We’re up to one of my favourite subplots, the Max-Miriya romance. In my head, it always takes a lot longer for the two of them to, uh, settle things between them. But this episode is one of my favourites, and the game duel between them may have inspired an early scene in Musketeer Space…
Team Miriya all the way!
Episode 24 – Showdown
Lisa is off on her secret mission to convince the top brass on Earth that it’s a good idea to let the Zentraedi deserters integrate with their own society. Sami is taking her temp gig seriously, and she’s on fire with new confidence – so much so that she ends up chiding Captain Gloval for interrupting her. It’s adorable the way he lets the bridge crew scold him.
On impulse, Lisa calls Rick from the shuttle as she takes off, telling him what’s going on, and nervously adding how much she has enjoyed spending time with him. He’s outraged that she is leaving and this is the first he has heard about it.
Lisa’s little shuttle comes under attack, and she ends up wrapped in several layers of protective metal while a battle breaks out around her. Hunter’s Veritech crew are called in to add some firepower, but Rick doesn’t understand any of Sami’s instructions in the field. He wasn’t supposed to be on duty until tomorrow, so Sami hasn’t given him the new codebook yet! Oops.
When Lisa finally climbs out of her protective egg, Rick calls her shuttle to have a deep and meaningful about the bomb she dropped about maybe not being allowed to come home. He’s too shy to talk about more than military matters over the radio, so ends up flashing an entire heartfelt speech at her in morse code with his spaceship lights. Because that’s discreet.
Speaking of romance, Miriya Parino is still wandering around Macross City as a glamorous green-haired spy, and she’s in love… with a video game arcade. She’s finally figured out how the Micronians get so good at flying, by practicing on games like this. It’s also a good way to earn some currency, which shows she is much better at the whole undercover spy thing than Konda, Rico and Bron. No wonder she’s dressed so nicely.
Max tries to cheer up an obviously depressed Rick when he finds him at the restaurant, and drags him off to the Game Center. Yes, it’s the same arcade. THIS MAY BE SIGNIFICANT!
Rick and Max clean up on the games, thanks to their pilot skills and making a bundle of cash. This is not happy-making for the owner of the arcade.
“Oh boy I knew should never have opened this kind of business by the base.”
Understatement of the year.
Meanwhile, Admiral Hayes is delighted that his “little girl” has returned to Earth. Lisa’s Dad is a lot more cuddly this time around, happy she is properly away from the dangers of the SDF1. He attempts to be openly affectionate to her, but Lisa was burned last time around and refuses to treat him with anything but chilly military formality.
Max is delighted to see the beautiful green-haired woman he has been noticing around the place, and challenges her to a game because that’s the closest he can come to flirting. Miriya eyes his winnings and agrees if he bets all that, since it suggests he’s worthy of her skill. The two of them end up in a play off that is highly challenging – but Max beats her surprisingly easily and they move up to the next level.
A crowd gathers, and Miriya is impressed by Max’s skills as they duck and duel. She wonders if this is the pilot that Khyron taunted her with, the one who bested her in battle.
Meanwhile, Max is completely smitten with Miriya. But because his default setting is smug asshole (he smiles so sweetly but has SUCH a big head) he manages to turn the whole game into a humiliation for Miriya instead of a successful flirtation. As she tries to leave, utterly mortified, Max grabs her hand and forces her to agree to meet him in the park, because he’s INCAPABLE of reading body language and doesn’t realise how badly he’s screwed up.
I’m restraining myself from suggesting if Max spent a little less time playing video games, he might have more of a clue about how people work. But hey, it’s worked for him so far. This can’t possibly backfire, right? He’s pretty, it’s all bound to be fine.
Lisa is pleased that her father is supporting her argument about the Zentraedi being of similar biological origin to humans – but despite a successful meeting and a cozy father daughter chat about her love life, he shows her the Big Space Cannon they have waiting to shoot at the Zentraedi before they open peace negotiations.
Nothing Lisa has to say can change her father’s mind on this. She is horrified that the Earth government are planning to try to make themselves look tough before entering peace negotiations – they obviously haven’t taken any notice of the intel about how outnumbered and outgunned they are.
Back on the SDF1, the media are shipping Minmei and Kyle like whoa in a press conference, bullying her to confirm that she and Kyle are a couple and on the brink of marriage. After a brief diversion into her previous romance with Rick, the cameras capture Kyle admitting that he’s thought about proposing to her.
Minmei is shocked and a bit grossed out, and so is Rick watching on the TV. (and yes, you know Ms9 is shrieking at the TV right now, ew cousins, wtf?) As if that isn’t bad enough, Rick then has to put up with Max babbling about tie choices for his own date. Later he bumps into Claudia who asks him gently why he was so stuck on Minmei anyway, and hints that Lisa would be a much better match for him.
The Next Week on Robotech announcement completely spoils the biggest plot twist in the entire show thus far – but you’ll have to wait until next week to find out the details because *I* am not that mean. (psst, there’s gonna be a wedding…)
This 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.