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Family, and families…
McGillis is getting a faceful of Realpolitik in the first scene: sure, you’re the one that extracted excalibur from the stone… but we’re not in Camelot, and by the way, your political opponent has just used your past as a molested child sex slave as leverage AGAINST you. You’re welcome.
At least they let his fleet land on Mars… not out of goodness of heart, either: the chief of the garrison on Ares was in debt… and took a gamble to repay it; in the unlikely case McGillis would come out as a winner, he would not be on the wrong side. I liked the little talk between Orga and McGillis: dude, you’re not in the position to be in charge anymore. “It looks like the right thing doesn’t matter any longer with McGillis”
How the roles have reversed: now it’s the “kids” that recognize the idealistic foolishness of the former aloof General.
The political maneuvering and control of the media by Gjallarhorn continues to be handled perfectly: just like at the very start of the show, Gjallarhorn has positioned everything so that they’ll have the “moral high ground” and they’ll be on the side of “order” in the public’s eye. They are descending to Mars to apprehend a traitor and to wipe out a bunch of criminals. Sure. Criminals that are locked in their base and whose funds have been cut and frozen. Trapped.
The speech by Orga, and the reaction by the small group led by Zack (elvis-hair-guy) was another powerful moment: only those who really want to stick there to the bitter end should, and by their own will. No hard feelings towards those who leave… but right away we see the other side of the coin: for many, Tekkadan is the first and only place that welcomed them, that treated them as peers, gave them a home. Many don’t have the privilege of going away: where to?
Cute little moment between Old Man and Merribit:
- “You’re still a kid”
- “Well it seems you like ’em young then!”
- “Oh come on!”
The whole scene between Mika, Kudelia and Atra in the hangar was cute and charming… turns out, in the background during the long trip from Earth to Mars, well, things happened. Well played writers.
And Mika (who is READING about agriculture) with his matter-of-fact logic asks Kudelia (who’s good at growing things) to be the foster parent for his and Atra’s child.
The whole scene, with Kudelia all flustered, Mika unusually talkative and reflective (“it feels good to make a promise; I’m here because I made a promise with Orga”), the hug… and the double-hug, and the laugh and smiles… :) You crazy kids and your happy triad.
Rustal’s phone call with Orga lays it out bare to him: they need a scapegoat, and it doesn’t matter who’s allied with whom. The politics needs are that they’re wiped. No hard feelings, man! And again, Eugene and Akihiro arrive to bring Orga’s Leader/Martyr complex down to earth: don’t you dare acting like your life alone is worth all of ours! Let’s discuss this like the family you made us into.
The plan to go to Makanai on Earth sounds horribly far-fetched tough… and the sudden discovery they have the money to make it signals the moment this glimpse of hope is about to hit a ton of hard reality: they’re under siege, with no connection to outside.