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Episode 18: Old Soldiers' Polka

 

Review by Chris Guanche

May 25, 2011

 

Summary

 

Several old men on horseback watch Stick, Ray and Mint drive through an open desert. Mint wonders why there's so many craters in the area, and Stick explains that the area was attacked by the Inbit when the First Liberation Force landed. They head toward a town to buy supplies and find the streets empty. But they're suddenly surrounded on all sides by people armed with rifles. Elsewhere, Yellow wonders who Aisha really is, and at that moment she has a headache from the Inbit. Yellow wants Aisha to come with him so he can tell where the Inbit are coming from, but Houquet points out that Aisha's pain increases when she's in close proximity to the Inbit. Back at the town, the townspeople tie up Stick, Ray and Mint. Stick says they haven't done anything, and the sheriff asks to know about their friends. Yellow and Aisha drive through the desert, but she isn't able to sense the Inbit. Yellow asks her if she's remembered anything, like how she was born, and she asks him if he can remember that himself. Two armed men on horseback suddenly block their path and ask if they're heading for Reflex Point. Yellow tries to play it off as though he and Aisha are on a date, and one of the men, Russ, laughs. The other, named Franky, tells Yellow that there are many Inbit relay towers ahead, but he can sell them weapons. Yellow decides to follow them, and they lead him through a ruined city where an old Garfish class troop carrier is hidden. Yellow is surprised to see that Russ and Franky are both old men. He asks a third man named Darjeeling if he's from Mars, but he gets no reply. Russ and Franky explain that Darjeeling hasn't spoken to anyone in years, including them. The sheriff throws Stick and the others into jail, and Stick tries to explain that he's heading to Reflex Point. The sheriff answers that he won't let a group of ex-soldier thieves do as they wish. Outside, two masked men steal the MOSPEADAs and escape in a truck. The sheriff releases Stick and the others and gives them horses so they can chase the thieves. Inside the Garfish, Yellow finds stores of weapons and sees that the old men must survive by selling them. He asks if they're soldiers, and Russ says he can't remember. Franky adds that all the younger soldiers left for Reflex Point, never to be heard from again. Russ explains that they're mechanics and attempted to reach Reflex Point, but decided to live instead. The two old men Donald and Pierrot pull up in the stolen MOSPEADAs, and Franky yells at them to turn off the bikes since they use HBT. Darjeeling brings out a pot of soup and offers it to Aisha. The old men ask them to stay for dinner and a goodbye drink.

 

After dinner, the old men sit around a table to drink and play cards. Yellow notices Darjeeling sitting by a communication system, and Franky explains that it can receive messages from Mars, but it can't transmit. Yellow thinks about how the old men lost their will to fight after facing the Inbit. When Aisha begins to have a headache, Yellow asks if there's an Inbit relay tower nearby. Franky pulls out a gun and asks if Aisha works for the Inbit. Yellow tries to explain that she's sensitive to the Inbit after losing her memories, but they don't believe him. Yellow then kisses Aisha to prove that she's not with the Inbit. Outside, two Grabs chase after Darjeeling. Yellow blows away one of the Grabs with a bazooka and sees that Darjeeling was trying to retrieve a bag with the ride armor. The other Grab is destroyed when Stick and the others arrive. Inside the Garfish, Stick punches Franky and yells at the old men for losing their soldier's pride. Yellow tells him to calm down because the old men already tried to attack Reflex Point. Stick then spots the communication system and tries to send a message, but Yellow explains that it can't transmit. A message then comes in from Colonel Mienne at Mars, who states that the Third Liberation Force is being prepared. He issues orders for any surviving members of the first two forces to attack the relay towers on the way to Reflex Point. Darjeeling then leaves and drives toward an Inbit relay tower on his own, where he's killed by several Eagers. The next morning, everyone stands over Darjeeling's body, and Aisha looks at a holographic message from Darjeeling's son. Franky blames the communication system for leading to Darjeeling's death and tries to shoot it, but Yellow stops him. Another message comes in from Mienne, and they realize that he's Darjeeling's son. Stick tells everyone they have to head out and continue their mission. Franky and the other men put on their ride armor and take off in the Garfish. A large group of Eagers emerge from the relay tower and attack Stick's group. Just then, the Garfish appears and opens fire on the Inbit. The Eagers turn their attention to the Garfish and open fire on it. Franky intends to finish what they've started and sets the Garfish on a collision course with the relay tower. The Garfish smashes into the tower, and Stick asks them to escape. Franky asks Stick to survive and fires all of the Garfish's missiles, causing an explosion that destroys both the ship and the tower. Afterward, everyone buries Darjeeling.

 

Commentary

 

This is a pretty interesting episode in that it focuses on old men from the First Liberation Force that came to Earth 30 years earlier. These guys probably saw hell while trying to attack Reflex Point, so they gave up and hid themselves away. To survive, they sell off their weapons and steal stuff from the nearby town. Naturally, this puts Stick into conflict with them since he's still so young and naive. He prattles on about a soldier's pride, but he doesn't understand what the old men experienced. The silent Darjeeling is a rather sad character - living on just to hear a message from his son, which he follows up with a suicide attack. In the end, the old men still had a bit of soldiering in them and sacrificed their lives so that Stick and the others could escape. At the same time, Yellow has started to wonder what Aisha really is, given the events of the previous episode.

 

Overall Rating

Full StarFull StarFull StarHalf StarNo Star

3.5 out of 5 stars
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Mospeada Episode 18 Mospeada Episode 18
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