Read about these posts here.
I’m a friggin genius
Turns out, all my theories were correct, after all.
Gaelio is Vidar (but we pretty much knew about that from the start), and the Vidar MS does contain Ein’s brain! (the Alaya-Vijnana Mode E).
McGillis does have an Alaya-Vijnana implant… though it’s a new development, he didn’t have it as a kid on Mars…
…because he was not Human Debris, a child soldier. No, he was a child kept captive into sex slavery.
And when he was rescued… it was to be groomed (*shudder*) by his step-father as both a personal sex slave and heir. WTF Iznario? And you had the nerve to be fucking surprised when adult McGillis overthrew you?
A neat detail here in the conversations… McGillis was a bit the “Char” of the first season, but all his “Montag” persona and the mask was thoroughly lampshaded: we knew right away who was behind the mask, and so did most of the characters. BUT it turns out McGillis WAS wearing a mask most of his life, since childhood, to be able to get his revenge, as Gaelio notes, bitterly; a mask of “the suave heir of noble house Fareed”. More like Casval than we expected.
The role of the Bael is a bit unclear… but as I was dicussing with my friend Flavio elsewhere, it looks like a “I drew Excalibur from the stone” moment. It does not technically give McGillis absolute rulership, but it might be a symbolic gesture that could win him the simpathy and allegiance of the younger (and often super eager and impressionable, as we’ve seen) Gjallarhorn officers.
For sure it did not elicit instant submission of the Arianrhod fleet and Rustal… who noted this was the actions of a child that has never grown. Which would make sense: young McGillis idolized in his mind the figure of Gjallarhorn’s legendary founder as the epitome of all that’s powerful. He wanted that. He wanted to be that. To be powerful enough that nobody would ever be able to mess with him anymore. He’s still that kid, still searching for enough power.
And btw, regarding Bael, I wonder what they meant about Agnika Kaieru’s spirit living in it… McGillis seemed to imply it was basically the technology they were studying with the experiments that lead to Cyber-Ein and to Vidar. Maybe there is not an organic part, but it seems Kaieru in the end fused deeply with Bael and “became one”; his brain patterns probably became part of Bael’s software (aside: nice to see the Demonic Circles back on the cockpit’s computer).
Oh and I wonder if the reaction of the Seven Star House Head that looks like a Chinese sage is just because of the bold move that would mean taking control of Gjallarhorn, or if the Bael has never been activated because of some danger or flaw…
Other stray impressions:
- Gaelio actually looks badass with the scar and the helmet (and that scowl).
- Julieta discovers the true nature of Vidar… I still wonder if she would consider the AV system for herself.
- Gaelio remarks “since you’re here it means you can pilot it”… let’s just assume Bael can’t be piloted without an AV (McGillis’ back is in the frame when he says this; nice direction touch)
- Pacific-Rim style Synchronization! (which was already an homage to earlier super-robot tropes, so, neat)
- The Sancta-Sanctorum of Gjallarhorn where Vidar is kept has the huge heraldic insignia of all the Seven Stars. A nice touch.
- The soundtrack that underscores Baal’s activation is very cool… but I’m a sucker for orchestra+choir.
All in all, another solid episode… though it turns out to be one of the “interstitial” ones, despite having mobile suit action in it.