The Great Gundam Wing Rewatch ‘14 Episode 03: FIVE GUNDAMS CONFIRMED
Heero is restrained in the medical treatment room of the Alliance Military. Duo, in the meantime, plans Heero’s escape. Zechs predicts that a Gundam will be attacking the Aries at the Alliance Military Base of the Mediterranean Sea; it’s there that Zechs is introduced to a new weapon.
This episode’s highlights:
Duo busts Heero out of an Alliance Military’s medical facility, during which we find out that Heero’s practically a superhuman. According to Sally Po, he has “over 200 bruises and broken bones, his only visible injuries are the shot wounds.” We’re assuming the injuries include those he got from his past missions and trainings. But man, we can’t even imagine how a kid can walk—without whimpering—if he’s got a hundred bruises. Or 50 broken bones. Or even 20 of each. And then he leaps from the 50th floor, opening his parachute too late. He’s still alive, so let’s count that injury to the growing count, yeah? Anyway, we echo everyone’s sentiment when they witness the jump. Especially Duo’s.
OH wait! Before that, when Heero wakes up for the first time, he knows exactly where he is. Building, floor, room. We’ll appreciate anyone who’ll tell us how the fvcking hell he did that.
He can also control his brainwaves and pulse. Seriously, superman. HOW?
Chang Wufei, in his Shenlong, destroys the Indus Supply base. “They’re just so defenseless,” he says. “Looks like they’re not taking me seriously enough.” Can’t wait for the action, Wuffers?
Officer Walker shows Zechs Merquise the Tallgeese, which at that time is kept as a historical artifact. You can read more here to find out why it’s put in storage, plus a few cool interpretation of its design. (Thank you so much, OP! You save us a lot of research time! Hehe.)
Trowa Barton and Quatre Raberba Winner meet at the Corsica Base. The “shooting stars” are crossing paths now: we have Heero and Duo, and Trowa and Quatre. And Wufei? Wufei’s going to make the next episode a “nightmare”.
to be continued on Episode 04: The Victoria Nightmare
Episode 03: Five Gundams Confirmed.Trowa Barton and Quatre Raberba Winner meet for the first time at the Corsica Base.
A Little Bit of Naivety: Quatre Raberba Winner _____
Let’s be honest: you’ll have to be a little unhinged to scramble out of your machine’s cockpit in the middle of a battle and holler some form of friendly ceasefire to someone who can squish you with a giant robot hand. It’s downright mad, especially when you did this just because it suddenly didn’t feel right to continue fighting.
Hunches could be wrong, even if you have some kind of ESP-like ability. A quick calculation that goes, “This guy doesn’t seem to be on the OZ’s or the Alliance’s side, his mobile suit is identical to mine, and it looks like we have the same mission too” may seem logical, but it’s not 100% reliable.
So yes, you’ll have to be a little bit unhinged…or, you know, a little bit naive.
Quatre Raberba Winner is a kind person. From the first episode we know he is the only one who doesn’t strictly stick to the “Don’t let anyone who sees your Gundam live” rule that the pilots are following. He gives the enemies a chance to live, and if they don’t grab it, he says sorry before killing them. Take note, they’re the enemies. Now faced with a mysterious suit that is likely not an enemy, he cautiously works out his next steps, telling the Maguanacs he doesn’t need any help. And then out of the blue he senses that this little brawl is wrong, so he ‘surrenders’ and yells, “You and I shouldn’t be fighting each other!”
(I can imagine a very baffled Trowa. Guy’s raised as a mercenary as early as he could properly walk, and a situation like this has never been filed in his memory bank. He probably will just go on and crush Quatre then and there...if he hasn’t ran out of ammo and if there isn’t a forty-men backup troop ready to blow him to smithereens once he lifts a Gundanium finger to hurt their Master. It’s clear that throwing in the towel is the only option left for him, so that’s what he does. Uh, yeah, going off on a tangent…)
A little peek at Quatre’s history will give you that unlike the other pilots, he didn’t experience a huge tragedy when he was younger. His Episode Zero is more about his identity, his pursuit of individuality, than having a beginning of a war-marred childhood. Instead of tears and death, there’s enlightenment at the end of his back story. There hasn’t been any dark cloud to taint his kindness so he goes out there as the most positive, the most hopeful, and the least judgmental of all the pilots.
Remember the "Good Guy, Bad Guy" ping-pong embedded in the show’s plot? Quatre plays this with rose-colored spectacles…at least in the beginning. It’s extremely dangerous, but he’s willing to give anyone the benefit of the doubt, even in the battlefield. Oh, he does his job and accomplish his missions, but the boy just doesn’t have the ability to readily believe a person is bad or evil. This will be further backed in the next episodes, where he thinks the other pilots may be “violent but they’re all really nice guys.”
