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Act 19: Eyewitness

 

Review by Brian Shea

March 21, 2013

 

Summary

 

A car is crushed at a junkyard warehouse. A robot named Phil helps the owner of the warehouse carry an additional car to be crushed. While they are talking about the robot running low on oil, it's suddenly struck in the back by a pipe bomb that blows up, destroying the entire warehouse. The shooter of the bomb, wearing a red jacket and a New York Yankees cap, gets up from his hiding place. Later, Dastun arrives at the scene and talks to some fellow officers who tell him that the owner was unable to get a look at the attacker. An inspector from the Paradigm home office arrives to help. Upon shaking his hand, Dastun is surprised to find that the inspector is a robot, R. Frederick O'Reilly. Roger narrates on how humans and robots all lost their memories 40 years ago and wonders if they had the same relationship they do now before that date. At Roger's mansion, Norman warns Dorothy as she heads out about the person killing androids, known as the "Android Crusher." A large construction robot works on a building near Military Police headquarters where Dastun meets with O'Reilly. O'Reilly says that he's the first and only android inspector, at least for the past 40 years. O'Reilly asks Dastun if he can accompany them and asks him if he doesn't trust his men since he has such a hands-on approach to his work. This angers Dastun. Dastun calls his men slackers, but says that they put their life on the line to protect the city. Dastun and O'Reilly leave. Dorothy has a container of oil filled at a store and leaves, with the assassin watching and following her from the roof of a nearby building. Roger meets with the still bandaged owner of the warehouse and says he'll take care of negotiations with the Military Police. Dastun and O'Reilly meet with a man named Mr. Simmons, who had another robot, Bauman, that was destroyed in similar fashion. Simmons comments on how close he and Bauman were. As they leave, O'Reilly asks if listening to sentimental stories will help solve the case. Dastun comments on androids getting used to human emotions but says that O'Reilly will take another 40 years to come around on this. O'Reilly says that Paradigm hopes for a speedy resolution. Dastun tells him to go to hell, wanting the Paradigm Executive Staff will hear that since he figures all of their conversations are recorded. Roger meets with Big Ear, who tells him how safe Paradigm City is. People don't have to worry about being killed unless they start talking about regaining memories. He says even Paradigm can't recover an android's lost memories, but the memories still exist. Roger wonders if this has something to do with the killings. Big Ear asks whether androids suffer deja vu like humans do. Dorothy arrives at Roger's mansion and meets Norman at the door while the assassin aims at her from a nearby roof. The pipe bomb strikes Dorothy, causing her to drop the oil canister. Norman tries to pull the pipe bomb off of Dorothy, who tells him to let go. Dorothy jumps on the hood of a nearby driving car and forces it to pass right by a truck such that the pipe bomb is knocked off of her. Later, Roger angrily confronts Dastun, who is keeping Dorothy in custody as the only witness. O'Reilly enters, saying that they need to find out why Dorothy was targeted. O'Reilly comments on Roger leaving the Military Police in less than perfect circumstances and that by cooperating he can help clear his record. Norman apologizes and Roger says it's okay. Roger says there is one person who really enjoys destroying androids and he wants to recover the remains of the android destroyed in the junkyard as part of other negotiations he has. As O'Reilly nears, Dastun immediately ceases the conversation. Dastun and O'Reilly work on scanning Dorothy's memories, seeing images of her playing the piano, being with Roger and buying the oil. O'Reilly calls Dorothy a work of art but says he himself only exists to carry out missions. By scanning Dorothy's memories, Dastun and O'Reilly see what the Android Crusher looks like.

 

Roger heads to Paradigm HQ to see Alex Rosewater and is turned away by the receptionist, who says that he's on vacation and she can't disclose his location. Roger returns to the parking lot where he sees Angel waiting in his car. She says that Alex isn't in Paradigm right now. Angel claims that Alan Gabriel, the person Roger really wants to see is also with Alex, and as such has an alibi. Roger asks where they are and she only says they are far away. Roger comments on that meaning Alex couldn't have assigned O'Reilly to the case alone. Roger asks Angel if Alex has headed to the place where she is from and she calls herself a Paradigm City girl. Roger comments on how much she lies and if she's chosen to live her life this way. Angel asks Roger if he's asked himself why he's piloting the MegaDeus. The two stop at the beach, where Roger says it has been nothing but trouble since the two of them met, and he always seems to be on guard, despite them having some things in common. Angel asks if its a good idea for Roger to confide in her like this. Roger is contacted by Norman, who says the Android Crusher has been identified by the Military Police. Dastun, O'Reilly and members of the Military Police head to a store called Jonathan's Oil Bar where the android Bauman had made an order for high grade oil. Dorothy and the android destroyed at the junk yard had also come to this store. Dastun thinks that the Android Crusher has been seeking androids with high grade memories, tracking them by witnessing them come to the store to purchase oil. Dastun is told that the store is ready for entry. Dastun wants to send an unmanned robot in first, but O'Reilly decides to head in himself, despite being at risk as an android. At Military Police headquarters Norman asks to bring Dorothy home just as the headquarters is suddenly struck by the nearby construction robot. Roger and Angel arrive at the scene as Dastun rushes towards the store. Inside the Android Crusher aims at O'Reilly and shoots a pipe bomb that attaches to his arm. O'Reilly pulls off his arm in response and throws it into the store, which blows up. Dorothy comments on the Android Crusher not being alone as the construction robot approaches behind the cell she's being kept in. Dastun asks O'Reilly if he was malfunctioning. Noticing the Android Crusher's legs sticking out from under some rubble, Dastun angrily tells O'Reilly that androids can't attack humans. Roger lifts up the Android Crusher's body, revealing that it was an android too. O'Reilly takes a memory chip out of the Android Crusher's head and says that Paradigm's science unit will determine why it malfunctioned. Roger gets a garbled message from Norman via his watch. One of the Military Police officers tells Dastun that headquarters is under attack. Norman grabs an ax so as to let Dorothy out, but she simply pushes over the door of her cell. Roger says there has been more than one culprit involved. Dorothy comments on someone trying to get the memories of advanced androids. Roger calls for Big O. The construction robot pursues Dorothy and Norman as they ride off on Norman's motorcycle. Dorothy tells Norman that the robot is after her memories. The robot fires at them, but Norman is able to avoid it. Norman turns around and fires at the robot, then travels underneath its legs. The robot turns and continues to chase them, but they come upon Big O, which destroys the robot with a single punch. Roger wonders who his real enemy is. Angel watches from a nearby roof and is surprised when she sees a red balloon rising into the sky. O'Reilly hands over the memory chip from the Android Crusher's brain to Dastun and says that Paradigm has decided that misconduct made by androids should be dealt with by androids. O'Reilly tells Dastun that he was a great help in this case. Dastun tells O'Reilly that he must have known that he was only used as a target. O'Reilly salutes him and doesn't respond. The press arrive and takes their photograph.

 

Commentary

 

Another standalone episode; this episode shows us that androids are more prevalent in Paradigm than seen before (although most in this episode end up being killed). While not an amazing episode, it is a bit better than the last few episodes we have had. The Android Crusher's wearing of a New York Yankees cap lends credence to the theory that Paradigm is located in Manhattan. For the second straight episode we have a Big O fight that only lasts as long as a single punch, providing a bit more time for plot development.

 

Overall Rating

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3 out of 5 stars
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The Big O Episode 19 The Big O Episode 19
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