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Act 13: R - D

 

Review by Brian Shea

February 1, 2013

 

Summary

 

A shooting occurs at the Nightingale night club. A hooded woman in red picks up a stick of lipstick then flees into the night. One of the bouncers and some of the dancers at the club shriek in terror when they find the woman's body, and the phrase "Cast in the name of God, Ye Not Guilty" written on the mirror in lipstick. At the Speak Easy bar, Big Ear tells Roger that the victim, a woman named Ellen Weight, was going around telling people she had memories from over 40 years ago, despite being only 20 years old. The killer flees the scene of another murder, a taxi driver, having written the same phrase in lipstick on the window. At his office, Dastun complains to Roger about the nonstop rain. Roger asks Dastun why he has called him here. Dastun provides him a pile of photos to look at, which includes the victims. Roger says he knows Ellen. He says she phoned him about negotiating but was killed by the assassin before they were able to meet. Dorothy cleans at Roger's mansion and spots a cigarette on the ground. Dastun says that the victims were completely unrelated in location and occupation. Dastun provides photos of the phrase left by the assassin, which matches the phrase that appears in Big O. Roger goes to see Norman, who is working on Big O. Roger says he can't find Dorothy. Norman apologizes for not starting dinner yet, but Roger says to continue what he's doing. Roger asks Norman about his memories and if he's wondered how he is able to perform maintenance on Big O. Norman returns the question to Roger, since he is able to pilot the Big O. Roger pauses and say he doesn't question it and Norman says the same. Roger dreams of walking down a tunnel, hearing a mysterious voice. He spots the red hooded assassin and fire engulfs the tunnel. Roger has a vision of a pile of burning books including one titled the History of the World and numerous MegaDeuses fly through the sky and walk through the city. The MegaDeuses share the appearance of Big O and Big Duo, as well as a third type of MegaDeus. Roger also has a vision of a group of bald children with a bar code reflecting off their eyes. Roger wakes up from his dream and looks outside, seeing the red hooded figure jump off the balcony. Dastun visits another crime scene with the same message written in lipstick. He asks where Roger Smith was, and is told that he was reportedly on the premises at the time. Dastun says they have to find a witness and that the pride of the Military Police is on the line. Roger heads to the Speak Easy to meet with Big Ear. Big Ear says that all the victims claimed they were not born in Paradigm. Roger visits the apartment of Ellen Weight and sees a building which he recognizes. He has a vision again of the bald children, standing before an adult in a doctor's robe. Roger drives to the building he saw in the photo, which is now abandoned. Roger says that he has been here before. A red hooded figure stands behind him unnoticed. Roger walks down the hallway and heads through a room with many empty bookshelves. He has a vision of the library aflame. Angel, who is revealed as the as the person in the red cape behind him asks if someone hired him to be here. Roger says she died before they could finalize a contract and he is trying to figure out why she hired him. Angel says not to dig too deeply and that it's for his own good. Roger asks if it is from her directly or her employer. Angel says the representatives of the city are concerned he is not using the MegaDeus effectively. She mentions Schwarzwald using his MegaDeus for the purpose of destroying Paradigm. Angel asks Roger what his purpose is in piloting the MegaDeus. Roger demands she gets to the point and she says she simply felt like asking. She puts her hood back on and leaves, causing Roger to fearfully remember his dream. Roger dreams of being in the tunnel again and hears the strange voice once more. Roger demands to know who the voice is. The red hooded assassin jumps out of a nearby abandoned train car. Roger awakes from his dream and spots a single book, 'Metropolis' on the bookshelf. A piece of paper falls out, listing the four victims with bar codes next to each one, and a fifth name, "R.D."

