Mobile Suit Gundam: Iron-Blooded Orphans
by Lauren Orsini,
How would you rate episode 47 of
Mobile Suit Gundam: Iron-Blooded Orphans (TV 2) ?
It doesn't take a detective to quickly ascertain who the “Scapegoat” of the episode title is this week. Things are looking bad for McGillis, but since he has the devil's luck, it's Tekkadan who bears the brunt of it. So much for winning as fast as possible and becoming King of Mars. This episode was like watching the noose tighten around Tekkadan in slow motion. Mobile Suit Gundam: Iron-Blooded Orphans is always tense, but this episode's zoomed-in focus on character's eyes as they reacted to these dire straits made it impossible to look away.
Orga has decided that McGillis, stripped of his title and connections, is in no position to order Tekkadan around anymore. Allying with McGillis originally fit in well with Orga's fast-paced plan to zoom straight ahead and give his men easy lives on Mars as quickly as possible, but now they're looking defeat dead in the eye. McGillis is smooth as always, complimenting Orga on his intellect even as he insults McGillis, saying “I'm starting to wonder who our real enemy is.” Tekkadan is nothing but loyal, but with no resources, no money, no connections, and now a highly publicized warrant out for their arrest, Orga is actually considering cutting ties with McGillis. Stuck between two tough situations, Orga gathers everyone together and invites them to leave Tekkadan if they want, no questions asked. The crew's emotions are polarized, as people like Hush are determined to devoutly follow Orga, but Zack offers a spirited speech about why everyone should leave. “It's like you're saying I'm the bad guy for quitting,” Zack says to a fellow recruit, but it's clear he's speaking from the heart. Today's animation is focused so closely on people's faces as they're speaking, Zack's included, that I can't dislike him. His opinion is different, but just like the rest of Tekkadan, he's trying to survive.
A happier emotional interlude occurred with Kudelia's reunion with Mikazuki and Atra. It looks like the subtle clue from last week really meant what I thought it did—Atra and Mikazuki have consummated their relationship, and Atra might even be pregnant with Mika's baby. Kudelia is hurt at first, because she feels like Mikazuki has chosen Atra over her, but Atra drives headfirst toward a harem ending instead. “Let's have Mikazuki's babies together!” she exclaims. Mikazuki is also on board. Each of the participants in this trio have enough love for two more. It was a sweet, picturesque moment to watch them hugging and clasping hands under the watchful steel eye of Barbatos Lupus Rex, indicating how even their overflowing love might not be enough to make up for the fragility of their lives. Seriously, it's impressive to see how many death flags Mikazuki triggers while continuing to survive. I truly hope that his plea for Kudelia to raise the baby doesn't mean Mikazuki and Atra will both die, leaving her alone.
While Mikazuki has two lovers to help ease his troubles, Orga holds the weight of all Tekkadan's lives on his shoulders alone. He abandons his pride on the phone with Rustal, demanding that if Rustal needs a scapegoat, he can make an example out of only him. Thankfully, Eugene and Akihiro overhear him, because it doesn't feel like he would have told them otherwise. Together, these three and the Tekkadan core come up with a well-reasoned plan to fall off the radar, but I didn't believe for a second that it would work—this is Gundam, where the only way to solve problems is with Gundam battles. Ready or not, the final showdown has arrived on their doorstep. After an episode filled with faces of anguish, anxiety, and surprise, McGillis's calm demeanor as he stares down the Gjallarhorn army is even more intriguing.
Mobile Suit Gundam: Iron-Blooded Orphans is available streaming at Daisuki.net.
Lauren writes about geek careers at Otaku Journalist
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