image
image
image
imageimage
image

image

 

 

Episode 26: Farewell to Arms

 

Review by Dustin Corallo

February 25, 2009

 

Summary

 

Shards from the Orbital Elevator continue to rain down on Earth, causing massive tidal waves to erupt over nearby land. Meanwhile in space, Raptors attack the third adjuster foil and destroy it. This causes the Elevator to be incapable of re-balancing itself, as the fourth and final adjuster foil is still an hour away from reaching the balance point. In Central Station, Leon demands to know if James had defeated Hathor yet, but Rachel tells him that there hasn’t been any transmissions. At Anchor Station, Dolores and Hathor continue to face off against each other. Hathor zero shifts in front of Dolores and matches blades with her, managing to throw Dolores back. Dolores counters by firing energy shots, once again Hathor zero shifts to evade them and punches Dolores into a wall. In the church, James is also slammed against the back of the church, and slumps over. He looks up to see Radium gloating over him, with the false Dolores standing beside him. Radium claims that the new world has no use for old people like James, and that he and Dolores are enough. The couple then turn to exit the church, but James tells Radium to wait. James tells Radium that he understands how he cares for Dolores, but he also has people he cares for. He struggles to get up, but manages to do so nonetheless, while Dolores does the same in the real world. Dolores then makes a flying tackle into Hathor and follows it with a kick that sends Hathor flying back. She then stabs Hathor in the right arm, which causes Radium to feel pain through his Metatron arm, before tackling Hathor once again, while in the church, James slams Radium against a glass window. This causes a surge of energy to channel from Hathor to Dolores, and James sees an image of the false Dolores appear before him. The false Dolores claims if it wasn’t for James she and Radium would be together, and Dolores realizes that she isn’t the true past “her.” Radium doesn’t believe her however, and claims that Dolores is right beside him. However, Dolores claims that Dolores Hayes isn’t anywhere; only pieces of her memory rest within her and Hathor. Radium tells her to shut up, screaming that Dolores will help create a new world with him, to which Dolores claims all that’s there is a false Dolores that Radium created. She says she can hear the real one crying from being crushed by Radium’s hate. When Radium demands to know what she’s talking about, he and James turn back to the entrance of the church to see a new figure appear: Dolores Hayes herself. Radium is taken back when she calls out his name, and he looks down to see a toddler version of Dolores at James feet. The “true” Dolores tries to tell him something about that child, but the false Dolores also calls out to him, telling him he can take away his pain over losing her. James tells him not to listen, that a person can even climb up from the very bottom. However, Radium tells him he can’t turn back, and with that Hathor kicks OF Dolores away and zero shifts once more. James tells Dolores to watch out, but before she can do anything Hathor appears before her and kicks her against a nearby cable. Meanwhile, things only get worse on the outside. The elevator continues to submerge into the ocean and the Raptors are attacking the final foil in space. Rachel tries to contact James, but gets no response. Back in Anchor Station, Dolores is struggling to get back up again, and James thinks he’ll lose his pride as a husband if things keep up and wonders how he can stop Hathor. Hathor zero shifts once more, with Dolores barely dodging when it reappears. Nonetheless, Hathor manages to cut a deep slash into Dolores and kick her away. Seeing no other choice, James tells Dolores to aim her vector trap at herself and then activate it; this would allow her to zero shift as well. However, Dolores is afraid something would happen to James if she tries it, but James tells her at something will happen to him anyway. James then tells her that there’s no way Hathor can do it and Dolores can’t, but Dolores still hesitates. Beside them, Radium looks up at the church steeple for a moment, but then turns and lets out a battle cry before he charges at James. Despite that, James and Dolores continue to argue, until James gives the ultimatum: she’ll do it if she’s his daughter. Having no choice, Dolores zero shifts away just as Hathor appears once again to attack her. With Hathor presenting an opening, Dolores reappears and impales Hathor through the middle, destroying the AI module on its chest as well. In the church, James finishes Radium by delivering a massive punch to his gut. At the same time, the false Dolores cries out as she vanishes, and the true Dolores Hayes rushes over to Radium’s side. Suddenly, a hole breaks open under the two and both Radium and Dolores Hayes fall into darkness, while in the real world, the remains of Hathor falls from Anchor Station through a created from the fighting, entangling itself around a cable. Hathor’s defeat causes all the Raptors to cease functioning and the battle seemingly ends before the final adjuster foil could be destroyed. James smiles at his victory, but Rachel contacts him through the radio and tells him he was too late: the final adjuster foil’s mass decreased too much and it will be another hour before it reaches another balance point, and the Elevator won’t remain standing for that long. As James hears this and despairs, Dolores looks out from the hole Hathor created and sees the Moon.

