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Oh, the feels… What a good episode.
Julieta vs Mika’s protracted duel was a turning point for her: she decided acting as a shield for Rustal would be a honorable death, if she can’t be his Sword… but at the same time it put her in front of death, and the “inhuman” power of Barbatos and Mika fused with it.
I still think she’s a tragic figure because her loyalty is woefully misplaced, but well… I loved Eugene in this episode: he’s the Deputy Chief Tekkadan needs: willing to talk back to Orga when needed, and to spur him back into his role of leader.
Mecha detail: the Kimaris Vidar’s lance really is a giant drill, as expected. Gaelio really is a fearsome opponent with the help of Ein: I wonder if McGillis can’t extract the Bael’s true power because he’s not letting the fusion go far enough. After all, it’s similar to Mika with the Barbatos: to extract the full power of a Gundam, the pilot needs to remove all stops.
Eh, poor Isurugi, we hardly knew you… but in his dying moments, we learn he’s another of the Martians, an outcast that would have never risen so high in the normal ranks of Gjallarhorn. I wonder if in the end McGillis will prove Gaelio wrong about only using Isurugi (and Tekkadan).
The scene with Dante, Chad and Akihiro visiting Derma made me tear up. Akihiro is just such a good guy. He says the right thing at the right moment. “Thank you. Thank you for surviving, Derma Altland". He adopted the Debris kids as his own little brothers. Family inside the Family.
And this show has made is so, so clear that the bond of family and brotherhood, even when not by blood, can be the strongest between people. I don’t think Derma, who we always saw acting pretty grim, ever realized fully he now had a family.
And as mentioned above, Julieta has seen death up close… but chose to remain human. She won’t become another Ein. I wonder if she’ll get another upgrade to the Julia before the end.
And here is the heart of the episode. Orga and Eugene talking about all the casualties of Tekkadan, Yamagi yelling at Orga, and Eugene thanking him for speaking up…. and then there’s the flashback.
Shino knew about Yamagi’s feelings. And while maybe he wasn’t sure he could or would love him back the same way, it did spur him to act as the Family’s protector even more, because it had such wonderful people that could even love him. Damn you Shino making me cry from the dead.
Some other notes about the scene… Eugene answering basically “Of course he likes you, you dumbass”. Everybody knew, more or less.. but teens, especially boys, would have never gone and told Shino, because it was a private thing between him and Yamagi. A lovely bit of writing. Oh and Shino’s list of “odd people” in the family… the “mad dog that you can never understand what he’s thinking” is Mika, right?
And again, Orga goes to Mika (who stays in the hangar to be able to move, tethered to Barbatos) to reflect, because he’s still shaken by Yamagi’s words… and Mika tells him what he’s not seeing. He took all the burden on his shoulder, but the rest of the crew is as responsible as he is: they spurred him on. They brought themselves there. Together. Thinking it’s all Orga’s doing would be prideful, and disrespectful of the rest of the kids in Tekkadan (aside: nice stab there, editor, with Biscuit’s cap…).
I’m loving this show.