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Doubletakes: Gundam SEED Destiny (Episodes 18-20)

March 29, 2019

Welcome to another Gundam SEED Destiny Doubletake! Each post, I dive into an episode or two of SEED Destiny and present two “takes” from it — two commentaries on plot or character points that stood out to me. I then explore each point from two perspectives — a fan’s perspective and a fiction writer’s perspective.

 

Frongi, Gundam DEE CORe... LAUNCHING!

 

EPISODE 18

 

Big Take — Closer Together, Yet Farther Apart

 

The Minerva goes out to destroy a giant Lohengrin belonging to the Earth Forces, hoping to free a rebel town from Earth Forces occupation in the process. Athrun assigns the most important part of the mission to Shinn, despite Shinn’s acting like a brat and back-talking his commander constantly.

 

The mission succeeds, thanks to Shinn’s skill and Athrun’s foresight. The two appear to get along slightly better afterward... yet the dichotomy between their viewpoints visibly lengthens, as Shinn celebrates the Earth Forces’ complete defeat but Athrun winces at the level of death and destruction the victory required.

 

Reaction as a fan: Shinn’s happiness about the mission’s success is adorable. And he did definitely help to free the town, which is good. But I am wincing like Athrun. Watching the liberated rebels shoot the leftover Earth Forces soldiers who weren’t able to flee after their defeat.... Horrific. Was this battle honestly such a good thing?

 

Reaction as a writer: I can’t imagine Athrun won’t start having second thoughts about fighting again — soon. But it’s sort of too late for him to reclaim the pacifistic Orb views he cast aside when he joined Durandal... right? I guess we’ll find out. Durandal gave Athrun FAITH agency; Athrun could still decide to choose peace. In any case, I can smell more conflict, and I’m eager to see what Athrun’s next choice will be.

 

 

EPISODE 19

 

Take 1 — Rey And “Gilbert”

 

The Minerva has some down time, and they run again into Chairman Durandal, who has set up a “Lacus Clyne” concert in their vicinity. Talia Gladys is suspicious about why Durandal is there, but Rey Za Burrel isn’t. In fact, when the typically collected, serious Rey claps eyes on the Chairman, his eyes go child-wide and bright, he calls the Chairman’s first name, and throws himself into Durandal’s arms.

 

Reaction as a fan: WHAT?! I knew there was something weird about the relationship you two had, but WHAT? Serious, stoic Rey is a total damsel for the Chairman now? THIS IS SO AWKWARD. WHAT IS GOING ON?

 

Reaction as a writer: Please. Please tell me what is going on. An event like this is potentially balance-tipping in terms of Durandal’s character; if we find out Durandal has this poor, innocent kid under his control somehow thanks to his DNA crap... that’s going to make it clear at last that the Chairman is probably a bad guy. I mean... right?

 

Take 2 — Logos

 

Chairman Durandal asks Shinn why wars continue to occur through history, and Shinn blames selfish, hateful people. But the Chairman reveals another reason why war remains prominent. He says war is an opportunity for profit; companies that build weapons and mobile suits don’t profit during peacetime. He then mentions Logos — assumedly such a profit-seeking company — and says Logos created the Blue Cosmos.

 

Reaction as a fan: So if I am understanding this correctly, Logos is a company that wanted to profit from war, so they “created” the Blue Cosmos... to rile up hatred for Coordinators and start war between the PLANTs and Earth? What does Durandal mean, “created?” Like, Logos found hateful people and fanned their fires to extremism, or they... hired a bunch of mercenary goons to just pretend to be extremists, and go murder Coordinators to start a war? THIS SEEMS PRETTY LARGE AND IMPORTANT.

 

Reaction as a writer: Destiny has added a few more layers to the complex politics behind this war — and apparently, now, to the first war from SEED, too. To what end, I am not sure. It seems like a lot to put on the table. I’m wondering how well the writers will work in the whole idea of Logos (and an even bigger, more powerful Blue Cosmos) now.

 

 

EPISODE 20

 

This was a recap episode. I only have one thought from the writer’s perspective.

 

Reaction as a writer: It was a good move to make Shinn the narrator of this recap. It helps us to remember to sympathize with him as a character. It reminds us where he comes from and why he believes what he does. That’s good right now, because Shinn’s been acting out of turn lately in an immature way. We don’t want to dislike our protagonist.

 

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