I like that Quatre’s naive because it plays a major role in some of the decisions he’ll make that will leave significant marks on the AC 195 history. I like it because it doesn’t only say so much about how he’s just a sheltered kid that’s basically Hope on Two Legs, it’s also proved to be very essential to his growth.
Quatre’s naivety and kindness are some of the traits that often make people categorize him as weak—which he is anything but. I’d love to expand on this more, but I think I’d rather wait ‘til I reach the episodes that prove he’s no “fragile desert flower”. :p
So do ours, man, so do ours. Well, it won’t take long till we get to more badass Quatre episodes! We hate it when he’s portrayed or interpreted as WEAK, SUBMISSIVE, or USELESS because those are the exact opposite of what he is. And we agree on the naivety part. We think all the pilots possess a degree of naivety, but it is Quatre’s that shone the most and it proved to be an important trait of him character-wise throughout the series.
Walker is an Alliance soldier who appears in Episode 03: Five Gundams Confirmed. He was from the Corsica Base and was loyal to Zechs. He brought the Tallgeese to the attention of Zechs, and then defended it from Trowa’s attack by sacrificing his life to both protect it and cover Commander Bonaparte’s retreat from the base airspace. Quatre kills him in Gundam Sandrock, but Walker makes a last attempt to gain data for the soldiers who will have to fight the Gundams after him.
To those who watched the series on Toonami, he’s the one who screams “Come get me, ya monster!” in some of the promos.
Wingnuts! We’ll have our regular rewatch post for Episode 03: Five Gundams Confirmed this weekend. Meanwhile, have this photoset of our favorite moment in the episode, where Duo is busting Heero out of the Alliance medical facilities.
Tallgeese, The Knight Thoughts from Episode 03: Five Gundams Confirmed
Zechs Merquise’s desire to fight the Gundams on a level playing field led to the un-mothballing of Tallgeese, a mobile suit built two decades prior to Operation Meteor, in episode 03. Walker convinces Zechs that once completed and re-powered, there is a possibility that Tallgeese can indeed compete with the Gundams.
Tallgeese’s simple design has always fascinated me. We can attribute its old “knight” appearance to the fact that it’s the Prototype Leo, the grandfather of all combat-capable mobile suits in the After Colony era. We can also chalk it up to its connection to the aristocratic Romefeller Foundation, which has OZ as its elite military guard. It is evocative of royalty and chivalry—making it a perfect machine for someone like Zechs —but more than that, it suggests an air not only of a fighter, but also of a protector and a savior.
That means it’s easy for civilians to get a knight-in-shining-armor vibe from it. The façade couldn’t have been the idea of its engineers (aka the Gundam scientists) exclusively; I believe OZ/Romafeller has given them specific instructions on how it should look so it could later be used to manipulate public opinion. “We want to protect you,” the design seems to say. “You’ll be safe with us. We’re the good guys.” OZ does know that appearances matter a lot.
However, there have been problems with the development of the Tallgeese. Its massive makeup did a good job of maintaining the suit’s sheer power, but safety concerns are sacrificed. The amount of stress it puts on its pilot proved it’s too much of a wild horse for any ordinary person to handle. Almost all its test pilots died attempting to master it.
The cons of mass-producing the mobile suit (it’s too expensive and it’s proven to be too dangerous) weighed more than its pros (it’s deemed to have a superior performance in the battlefield), so they stopped its production. They instead took its design, simplified it, and then made it into a more pilot-able yet less powerful MS Leo. As for the Tallgeese, they have it disassembled and put into storage, ostensibly to serve as a “museum piece”…well, until the events of AC 195.
And because I’m unable to not see symbolism in the show, I’d say the Tallgeese is a metaphor for how easy it is to put up appearances that say you are a savior, and how hard it is to actually become one. See, the suit takes your life if you fail to handle its power. Strength is an obvious requirement, but you’ve practically got heroism as your main fuel. The guts, the will to stand up for an ideal. The real catch is mastering the Tallgeese doesn’t equate to you being a hero or a savior. You still have to prove yourself by actually saving people or fighting for them. That is its price: the life of a true, dignified soldier.
Somehow it reminds me of Zechs’ view of a true front-line soldier, which he is very vocal about even as early as Episode 01: The Shooting Star She Saw.
It isn’t about receiving accolades or being festooned with rewards; he says there’s no bright future for soldiers who scurry for such recognition. And he somewhat expresses he has no intentions wasting away his existence for meaningless honor. He hasn’t been particularly clear about the whole thing, but it’s connected to how he opted to pursue the life of a soldier—to live for the “soldiers of tomorrow,” as Walker puts it—after abandoning his Peacecraft name and the ideals of his father.
Quick question: How many Tallgeese are there exactly? I’m referring to it as THE Tallgeese as we see only one in the series. But in Episode Zero, Long Meilan, Wufei’s wife, piloted a Tallgeese to protect their colony from OZ’s advancing mobile suits. I’m quite sure it’s different from the one Zechs pilots.