carrying BAHRAM soldiers drive up to the central control building and break in. Once the soldiers infiltrate the building, they begin uploading discs into computer terminals to bring the computer network under their control. They begin by blockading all entrances to the sphere and then take control of the weather control system. When the squad leader reports to Rutger that central control is theirs, snow begins to fall throughout the sphere. Elsewhere, Raptors begin attacking a UNSF base outside the sphere, destroying the Phantomas before their pilots can make it to them. In the sphere, Rutger leads a group of soldiers to Prime Minister’s mansion, where they capture the PM and begin broadcasting over the television network. As James and family make their way to the spaceport, they see the broadcast and James stops the truck so they can all watch. As Rutger takes his stand in front of the camera, he formally declares the liberation of Mars to the PM over the broadcast. The PM states that Earth would never accept Mars’ liberation, and Rutger explains it will be done through a demonstration of their power. The broadcast then changes to show the silhouette of an orbital frame in the night sky. As Dolores watches the image, she begins to resonate, and both Rachel and the PM immediately recognize the frame as Hathor. The screen then switches to the inside of Hathor, and where Napth proclaims he will have his name remembered along with the “power of magic.” Upon that declaration, Hathor begins raining homing lasers down upon the UNSF base it is floating over, obliterating the LEVs and many buildings. It is then that the PM recognizes the man who had been claiming to be Napth Pleminger as Radium Lavans, and he wonders why such a man is still alive. Rutger explains Radium has come back from hell for the liberation of Mars. The PM demands to know if Rutger is planning to repeat the Deimos Incident, but Rutger claims he has no intention of having it end like that, now that they are bring about Mars’ first step. In Hathor’s cockpit, Radium demands that if Isis is watching him, that she appear before him as she is using Dolores’ name. He then claims that he will break Isis with the power of magic. Back to the Links family, everyone realizes that the plan to attack the orbital elevator will go forward with Dolores, and Leon proclaims that they should get away now. However, James asks would be right if it’s just them escaping to a safe place while the rest of Earth and Mars burn. He says that, after involving so many people so that they could get to where they are now, they can’t run away now and they have to do the right thing for their sakes too. James knows that fighting Hathor will be dangerous, but it’s the best road that they can take if they were to live proudly, and he asks that everyone stay with him for a little longer, despite his selfishness. As James tells Dolores to lend him her power to take down the real enemy, Dolores wonders aloud about what Hathor is.

 

Commentary

 

And there you have it ladies and gentlemen: Napth Pleminger is none other than Radium Lavans returned from the grave! Who could have seen that coming? Well, there were several hints that those paying attention would pick up on. Aside from similar character designs, both characters have the same Japanese and English voice actors: Takehito Koyasu (who would ironically go on to voice Mu La Flaga/Neo Roanoke of the Gundam SEED universe in similar manner) and Ben Wolfe. As well, the way Napth refers to Metatron as “magic” is just like the conversation Radium had with human Dolores back in Idolo, where they concluded that Metatron’s function and mystery was just like magic tricks. Add on to the similar mannerisms between the two, and you can pretty much see that there was more between Napth and Radium than one would think initially. However, that doesn’t make the twist any less engaging. As it is, the transformation of Radium Lavans is one of my favorite methods of characterization: when the hero of one story is twisted into the villain of the next. Such a transformation is difficult to accomplish, with the character either changing very little from what he was before, as is the case of the aforementioned Neo Roanoke, or the character being perversely altered into something unrecognizable, such as Akito Tenkawa’s transformation into the Prince of Darkness in Martian Successor Nadesico. But this is not the case with Radium as in a twisted sort of way he is still the same Metatron-loving freedom fighter for Mars as he was in Idolo, but with Dolores’ death and the Earth’s continuous poor treatment of Mars still weighing on his psyche (mostly Dolores’ death), he’s gone from the idealistic if confused soldier into a true sociopath. Part of this could also be caused by Metatron overexposure, as it has already been shown that Metatron can dangerously alter one’s mind if overused. And along with Radium’s reemergence, we get to see the orbital frame Hathor in action, and while it doesn’t look like much (for now at least), it is quite powerful. Amusingly, the relationship between it and Dolores/Isis is just like that of Jehuty and Anubis from the video games, with both being siblings and the more villainous sibling supposedly being more powerful than the other. One can only guess at this point how a battle between Dolores and Hathor would turn out, but now that the series has taken a new turn with only six episodes left, we’ll definitely be seeing such a battle soon enough.

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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 20 ZOE Dolores, i Episode 20

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