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Episode 15: Trail of Footprints

 

Review by Chris Guanche

January 21, 2016

 

Summary

 

McGillis shows up on Dort 3 wearing a mask and long wig as a disguise. While relaxing in his sauna, Nobliss receives an audio report that Tekkadan's arrival didn't trigger a big incident at Dort 2, and that Kudelia was spotted on Dort 3. Mikazuki tells Fumitan that he usually can't tell what she's thinking, but it looks like something is bothering her. She says that she's been thinking about the responsibilities that come with every action, and Mikazuki says that Orga is always telling him to do things honorably. Kudelia comes out of the store and hears they were talking about responsibility, so she nervously asks if Biscuit met his brother. Mikazuki doesn't know, but he hopes it turns out better than it did for Akihiro. Kudelia comments that Mikazuki and Orga seem like brothers themselves. Orga and the others consider what they should do next, but they're then introduced to Navona Mingo, the union leader. Navona offers to hide them until they can get picked up, so Orga accepts. Atra tells Biscuit that he doesn't look happy to see his brother, but Biscuit explains that he's worried about looking like a disappointment to Savarin. Atra tells him to be more confident, and he says he wants to thank his brother for his hard work. Biscuit then looks up and sees Savarin, who says he didn't recognize his grown up brother. Savarin nervously looks at Atra and excuses himself to make a call, where he asks a group of men to come with a car. Navona takes Orga and the others to his home in the slums of Dort 2. Navona explains that Dort 3 is a much nicer area that people from the slums can't get to. His men comment that Savarin was able to get out of the slums, but that he's different now. Biscuit and Atra are taken captive, and Savarin demands to know why Tekkadan is supplying weapons to the slums. Biscuit doesn't know anything about that, so Savarin concludes that Tekkadan was also being used by Kudelia. Two Gjallarhorn soldiers arrive and confuse Atra for Kudelia, but she plays along and pretends to be Kudelia. On the Hammerhead, Naze tells Lafter that Tekkadan got into trouble on Dort 2 because of all the frustrations of the mistreated workers. Navona tells Orga that a launch has been prepared to take them to Dort 3. Orga asks if weapons are the only way, and Navona answers that they have to get the Dort company to the negotiating table. He notes that many union members want more extreme action and could riot at any moment. Navona asks if Tekkadan can help, but Orga declines and says it would trouble someone they owe a lot to. A union member brings in a photo from their spy on Dort 3 showing the abduction of Biscuit and Atra. Mikazuki calls Orga on schedule and hears about the abduction.

 

Kudelia tries to run out of the hotel, but Mikazuki wants her and Fumitan to hide there while he conducts the search. On the Bauduin family ship Sleipnir, Gaelio checks in with Ein about the tuning of his newly assigned Schwalbe Graze. Gaelio is summoned by the captain and tells the mechanics to prepare his Gundam Kimaris for launch. Gaelio asks the captain if they have permission to enter the colony, but the captain tells him it won't be easy due to their unannounced arrival. He also mentions the Regulatory Bureau's operation to suppress dissatisfied people by provoking and then rounding them up. Ships with the Seven Stars emblem aren't welcome, and the captain thinks it might be better to let the Regulatory Bureau take credit for bringing down the politics. After Gaelio leaves, the captain gives orders for the mobile suit deck to not let him launch. Orga and the others take off in the launch and head for Dort 3. Mikazuki finds a shoe in an alley and meets the union spy. The Gjallarhorn soldiers brutally beat Atra during her interrogation, but she says nothing. Biscuit wonders why Atra is going so far in her ruse. Savarin asks about Kudelia's plans, but Biscuit instead talks about Cookie and Cracker. Biscuit asks Savarin why he's doing this, and Savarin asks what will happen if the people in the slums riot with their new weapons. He states that Gjallarhorn has been waiting for this and will come in strong and kill all the rioters. Savarin thinks that handing over Kudelia will satisfy Gjallarhorn and prevent a massacre, but Biscuit reveals that Atra isn't Kudelia. Savarin doesn't want to believe that she isn't Kudelia because he has no other options. Fumitan finds Kudelia trying to sneak out and look for Biscuit and Atra, and Kudelia says she can't hand over Atra and be like her father. Fumitan comments that Kudelia hasn't changed and that she always hated her hopeful nature. She hoped that Kudelia would change, but she found it was she who changed. McGillis approaches them and tells Kudelia she should leave now before getting caught up in an armed uprising. He then reveals that Nobliss sent the weapons and has had an agent at Kudelia's side: Fumitan. Kudelia declares that she has no doubts about Fumitan and thinks of her as a sister. She demands that McGillis take back what he said, but Fumitan confirms that it's all true. She then says goodbye and leaves, and McGillis tells Kudelia she can become the hope of the people. Biscuit asks Atra why she let them beat her so much, and she answers that this is nothing compared to the beatings she used to get as a kid. The building suddenly shakes when Mikazuki crashes a truck into it. The three escape and are chased by Savarin until Orga and the others pull up in a truck. Savarin begs Biscuit to hand Atra over or it's the end for Dort 2. Biscuit thanks Savarin for everything he did before, but says he's a member of Tekkadan now. The truck drives off when the Gjallarhorn soldiers arrive and open fire. Navona and his armed men march towards the Dort company headquarters. Kudelia runs through the street in her search for Fumitan.

 

Commentary

 

The Dort intrigue continues with another sibling reunion doomed to failure. It was clear last episode that Savarin and Biscuit meeting wouldn't be a happy occasion, and that's backed up by Savarin's desperate actions. Yes, his emotional breakdown at the end is over the top, but I can see what motivated him. Even though he's a company man now, he still wanted to prevent bloodshed in the Dort 2 slums, but in the wrong way. However, while I can understand him being fooled by Atra's ruse, it doesn't make any sense with the Gjallarhorn soldiers. Kudelia gave a well-known speech about Martian independence, so shouldn't the soldiers be able to find a file photo of her on their phones or whatever they use? Why would they believe that someone as young looking as Atra could possibly be her? A good amount of time is spent this episode on Fumitan thinking about her responsibility and throwing up tons of death flags. She's exposed as an agent of Nobliss by a strangely disguised McGillis and runs off on her own. If McGillis wanted anonymity while setting into motion plans to change Gjallarhorn, then a big wig and gaudy mask are probably not the best choices. Wouldn't some sunglasses and a hat have been enough? Finally, Navona and his men make their move and march on the Dort company headquarters, but their numbers aren't at all impressive. These guys are going to go down, and hard.

 

Overall Rating

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3.5 out of 5 stars
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Gundam Iron-Blooded Orphans Episode 15 Gundam Iron-Blooded Orphans Episode 15

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Buy the collection (eps 14-25) on Blu-ray/DVD from Amazon
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