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Episode 49: McGillis Fareed

 

Review by Chris Guanche

April 22, 2017

 

Summary

 

Nobliss receives word from his men that they spotted Orga at the Admoss Company and killed him. Nobliss thinks this could work to his advantage if it makes Rustal feel indebted to him. Eugene receives word that they've made contact with the other side of the tunnel, and word of Orga's death spreads quickly, with Hush delivering the news to Mikazuki. Inside Orga's office, Eugene tells everyone that Orga did his job as boss, so it's their turn now. Although the tunnel will be ready in time, Merribit notes that some people want to stay and fight for revenge. Eugene thinks that's nuts because they don't even know if Gjallarhorn killed Orga. Hush comes in and tells them that Mikazuki wants everyone to gather outside. Mikazuki stands on the cockpit hatch of the Lupus Rex and says that Orga isn't with them anymore, but his words and orders are still alive. Mikazuki vows to crush anyone who gets in his way of enforcing Orga's orders. Rustal is informed by Nobliss that Orga is dead, and he agrees to let Nobliss sell Gjallarhorn's newest weapons in exchange for his help. Julieta comments that Tekkadan is still fighting on even though they've been used by shady adults around them, and Rustal notes that he's one of those shady adults. Eugene outlines their plan, which calls for everyone to escape in the tunnel while Mikazuki, Akihiro, Hush and Dante fight as decoys. Derma asks Akihiro to let him fight and insists he can still pilot with one arm, but Akihiro tells him is job is yet to come because they're no longer disposable human debris. Eugene tells pilots Embi, Elgar, Hirume and Trow that they'll be supporting from the rear in Shidens. Eugene thinks about how he'll be using Orga's custom Shiden in the battle. Merribit jokingly tells Nadi that if he takes too long to catch up with her that she might become somebody else's girl. At noon, Mobile Workers fire a barrage of missiles at the Tekkadan base. Graze Schilds advance and come under attack from the Lupus Rex, Gusion Rebake, Landman Rodi, Hekija, Shidens and custom Shiden. In space, McGillis addresses his men and vows to promote them after he kills Rustal. He then tells them to disembark the Halfbeak and states that he can finish things on his own. He thanks Todo for his help in getting to space, and Todo asks him if he's sure about what he's doing. McGillis answers that his power will bring him freedom. The lone ship approaches Rustal's fleet and comes under fire. It crashes into another ship and explodes. The Gundam Bael emerges from the explosion and charges forward.

 

On Earth, Gallus demands that Almiria return to the Bauduin family home because McGillis is a traitor, but she refuses. She states that her husband's sins are also her sins, so she will wait for him in their home so they can atone together. McGillis singlehandedly destroys multiple Grazes and smashes the bridge of a Halfbeak. He makes a run for the Skipjack and is blocked by Gaelio's Kimaris Vidar. McGillis tells Gaelio to get out of his way, and Gaelio responds that McGillis isn't even looking at him. On Mars, Hush realizes that he moved too far away from the others and comes under attack from two Grazes. He takes down one, but the other slams its axe into his cockpit. Hush thinks to himself about how he wanted to take Builth's place and surpass Mikazuki. Another Graze comes at Hush, but Mikazuki takes it down. With his dying words, Hush asks Mikazuki to let him handle this area, and Mikazuki agrees. McGillis vows to kill Gaelio for real this time if he gets in his way. An officer wants mobile suits to launch, but Rustal says that he wants to see how this fight turns out. Gaelio loses his lance and attacks with a sword, but McGillis starts tearing into the Kimaris Vidar. Gaelio pushes McGillis against the Skipjack and manages to damage the cockpit and injure McGillis. The two Gundams twist around and crash inside the ship's hangar, setting off an explosion. Pierced by shrapnel and leaving a trail of blood, McGillis goes on foot and tries to reach an elevator to the bridge. He gets out of the elevator and finds Gaelio waiting for him with gun drawn, so McGillis shoots his mask off. Gaelio grabs McGillis and demands that he look at him. McGillis says that he's always seen Gaelio but pretended not to. He had to deny Gaelio and Carta so that he could move forward, because being with them made his aspirations waiver. He promised to make Almiria happy, but Gaelio says that happiness was fake. McGillis asks what the difference is between true and fake happiness and notices that Gaelio is crying. He starts to say that Gaelio is his friend, but Gaelio doesn't want to hear it because he might forgive him. When he looks up, he sees that McGillis is dead. Rustal thinks to himself that McGillis' death is the foolish end to a man obsessed with power. Yamazin tells Rustal that Julieta has launched in the Reginlaze Julia and is descending toward Mars. Heavy fighting continues on the surface, and Eugene attempts to rally everyone's spirits by reminding them that they have to carry out Orga's last order. Mikazuki swats several Grazes with his ultra-large mace and vows to reach the destination Orga wanted them to go to.

 

Commentary

 

If an anime series uses a character's name as an episode title, especially late in the series, there's a good chance that character is marked for death, and this episode is no exception. McGillis' grand ambitions end in a lonely hallway with his dying confession to the friend he betrayed. After it was revealed that McGillis' master plan was to simply seize the Gundam Bael, I suspected that he was full of crap and had nothing else to go on, and this episodes proves that. In the first season, McGillis seemed like he could be a master manipulator on par with Char Aznable or Lelouch Lamperouge, but his plans were nothing more than childish garbage. I thought that he chose Mars for his last stand because he had secretly discovered more mobile armors, but in reality he had nothing else up his sleeve. He thought that he could take down Rustal alone, but he lost to Gaelio and the ghost of Ein. His death is a sad moment, but these events are a really disappointing end for a character who showed so much promise but proved to be completely incompetent. The other major moment this episode is the death of Hush, but I don't really feel the impact of it. I'm not sure what his character arc was supposed to be. He started out thinking that Mikazuki was a punk, then became his devoted disciple even though his skills were lacking. And for the last 10 episodes he's basically been Mikazuki's personal Hodor, so his battlefield death seems like a pointless end for someone who accomplished nothing. This series is at the finish line now, and I'm sure the body count will continue to rise before the final chapter ends. But will it be a good ending?

 

Overall Rating

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3.5 out of 5 stars
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Gundam Iron-Blooded Orphans Episode 49 Gundam Iron-Blooded Orphans Episode 49
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