Welcome all, to another week of Big O! Only two more left after this, which means its time to start thinking of our next series. If you have any you’d like covered, make sure to leave a comment and I’ll make sure it shows up in the poll! Big O was there for over a year and it finally won, so it does eventually happen, I promise. Now without further ado, onto the episodes!
First up is episode 21, “The Third Big”, which continues last week’s fight. As a whole, this episode felt rather awkward, mostly with how it used time. From Roger crossing the city and back in a few minutes to the little details like Alan really slow-rolling Dorothy’s murder. Don’t get me wrong, the overall experience wasn’t bad. I certainly don’t regret that Roger was able to save bae- I mean Dorothy. It’s just… As much as it’s possible to do so in a show about giant robots beating the crap out of each other, Big O broke my suspension of disbelief here. It didn’t feel particularly tense to me because I knew the series was running on Game of Thrones time, where someone could cross the continent in just a few minutes. Is this a big deal? No, not at all. It’s a lingering, but notable, footnote. I just wanted to get my only major criticism out of the way first so we could focus on the good stuff for the rest of the post. So what do you say we do just that?
Since I already mentioned them, let’s start with Alan, Dorothy, and that whole situation. I found it pretty funny that Dorothy asked exactly what I did, that being exactly what Alan is. The consensus seems to be some kind of cyborg, neither human *nor* android, but *Big O* doesn’t commit to any set word. As this is going on, Angel arrives to try and save Dorothy, alternating between threatening and begging Alan to leave her alone. I quite liked the twist here of Angel hesitating, of *failing* her moral test, as the thought of her rival in love dying passes through her mind. I expected Angel to get written out of the story around here, either to sacrifice herself to save Dorothy or to become a damsel in distress. Instead, it seems she still has an arc left to go, and that’s cool.
As this is going on, Roger eventually arrives, with Dastun in toe, beats Alan back, and saves his not-so-blushing android. While that’s all rather expected, there were a lot of small moments I enjoyed here. Dorothy helping Roger with his watch as he refused to put her down was cute. And Dastun lamenting his weakness in the face of the overwhelming power of the Megadeus was cool. Much like Angel, I sort of expected *Big O* to slowly phase him out. I’m happy to be wrong there and to see he still has relevance to the story, if only as a representation of the normal people caught up in something they have no control over. Maybe *Big O* will let him save the day near the end—I don’t know! But it looks like he’s going to be sticking around, hopefully for something good.
Getting back to the Megadeus fight, this is really just Bonaparte, the Union Megadeus, going wild until Rosewater arrives in the Big Fau. Bonaparte gets absolutely *destroyed* and then Big Fau goes a bit stir-crazy. I thought this was solid. I really liked the reveal of “Ye Not”, though I was more expecting a “Ye Guilty”. Rosewater not being worthy, despite his claims and protestations to the contrary, combined with his desperation to get out, really sold the scene for me. Up until now, Rosewater hasn’t really been challenged; he’s only ever come out even or ahead in conflicts, and as such, he hasn’t been a terribly interesting character. But with this failure, we finally get to see behind that mask he’s always projecting. And while we will talk about this more in episode 22, he’s pretty damn childlike under there.
Meanwhile, Roger and Big O seem like they are in perfect sync, both in their desires and actions. Throughout the episode, Big O is telling Roger to go, saying that it can handle itself until he gets back. And when he does, it seems almost effortless for Roger, pulling out these poses and shit. The way they calmly walk up the Big Fau and just… touch it, causing it to turn off of its own volition. It’s like Big Fau respects Roger in every way Rosewater *wishes* it respected him. Just further proof that these things are, at least on some level, sentient. I figure *Big O* will reveal the secret there before the end, but I’d wager there’s like… a human mind/soul or something trapped in these things, like their old pilots or something, and Big Fau missing its “Core Memory” means it’s basically a wild beast. I’m really looking forward to figuring that one out.
Moving on, we come to episode 22, “Hydra”. This was kind of an epilogue to the last arc in a lot of ways, following up with Angel, Dorothy, and Roger after that whole Union thing. Turns out? Angel is having it kind of rough right now. She’s trying to figure out what to do now that the Union is going down and agents are getting arrested on every street corner. At the same time, she’s struggling with who she is without Union or Roger and if she can live with herself after what happened with Dorothy. And, to be honest, things aren’t looking good for her. Roger wasn’t around to console her; too caught up dealing with Rosewater. Meanwhile, Dorothy is at least accepting of her, but the way she phrases it makes it sound like she isn’t capable of being upset in the first place. Basically, there’s no closure to be found so far.
Speaking of Rosewater and Roger, this was not a meeting I was expecting. I thought the two would be at odds for sure after what happened. Instead, it’s as if Rosewater respects Roger for the first time. Maybe it’s because he found out he wasn’t worthy, or that piloting a Megadeus is harder than it seemed—I don’t know. But whatever it is, Rosewater has that almost childlike attitude towards it all I mentioned before. Playing with toys of Big Fau knowing he can’t pilot the real thing, acting like a kid on Christmas plugging in new batteries and messing around with it. *Big O* is infantilizing him a lot here, showing us just how spoilt a kid he really is. Upset that he didn’t get daddies memories, controlling Paradigm City like his own little play pin. It’s… Really weird, in a good way I think.
That said, there was one interesting thing that came out of the meeting: We finally got the particulars of Rosewater’s relationship with the Union. It turns out they *were* working together; they had a peace treaty and everything. Rosewater gives them memories; they smuggle in pieces of Big Fau; it’s a win-win. But the moment Rosewater got what he wanted, he turned on them, breaking the deal and causing the last few episodes to happen. It explains a lot, like how both Angel and Alan got onto his payroll. It wasn’t ineptitude; he knew who they were from the start. And considering his god complex and how sure he was of being able to pilot a Megadeus, it makes sense he wasn’t worried about any reprisals. He had two bigs after all! Only Roger was any kind of threat to him, or so he thought at the time.
Finally we need to take a moment to talk about this weeks giant monster fight. This was decent, though it did feel like a bit of a retread. It’s the electric eel from episode 3 again, though instead of one there are three of them on one body. For the most part this fight exists to show us just how far Roger has come. I’d say the most interesting thing to come out of it would be the new buttons Roger unlocked. Somehow, via memories of past pilots, Roger is able to access a new control panel with all manner of new buttons. It’s a pretty convenient power-up all things considered; I’m not entirely sure it was necessary. But if we’re going to be fighting two bigs, Fau and Duo, in the next few episodes, it’s probably necessary.
So yeah all in all this was a decent week for Big O. Neither episode really wowed me, and 21 definitely had some funkiness going on with the passage of time, but for the most part I enjoyed it. I like where it’s going with Rosewater, both his react to being denied what he wants and his personality regressing. Angel also continues to be interesting, looking forward to what Big O does with her. I’d say so long as her story gets resolved, Dorothy and Roger get together and we get some answers regarding these war-time flashbacks, I’ll be satisfied with whatever Big O throws at me. It has to do it soon though, because we only have two weeks left in the column and 3 weeks in the year. Time’s a ticking!
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