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Tansy Rayner Roberts

ROBOTECH REWATCH 11: Single Sex Spaceships Are For Girls Too

August 9th, 2014 at 9:18

escapemiriyaRobotech will be rewatched after these messages. This is the episode where humans (Micronians) figure out how to use this snogging thing strategically.

But more importantly, THE GIRLS ARE BACK IN TOWN!

You know how boring it is when any given alien race in a SF TV show are all played by male actors, not because of some grand statement about gender, but as a lazy default? Up until now it has looked very much as if the Zentraedi were an All Boys Outfit, but this is the episode where it all changes

Zentraedi women kick arse, in case you were wondering.

Episode 12 – The Big Escape

Thank goodness we have the narrator to explain the plot. This is what the aliens plan to do next:

1. Recover the SDF1 intact, with the hidden protoculture factory on board.
2. Destroy the earth
3. Figure out what protoculture is
4. Profit

More specifically, they have brought in a new commander – Azonia, who is in charge of one of the ladies only fleets. She will be flying into action near Earth (have they actually left Khyron there with no supervision? That seems like a Bad Plan) with the specific mission of sending a micronised Konda, Rico and Bron in to live undercover on the SDF1. Proper spying!

Obviously male Zentraedi are only allowed on the lady ships if they are a different size to them, to prevent hanky panky. I’m not sure why there is such a firm segregation between genders in the alien fleets if they are all socially conditioned to find romance and sex basically disgusting anyway. But the show is pretty much based on the premise that you only have to put men and women in a room together and they start trying to stick their tongues in each others mouths, so who am I to argue with the show?

Rick, Lisa and Ben are still prisoners. Rick and Ben muse on the weird reaction that the aliens had to that whole kissing thing, and consider trying it again to cause a distraction so they can escape. Sadly for the slash fandom, they are still not remotely prepared to kiss each other, even for science. Lisa can see where all this is headed, and flies into a rage against Rick, accusing him of trying to trap her into smooches, despite the fact that the last one was entirely HER IDEA.

As those two lay into each other in yet another epic squabble (okay, okay, I’m starting to actually see what the narrator was banging on about with these two several episodes ago), Ben comes up with a new plan, for him to kiss Lisa instead. No one likes this plan other than Ben.

Lisa gets over herself remarkably quickly after the possibility of Ben stuns her into reasonableness, and she prepares to pucker up (with Rick, obviously) as soon an alien comes by their cell. Their Snog Strategy only hits one major problem – it’s not an alien at all, but Max come to rescue them! He has dressed his Battloid up in a Zentraedi uniform, which is an adorable piece of cosplay, and places all three of them into his giant pockets so they can make their way out.

But of course he still has time to tease the hell out of Lisa and Rick for kissing on the job. Because why would you not?

They’re separated in the escape and Rick and Lisa make an amazing discovery – cloning vats, where the Zentraedi not only create new life, but also can reduce themselves down to human size. Lisa suspects this has something to do with the whole Protoculture thing.

They’re grabbed by an alien soldier and get into a tussle. Lisa is distressed when her precious video camera is damaged (someone get this lady an iPhone), and Rick has a stack of massive guns fall on him. But mostly she’s upset about the video. Rick shoots a giant gun at the alien, rescues Lisa, and has to talk her out of yet another ‘I’m crying all over the place because my mission is a failure, you go save yourself’ situation.

Oh, Lisa. Please try to be a better role model for women in the military, this is just embarrassing.

I don’t want Lisa to be steel-coated the whole time, but it’s bizarre the way she swings from ‘all is lost, leave me here, I want to die, wahhh’ to ‘I am awesome commander, obey my orders bitch’ with no middle ground at all. No wonder the poor dear is stressed all the time. She needs some more therapeutic kissing, possibly with someone who is better at it than Rick.

Lisa and Rick get stuck somewhere in the ship (he makes a habit of this as a way of progressing relationships, should we be suspicious of how often he is mysteriously trapped by spaceship architecture?) and discuss their situation – what the Zentraedi are after, Lisa’s history as a daughter of a military family and how her academic achievements tend to scare people off, Rick’s confusing and unsatisfying romance with Minmei, and Lisa’s sad lack of a boyfriend.

Yes, really.

Finally, having come to a new understanding with each other that for once does not involve shouting or snogging, Lisa and Rick catch up with Max and Ben, and all four of them hitch a lift on a shuttle heading for the SDF1.

It’s commanded by Azonia, with Miriya as first officer. Excuse me while I squee my head off at the sight of Miriya, whom I love beyond all things. Look at her, being all military and amazing. SO GOOD AT HER JOB. Off they go to deliver the three spies to the SDF1 – and how convenient that our Micronian stowaways want to go to the exact same place!

Lisa has regained her confidence and is all smug commander again. It’s such a good look on her. Even her hair looks shiner when she’s giving proper orders and embracing her general awesomeness.

As Azonia’s ship emerge from hyperspace, everyone is greeted by the music of Minmei. Mixed feelings all around!

Miriya shows her amazing flying skills as she makes it past all the human defences, breaches the SDF1, drop the spies inside the fortress without being spotted, and heads back to Azonia, all without breaking a sweat.

Miriya, don’t think I didn’t consider naming one of my daughters after you. TEAM MIRIYA.

robotech rewatchThis weekly rewatch of classic animated space opera Robotech is brought to you as bonus content for the Musketeer Space project. Thanks to everyone who has linked, commented, and especially to my paid patrons. You can support Musketeer Space at Patreon.

1 – So Much For World Peace
2 – Who Put Pluto There?
3 – To Be In Love
4 – Welcome to the First Chinese Restaurant in Space
5 – Saturn Ahoy!
6 – Death by Flashback
7 – Dating in Deep Space
8 – Beauty Queens & Battloids
9 – It’s Not Easy Being Vermilion
10 – Even Educated Fleas Do Itescapemiriya

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2 Responses to “ROBOTECH REWATCH 11: Single Sex Spaceships Are For Girls Too”

  1. John Samuel Says:

    Yay Miriya!

  2. Stephen Geigen-Miller Says:

    Yes, it’s pretty much impossible to overstate Miriya’s awesomeness.

    I also retain a great deal of fondness for Azonia, probably out of all proportion to her actual role. I think it’s the hair.

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