 

Norman works on Big O when Roger arrives, saying he hasn't seen Dorothy around. Roger tells Norman that he'll be gone for a while and that he doesn't have to prepare his supper. Roger heads outside of the domes to Islesberry, to meet the author of the book, Gordon Rosewater. Angel reports this to Alex Rosewater, who says it doesn't matter; the awakening is already well underway. Paradigm technicians work on repairing Big Duo. Roger arrives at a farm in Islesberry and finds Gordon Rosewater, an old man sitting on the porch of the farm. Roger says he believes this isn't their first encounter. Gordon tells his farmhands to pick some fresh tomatoes for Roger. Roger tells Gordon about how Gordon implanted memories of the past into several children 15 years ago, and four of them who started remembering were assassinated as a result. Roger asks why this was necessary. Gordon says the tomatoes were reproduced synthetically with the memories of the taste of tomatoes and that eventually they will become the real thing. Gordon asks Roger if he read the book, and reveals that everything in it, including the world destroyed by a cataclysm, and giant robots running amok is a lie. Roger replies that the book is not finished and half its pages are blank. Gordon says they have to harvest when the time is right. Gordon says that he should be able to find the answer for himself. Roger leaves and arrives at a building with some abandoned train cars. He stares at the final name on the paper, "R.D" and spots the red hooded figure in the distance, causing him to realize what the "r" means. Roger heads inside, bringing himself down a long dark tunnel like that he saw in his dreams. Roger thinks of his visions of the MegaDeus and the children. He wonders if the memories from 40 years ago are sleeping here. He finds a coffin-like device and realizes this is where R.D, the red hooded figure woke up. R.D. appears behind Roger and pulls out a gun. Roger says that androids aren't capable of killing humans. R.D. claims that she is following her orders, ones that have been with her since she came into being. Roger asks what the "d" stands for and she reveals it means destiny. R.D. asks Roger who commands him. He says no one and she asks why he pilots it. R.D. calls the MegaDeuses the sacred chariots of mankind and that their pilots are meant to take orders. If he refuses, he shall perish. R.D. aims her gun at Roger but he throws his flashlight at her, causing her to only hit him in the arm. Roger flees down the tunnel, holding his wounded arm. He tries to call Big O but there is no response. R.D. calls Roger's name as she walks down the tunnel. Roger spots a nearby exit and takes off his jacket in an attempt to distract her. R.D. shoots at Roger, striking an electrical system near the door. The light from the electrical current reveals R.D.'s face, that of Dorothy's. R.D. is about to kill him when Big O's fist bursts from the ground, saving him. The cockpit to Big O opens, revealing Dorothy inside. Dorothy claims that Big O moved on its own. Roger asks Dorothy why he hasn't seen her around lately and Dorothy says it is because he has been so busy. Norman contacts Roger via his watch and apologizes for Big O. Roger realizes Big O operated on its own. Norman informs Roger that the Military Police have mobilized their platoon, as three MegaDeuses rise from the sea. At the shore, the military police watch as the three MegaDeuses approach. Angel claims it is too soon and that if the power is released everything will be ruined. Roger arrives in Big O. Dorothy joins Roger in holding on to Big O's controls. Roger shouts "It's showtime!"

 

Commentary

 

A very strong episode, the best of the series after Winter Night Phantom. The first season of The Big O ends in quite the unconventional way. Rather than continue on from the previous episode's storyline, the story goes in a new direction. It is filled with interesting revelations, in particular some implications regarding Roger, implying that he was one of children who had implanted memories. The episode features some of the scarier scenes in the series during Roger's dreams as well as the mysterious assassin R.D.. After Big Duo operating on its own in the previous episode, Big O does the same here. This is the only episode in the first season to feature no battle with Big O, something you'd never expect for what was at the time the final episode of the series. The episode ends on quite the cliffhanger with the arrival of the new MegaDeuses, and viewers such as myself had to wait a few years to see what happened next.

 

Overall Rating

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5 out of 5 stars
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The Big O Episode 13 The Big O Episode 13

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Buy the collection (eps 1-26) on Blu-ray from Amazon

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