Mobile Suit Gundam, Episode 37: The Duel in Texas

The Battle of Solomon may have ended last episode, but that doesn’t mean our characters get to rest. If anything, this episode is even more action-packed than the last! That said, we at least start off on a serene note, with Bright catching a quick nap on the bridge while Amuro gets a medical check-up. (There’s also a brief mention that Gihren is heading to the space fortress A Baoa Qu, but that won’t be plot-relevant for a little while longer).

Amuro’s check-up is handled by Fraw Bow, who has apparently become the go-to person on White Base for any random task. This is the first time in a while that these two have had a chance to just talk like normal people, and Amuro realizes it; he admits that he and Fraw have drifted apart and wonders aloud why it happened. For her part, Fraw admits to feeling like Amuro has moved beyond her, having grown a lot after going through the tribulations of war.

As that talk wraps up, White Base enters the Texas Zone–the name given to the area surrounding the now-defunct Texas Colony. Texas Colony was meant to be a luxury resort colony that evoked the American frontier, but after some of its mirrors were damaged, it became nearly unlivable. Post-Solomon, some of Zeon’s escaping ships fled there, and White Base has pursued in a mop-up operation. Naturally, it’s not just any Zeon ships, though: both M’Quve and Char are there!

As White Base prepares for combat, we cut around the ship to our characters, including a brief scene of Sayla in the bath. It’s… again, it’s a weird shot that does contain nudity, but it’s so quick and presented without much titillation. I don’t understand why these scenes are here, but now we’ve had one for each of the main female characters on White Base. It’s weird and uncomfortable. I wish I could say it doesn’t happen again in future series, but Zeta Gundam

Setting that aside, we also see Mirai and Bright on the bridge. Mirai is clearly still broken up about the events of last week, but Bright lets her know that he’s there for her if she needs him, which she seems to genuinely appreciate. Kudos to Bright on the way he deals with Mirai’s other relationships. While it’s obvious he carries a torch for her, and he does seem a little bitter towards Sleggar in previous episodes, he’s remarkably good about respecting her decisions and not trying to push his way into her heart. I’m glad that the two of them ultimately do end up together.

M’Quve decides to launch in his custom mobile suit, the Gyan, to try to lure Amuro into a trap. He wants to be the one to destroy the Gundam for two reasons: first, he wants to prove his usefulness to Kycilia Zabi; second, he wants to defeat Char’s nemesis right in front of the Red Comet to rub it in the other pilot’s face. M’Quve thinks this is the perfect opportunity to do so, as Char hasn’t received his new mobile suit yet. Unbeknownst to M’Quve, Char actually has gotten a new suit, the Gelgoog (though he’s still waiting for Lalah’s mobile armor, the Elmeth, to arrive, which is probably why M’Quve thinks Char’s without weapons).

In addition to the Gyan, several Doms launch. They are meant to lead Amuro back to M’Quve’s ambush, and it works pretty well–although Amuro and Sayla do manage to take out most of the enemy suits along the way. Sayla deserves a lot of credit in this episode; she’s really come into her own as a pilot, shooting down several suits and pulling off some fancy maneuvers in the G-Fighter.

Amuro finally reaches M’Quve, coming face to face with the dreaded Gyan:

I mean… I’m sure someone, somewhere, probably dreads it.

With the Gundam in range, M’Quve sets off a massive explosion that seems to destroy the Gundam… but of course, Amuro manages to survive at the cost of the Gundam’s shield. M’Quve falls back into the Texas Colony itself, with Amuro in pursuit. Lalah–who is already in the colony, along with Char–psychically senses her fellow Newtype’s approach.

Out in space, the battle continues. Kai launches in the Guncannon to back Sayla up (Hayato is still confined to the medbay), and the two proceed to tear through the remaining Doms and ships.

Amuro and M’Quve engage within the colony, with Amuro expertly dodging missile barrages from the Gyan. This actually causes M’Quve to wonder if his foe might be a Newtype, which… is that the first time the term has been used on-screen? I think it might be!

At any rate, it’s about this time that Char intervenes in his shiny new Gelgoog:

Now THAT is a dreaded mobile suit!

M’Quve is none too happy about Char butting in, not least because it throws off M’Quve’s battle strategy (gee, Char intentionally messing up his ally’s plan to get them killed? No way). Char agrees to back off and M’Quve rushes Amuro; the two engage in a beam saber duel, which Amuro manages to win. M’Quve’s last thought as he dies? He really hopes Kycilia gets that vase he was talking about, like, a dozen episodes ago.

Lalah witnesses the whole thing, and… well, it seems like she’s not exactly cut out for the battlefield. First of all, she’s shocked that Char would sit back and let M’Quve die, implying that she maybe doesn’t know him as well as she thought–seriously, this is like Char 101. Second, she seems rather horrified by Amuro’s killing blow. The two of them psychically connect once more as Lalah telepathically cries for him to stop.

And that’s… pretty much it! Amuro stares out across Texas Colony, looking for Lalah, as the episode fades to credits. Whew, what a whirlwind–some great combat, a major death, and a massive step forward for Newtype lore. All in all, a pretty wild episode!

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