Well, Gundam Unicorn episode 5 came out recently, and whenever any Unicorn episode comes out, I drop whatever I’m doing and watch it. Well, I found episode 4 rather disappointing, and I’m not alone on this one. So I was rather apprehensive about watching this episode. However, turns out I loved this episode. Barring some minor complaints, I feel as if this episode took the Unicorn train and placed it back on the awesome track. By the way, I’m about to spoil the entire episode, so you should get out if you haven’t seen it yet.
This episode starts off with the Unicorn Gundam Banshee’s deployment that we saw at the end of last week’s episode. We learn that it’s working for the Vist Foundation, and soon it traps the Delta Plus under the wreckage of the Shamblo, and the Banshee soon takes down the Unicorn. We see that Alberto Vist and his men have all but assumed control of the Ra Cailum, the vessel captained by Bright Noa. They’re trying to pry the last coordinates of Laplace’s Box from the Unicorn, but to no avail, as Banagher placed a lock on the controls. Riddhe, also on board the same ship, learns from Alberto that Banagher is Cardeas’ illegitimate son. Meanwhile, Martha Vist Carbine is talking with Audrey, and soon reveals that they ultimately have the same goal. However, Audrey stresses the intricacies of their goals, that Audrey doesn’t want to cause another war with what’s inside the Laplace’s box, and Martha wants to keep the status quo and remain in power. Martha soon reveals to Audrey the same thing Alberto revealed to Riddhe, and we also find out that Marida, the pilot of the Banshee, has been reconditioned, that the Gundam is her enemy.
Meanwhile, Banagher in-between interrogation segments, is visited by Bright while in the brig. While Banagher’s being his usual mopey, “I am useless!” self, lamenting about who’s right, who’s wrong, who’s a friend, and who’s an enemy, Bright reminds him that all the other Gundam pilots he met were just like him. That though they all stumbled upon the Gundam due in part to at least some dumb luck, they all chose to pilot the Gundam, instead of running away. That’s a testament to their strong wills. I thought that, though it lampshaded and sort of tried to justify the whole “FALL INTO A GUNDAM” trope, it was a really awesome moment. Through a neat little cameo by Beltorchika, Bright finds out that the Vist Foundation and the Earth Federation’s top brass are a little too close to each other, and that they want to wipe out the Nahel Argama, and anyone else who knows about Laplace’s Box. Bright proposes they work together with the Neo Zeons in some small manner, and using Beltorchika’s Luio & Company resources, opens up a talk with the Garancieres, and appoints one his most trusted negotiators.
Bright’s plan is to get Banagher to link up with the Neo Zeon guys, pick up Audrey, and meet up with the Nahel Argama in orbit, who have, by the way, been on standby for 20 days, and don’t mind working with the Neo Zeon guys (past the initial shock, of course), considering they haven’t been doing anything for a while. And their shit’s probably gonna get blown up soon, anyway. With the plan in motion, Banagher is taken by the Vist guys to the Garuda, with Marida and Riddhe along for the ride. Soon enough, the Garancieres attacks the transports, and Banagher uses that opportunity to break away, and try to get Audrey back, with Marida soon in pursuit. Banagher tries to make Marida realize that she’s been brainwashed, but she’s having none of it. However, something’s not right, as she keeps hesitating whenever Zinnerman is around. Eventually, she goes rather apeshit, and activates the Banshee’s Destroy mode.
Meanwhile, Riddhe uses this opportunity to board the Garuda directly, and tries to take Audrey back. He implies that he knows what’s in Laplace’s box, but he can’t change the status quo by himself, so he decides to protect it, anyway. He doesn’t want to start another war. However, being that Audrey is Mineva Zabi, she’d rather find out the secrets for herself. Though she prefers anything over war, she equally resents the twisted system in place, and could even find herself starting the same wars as her family did. Zinnerman, who’s been aboard the Garuda for some time, created a diversion, giving Audrey enough time to escape from Martha, Alberto, their guards, and Riddhe. She jumps from the ship, with Riddhe failing to catch her. Audrey then calls out to Banagher through the usual Newtype powers, and he finds an opportunity to break away from the Banshee, and catches her.
Finding a mutual purpose together in the Unicorn’s cockpit, Banagher leaves her in the Garancieres, and goes back for Marida and Zinnerman. Though he scuffles with Marida for a bit, Riddhe sees the two Unicorns, and seeing as how he’s pretty pissed at Audrey running away, boards his Delta Plus and tries to attack the pair. Marida recognizes the Delta Plus as a Gundam, and attacks it, tearing it to shreds. However, before she can get back to attacking Banagher, Zinnerman reveals his presence, and she starts hesitating. Riddhe, surviving his Delta Plus’s wrecking, starts firing at the Banshee with a sidearm, though he passes out. Marida realizes she’s piloting a Gundam, and passes out from the shock.
Banagher takes Zinnerman and Marida back to the Garancieres, leaving the unconscious, but super pissed, Riddhe and the Banshee behind. At this point, the Garancieres tries to link up with the passing Nahel Argama, but an engine failure seems to be ruining that plan. A few of the mobile suits get out, including Banagher, who has to go into Destroy mode to provide extra thrust. That’s not enough, it seems, and Banagher has to manually link the Garancieres with the Nahel Argama’s tether, though trying to connect the two strains the Unicorn heavily. The Unicorn’s psychoframe, in response to the ghosts of Daguza Mackle and Gilboa Sant showing up to help, turns green, and gets a massive power boost, enough to easily connect the tether.
At this point, the Garuda sends out reinforcements, and attacks the tethered ships. In a very rare moment in all of Gundam history (I can only think of one other example in the past), the Unicorn can’t fight, as it has run out of fuel. While it seems like the two ships are screwed, two old faces show up again, and start blasting the reinforcements. Why, the help comes from none other than Angelo Sauper in his new (totally sweet) Rozen Zulu, and none other than Full Frontal. The episode soon ends with the Red Comet doing some awesome shit.
Well, this episode is awesome for a number of reasons. For starters, Banagher’s usual idealism has been turned down a number of notches, and last episode’s “I’VE GOT SO MUCH PERSPECTIVE” is also almost nowhere to be seen, save for maybe the brig scene with Banagher and Bright. In this episode, we start to overtly see that all the various plot threads are coming together. In fact, it seems like everything’s converging towards the opening of the Box, which is probably gonna be awesome. Additionally, we start to see the character’s views solidify, and interestingly enough, they all revolve around what to do with the box. While I don’t quite know what’s inside the Box, I can’t wait to find out how everyone reacts to the secret of the box, save for maybe Riddhe.
The action was, like the entire series, pretty great, and really exhilarating, though there was quite a bit more CG used in this episode than usual. Not so much to make the whole thing jarring, but the CG’s there. Still, the continuous, episode-long fight was really quite exciting. There were some little things in the episode that were pretty awesome, like the lampshaded trope, Kai Shiden’s cameo, Bright talking to Amuro’s portrait, and Full Frontal’s return. And who can forget about the Banshee? Man, even though it didn’t do much besides give the Unicorn a run for its money, it was still pretty awesome. All in all, this was a really great episode, and it may be the best yet, but it’s hard to wait almost a year for the next episode, especially since it ended on such a cliffhanger. Oh well, that’s why we all love OVAs, I suppose.