EPISODE 30: The Formula for a Love Triangle
ICONIC SCENE: “Omae ni AI-TAIIIII…”
STORY DATE: October 2045
SCENARIO TITLE: TWINKLE STARDUST
BROADCAST DATE: May 14, 1995
1. A lot of times you can tell what the episode is going to be about by what they discuss in the intro… here, it’s almost entirely about the Zentradi. And sure enough, we open with Geperunitchi having brainwashed the surviving soldiers from the all-Zentradi Macross 5 Fleet, and putting Gavil in command of them.
2. Mylene keeps trying to follow Basara, to see where he’s going (he’s going to sing to Sivil). She asks Michael to follow him, and he explains that probably Basara is going off to meet Rex. Didn’t they have this same conversation, like, ten or eleven episodes ago…? I do like the repeated detail, then as now, that when Mylene gets really jealous, she totally throws herself into practicing music.
3. Kinda weirdly, I guess, Mylene even goes to Gamlin with her concerns about Basara, and it’s clear that Gamlin doesn’t hate Basara anymore, and even (grudgingly) respects him. Talking about his piloting skill, Gamlin suggests that Basara may even surpass Max (BLASPHEMY…?).
4. I said last time that often Macross 7 is kinda the same thing over and over again… that’s not ENTIRELY the case, or, at least, it’s an oversimplification. It’s more like certain plot threads stay in something of a holding pattern until the rest of the plot catches up to them. In this clutch of episodes, it’s Basara singing to Sivil while Gigil looks on and waits. Usually, the purpose of this seems to be to lure the audience into expecting a pattern, and then eventually reversing it (the best example of this would be the folding of City 7 back in Episode 12, and there’s another big one towards the end of the series). The problem with this approach, though, is that it does make the show seem like it’s spinning its wheels. And it kind of is… spinning its wheels so that when the wheels suddenly fly off, you’ll be more shocked. And it works, generally. But in the meantime, it can get pretty tedious.
The one development this time is that after Basara leaves, Gigil picks up the guitar and strums it.
5. Gamlin brings up “QM-69,” the one maneuver that he can’t master, even though Basara can do it all the time. Of course, by the episode’s end, Gamlin can accomplish it, too.
6. Gavil’s actually flying in a VF now. It’s also fitted with another sound-canceling system, a little more sophisticated that last episode’s electronic earplugs.
And in a bit we’ll see often (speaking of repetitious plot threads), Gamlin switches out the ammo (?) on his gunpod from something a little stronger, and blows Gavil’s VF up. Gavil, of course, can easily survive such an explosion, and just flies away under his own power.
7. Everyone seems surprised that the sound beam is useless against conventional weapons. I’m not sure why this is so shocking. It seems like common sense.
8. However… it soon comes out that the enemy ships are manned by mind-controlled people from Macross 5, which changes the game quite a bit. And the sound beam DOES affect them, breaking Geperunitchi’s control. Although the first pilot rescued is named “Matthew Langley,” which doesn’t seem like a terribly Zentradi name to me. Maybe only his mom is Zentradi…?
9. Ultimately, all the pilots get rescued (except the ones killed by Docker), and Gavil has to retreat. Slowly, the sound energy is shown to be more and more useful as the series goes on.
10. Again, on first viewing, this probably would’ve felt like mostly filler. Here, after multiple viewings, it feels like continued set-up. But hey, we’re only a third of the way into Part Three of the whole story. Something major is bound to happen again soon…
THIS EPISODE’S GAVIL-ISMS: “Frightening beauty,” “strategic beauty,” “thoroughness beauty,” “explosion beauty,” “wild dance of beauty,” “completion beauty.”
FLOWER GIRL SIGHTING: Accosted by Michael when he’s trying to follow Basara, asking if she’s seen “a guy with glasses and a strange backpack.” She doesn’t really answer, but she looks awfully confused.