It was bright and colorful, and was dark as it felt like it needed to be. Mobile Suit Gundam AGE finished its first age of three on a very dark note. The enemies are defeated. Vengeance was served. The hero’s innocence was preserved, even if his love was killed. The girl who loved him was victorious, but we do not see her triumphant – her rival was killed unjustly and the hero will not love her the same way, not for some time. The captain was tried and convicted for treason. The big government reveals itself to be unjust and evil.
The enemies are revealed to be human, and are victims of human negligence and corruption. Everybody loses, as war must go on. As a viewer I claim victory. This is Gundam, and better than I expected.
Grodek carried the whole story. His was the motive and drive that caused action in the narrative. As Flit discovers love, X-Rounder powers, and the different ways of Gundam, it is Grodek that brings urgency to everyone he meets and brings the fight to the UE. My favorite moment in relation to this was when we were spared from watching – Flit was spared from having to pull the trigger on Yark Dole.
Grodek shot him from behind, and once more when he didn’t quite die. No hesitation, just the clear and decisive action of a man who knows who he is and why he does things. It doesn’t make him right, but it makes him a powerful element of the narrative. It was quite touching as well, how he thanked everyone who participated in his vendetta. It was only fair that he took the fall for them.
For a moment I thought he was going to kill himself. But as Legend of the Galactic Heroes tells me, the leaders of any failed uprising must survive so that only they receive the reprisals of the movement’s failure (or success). The soldiers who followed them must be spared from these, and this is more honorable an act that a commanding officer must do. Take the disgrace in the place of his men.
Grodek saved Flit, who retained his moral high ground because he did not have to execute an unarmed prisoner in cold blood. This way he can still vow to be a savior. This is exactly what the narrative needs to proceed to the next AGE. For this all thanks must be laid upon Grodek’s prison cell.
As for the Veigans, they’re this story’s version of the oppressed colonists. Their grudge is legitimized in part by the extreme trials they’ve survived. We know that the Earth Federation is accountable because this is Gundam. What we can expect is that the Veigan everyman just wants to return to Earth, while the powers that lead them want to return to Earth as conquerors. They’ll have to get past the Gundam.
If there’s anything that bugs me about the past two episodes is that we saw the Ambat asteroid get NAILED by the big laser. There is nothing in it that tells us it was damaged in any way.
See you next AGE.