The highlight here is not that there were three Gundams. Ever since the very first Alternative Universe series (Mobile Fighter G Gundam) we’ve been treated to multiple Gundam Mobile Suits share the same battlefield, at times fighting each other. Mobile Suit Gundam AGE did well to enforce scarcity on the Gundam design in its narrative, such that the emergence of three units in the same place at the same time is indeed a remarkable and significant event. But no, this is not the highlight of the episode.
The highlight is the quick resolution, consistent with the pacing of this show throughout its 50 episode run, of the distraction that is the Girard Spriggan story. She arrived sinisterly at the very end of episode 41, to launch the arc; railroaded the narrative in episode 42, and died spectacularly in this episode. Her role as device to challenge Kio’s naiveté is arguably successful, but what’s to appreciate here is how she took control of the battlefield before dying the way Newtypes sometimes do, albeit in a barely sensible manner.
Here I look into her brief time in the spotlight.
She took a page from Mobile Suit Gundam Unicorn and put into play something similar to the NT-D or “Newtype Destroy” System displayed in episode 3 of the OVA. The NT-D is a feature of the RX-0 Gundam Unicorn that allows the Newtype pilot to go into destroy mode vs. other Newtypes and commandeer their Psycommu-based weapons (read: Funnels). It was used to devastating, dramatic effect in that episode. Without the technological and world-building touches of the Unicorn OVA, AGE goes for extreme exaggeration and I think this is for the best.
Spriggan asserted her MS’s and her own X-Rounder powers and took over ALL the funnels in play during the six-way duel, and shot at pretty much everyone in sight. Yes, this is an obvious and heavy-handed thing to portray the victimhood of Spriggan and the evil of those who would make weapons of human beings. They are unstable, as were all artificial or Cyber Newtypes. The difference here is that the extent of her powers drove herself and her suit into destruction.
This self-destruction is a cheap trick, but I am not to bothered by it. Why cheap? Kio is absolved of having to fight her or actually convert her. In fact, he gets to keep “fighting his own way” and even stopped Flit from fighting his own motherfucking awesome way. Let us accept that the story wants us to like Kio as the redeemer of Flit, the way Asem cannot. This is how it’s going to be. (And what the fuck is wrong with Algreus assuming that Flit is interested in low Vagan casualties? Completely out of character for both he and Flit).
Zero casualties among the duelists, except from the BSOD demise of Spriggan. I’ve lost the will to RAEG. All in this episode was enjoyable to watch anyway.