Gargantia ep12: so our old nemesis has returned, welcome back HAL
So that was simpler than I was expecting. I’m kind of sad that we’re missing the human element here in a show that focuses so much on what it is to be human.
Well, I think the main theme of this episode was tough choices being made easy. We start off with Pinion being given the job of inspecting the salvaged goods that Stryker’s fleet has accumulated over time. The big boobed pirate queen remarks on how easily bought and impressed he is, and clues him in on her plans to revolt. Pinion thinks she’s crazy given the fire power of this fleet and the fact that she wants Chamber… or Stryker. I can’t really tell.
On the other side of the fleet, Ledo is meeting with Commander Kugel and asking him not to attack Gargantia. These pleas fall on deaf ears (I just made a pun, you’ll understand why later). And you can see the frustration on Ledo’s face. Have to say, if he was really that worried about Amy maybe he-
Nevermind. Moving on.
All the internal conflict and hesitation in this show is washed away though when rain begins to fall. It is then that we see a very, very disturbing custom that was mostly hinted at earlier in the series. We see a group of what appears to be old and sickly people carted out, covered up, and dumped into the ocean! It’s pretty much the same practice that we saw with Ledo’s “brother” in his flashbacks. Pretty appalling when we see it practiced here. And with the Gargantia squarely in Kugel’s sites, he just knows that Bevel will meet the same fate.
Everyone is in full view of this event, and while the people already brainwashed on the ship are fine with it, Pinion, Flange and his crew are pretty damn shocked. It looks like its time for Pinion to take big boobed pirate queen up on her offer.
After having a talk with Chamber, Ledo makes up his mind. He grabs Melty and gives her mission of flying to the Gargantia and warning them of the impending attack. Then Pinion hooks up with him for some arms, because well, Pinion’s honestly not an idiot. He’s just a fool. And he knows what’s about to go down if a stand isn’t made here. The only thing I wonder is what they would’ve done if Ledo hadn’t had a change of heart? I suppose that by itself would’ve been enough for a game over.
Melty makes it to Gargantia with Amy’s help and gives them information Ledo provided, this includes the opposing fleet’s layout and his plans to make a stand against Stryker. Now the leadership of Gargantia have to make an important decision, fight or flight? And Amy is all for providing her love interest with all the support he needs. My real question is what is that key that used for that the Gargantia leadership finds so critically important that they’re hesitant to use it?
Back at Kugel’s fleet, the preparations for the assault are beginning, with Kugel and Stryker coming out themselves to speak to the fleet. This is when Ledo makes his move and confronts Kugel one final time. Negotiations break down and we finally get.
SUPER AWESOME SPECTACULAR “IMA FIRING MY LAZOR” MECHA BATTLE! AAAAAH!
This is also the cue for Pinion, the big boobed pirate queen and Flange’s crew to make their moves. The battle is on in earnest now. But the fleet keeps moving, so it’s only a matter of time before the Gargantia enters the equation, too.
The episode culminates in Kugel and Ledo’s battle, as Ledo is able to grab his opponent, and slam them into one of the smoke stacks (or whatever they are) on one of the ships. With Stryker pinned down, Ledo takes the opportunity to force open the hatch and confront his comrade. Only problem is there’s no one in the cockpit. Sure Kugel’s suit is there, but he’s not. Just as Joe Animated stated last week in his post. It’s been Stryker all along. Kugel apparently has been long dead.
End of episode.
Well, I’m glad all the playing around and formalities are out of the way, and we’re getting into the very heart of this series. It appears sci-fi’s old standby nemesis has returned, the rogue A.I. I’m a little disappointed that Kugel isn’t a part of the equation anymore. I would have liked to see a genuine heart to heart between these two members of the Alliance, though I do think that in some way Stryker is representing him. And i guess I should’ve known better given the context clues. What I’m really left wondering is what exactly set Stryker off, was it some dying command protocol left by Kugel? Are the A.I.’s for Machine Calibers supposed to act on their own given certain circumstances? I doubt that, but it’s not out of the question. Or did the decent to Earth knock something important lose in its programming? We may or may not ever know, but with a Machine Caliber with enough firepower to vaporize anything left that counts as resistance on Earth, Ledo may be the only thing preventing what’s left of humanity on this planet from falling into Alliance-inspired slavery under machine rule.
When it came to supporting characters, I’m proud of Pinion for being awesome and using both his head and good heart on this one. The expedition may have been a great thing after all. If they had not run into
Kugel’s Stryker’s fleet first, then perhaps Gargantia would have been struck instead. As far as I’m concerned, Gargantia was already involved in this fight the moment Pinion, Flange and his crew started revolting. I am worried about big boobed pirate queen though. She’s by no means a good character, and her desire to have the power of the Machine Calibers may lead her into Stryker somehow. Then again, maybe like a One Piece pirate, all she really wants is freedom to do as she pleases. Whenever she shows up, she lights up the screen and gives the show something dynamic and fun. On top of that, being a huge Haman Karn fan (I’m not directly comparing the two, so don’t crucify me) I’m happy to see a strong woman (not girl) take control, leadership and be an excellent pilot. More characters with her charisma and competence need to be in shows.
With next week closing out the series, I’ll be very interested to see how things pan out. Despite everyone’s expectations and reservations about the writer, I feel confident in an upbeat ending. Though I’m still prepared to see some sacrifice. The last episode of a series is always hugely important. Things like the relationship between Ledo and Amy, Pinion’s mindset, Chamber and Ledo’s fate and relationship, Ridget’s ability to see her fleet through this greatest of crises; they all will play a huge part in how I view this series in its conclusion. For a show so focused on humanity, what it means to be human and the conflicts between us; something has to be said, something substantial has to be done.
Until the next episode.