 

Out in space, Rebecca and Axel abandon Selkis and proceed toward Earth onboard Axel’s AlterNeith. Back in Anchor Station, Dolores begins to cry as she takes James out of her cockpit and places him down on the floor. James asks her why she’s crying, and Dolores tells him she’s happy that he had called her by her name. James wonders about that and then realizes he had never called her by her name before, which makes him jokingly think he’s a bad father. Amidst the pain he feels from his wounds, he thinks that in the end he still couldn’t make his family happy, but he tells Dolores that she did her best anyway. Responding to that, Dolores extends one of her wires toward him, when James feels liquid hit his helmet. He looks up to see that Dolores is leaking Metatron from underneath her visor, much like how a human cries tears. Dolores proclaims that James is the uncle of her destiny, before taking off through the hole, ignoring James as he calls out her name. After this, James goes to the underside of Anchor Station to see what Dolores is planning and looks on in astonishment. Dolores, having tied one of the Anchor Station cables around herself, is attempting to re-balance the Elevator by pulling it toward the Moon herself. Down at Central Station, Sameggi orders the Elevator to be evacuated in all areas, including Central Station, but just as he turns to tell Rachel to leave as well, he notices that they’re fixated on Dolores’ action on the monitor. Rachel realizes that Dolores is trying to compress the space between Anchor Station and the Moon through the use of her vector trap, thus using the Moon’s gravity to reorient the station. However, Leon doubts she can do it with her own power alone, and Rachel states if she keeps it up she will deplete her Metatron. Leon attempts to call Dolores and tell her to stop, but Dolores continues her plan, while struggling with her losing power. Unfortunately, the power loss causes her vector trap to diminish. Meanwhile, in Hathor’s cockpit, Radium hears Dolores Hayes, telling him that the child is calling to him. His mind flashes to an image back to when Radium was the test runner for Idolo, where he’s walking down a corridor to find a balloon against the ceiling. He also sees a crying child underneath it, so he picks her up so that she can reach the balloon herself. Nearby, Viola and Dolores smile at Radium’s kindness. Back in the current time, Radium realizes what he must do now, and so untangles Hathor from the cable and has it fly toward Dolores. Hathor then embraces Dolores and transfers its own Metatron energy to Dolores to give her a boost of power. It’s still not enough however, so Radium reactivates the remaining Raptors so that they may also provide their energy. The resulting power flow causes Dolores’ vector trap to expand greatly, and in the process she gains a pair of Metatron wings, making her appear as an angel. But the power only lasts for so long, as the Raptors discolor from their drained power, and once more the vector trap diminishes. Continuing nonetheless, Dolores begins singing Rachel’s lullaby once more so that she may keep going, and James and the occupants of Central Station hear it. People on both Earth and Mars watch as Dolores struggles to keep the Elevator balanced, namely the people that James and co. visited over the course of their journey. On Earth, Axel lands his power drained AlterNeith on a nearby beach, and he and Rebecca start their long walk toward civilization, but pause for a moment to look up at the sky and see Dolores’ wings encompass the Moon. In Hathor’s cockpit, even Radium’s Metatron body parts drain of energy, and he allows himself to die smiling. With the last of energy fading, Dolores’ wings disappear from her, and her body begins to grow discolored. James cries for her to return, telling her he won’t forgive her if she dies. Dolores contacts him and tells him it’s been fun, and that they will be together forever. James cries out more for her to return, which causes Dolores to remember their adventure together, as well as all the people they met along the way. With that, the last of her energy is spent, but not before the adjuster could reach its balance point, keeping the Elevator from falling. The staff in Central Station celebrate, but the Links family and Cindy can only look on in shock, while James falls to the floor in tears. Sometime later, Rachel enters the Ender’s cockpit to find that Noel has sent her a message. Noel greets her and asks where James is, to which Rachel tells her he got held up with the laundry. Noel then tells her that Leon got fired again because he punched his boss, who had been sexually harassing him. James then enters the cockpit and greets his daughter, and Noel wonders when he and Rachel will be back around Earth. James says about a year, since Rachel is pregnant. Their conversation is interrupted from the Elevator control telling James to prepare his ship for departure. Noel tells them to have a safe trip and that she will contact them again before signing off. As James takes his seat, he sees he’s also received a text message from Rebecca, telling him that her life isn’t as bad as she thought it would be. Just then, Dolores, whose head and AI have been modified onto the Ender itself, whines about James hanging up the laundry on her computer terminal again. James tells her it was the easiest place for him to hang, and Dolores wonders if he can treat her better, especially since she’s in the Guinness Book of World Records for Most Advanced AI. This causes an argument between them, which Dolores exclaims she only returned because James cried and begged her to, but she never expected to become “fat” over it by transferring over to the Ender’s computer terminal. James whines that Dolores has gotten fussier than before, which Rachel just snickers at. And with that, James has the Ender launch from the Elevator and takes it into open space, toward their next destination.

