ROBOTECH REWATCH 38: I’ll Patrol the Discos!

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Episode 42 – Danger Zone

A newscast reports on what’s happening with the invading fleet. Weirdly, the broadcaster seems to be aware that the military commander of the Robotech Masters (Prince Charming) is called Zor, even though no one has been formally introduced. The standard of investigative journalism in the post-apocalyptic robot universe is surprisingly high.

The 15th Squadron have patrol duty in a city which is jam-packed with seedy recreation as portrayed by neon signs and hot ladies. The boys are all delighted at this turn of events and Dana is amused enough to let them have a little fun – all except Angelo, of course, who would rather have a proper patrol somewhere with no discos or strippers. Poor lad, all he wants is for everyone to take things seriously.

That he has Dana as his superior officer is a tragedy for them both.

The top brass have a meeting about the fact that the Robotech Masters are totally pwning them. Emerson tries to talk everyone out of sending all of Earth’s remaining ships on a suicide mission because no, getting all your troops destroyed is NOT better than sitting around doing nothing. Seriously, humans. This is what we mean when we say you make the Zentraedi look good.

Sadly, Emerson the Chief of Staff (really, so like Leo in the West Wing?) but not actually in charge, all previous appearances to the contrary. So a lot of ships get destroyed, and the space battle only doesn’t end in the complete military destruction of Earth Forces because the Robotech Masters call it off before everyone’s dead.

[actually, hang on, speaking of the West Wing… does anyone think it’s weird that there isn’t like a President or anyone civilian in charge of the Earth government? It’s military, which makes sense, I guess, but who does the day to day administration?]

Earth forces manage to get hold of a shot-up mecha after the battle, and hand it over to the scientists to see what they can figure out. Turns out it had a pilot inside – and not a miniaturised Zentraedi, but a human.

Emerson is depressed about this, not only because it means they’re currently involved in yet another civil war, but also because it means Dana was right again – she picked from the start that Zor was a human, purple hair notwithstanding.

Louis, the 15th’s resident science geek, has his own theories about how the Robotech Masters’ mecha works – they seem to be technobabbling something with protoculture instead of actually having engines. There’s also space folding involved. Louis is pretty sure he can figure out how to wreck their ships using – TECHNOBABBLE to blast them out of whack using biomagnetics.

Dana is determined that they should go on a mission to put his theory to a test. She encourages Bowie to use his pull with General Emerson to get it to happen.

We have our first acknowledgement here that Emerson is friends with Bowie’s dad who asked him to ‘keep an eye’ on Bowie while he was gone, and Bowie slips up once and calls him Uncle Rolf. Still, this all sounds a lot more casual than a proper foster kid arrangement, so – what did happen to all the kids when the entire 20-35 age bracket of the military went off into space and left them all behind? Were they kept in full time military school? Where did they go on weekends and holidays? No wonder they all levelled up to join the army the second they came of age.

Emerson is hesitant but allows the kids to go into space and do their thing on the grounds that why not?

It works! The entire invading army is destabilised by bio-magnetic LOUIS USES WORDS I DON’T THINK THEY MEAN WHAT HE THINKS THEY MEAN, the alien flagship is brought down to earth and the Southern Cross finally get themselves a definitive win. Explosions and bits of alien mecha everywhere.

Louis just hacked the Robotech Masters, didn’t he?

Age of the geek, baby.

Dana celebrates with a brand new pink space frock, irritating Marie and Nova who both intended to buy it for themselves (it would totally not suit either of them) and rides off on her dirt bike in triumph.

Mic drop. Sterling out.

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4 replies on “ROBOTECH REWATCH 38: I’ll Patrol the Discos!”

  1. Commander Leonard (the big bald dude), in his As-You-Know-Bob address to Dana’s graduating class in the first Southern Cross episode, refers to Earth having a “feudal society”. The role-playing game, which was my preferred expanded universe, suggested that at this point, there functionally is no government of Earth – the civilians are self-governed on the local level (often by warlords and strongmen), but the Army of the Southern Cross and its attendance infrastructure are the closest thing there is to a planetary government.

    Which makes sense, given that Rick and Lisa, in the final Macross episode, simply decide between themselves, without consulting anyone else, that they’ll build an entirely new SDF and launch an expedition to find the Robotech Masters on the… understanding that they’re the most senior surviving military officers, and therefore in charge of the planet, I guess?

  2. tansyrr says:

    Yeah I wonder how many of the struggling planet’s resources Rick and Lisa stripped to make it happen – and then they took their entire generation of pilots and fighters (and MINMEI) with them, leaving all the kids and elder generals behind.

    And after all that, the Robotech Masters came to find Earth anyway.

    The weird logic of Rick, Lisa, Max, Miriya and the rest being away always sat badly with me, and of course I didn’t know watching it for the first time that it was all due to editing three separate shows together, so I was CONSTANTLY waiting to hear from them, or for them to come back. (this is why I hated the Invid Invasion series, because someone finally turned up from the Fleet and it was Scott Barnard who I’d never heard of and I was all – are you F***ing kidding me with this?)

    It wasn’t until I got hold of the novelisations that it all started to make some kind of sense to me.

  3. Mortificator says:

    That can’t be right, Stephen. There is a president, and he’s in this very episode: the guy with white hair and mustache who gets his own table.

    Isn’t the president the guy with the white hair and mustache in this very episode? He’s not wearing a uniform, which suggests he’s a civilian, yet he gets his own big table and Leonard calls him “sir.”

    Speaking of Leonard, I’d like to see what would happen if he and Kyle were in the same room.

  4. Mortificator says:

    Whoops, I meant to delete those first couple of lines, but accidentally hit Enter. Saying “that can’t be right” is a little too strong.

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