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Act 20: Stripes

 

Review by Brian Shea

May 3, 2013

 

Summary

 

In the desert outside Paradigm, the sound of someone humming can be heard. A vehicle travels through the sand and lets someone out. Roger dreams again of MegaDeuses overwhelming Paradigm City, as well as his encounter with Gordon Rosewater. Roger wakes up in a hard sweat and Dorothy stands silently by the door. Later, Roger drives towards the domes, heading to see Gordon, who he believes may be the one person who didn't lose his memory. As Roger approaches the farmhouse, Alex Rosewater and Alan Gabriel walk by him. Gordon sits on his porch and tells Roger that the next tomato harvest is a ways off. Roger says he isn't here for the tomatoes. Gordon asks him if it is wrong to wait so long for the harvest and Roger says not if it is the most important thing. Roger asks if there is something else that was once the most important thing in the world to him. Roger also asks if Gordon has not lost his memories. Gordon asks him why he desires for something so intangible. If it doesn't exist now, could it be said that it ever existed in the first place? Roger realizes thinking this way has kept Gordon happy, but he thinks the memories sporadically appearing are causing problems for other people and wants to know of his own memories. Gordon shows Roger a bluebell flower in his hand. Roger tells him to stop evading the question and tell him why he is able to pilot Big O. Gordon says it is as simple as the fact that the MegaDeus chose him. Gordon asks Roger if he forgot the contract he has with him. This causes Roger to have a vision again of the many bald children being experimented on by Gordon, including a taller one standing in the back. Later at the Speak Easy bar, Roger wonders about this contract he has no memory of. Angel comes in and sits beside him. She tells Roger that the bluebell flower doesn't grow in this city, but she's very familiar with it. Roger tells Angel that Alex is back in the city. Roger wonders what Alex is trying to do by contacting foreign powers. Angel says he is the king of this city, the city which may be the only one left with memories. However, he doesn't know what the memories are made of and will stop at nothing to find out. Roger wonders if he's trying to betray his father. Angel says Gordon isn't concerned with memories of the past. Dorothy stands silently atop Roger's balcony. Later, Roger and Angel eat at a diner. Angel says that Gordon lets Alex do whatever he wants and that Alex was born in this age of no memories. Angel wonders why he desires the power of the MegaDeuses so badly. Roger comments on how it is nice to have food like this every once in a while. Roger asks Angel why she isn't eating. Angel asks Roger if it is in fact his fate to be the pilot of Big O. Roger says he came across Big O with memories that he doesn't possess now, and that he's deciding how he lives his life with Big O. Roger has another vision of the bald children being experimented on by Gordon. Roger wonders if he was one of Gordon's "tomatoes." Norman comes outside and asks Dorothy if she intends to wait here for Roger all night. Angel says she is listening to a song which Norman can't hear. A blonde woman in a white suit walks down the streets of Paradigm humming to herself. A number of people sing the same tune, and a number of people start joining her in her walk. Meanwhile, the heads of two of the foreign MegaDeuses being held by Paradigm activate.

 

At Military Headquarters, Dastun works on a report on the foreign MegaDeuses and wonders what the home office wants them for. He is called about a MegaDeus attack. The two foreign MegaDeus heads rise from an explosion in the ground. Angel asks Roger of when he said they were two of a kind. Roger says they are able to choose their own destiny. Angel asks if they are on the same side and Roger says they have at times had to fight on their own. Angel interrupts, asking if their relationship is going to change; Roger says it already has and the two embrace. Roger pauses and Angel asks why he is holding back. Angel starts laughing and says it's hilarious, pushing herself away from him. Angel hears the singing and runs off. Norman contacts Roger telling him that a MegaDeus has appeared in the central dome. Dorothy also is walking down the street, being drawn by the singing. Dastun leads a number of Military Police tanks. Various body parts of the foreign MegaDeuses float around the city streets, eventually combining into a two headed, multi-armed MegaDeus. Alex Rosewater watches, wondering what this Union MegaDeus is doing. He comments on them having already done their purpose. He calls for Alan, but Alan isn't there. Alex says the Union sent the three MegaDeuses to him, but the MegaDeus they were carrying, Big Fau, still has no memories. Roger drives towards the Central Dome, calling for Big O, which bursts through the ground. Roger drives into Big O's feet and is transported to the cockpit. The two-headed MegaDeus makes its way to a building that it starts kicking and drilling with two of its arms. Roger punches the MegaDeus, knocking it to the ground. The MegaDeus gets up after being attacked again. Roger says he won't stand by and watch. Dorothy continues makes her way to the abandoned Grand Central Terminal building where a red balloon appears. Inside a number of people sing. Angel walks inside and asks what they are doing, and if they are singing because they miss their homeland. The blonde woman in the white suit, Vera, says it is no secret why they have come together here. She calls Angel Agent 340 and says she is the last one to arrive. Angel asks why Vera has come to Paradigm herself, and Vera answers she has come to lead those warriors of the Union here that have failed to show results. She says the foreign MegaDeus is a warning to Rosewater's son. Alex stands before Big Fau, asking if it even has a core memory to speak of. Vera asks Angel if she has forgotten her loyalty to the Union and why she has cutoff communication with it. Angel says it was to find memories and she had no other choice. Vera asks if Angel has liked living here and that is why. Dorothy steps on something and makes a noise, alerting the others to her presence. Alan Gabriel rises, revealing his presence, and walks towards Dorothy with a gun. Alan shoots at Dorothy and she jumps off the railing, to the ground. Alan jumps down and kicks Dorothy in the back, knocking her over. The foreign MegaDeus grabs Big O and tosses it inside a building. He is told that he can't play God forever, a dominus who has no idea who he is. Roger gets up and says there are laws on this Earth, Roger's law. Dorothy heads down the stairs being pursued by Alan. Angel pleads with Vera to have him stop. Vera says that Dorothy must know her. Angel says she knows nothing of who she really is. Alan shoots at Dorothy again and she falls to the ground. Alan says Dorothy's master has to see this show and reveals a watch similar to Roger's on his wrist. Roger knocks the foreign MegaDeus over, saying it is time to go to its grave. Alan activates a drill in his right hand. Roger is about to finish off the MegaDeus, but Big O suddenly stops moving. A bar code appears on the screen that usually says "Cast in the Name of God, Ye Not Guilty." Roger says that he is one of the tomatoes. The foreign MegaDeus charges Big O, knocking it over. The foreign MegaDeus approaches Big O with its drills as Roger claims to be the dominus of Big O.

 

Commentary

 

There's a lot happening in this episode, which returns to the continuing storyline after several standalone episodes. In particular, it is made rather clear, after being hinted at earlier in the episode "R.D." that Roger was one of the children experimented on by Gordon Rosewater, which likely explains his ability to pilot Big O and his lack of complete memories of finding it. There's a lot of development for Angel as well, in particular revealing that she is indeed a foreign agent, from an organization known as the Union. Apparently Alan is an agent of the organization as well, which is surprising given his loyalty to Alex Rosewater. It looked like for a minute there early in the episode that Roger and Angel were going to kiss before she pushed him away. After a few episodes in a row with very brief MegaDeus battles, we also get a rather decent one, including an interesting two-headed MegaDeus created for Big O to fight. Overall it is the best episode of the second season thus far.

 

Overall Rating

Full StarFull StarFull StarHalf StarNo Star

4.5 out of 5 stars
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The Big O Episode 20 The Big O Episode 20

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

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