 

Commentary

 

And with that, Zone of the Enders: Dolores, i comes to an intense and emotional conclusion. First is the continued final battle between Dolores and Hathor, which grows even more intense by each passing moment. Compared to their first encounter back on Mars, James and Dolores manage to hold their own quite well this time around, but even they’re unable to fight against an orbital frame that can zero shift Anubis style. Fortunately, Dolores and Hathor are twins, so if one can do it, then the other one certainly can do it too. Good thing James came to that conclusion when he did, because I doubt he would have lasted in a pitched battle with Radium. Unfortunately, even though James manages to defeat Radium, he’s too late in stopping the Elevator from falling, and so Dolores is forced to sacrifice herself to keep the Earth from being destroyed. The scene with her pulling the Elevator toward the Moon was really an emotional one, especially with Dolores singing her lullaby one last time; even I had trouble watching that one all the way through. But on the brighter side, Radium actually manages to redeem himself in the end after seeing the real Dolores one last time, which makes his death a tragic one in spite of all the things he did and tried to do. But despite the sadness and tragedy that surround the majority of the episode, the series manages to end on a bright note with James finally managing what he set out to do at the beginning: get his family back together. I like how the ending scene is a total contrast to the first episode, as now James has Rachel beside him again, with another child on the way, and is also on good terms with Noel and Leon. And despite how much of a bitch she was throughout the series, even Rebecca managed to get a good ending too, presumably alongside Axel. Really, I loved this conclusion; it was thrilling and entertaining all the way to the end, but in contrast to certain franchises it actually ended in an almost entirely positive way, with all the main characters managing to get back to their lives and continue on. I only had two problems with this episode: Dolores not reverting to her Isis form during the battle with Hathor, as I really liked that design, and her being built into the Ender instead of dying. Much like Leina Ashta from Gundam ZZ, her survival seriously ruined the tragedy and emotion that surrounded her “death,” which was a great one. That and I just don’t like the idea of a high end orbital frame being downgraded into a cargo ship. So how did the series do overall? I think it accomplished what it started at the beginning and was entertaining from all the way to the end. While the family theme could be smothering at times, it really added a great element to what could have been otherwise “just another mecha series.” As well, while the battles were not as intense as the ones in the Zone of the Enders video games, they were still spectacular all the same, even when compared to other franchises. Sure, things could have been better at certain points, but then it’s like that with any form of media. Personally, the only issue I have with this series overall is that it never delved into the mystery behind Metatron like the video games did, instead concentrating more on the family and comedic elements. This is disappointing, because even to this day, there are many unanswered questions as to what Metatron is beyond being a supernatural “magical” mineral deposit. Oh well. While there hasn’t been much if any development in the ZOE franchise since the 2nd Runner video game, I’d like to think that if we ever get another anime series, it would follow the standard that this one started. Who knows what else we will be treated to in the future…

image

Overall Rating

Full StarFull StarFull StarHalf StarNo Star

4.5 out of 5 stars
Spacer

image

ZOE Dolores, i Episode 26 ZOE Dolores, i Episode 26

image

image

image

image

image

image

image
image
image
imageimage