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Act 17: Leviathan

 

Review by Brian Shea

March 21, 2013

 

Summary

 

Schwarzwald wanders through a desert-like area outside Paradigm City. He says that mankind would still fear the dark, even had events not occurred 40 years ago. Pamphlets scatter around Paradigm, with a strange biblical image on one side and writing on the other. Schwarzwald has a flashback about discovering Big Duo and says his purpose is knowledge and the dissemination of it to the entire world. He calls for Paradigm to wake up and not be afraid of knowledge. Additional flashbacks show the battle between Big O and Big Duo. Angel reads over the pamphlets, knowing that it is from Schwarzwald Schwarzwald has collapsed in the desert, but crawls a little further where he finds wreckage of an amusement park. Some unseen, leviathan-like entity travels through the sand and approaches Schwarzwald Roger heads to Paradigm HQ, where he meets with a group of Paradigm officials looking for Schwarzwald. Roger claims he's not a bounty hunter and that Schwarzwald has the freedom of speech. The officials think he's recklessly stirring up fear among the public. The officials say that Roger's previous contract with Alex Rosewater regarding Michael Seebach/Schwarzwald remains unfulfilled. Roger departs along with Dastun, who is surprised Schwarzwald is still alive. Roger says the Military Police are vital, especially for those outside the domes. Dastun says that is only until the Black MegaDeus arrives. Roger wonders if Schwarzwald is simply trying to spread terror again or if he is going to try something else relating to the MegaDeuses. Roger heads to the remains of Seebach's apartment, where he had met Schwarzwald for the first time. All he finds in the wreckage is a typewriter. Roger hears an animal-like cry from the desert beyond Paradigm. In the desert, Schwarzwald questions why only one man in the city had the desire to pursue the truth as the wind covers up his footprints. At the Amadeus bar, Dorothy takes a piano playing lesson from Instro. Instro tells Dorothy he's playing an organ somewhere else due to the decline in the bar's customers. Dorothy accompanies Instro to a Church where he plays the organ. Instro comments on how more people have been heading to church recently.

 

Roger starts climbing underground, to the place where he had previously encountered Schwarzwald and the MegaDeus archetype. Flashbacks show the MegaDeus archetype chasing after Roger and Dorothy. Roger makes his way to where he encountered the archetype and finds it gone, with some scaffolding and a tunnel leading from where it used to be. Inside Roger finds a typewriter containing a piece of paper with the phrase: "There is but one truth. If you avert your eyes from it you will remain nothing more than a puppet." written out repeatedly on it. Roger tears up the piece of paper. The leviathan-like creature that appeared earlier in the desert continues to travel through the desert, with wreckage falling into the whirlpools it is creating. At the military police headquarters an alarm goes off and Dastun departs with a number of tanks. Dorothy walks nearby and starts talking uncontrollably and covers her mouth. Roger, having finished his way through the tunnel, finds Big Duo being rebuilt. Dastun watches the leviathan-like creature heading through the desert outside Paradigm. Roger wonders what Paradigm plans to do with Big Duo. Suddenly lights start turning on, having been activated by Alan Gabriel. Dastun orders the military police to fire toward the hydra. Roger spots the remains of the foreign MegaDeuses, and parts of another MegaDeus that were hidden within it. Suddenly Alex Rosewater appears, telling him there is another "Big." Alex asks Roger if having Big O makes him feel justified. Alex talks of the destruction Roger causes and whether it feels good. Dorothy stands atop a building, watching the military police fire upon the leviathan. The leviathan bursts from the sand, revealing it to be entirely mechanical. It starts walking through the city, with anything it touches turning to sand. Roger asks Alex if he's looking to experience what he feels. Alex says he has power, but he was born with the power to utilize the MegaDeuses properly, unlike Roger. Roger heads towards Alex, but Alan steps between them and slashes at Roger. Norman tries to call Roger with no luck and heads through a secret compartment in the kitchen. Alan holds Roger at knife point while Roger holds a pipe at his abdomen. Roger asks Alan whether he has blood or oil underneath his mask. Alex calls Alan off. Alex says his Big doesn't need everything he needs, and for now Roger is the only Dominus of MegaDeus. Alex says Roger's ability to call Big O is useless here, and Roger finds that his watch is not working. The leviathan continues through the city towards Dorothy. Dorothy says she can't be a part of it; no one can. The leviathan stops before Dorothy and slams its arm at Dorothy. Big O appears just in time, knocking it over. Dastun is pleased, but wonders if Roger is inside as the Big O pauses while the leviathan approaches. The Big O punches at the leviathan, knocking it over. Roger, who is watching, rushes towards Big O and gets in the cockpit, surprised to see Dorothy piloting it. Roger asks Dorothy if the leviathan was calling her, or vice versa. She says it's a ghost from long ago. The ground around the leviathan turns to sand and starts collapsing as it approaches Big O. Roger blasts off the top of the leviathan's head with a single blast, then holds off its arms as it collapses on him. Big O uses the leviathan's own hand to destroy itself. Roger and Dorothy head back to Seebach's apartment where Angel is waiting for them. She pulls out a bandage and says that Schwarzwald had the pamphlets distributed before he piloted Big Duo. She says his body was found by the shore and he hasn't been amongst the living for a long time.

 

Commentary

 

Schwarzwald makes his return in this episode, although we never see him encounter Roger face to face. It's revealed at the end that he's been dead the entire time (the scenes with him at the start likely were his final days). I was disappointed with the way the writers decided to resolve his storyline, as it would have been good to have him confront Roger at least once more before his demise. With Alex Rosewater taking on a larger villainous role I suppose it was felt that Schwarzwald wasn't as necessary. That the pamphlets he created were distributed before he starting piloting Big Duo make no sense given the narrative of the episode and it seems that it was explained that way so as to keep the plot twist regarding his death hidden until the end of the episode. I suppose the earlier scenes in the episode showing the pamphlets were meant to be flashbacks as well? Still, no mention of it was made earlier in the series. It was good to see Instro appear again, one of the few android characters other than Dorothy seen in season 1. Big Duo makes its reappearance although it wasn't much of a surprise since that was hinted at in the end of season 1. While we got a short flashback to Schwarzwald initially discovering it, a number of other flashbacks from episodes 4 and 12 were used, continuing the second season's repeated usage of them. It's something I don't particularly care for and has already been overused, despite us only being 4 episodes into the season. Roger's encounter with Alex also seems to be simply a rehash of what we had in the previous episode. Overall, it's a weak episode, probably the weakest of the series to date.

 

Overall Rating

Full StarFull StarFull StarHalf StarNo Star

2.5 out of 5 stars
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The Big O Episode 17 The Big O Episode 17

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