Welcome all, to another (late) week of Big O! Apologies, lost track of time. This week we meet another android, rocks fall from the sky, and Rosewater finally takes center stage as our lead villain. Is it any good? Does Dorothy do cute robot girl things? And does Roger get to punch something? The answer to all of those is found inside! Here’s a hint though: The answer is yes. And apologies in advance if this one is a bit more rambly than normal, it’s a very busy week and I don’t have time to proofread it. Should be back to normal for next week.
First up we have episode 15, “Negotiation with the Dead”. This episode Big O starts to widen its vision a bit, bringing in the politics of Paradigm City and hinting at more of it’s dark secrets. Remember R. Dorothy, the red hood from Season 1? Well apparently those people she was murdering have memories of the past, memories belonging to former Senators of Paradigm City, the same Senators that were also killed during the terrorist episode. She was killing them to try and get rid of those memories, eliminating anyone that had them. However this episode we meet one such Senator who still lives, Roscoe Fitzgerald, who asks Roger to investigate this assassin for him. The catch? Roscoe still has all of his memories, he doesn’t have an alter ego, a normal person who inherited or found his memories. Why? Simple. Because he’s an android.
This twist was really interesting to me, as I believe Roscoe is the first android we’ve met from the pre-amnesia days. Does this mean that androids didn’t lose their memories the same way humans did, that they were immune to it? Or did he just find his own memories again somehow? Either way, he knows enough to know exactly what he’s doing when he calls Roger and asks him to investigate. He purposefully set everything in this episode off, banking on Roger being good at his job and finding his way to the Wayneright mansion where he would then trigger some security protocols and an alert of some kind. Why we don’t yet know, was he trying to contact the outside world perhaps? Get them to intervene in Paradigm City? Or was that all an accident and he really thought they would find/stop R.D. I can’t really decide.
Whatever the case, the Wayneright mansion had some cool stuff with some concerning implications. Inside they find not only a lab where Dorothy was made/woke up, but a series of copper and lead lined rooms as well. Why? Are they some kind of faraday cage, or perhaps meant to prevent someone spying through the walls or something? The presence of the other feral android, seemingly a prototype body for Dorothy, might suggest they were meant to contain something. On top of that, the mansion’s security protocols also triggered a Megadeus to awaken in town. This was a weird one, it looked significantly more sophisticated than anything we have seen prior and is easily the most agile, able to do flips and such. Is that just a difference in design, or is it actually more modern than the others? There’s also the question of who/what, if anything, was piloting it. Simply put, the Wayneright mansion piled on a host of new questions for Big O to answer.
Speaking of mysteries, this episode also opens up a bit on Angel’s. For the longest time she appeared to be an employee of Rosewater, one of his many spies. But this episode Big O reveals that, if anything, she was spying on him. Apparently Angel is not only aware of the foreign elements that have been sneaking into/attacking the city, she’s in direct contact with them. Sending messages, helping, spying for them. For what purpose? Is she looking for a specific memory to send back, something to help them take over Paradigm City? Or is she part of some resistance movement like the woman from Dastun’s episode? Whatever she’s doing, judging by her reaction to the assassin, Gabriel, she’s clearly not on Rosewaters side. That doesn’t mean she’s on Roger’s side yet either, but it’s a move in the right direction I think.
Finally I want to talk about a few of the smaller details of the episode. Specifically, I want to talk about Roscoe and his wife. While we didn’t get much from them, I think meeting them will end up being very important for Dorothy. This is our first on-screen case of a human loving an android, being fully aware of what they are. Not only that, but Roscoe seemed to love his wife back. It shows us, and Dorothy, that it’s possible. That there exists and endgame for her and Roger. Will it end in tragedy like Roscoe and his wife? Maybe, that would be a pretty ballsy move from Big O. Personally though, Big O is one of those stories where I’d like some kind of happy ending. Maybe that’s just because I adore Dorothy, but I’d love to see them get together by the end.
This brings me to episode 16, “Day of the Advent”. This one is where Rosewater really starts to come into his own as a villain, taking center stage with a diabolical plot to kill hundreds outside the dome. And that plot is… To sit around and do nothing while a satellite hits because he doesn’t care. Not the most active of plots, true. And sure, we don’t yet know why he wanted the satellite, I suspect it’s because of the old technology it contains though we don’t know for certain. But the fact remains, using Roscoe’s memories Rosewater was able to predict where and when a satellite would fall from space and was totally ok with a bunch of innocents being wiped out by the impact. And Roger? He wasn’t, hence the conflict.
That said, there is someone who might know what Rosewater wants: Angel. I talked about it a bit in episode 15, but Angel seems suspiciously knowledgeable about all of this. Even in just this episode, she knew about orbitals, satellites, how to read/interpret that fancy terminal Rosewater had going. Maybe I’m reading into this a bit much, she could just be smart and figuring it out or not all of this information was lost with the amnesia. Books still exist after all. But when combined with her clear involvement with the foreigners, the messages and the summoning of foreign Megadeus’s, it certainly seems like she knows more than she’s letting on. Well… more than what I thought she knew before, which she also wasn’t letting on. Angel is in this weird spot of knowing a lot ok, and I can’t quite pin down just how much.
Aside from Rosewater dooming an entire neighborhood to their deaths, there wasn’t a whole lot going on this episode. Roger does some investigation, finds the scuba-suit people again who are collecting fallen Megadeus (Probably employed by Rosewater), and we meet a kid who can’t walk out in the sun. The only one of these I felt engaged with was the kid, and even that only because Dorothy got involved and they had a whole “Someone who looks like me” thing about enjoying the small things in life, like going outside. Aside from that, most of this episode felt like it was meant to push Rosewater to the forefront and get Roger directly involved with him in an adversarial fashion. Basically it was meant as Rosewater’s grand entrance as a primary villain. And it did that fine.
So yeah, all in all these were fine episodes. I can’t say they were my favorites, I wasn’t wowed by either nor particularly invested in them. Part of that is probably because the last few weeks have been great so any step back from that feels a little less exciting. Still, they were fun, the action so far is a big improvement from Season 1 and I’m down for Big O to start exploring more and more of this mysterious setting it’s given us. We’re starting to really dive into the foreigners, Rosewater’s plans, and what exactly happened 40 years ago. If can get answers to all of those by the end of the series? I’ll be happy.
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