“The Quartz Gun damaged not only the present, but also the past…Isn’t that possible?” -Rajkumar Nair
Summary: A big chunk of this episode is spent discussing the Quartz Gun and the effects it has or might have had on the world when Ao used it. The general consensus is that the gun alters not only the present but also the past in such a way that people forget (or don’t even have the knowledge of in the first place) the things that have changed. Han theorizes that the Quartz Gun didn’t erase Chloe, Maeve and Maggie, but that their history was changed so that they were never set on the path to becoming IFO pilots. Ao (with Fleur and Elena) sets off to Ireland to confirm this, and upon his arrival, finds Chloe and Maeve living happily with their family. Back on Iwato Jima, a clash between the miners on the Scub Coral and an environmental group leads to the death of one of the workers (OMG it’s Random Guy from episode 4! but now he’s dead…) Naru magically appears out of the coral (as she does) holding Random Guy, who’s now magically alive again! She then makes the Scub Coral grow and reactivate.
Team Pied Piper is dispatched to collect the Quartz from a Scub that has appeared in the middle of the ocean and that no one has claimed. Some kind of military forces arrive and Generation Bleu is about to retreat when the Quartz Gun starts acting up. It busts out of the ship and attaches itself to the Nirvash and then proceeds to suck the Quartz out of the Scub Coral. Ao is a little freaked out about the Gun and can’t decide if he wants to use it or not which is when Truth shows up. Ao and him have a fight about the Gun, leading to the Nirvash falling into the water where Ao has another vision of hologram!Eureka. She reveals the reason why she disappeared and also final confirms that yes, Renton is Ao’s father (because we all didn’t know that already). Ao gets back the gun and is about to shoot Truth with it, but can’t make himself pull the trigger. Truth leaves and Ao surrenders himself to the Americans, who say that they can protect him.
Impressions: It’s the return of Random Guy! I didn’t even notice that the first time that I watched this episode to be honest. He dies but then is brought back to life a la Lazarus (but sans the four days). So following this logic Naru=Jesus. Oh Naru, what happened to you? You’re so annoying and your forehead is as big as ever. How do you do all this sorcery with the Scub Coral so that it takes you and all your stuff from one place to another? How did you get all those amazing powers? Has anyone else noticed that her hair gets longer every time we see here? I know there are some time jumps between episodes but I didn’t think it would be enough time for her hair to grow so super long. It seems like we have all this stuff going on with Naru for the singular purpose of reminding us that she’s still out there.
Even my annoyance at Naru can’t be matched by the most annoying thing so far: the scene with Elena and Fleur where they’re doing a promo for the anime based on them (or whatever it was). I just…Why? WHY do we need that? It’s NEVER been even so much as mentioned in any of the 17 episodes leading up to this one. It serves absolutely NO point. It’s like whoever is making the show realized they hadn’t had any fan service in a couple of episodes and decided that this would be a good waste of time. I could maybe justify it if it were some kind of running gag, or had been touched on at least one other time over the course of 17 (!) episodes. I would even forgive it if it were funny, but it’s just feels like a 4 minute long scene of filler. It’s just such a waste because that’s four minutes that this show could have used on something productive, like maybe some character development. Or answering one of the 100′s of questions floating around about any number of topics this show has raised.
I guess I should also touch on Professor Johannson’s book which is talked about at length in this episode by Han. Johannson believed that there was another world out there, with no Scub Coral and no Secrets. There were nearly three times as many people living on Earth (since Scub Bursts didn’t happen and kill a bunch of people all the time) and they used nuclear power as their energy source. He also believed that the Scub were/are somehow warping time in such a way that was making it harder for humanity to progress. Johannson found Truth when he was a child, and realizing that he must be from this other world, raised him and incorporated some of Truth’s stories into his own writing. The book he wrote has a kind of cult following, mostly of people who believe that both the Scub and the Secrets are enemies and should be destroyed. With this in mind, it becomes easy to see why Truth would want to destroy this world that he sees as false. I think the book will probably have more of a role to play but who knows? They could also drop it like a hot potato.
I think this episode went the way of episode 14 in that it just has no real sense of purpose. Half of it is an info dump on the Quartz Gun and the various possibilities of how it changes time and space while the other half is a kinda-sorta battle between Truth (of course, because at this point his only purpose is to be an opponent that is too strong for the Nirvash to take on) and Ao. It was good to see hologram Eureka again because she at least cleared up one thing (even if it was an obvious thing).
Final thought: There’s a silver lining to every cloud and that silver lining in this case is Noah, who is back after a couple of episodes off. They say absences makes that heart grow fonder and it’s totally true! He’s just as cute as ever and makes for some good comic relief. If half this episode had been about Noah, it would have been much better.