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Act 26: The Show Must Go On

 

Review by Brian Shea

June 4, 2013

 

Summary

 

Big Ear tells Roger that the city was meant to be a stage and its nonsense to ask if memories exist. He sits silently in the destroyed Speak Easy bar, with his half destroyed face revealing that he is an android. Big Fau and Big O face each other. Big O steps near Big Fau, which fires its lasers at it. Big O blocks them with its arms. Big O punches Big Fau, but a force field blocks the attack. Big O continues to punch Big Fau with the field shielding it from the strikes. Military Police tanks aim at Big O, surprising Dastun. Alex proclaims that Big O has no elegance and is piloted by a fake dominus. Big Fau punches at Big O with its fist, damaging Big O's head. Dastun arrives on the scene asking if this is the best the Military Police can do. The Military Police chief tells Dastun he is no longer a Military Police commander and Dastun angrily throws down his police shield. Big Fau knocks Big O over, but using chains emitted from its hips Big O is able to keep itself upright. Big O fires missiles from its chest at Big Fau, but Big Fau takes no damage whatsoever and punches at Big O's cockpit. Suddenly Dorothy, in Roger's mansion, gets up, surprising Beck. Big Fau drags the damaged Big O with it. Dastun follows, driving a police vehicle and telling Roger to take Alex down. Beck follows Dorothy to the balcony and asks if she knows who she is. Seeing Big Fau walk by, Beck proclaims himself a buffoon. Big Fau carries Big O to the seaside, about to drop it into the sea. Alex notices Dastun nearby, loading a Military Police tank to fire upon him. Dastun does so, but Big Fau stands there undamaged. Big Fau is about to fire upon Dastun when a series of Military Police tanks fire upon it. Several members of Dastun's squad have also turned in their badges to help him. Alex says the world has a new God. Wires from Big Fau's cockpit enter into Alex's back. Underground, the scars on Angel's back glow and Gordon thinks the memory desperately wants to be remembered. Big Fau's back lasers fire upon the Military Police tanks. Roger gets up and tries to get Big O to move. Big Fau successfully tosses Big O into the sea, but Big O grabs hold of Big Fau with its chains and drags it in along with it. Beck wonders how Dorothy, who is calling for Roger, is functioning without her memory. Big O and Big Fau sink into the sea. Water starts to fill Big O's cockpit. Big Fau heads towards the surface of the water, dragging Big O with it until it manages to cut the chains attaching the two MegaDeuses. Big O sinks further into the abyss of the sea and Dorothy shouts for Roger. Big Fau gets out of the water. Alex wonders if Big Fau is trying to absorb him and says he is the one and only dominus. Wires inside of Big O's cockpit start operating on their own and Roger asks if this is what Big O wants as they are about to enter his back. Roger thinks this is his decision.

 

Norman brings Dorothy some scuba gear. Beck has a hard time believing that Roger is still alive. Norman says memories are found in humans. Beck says he hates both Roger and Alex. Angel asks Gordon how she can be a memory as she brings him away from the stage. They head into an elevator and head further underground. Angel says all she wants is her own memories and she doesn't care about those from 40 years ago. Big O sinks further below the water. Gordon tells Angel she can release the memories, including those from prior to 40 years ago. The elevator stops and Angel steps out onto a glowing floor, asking if she's now making the choice. Wings appear on her back and she heads for a light in the distance. Gordon asks for the true author of Metropolis to fill its blank pages with memories. He says it is up to the negotiator and disappears. Roger awakens and wonders what this world is. He has visions of numerous Big O's and another giant MegaDeus, as well as people appearing in the empty Paradigm City. He also sees visions of Rogers being created in a factory, a child watching him on TV and Angel on a stage. Dorothy calls out for Roger. A light ascends into the sky and the cloud cover over Paradigm vanishes, revealing the glowing ceiling. Dorothy makes it into Big O's cockpit and saves Roger with an oxygen tank. Big O is able to propel itself out of the water by punching the ground. Dastun and Beck watch as Big O gets out of the water and walks towards Big Fau. Big Fau fires its arms at Big O as if they were rockets and Big O is able to stop them and they both blow up in hands. Suddenly a new lever appears in Big O's cockpit. Roger realizes that Dorothy has hooked herself up to Big O. Big O anchors itself to the ground and reveals a giant cannon out of its chest. Big Fau does the same. The two fire upon each other; the blast is enough to destroy the nearby dome and half of Big Fau's body. Alex tells Roger he is just a negotiator and is about to fire upon him when the shadow of a giant MegaDeus appears in the sky. Dorothy calls this MegaDeus Big Venus. As the giant MegaDeus, Big Venus, walks forward, parts of Paradigm city around it vanish. Alex trembles in fear as Big Venus walks by and he too disappears. Roger tells Big O to wait and that this is for him to handle. He calls out to Angel. Roger says that memories are important to people and prove that they exist. He says people in the present are made up of more than their memories of the past. He doesn't know who he is, but he doesn't believe anyone took them, and he likely made the choice to erase them himself so he can live in the present. Everything vanishes except for Big Venus and Big O. Roger tells Angel he'll never lose the her that is a part of his memories. Big Venus continues on. Roger tells Angel to live as a human. Roger speaking is shown in an editing room, as another Angel watches, tears in her eyes. Another Roger, accompanied by Dorothy, puts his hand on her shoulder. Big Venus and Big O walk into each other and vanish. Roger is shown driving down the street in Paradigm City, as if nothing happened. Angel and Dorothy stand nearby.

 

Commentary

 

The Big O ends with quite the bizarre ending, one that is still debated on the internet to this day regarding its true meaning. It seems that the entire world of Paradigm was a fabrication, either as some sort of television series or other type of program. With the appearance of Big Venus at the end everything resets and starts over once more. For a series where the mysteriousness is a part of its appeal, it is a fitting ending. There has been a bit of a push out there from the fandom for there to be a third season of The Big O, although it is extremely unlikely that will ever occur, particularly now that we're around 10 years after the ending of season 2. My personal opinion is that I'm satisfied with the way things ended and do not mind the fact that we have no season 3. Overall, The Big O is a strong series throughout, although it is definitely higher quality in season 1 than in season 2. The Big O was for me a rare show where having numerous stand alone episodes worked well (Cowboy Bebop is another example), and I think they probably could have gotten away with having more stand alone episodes in the second season and less involving the continuing storyline ones. Although it can be confusing for some, particularly this ending, it is a show I'd strongly recommend to all anime fans.

 

Overall Rating

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4.5 out of 5 stars
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The Big O Episode 26 The Big O Episode 26
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