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Well, the “Grand Plan” didn’t quite work.
But also, feels.
Ah, there you go, my impression was right: the Bael really was the Excalibur of Gjallarhorn. Turns out many have tried to awaken the MS that is literally the tomb of Agnika Kaieru (of his soul, at least…) and nobody managed before McGillis.
Obviously we don’t know if that’s because one has to be particularly strong-willed, or anything, or if it’s just that only someone with an Arashiki interface could, and in the meantime Gjallarhorn had outlawed the interface. Still, sometimes you extract the Sword from the Stone… and surprise, not everybody is willing to just bend their knee and pledge allegiance to you.
As predicted, many young officers did feel the “mythical” pull of dashing McGillis being “accepted” by Bael, but the old House chiefs are more politicians than soldiers. And Rustal was never supposed to capitulate.
…Orga was damn right punching McGillis in the face.
Squaring off with the Arianrhod fleet was always in the plan, but McGillis played his cards close to the chest. Because “a few casualties would be acceptable”. Because after all, he’s the idealistic chieftain, but he’s not friends, let alone family with his soldiers. Orga is.
The episode was sprinkled with nice little scenes: Merribit and the other civilian, Kassapa, telling the two kids to “keep thinking”, Eugene and Shino mulling over how they always egged Orga, pushing him towards certain decisions…
Thinking back about the episode… there’s an interesting parallel: McGillis and Almiria vs Mikatsuki and Atra.
McGillis… I can’t possibly understand at this point if he means what he says to Almiria. Giving it a very “adult” read, we could well think that McGillis never really detached himself from his feelings of powerlessness as a kid (after all, those were the same drives that put him on this “heroic gesture” of the Bael), that he’s really trying, in some way, to spare Almiria from another ruined childhood. That he wants her to be safe, even if she hates him in the end. Hard to tell: his big gesture saving her from suicide could well still be “cold calculating bastard McGillis”.
And Mikatsuki. Finally, through the tears Atra confesses her love… and Mika actually feels it, and feels something in return. As he says, he has always known only the battlefields, so he’s not sure how to handle what he feels, and what that is exactly, but for sure he wants Atra to be able to not cry anymore. I admit, I was a bit wet-eyed.
I’m sure there was more, but it’s late :) Looking forward to the next few episodes.