Episode 45 – Metal Fire
Dana blows up at Angelo for his casual anti-alien racism. He obviously hasn’t got the memo about her being the famous first child born to a human-Zentraedi relationship.
Bowie, meanwhile, is moping about the pretty girl he saw on the flagship – and the narrator conveniently provides us with a short bio about her, so we learn before Bowie that she is Musica, sister to Allegra and Octavia, clones created by the Robotech Masters.
The Robotech Masters are concerned at how the humans are freaking out about their presence, when they never intended to cause harm or worry – just to strip the planet of Protoculture before a race called the Invid arrives.
Dana and Louis are called in to observe the captured Bioroid. Louis is excited about the machine, and its response to stimuli. He believes it’s an armoured suit that is bio-mechanical and possibly an entirely new form of life form.
Would it be tactless to point out they were referring to these things as Bioroids long before they knew this fact about them?
Louis figures out from their battle records that the only way to destroy the ships without them healing rapidly is with direct hits to the cockpit. The commanders are excited about this, planning to give the order that they only shoot at the cockpit from now on, but Dana is horrified at the idea because it now seems obvious to her that the pilots must be human, not androids.
The scientists are convinced that the pilots are micronised clones or androids based on Zentraedi – but Dana argues against this, certain that they are living people.
Supreme Commander Leonard has a tantrum at her and kicks her out of the meeting.
Emerson tries to argue for diplomatic solutions, but Leonard gets angry at the very idea – he doesn’t see the point of diplomacy if you can’t approach it from a position of strength, and he also believes the Robotech Masters are basically barbarians. Everything makes Leonard angry. Leonard has issues.
An unexpected alien armada formed from Bioroids attacks the civilian city (too much for this continuity junkie to hope it’s Macross City?) and the 15th scramble into their suits. Louis comes up with methods to disable the hovercrafts and Dana pleads with Angelo and the others to try to disable instead of destroy.
The rest of the 15th argue with her on the grounds that taking out the legs without the cockpits puts them in danger – they continue to be shot at – which is a problem even if their opponents are living beings.
To their surprise, it turns out that the Bioroids are here to abduct live civilians, and they are unable to prevent the mass taking of hostages.
Supreme Commander Leonard insists that the 200 hostages be listed as casualties in the official report. Charming man.
So, lots of ethical issues this episode – and lots of confusion about who exactly is human, what ‘human’ means and so on. But the big reveal this week is that the Robotech Masters have a motive beyond completionism to find that pesky protoculture matrix from the SDF1 – the ones that the humans never managed to find even when they were living in the thing.
No, they’re doing it because they are worried about an alien race called the Invid. These guys are important because they’re not going to be anything more than an ominous name in this series, but will be central to the third Robotech war.
Right now, we have no idea who they are. Except that they’re scary enough that the Robotech Masters are very intimidated. Stay tuned!
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