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Act 4: Underground Terror

 

Review by Brian Shea

August 11, 2012

 

Summary

 

Roger visits an old woman who says she wants to remain in her home so her son will be able to find her if his memories return. Roger convinces her that he'll still be able to find her due to the city's records. As he leaves, a man who accompanied him tells him about a new job from his parent company, the Paradigm Corporation. Roger heads to a large golden dome in the center of the city, commenting on how Paradigm Corporation is considered both God and state. Roger heads inside the headquarters of the Paradigm Corporation and stares at a painting of angels. Angel walks up behind him, now claiming to be a secretary to the Publisher of Paradigm Press named Patricia Lovejoy. As they head up via a transport device, Angel is quiet as Roger comments on her calling herself Casey before. She tells him to call her Angel as they depart. Dorothy, alone in Roger's mansion turns over several hourglasses. After leaving negotiations with the publisher, Roger asks Angel what she is after with her new job. She claims to just be an ordinary woman. A transport device passes by carrying Alex Rosewater, chief executive of Paradigm. The setting turns to destroyed subway cars underground, as the unnamed narrator asks if man can survive cut off from his memories of the past. Roger's new job is to convince a reporter for Paradigm Press, Michael Seebach, to turn over a manuscript he was working on in exchange for a large amount of money. The job presents 2 problems, first over whether Roger should accept a job from an entity close to the Paradigm Corporation and second the fact that Michael Seebach has disappeared. Roger visits Dastun, who complains over Roger's role as a private investigator since leaving the military police. Roger is searching for information on Seebach. Dastun claims a missing person report has been filed and he hasn't paid his taxes for 2 months. He doesn't think he left the city since people who live inside the domes don't leave them. Dastun tosses him a crumpled piece of paper as he leaves showing the address of an apartment Seebach hid from his wife. Dastun stares at an old photo of him and Roger when they were in the military police together. Roger heads to Seebach's apartment, using a device to mimic the keys and get inside. The unnamed narrator, revealed to be Seebach claims that a mere reporter couldn't get to the truth of this city and no one is interested in learning the truth that must be known, except for him. After Roger heads inside, gasoline is leaked into the apartment and the apartment bursts into flames. Roger jumps out of the window and uses a wire to grab onto the side of the building. A mysterious bandaged man, standing nearby, calls Roger a corrupt dog on the city's leash. He claims Michael Seebach is gone and that he now goes by the name Schwarzwald. He says his superiors will never see their darling reporter in the city again and vanishes. Later, Roger stands on the balcony of his mansion. Dorothy, standing on the railing asks him if he's cold. Roger says there's no doubt that robots and Mega Deuses existed in this city before everyone lost their memory, but wonders if everyone has just convinced themselves that's the case. Roger thinks it is time to face the darkness within him.

 

Roger heads down to the underground transportation tunnels he has been using, which was once used as a subway system. Roger comments on how everyone is afraid of being down here, and he heads down further than he has been before. He thinks Seebach has been down here. As Roger heads further down, the walls become newer and newer. Roger soon finds a light in the distance and becomes scared, falling off the ladder and breaking his flashlight. Ethereal human forms walk by him. Roger tries to suppress his fear. He wakes up in a forest with his head on his mother's lap, but the vision fades and he realizes he is actually laying on Dorothy's lap. Roger asks Dorothy what she's doing here. Dorothy says his responses have returned to normal. Roger asks Dorothy is she wants to know what it's like to feel terror. Dorothy says even her father never knew exactly how she operated and thinks. Dorothy says he didn't have a total understanding of the technology and only put her together in the hopes of bringing back his dead daughter. They continue to head through the maze like passageways, finding what appears to be a replica of an underground city. Roger comes aboard the skeletal remains of a Mega Deus, half buried in the ground. Schwarzwald reveals himself on the Mega Deus's shoulders. Roger recognizes the Mega Deus as being similar to Big O. Schwarzwald says 40 years ago humanity lost its memory and forgot the power it possessed and that Mega Deuses were nothing special then. He claims he'd have great power if he could possess those memories. His current bandaged form is the result of what happened to him when he released the power of the Mega Deus he found. Schwarzwald releases a series of bandages near Roger and is about to throw a lit lighter at him when Dorothy starts walking near the Mega Deus, speaking in a strange language. The Mega Deus appears to activate and collapses. Schwarzwald wonders why it moved and is caught aflame by the very fire he tried to attack Roger with. The Mega Deus gets up and Roger calls Big O. Roger thinks the Big O is after Dorothy and asks Norman how much longer it will be until Big O arrives. Dorothy says the Mega Deus has no relation to her and shouldn't be allowed to exist. The Mega Deus is about to grab Roger and Dorothy when Big O arrives. Schwarzwald realizes Roger pilots the Big O. The Mega Deus throws itself at the Big O but is easily thrown aside. He punches at the Mega Deus but it dodges him and jumps aboard the Big O. Big O throws it aside, but it jumps on top of him again. Schwarzwald thinks the Mega Deus is stronger than the Big O. Roger says the Mega Deus has nothing to do with Dorothy or the Big O and fires missiles at it, destroying it. The Big O makes its way back to the surface. Alex Rosewater watches from Paradigm Headquarters, calling Roger an excellent negotiator. Roger talks with Dorothy again on the balcony, commenting on how complicated she is.

 

Commentary

 

This is the best episode so far, highlighting many of the mysteries of Paradigm City which is one of the more interesting features of the series. This episode is the one that really got me interested in the series when I originally saw it on Toonami. The battle with the Mega Deus is an interesting one and more entertaining than the previous episode. The scenes underground are some of the scariest in the series. Dorothy has a much larger role than the previous episode, accompanying Roger on his journey underground. Roger shows fear in this episode, a very rare occurrence for him. The mysterious and very bizarre looking Schwarzwald makes his first appearance. He's my favorite villain from the series, although ultimately ended up being a bit under utilized. Alex Rosewater, head of Paradigm Corporation also makes his first appearance, rounding out the recurring characters for the first season.

 

Overall Rating

Full StarFull StarFull StarHalf StarNo Star

4.5 out of 5 stars
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The Big O Episode 4 The Big O Episode 4

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

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