ROBOTECH REWATCH 9 – It’s Not Easy Being Vermilion

robotech rewatchRobotech will be rewatched after these messages!

i09 jumped on the Robotech train this week, with a great piece looking at five failed attempts to produce a sequel to the popular cartoon. (I’m still bitter about The Sentinels not making a go of it) Rather cruelly, i09 have included the currently Kickstarting project for Robotech Academy in their list of ‘failures’ when it’s still 14 days away from being finished – it looks awesomesauce and I have totally backed it, so there!

It’s not over till it’s over, cadets!

Episode 10 – Blind Game

Breetai attempts to get sensible information out of the three bungling spies: Konda, Bron and Rico, but they are babbling utter nonsense about half naked ladies, secret weapons and designer frocks, and the Zentraedi command can’t make head nor tail of it.

Their footage, sadly, was destroyed in that sortie with Rick, so Breetai can only assume that they’re suffering from space hallucinations. Exedore suggests that taking a Micronian alive is the best way to get further intelligence – and adds privately to Breetai that it might be time to stop messing around and get more aggressive with the enemy, for the sake of morale.

“I like nothing better than aggression. Exedore, I think we had better discuss this matter further in my quarters.”
Breetai, throwing down to the slash fandom.

Meanwhile Gloval finally gets through to Earth Command, who have been dodging his calls for days (well okay and also the aliens have been blocking their communications). Command suggests that since the Zentraedi have been showing more interest in the SDF1 than Earth, they should totally keep doing that and stay well away from Earth.

Vermilion Squadron suffers a hit, and Ben’s plane atarts leaking something nasty. Lisa and Rick get into a barney over the comms about whether or not it’s too dangerous to keep flying regardless, which involves him raging to her about how dangerous space is, something she “should have learned in the Academy.’ You know, the Academy he never went to.

Roy interrupts fondly to side with Mr Mansplainer on the grounds that Rick is right, if tactless.

Turns out that Exedore’s idea of ‘more aggressive’ warmongering is to tell Khyron to send a warning shot across the bow of the SDF1. Khyron is amused by the concept and interprets it creatively to mean ‘accidentally on purpose shoot out their radar tower, bwahaha.’

Kim, Sami and Vanessa bump into Rick in the playground, and tease him about the date he’s waiting for – sadly, he’s about to be stood up. A robot phone stalks him so Minmei can break it to him that she has singing lessons now, and a recording contract, and she’s just basically way too busy for him.

Rick is dubious about her new celebrity status: “It sounds like you’re trying to make a career out of this thing, Minmei.”

Oh, how very dare she!

Khyron’s squadron blows up a planet as part of a ‘weapon’s test’ and then do that warning shot thing which looks a whole lot like a massive bombardment with their entire weapons array. So ‘warning shot’ has been reinterpreted even more broadly than expected!

The SDF1 is hit, to everyone’s shock, as they were also (weirdly) convinced that Khyron was going to give them a warning shot and not just generally try to shoot them. In retrospect, I have no idea why this episode is not actually called Warning Shot.

The radar tower is indeed destroyed, and now all the planetary debris from the rest demolition game is hurtling right at the SDF1, too.

Lisa suffers an attack of guilt when she hallucinates Rick’s Battloid smashed up in space (in reality he’s sitting in a pond in Macross City feeling crappy about being ditched by Minmei) and admits to herself that he was right about all that ‘space is dangerous’ stuff. WHO KNEW?

To everyone’s shock, the Zentraedi then make contact, speaking directly to the humans in their own language and scaring them all silly. OMG, who gave the Zentraedi our number, and what’s their cultural equivalent of the ‘is your refrigerator running’ gag?

Lisa goes out on recon duty in a scientific probe vehicle called a Cat’s Eye, with Vermilion Squadron protecting her. When the Zentraedi make a suspicious move, Ben and Rick completely abandon Lisa (at her demand, against Rick’s better judgement) to check things out, leaving her vulnerable.

Sadly despite Lisa’s apparent competence and her claim to be able to look after herself, she fails to notice a big rock in time, and smashes up her ship badly in the asteroid field. She is then captured by the aliens, who are keen to find out more about these Micronians and their weird ways.

I’m a little sad about how this entire episode is dedicated to showing us how incompetent Lisa is, especially when she’s a career officer who has been in the military many years, as compared to Rick, who has been there for five minutes. The other characters generally tell us that she’s highly qualified and competent, but whenever we see her in action, she’s falling to pieces. Bah. I am still Team Lisa.

Lisa tries to be self-sacrificial once she’s on board the Zentraedi ship, but Rick has learned not to respect anything she says, and once again rescues her without consent. I’m really hoping that’s not a metaphor for anything.

“This is no time for protocol, Commander.”
Rick.. When exactly DO you think is the time for protocol? Because I’m suspecting never.

In a shock twist, Breetai leaps ninja-style from the ceiling and fights both Rick and Ben in hand-to-hand combat. Please note: they are still inside their Battloids, while he isn’t even wearing a jumper for protection. Man, he’s tall even for a Zentraedi.

Once again we end up with a scene of Rick Hunter in a giant mecha, holding an elegant lady between finger and thumb. This is taken as an opportunity for everyone (including Lisa) to pause their escape attempt to tease him about being attracted to her. Sexual harassment on duty, lovely.

Breetai is so incensed at their inappropriate workplace banter that he sneaks up on them again and punches both Battloids in the head. I really did not see that coming.

Next week: you must remember this, a kiss is just a kiss…

robotech-the-macross-saga-1-10-blind-game

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.

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3 replies on “ROBOTECH REWATCH 9 – It’s Not Easy Being Vermilion”

  1. Grant Watson says:

    Breetai was always one of my favourites.

  2. John Samuel says:

    Breetai is indeed awesome. I seem to recall Lisa does get better later, although maybe I’m just being hopeful as another member of Team Lisa.

  3. tansyrr says:

    Oh, there is still some Lisa terribleness to come too – let us not forget the classic ‘I’m the superior officer of this boy I like but I totally do his laundry and housework for him, while he’s sneakily having lunch with Minmei’

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