We’re here. Fred Luo is queer. And aside from the Leyline, the Starwind crew ain’t going anywhere.
This episode is what it is: a prepwork episode before the big final showdown. Since the series has been on a roll, this episode does a good job with said prepwork. There are not really many surprises to be had, but it is good how after a huge existential funk of uncertainty for two of our heroes: Gene and Melfina, they’re quite ready to go after their end game. The descent into the Leyline is a fairly exciting affair, with the Outlaw Star facing off against Hazanko’s fleet as he also makes his moves toward the Leyline. I might have complained about Hazanko reappearing after like… seven episodes since his debut, but I don’t. He’s not really the target for Gene and the gang, just an obstacle on their way to the Leyline. The battles between his fighters and our heroes is as I said, exciting, but in the end there is not much tension to be had since we know everybody’s endgame is elsewhere.
There are pleasant surprises in this standard fare. One is of course, the surprise reappearance of the ship Aisha was on so far back in Episode 3. It’s a nice setup, because it comes out of left field, and almost has one wondering if the battle will be THAT epic. Then it surprises a bit more, not only because it shows the effects of the Leyline without somebody like Melfina, but also how they got there: Aisha. With such a development, one would think this is a volte-face for Aisha in how she betrayed the team and was a mole. No… she’s just a Ctarl-Ctarl patriot and girl, wanting to make sure her home planet and her family don’t get worried where she is and what she is doing. The revelation is handled with a cute touch, and then after her ship gets routed by the Leyline, it is discarded for more important matters. It is a good way to serve the purpose of elevating the mystery of the Leyline without having to sacrifice the main players.
Then there are the McDougals, with Gwen Kahn in tow. Without much muss or fuss, the show reveals a reconstructed Harry, thanks to Khan himself. Given the finale on the horizon, we can forgive the lack of any previous scenes of Ron coming across Khan then having a surgery sequence to revive Harry. Even so, there is something to be had from this, at least for me. I complained a while back how in the episode where they visit the Grave of the Dragon, not many revelations were shed on it. However, our dear Dr. Khan revealed how it is the very information from such a site which gave rise to not only Melfina’s creation, but the development of the Outlaw Star itself.
So now we’ve got some mystery side dishes, along with a pretty hefty main course involving Melfina being taken away by said sentient Leyline. One could argue about damselling and distressing or whatever, but shit we’re at the end, we need some overarching peril when the goal is already in sight. The McDougals vs the Anten Seven vs the Starwind Gang? It’s gonna be lit.
I’m so ready.
Future Notes Next Generation:
- Man, imagine watching this back in the initial broadcast on Toonami and wondering about Gene’s dialogue about the dangerous nature of certain Caster Shells. Then one realizes there was an episode skipped that involved those very ones.
- Also, Cartoon Network and the like are pretty lucky the Anten Seven guy who was in Planet Tenrei is still alive at this juncture. Imagine if he wasn’t and they still aired it like they did, and they’d be all… “Wait WTF? I thought there was seven!?”
- Not in the mood to do a picture set, so here’s your Aisha Face in tweet form.