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Act 23: Twisted Memories

 

Review by Brian Shea

June 4, 2013

 

Summary

 

In a darkly lit cabin, Angel, as a child, is told by her mother, a woman who looks like Vera, that the scars on her back make her special, a reincarnation of an angel. In the present, a depressed-looking Angel sits in a tunnel as cars pass by. She gets up and leaves. Alan sees Vera at the Grand Central Terminal building, and she asks if he has given up his body and soul to Alex Rosewater. Alan says Alex's throat can be slit at any time. Vera says that the Union is going to give up on obtaining the memories and return Paradigm to what it once was. Alan says there never were any memories. The two hold up guns and fire. Dorothy plays the piano, thinking of when Angel came by and said they couldn't let Alex or others take the memories. Roger thinks about Angel's message. Roger wonders if these memories will simply allow him to play the role of Roger Smith on the stage called Paradigm City. Roger tells Dorothy there isn't enough details to negotiate and he wants to hear from Angel directly. Dorothy says she lied to Norman about this and he says it is okay. Dorothy thinks it isn't. Meanwhile, Beck lies in a cell thinking of how bad it is to be in this position. Suddenly his cell door opens and Alan comes in. Alan tells Beck he has no talent and that it derives from the scrap of memories inside of him. Alan says someone can use that to his advantage. Gordon Rosewater talks about his harvest with Alex. Gordon ignores whatever Alex says, simply talking about his crop. Alex says he never held him as a father would to a son. He says he doesn't mind, but wonders what is in his memories, not wanting him to take the memories from before the domes were built to his grave. Gordon comments on how many are his children. Alex hugs him. Dastun tells Roger that they are still trying to find some of the Union members. He tells Roger that they have received reports of a mysterious woman in a tunnel. Roger sees the picture of Angel in the dossier of suspects and is surprised when he sees a bar code there, thinking of the bald children experimented on by Gordon Rosewater. Roger loses the strength to stand, but gets up and leaves. Dastun says it would be nice to have a drink at his fireplace again sometime. Smoke rises from Gordon Rosewater's fields. Alan leads a blindfolded Beck to an area where Big Fau and the reconstructed Big Duo are held. Alan tells him that Big Fau lacks a core memory and that Beck had found a way to solve this problem before, when he had used Dorothy to be the core memory of Dorothy I. Beck declines, saying he never commits the same crime twice. Alan says to approach Dorothy in a different way and that he'll be compensated. Alan shows Beck an order saying Beck is to be executed, which convinces him to go along.

 

Roger drives off in his car, thinking about the barcode pattern. Even if he is one of the tomatoes, he still has his freedom and responsibilities as anyone else. Roger spots a woman in a red cape in the tunnel as he drives by it. He stops his car and runs after her. Gordon's fields are aflame and several of his farmhands lay there dead. Gordon stands there with no reaction. Alex sits in his villa listening to music, a tear falling from his eye. Roger meets up with the red-caped woman, revealed to be Vera. Vera tells Roger she has a message for Angel. She says that if something created this world, it didn't permit simply those in Paradigm to live. Vera gives Roger a cryptic message about a bird whose wings have been plucked reverting to a beast. She says she is going to show her countrymen the location of the memories and that Paradigm will burn to the ground. She steps on a switch that sets off flares that head into the sky. A large group of red machines arrive and surround Roger's mansion. Norman tells Dorothy to hide underground. Norman contacts Roger to tell him about the mansion being attacked. The red machines start heading up the walls of Roger's mansions. Sentry guns on the balcony fire at and destroy some of them. Norman tells Roger he isn't sure how long they'll be able to hold them off. Roger wonders why they are attacking and tells Norman he'll be right there. The machines destroy the sentry gun camera, then the sentry gun itself and burst into Roger's mansion. Dastun is informed of the fire in Gordon's fields, which led to his death, and wonders why Paradigm didn't respond sooner. A police officer informs Dastun of the attack on Roger's mansion. Norman continues to try and hold the machines off with a gun and flees deeper into the mansion. Dorothy, who had been hiding in Big O's cockpit, jumps out, shortly before Roger calls out for Big O on his wristwatch. Norman continues to try and fight off the machines and runs out of ammunition. Dorothy arrives and brings him some more. Norman falls off the stairway but is able to save himself with a cable he shoots out. Big O arrives and fights off some of the robots on their own as they approach Dorothy. Roger arrives in his car outside the mansion and finds Beck waiting for him outside. Roger is shocked to see him. Dorothy realizes that the machines want to capture her for the memories inside her, those that she is not aware of. Beck tells Roger someone hates him even more than he does which is why he is here trying to capture Dorothy. Roger runs into his mansion. More machines come in from the ceiling and Norman is unable to fight them off. Roger arrives and carries Norman to safety. One of the machines is able to grab Dorothy. Dorothy tells Roger she is not like him and will always have this same body and heart. Roger calls for Dorothy to break free as the machine lifts off, outside of Big O's grasp. Roger gets into Big O and bursts out of the mansion. He tries to grab hold of Dorothy with a chained arm, but Big Duo suddenly arrives and prevents him from getting her. Roger wonders who could be operating Big Duo. In his villa, Alex thinks of how he loved his father and how lucky he was to be his son.

 

Commentary

 

Quite a good episode, the strongest episode of the second season thus far. It looks like the story is heading towards a conclusion and a lot of notable events occur. Alex and Gordon's conversation makes one wonder if he is truly his son. It was surprising to see Alex burn down the fields and have his father "killed." Just when you thought Beck's role in the show was over with, he returns once again and appears to have new a role in things. Big Duo returns in a rebuilt and more sinister looking form. Norman, who has shown himself to be a bit of a badass in some previous episodes really shines here as the robots make their way through Roger's mansion. Overall a good start to the conclusion of the series.

 

Overall Rating

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4.5 out of 5 stars
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The Big O Episode 23 The Big O Episode 23
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