This one is all about the Rick and Lisa and Minmei thing. Oh, the angst. They are all so bad at this, possibly because they’ve been fighting a war instead of going to college, sleeping with all the wrong people, and building social skills.
But even in the apocalypse, there’s always someone worse off than yourself.
Episode 33 – A Rainy Night
The narrator informs us that the love triangle between Rick, Minmei and Lisa has reached a critical impasse, despite the fact that this has been obvious to everyone else for MONTHS.
Claudia plays the role of sassy friend, giving a heartbroken Lisa some tea and the helpful advice that maybe she should mention to Rick how she feels about him.
As we all know, telepathy is not his strong suit. Sadly, conversations about feelings are also not his strong suit.
Lisa asks Rick to come and see her to talk after his all night patrol and he gets stroppy because he thinks this is her passive aggressive way of telling him he’s rubbish at remembering military protocol – which includes reporting to her directly after his patrol anyway. He also assumes she is getting at him because of that whole awkward thing with Minmei recently, so when yells at her he adds that his personal life is none of her business.
Oh, and to prove how much his personal life is none of his superior officer’s business, Rick flirts with Vanessa in front of Lisa. Understandably, she storms off, leaving Vanessa to scold him because he is being hurtful to Lisa, who is in love with him.
Because Rick is not capable of understanding the truth even when it’s literally spelled out to him in words, he laughs it off as an impossibility.
Wow, that whole sort-of-dating a popstar in his teens thing really messed with his self esteem.
Lisa mopes in the rain, and ends up having tea with Claudia – though Lisa immediately gains grownup brownie points with me for demanding wine instead because come on, heartbreak and girltalk requires more than tea.
Claudia counters Lisa’s moping with the trump card of ‘my hot pilot boyfriend was killed in action, at least yours is still alive.’ I like to think she uses this in all conversations when she gets bored with the topic. ‘Hey, you need a pay raise and your roof is leaking? My hot pilot boyfriend was killed in action.’
We then get a flashback which explains how Roy and Claudia met, and their rocky, on-off relationship. In particular, it fills in some of the gaps between the flirty hound version of Roy we saw at the beginning of the epic, as opposed to the sweet serious boyfriend we were expected to believe he had transformed into upon his death.
It’s – not an especially romantic story, given that it’s mostly how Roy messed around with other girls while Claudia pines and grouched at him, but it does have an important message which is that it takes two to have a relationship and if you don’t have the guts to tell someone you fancy them, you don’t have a leg to stand on when they rescue other girls from alien abduction.
While all this flashbacking is going on, Rick lies around on his bunk thinking about the day and feeling guilty. He eventually comes to the realisation that if Vanessa says Lisa is in love with him, maybe she is ACTUALLY IN LOVE WITH HIM. And maybe that make sense of everything else that has happened between them in recent months.
He’s slow, but he gets there in the end.
After hunting Lisa up and down the housing camp, Rick calls Claudia, who pushes them both out in the rain together with a box of tea and an umbrella. Because romance.
Wow, that was easy.
Imagine your own ominous chords right there.
Lisa has gone all domestic goddess again – but at least this time it’s for an actual pre-arranged romantic date, and not the ninja dating she was attempting before. There’s gonna be a picnic lunch, which was HIS idea, and Lisa has been baking all morning to prepare for it. She and Rick have finally got their shit together.
It must be his turn to screw up, then.
While Rick is getting ready, he gets a call from Minmei, who asks him to make it over to Monument City. He tries to put her off, but she bulldozes him into cancelling his plans on the grounds that he can see his other friends any time. And Rick, as we all know, has never been able to say no to Minmei.
He calls to try to cancel with Lisa, only to realise she’s already left to meet him, and STILL STANDS HER UP. Because he is a jerk.
Speaking of jerks, Minmei is a horrible date. She talks about herself constantly, and pouts when Rick points out he liked her before she was a movie star – she takes that as implicit criticism of who she is now, when she kinda likes being the rich and famous big fish in a very small post-apocalyptic pool. On the other hand, she does have a thank you present for saving her life – a white scarf – which is probably the most considerate she’s ever been.
Oh, but Minmei is rude to the waiter, that’s fun. Luckily it’s a snarky waiter who gives no fucks, and he bitches right back at her.
Also, the piano player plays Minmei’s greatest hits in the background.
Rick does not notice he is on the worst date ever.
For those keeping track at home, it’s officially four years since their first date. Does that mean Minmei isn’t even twenty yet? Also, I’m trying to remember if they ever went on an actual date ever.
Kyle crashes their lunch and tries to physically drag Minmei out to see photographers as they previously arranged – which means Rick isn’t the only one who blew off someone else for this little rendezvous without formally cancelling. Minmei sulks and pouts, and Kyle just gets angrier at her, sneering: “This is how a professional acts. Attractive, isn’t it?” at Rick.
For a brief moment, I am on Kyle’s side for the first time ever. Of course he spoils that by literally smacking Minmei around, but apart from the domestic violence I can totally see his point.
After letting his date’s obviously abusive manager/cousin/boyfriend take her home, Rick attempts to get drunk at the bar. The bartender cuts him off on the grounds that he has already had too much to drive.
Or, you know, FLY A WAR PLANE.
Rick not only drives after drinking, but swerves around a road cordon to get into the now-closed airport where his plane is. Luckily for him, the blockage is due to some rebel Zentraedi which gives him something to shoot, and he’s totally in the mood for that.
He borrows a mecha, takes command, and kicks ass. It improves his mood immeasurably.
Meanwhile, Lisa has been waiting at a cafe all day, getting progressively more and more pissed off by the situation. ALL. DAY. I know this is the age before mobile phones, but I am so sad for her that she is willing to doormat herself to this degree.
To her unexpected delight, Rick comes running just as the cafe closes, and while Lisa is a bit pointedly sharp at him about it, she is way more conciliatory than he deserves. She takes his arm to walk with him, since they totally missed their picnic window – and it’s almost nice up until the point that he wraps his scarf around her neck in a cozy, romantic gesture.
Recognising the perfume, Lisa snarls at him and stalks off, finally apparently reaching the end of her tether.
I kinda wondered what it was going to take.
Rick wonders how he could be so stupid.
It snows on him.
He deserves it.
At Monument City, which is celebrating its new independence, Kyle and his stupid bow tie announces Minmei’s song.
She doesn’t respond to her cue, standing miserably on the stage.
To be fair, he announced We Will Win and the musical cue was blatantly Stage Fright, so maybe she was confused.
The audience mutters, and starts howling Minmei’s name.
She screams that she is sorry, but she can’t perform when her heart is breaking. She flees the stage.
Later, sitting sadly at the seashore, Minmei is still miserable and Kyle tells her off for being selfish, then leaves her forever because he’s “going on a long trip” and not at all passive aggressive.
I mean, it’s probably good for them to separate because they are both desperately angry and unhappy together, plus there’s that thing where he gets drunk and beats on her but no one has escaped with the moral high ground here.
Though I’m pretty sure Kyle thinks he has it, as he just blamed Minmei’s selfishness for why they couldn’t be together.
Ahem. Everyone is miserable, and everything hurts. Things were a lot more cheerful around here before the Zentraedi wiped out most of the Earth’s population.
Much sadness. So weeping.
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.