Aldnoah.Zero Episode 17: The Turning Wheel
The Orbital Knight who wasn’t.
The Turning Wheel
What an unexpected turn of events. I’m going to partially take back what I said at the start of last week’s post about nothing happening whenever the Terrans get any screen-time, because that has now changed with the help of Rayet and Mazuurek. The wheel has indeed begun to turn, and the two bifurcated plots are finally beginning to intertwine beyond the occasional clash between Inaho and Slaine. It was always going to be hard, given that the Versians are divided over their internal socio-political discord whilst the Terrans are busy worrying about dieting and not getting dates, but it’s happening. And they’re doing it through the characters who are somehow connected to both societies, however slightly – Rayet has a vendetta against all the Martians despite being born within VERS, and Mazurrek has a greater interest in Earth beyond wanting to plunder and destroy it. Which is very strange in itself, especially as there aren’t any other pureblood nobles who share his view in the slightest apart from Princess. And look where that got her. Then again, Mazuurek is a strange person in general, and has shown himself to be capable of acting both like a pompous little cunt and a perfectly nice guy, albeit the latter personality only emerged after Inaho started talking to him about Princess and ended up letting him escape. As for Rayet, I didn’t actually think there would be any more character development for her – as her little sub-arc was supposed to have ended with that strangulation scene. And she nearly succeeded too, dammit. This episode marked the first chance she got to exact revenge against someone who was essentially the top brass, and the fact that she didn’t take it implies that she has in fact grown a little, despite denying it herself. The past Rayet-chan would probably have shot Mazuurek as he slept in his cell.
That interrogation ended up being more like a conversation instead, although it holds its own worth in being the first civilised conversation ever to be held between a Count and a Terran. Not that I thought such a conversation would even be happening, that is – I believed Mazuurek had in fact become Mazuurekt after what Inaho did to him, but apparently not. Things turned out to be more interesting this way, and it’s nice that he became more than just another Orbital Knight of the week. I hated the fact that Inaho wanted to use it as a means to test his analytical engine, just like how I hate everything else about Inaho, but it had some intriguing and unlikely outcomes – including the fact that Inaho now has a bona fide Orbital Knight in his debt, and possibly on his side too. After all the obligatory hostilities were over and done with, Inaho was essentially banking on the hope that Mazuurek would be a truly loyal knight, instead of someone within the Saazbaum faction. And that he wouldn’t hate Earth enough to decide to pitch in with the Saazbaum faction after learning about his aims, too. Even if he did have the help of his left eye, though, I thought it a bit reckless that Inaho so easily revealed the true state of things and his predictions on Asseylum’s current situation to Mazuurek. It was probably what led him to believe Inaho, if anything, but it was risky. You can really tell that Versian society isn’t much of a society at all from that conversation – all the Orbital Knights seem to be living within their own little bubble, and have their own little areas of control whilst living under the rule of the distant but powerful royalty. Oh wait, that is feudalism. Mazuurek didn’t know anything about Asseylum, and probably heard about things like Saazbaum’s supposed heroism second-hand. It actually makes Count Troyard’s position much stronger than it appeared to be before, because we now know that he has unparalleled control over the moon base -with Marylcian and Barouhcruz just visiting instead of being a perpetual influence- and that hardly anyone knows about Lemrina, meaning that it was just a little plot cooked up between them. Anyway, Mazuurek is the first proper Versian since Cruhteo who has learnt of the true circumstances behind Princess, and luckily he’s in a position to do something about it. If he does as Inaho says and manages to get something back to him without being killed, we can get the ball rolling. It’s looking good.
Meanwhile, Slaine is giving lessons in animal wildlife to a loli and a comatose girl floating in a tank. It’s like something the Terrans would do, and it’s even funnier with him wearing his spiffy new red uniform whilst doing it. I didn’t think Marylcian would try to displace his position through single combat, as fitting for the VERS Empire as that may be – that’s almost too honourable, and as a result I doubt it will end well for him. It would make more sense to dig around for dirt on him, and to get the rest of the Orbital Knights to join his cause to the point where Lemrina will have no choice but to agree to their demands in order to prevent too much discord. That would have been the smarter option. But clearly he hasn’t got the intelligence that Saazbaum had, because this puts Slaine on a much better footing than I expected him to be. I suppose Marylcian did succeed in the sense that Lemrina is now not too happy with Count Troyard after being compared to a bird in a cage, which is… well, the truth. Agreeing to let Tweedledum and Tweedledee land on the moon base was just her way of pouting at him. She’ll probably agree to the duel as well, but the only way I see this ending is Slaine destroying Marylcian and taking his Landing Castle as the spoils, which would ironically make him the fully-fledged Orbital Knight Marylcian claimed he wasn’t.
I still can’t get over how he looks the part, though. That’s a classic Saazbaum expression.