|Episode 11: And Then...
River Marque stated in the first episode of the series that he would play as a Forward someday.
Anyone who believed what he said thought he would be appointed to Forward on Team Satomi.
It's rather ironic that he defects and ends up playing against Team Satomi rather than for
them. Either way, River ended up being right about his prediction. That, in itself, sets the
stage for this race, and this episode. If we believe everything River says, then he will also win
this race and kick Team Satomi out of the running for the IG-1 Championship.
Even the episode's name and pictures don't reveal who wins, and if you don't want to know,
you may not want to read ahead. However, it should be quite obvious that Team Satomi will
win. The series once again plays the stereotype of close races. What makes the character of
River shine in this episode is that by now we have a sense of trust in him that what he says
Of course, we don't literally trust his decisions since he already went away from Team Satomi.
That's why the conversation between River and Takeshi after the race is absolutely essential
to revealing what the characters truly feel about what's been happening and just their
relationship with each other. This conversation really helped a lot of the tension between them
loosen up. Both talk to each other once again with the 'cool' stereotype, but this is one
conversation that is more refined than others.
What they say to each other is essentially true to life. There will always be a loser, but the
loser doesn't have to get down and out about it. River shows that when he says that he won't
lose next time. Keeping the characters intact made the conversation flow well. They didn't say
anything that would be out of character, yet what they said was very practical, and really made
an impact on me.
Before this conversation, another loose end in the plot is tied. The attackers from the end of
two episodes ago come back for a reprise. This time it's more intense as there is no way out for
Takeshi, Amy and Liz. It seems that the only answer is to fight. Takeshi makes a somewhat
unwise decision to fight alone. Brave, but foolish, Takeshi notices Team Sledge Mama on the
sidelines. Just before the team is has to fight, Team Sledge Mama jumps in to save the day.
Yamma felt that he may not play fair in races, but playing unfair with people's lives is the
wrong route to take. He talks the situation over casually to the team, and also reveals why he
never liked Takeshi. Once again, he is only treating him that way in the IG-1 series, and
shows that he really does care about people.
Meanwhile, Team Velshtein is preparing for their next race. Sir Hamgra is reintroduced and
we instantly perceive him as a tough guy-one who appears tougher and more serious about
IGPX than Yamma. Team Velshtein's main headquarters is also shown, and we are once again
greeted to three guys that seem more refined than is probably normal for their age.
We've already met the characters in a previous race, but the main one that we know most is of
course Alex Cunningham. Alex agrees with his leader that Team Satomi will be a hard match.
Perhaps the other members' overconfidence in their ability will make Alex think that they
have the winning edge. It's clear by now that Alex will not be shaken easily but he'll
nevertheless have to keep his guard up to win the championship.
Takeshi talks to Fantine about how he really felt the team pulled together for the victory,
which is admirable of him to admit that it really wasn't just him. He also talks about his
aspirations as a child to get where he is now. It only further proves how he can't wait until the
final race. That really developed his character, but at the same time showed Fantine's
modesty. She doesn't try to make it sound like she's any good since she never beat Velshtein,
but she is also kind enough to congratulate Takeshi on a fine race. She even thanks him for
the gift that he tried to give her two episodes ago.
Takeshi is looking at his machine when Andrei walks in and tells him not to be modest and
thank him for being a great coach. Takeshi truly is a person that we can relate with, and by
now I felt the same way that Andre feels about him. Takeshi is using his gift of inspiring
people to his fullest. If you think I'm just taking Andrei's words, I'm not. He is right. That is
why Johnny is such a big fan of Takeshi, and why Johnny felt inspired just to get his card
signed in the first episode. People trust in Takeshi and Takeshi delivers.
At night, Liz is training a little before she goes to bed. This is the first time we see her talk to
herself about how grateful she is to be in the IGPX. Her background is also rather interesting,
and not stereotypical for her character. Fans of the series have probably caught that Takeshi
and Amy have very nice homes, and it can be inferred that their parents are probably wealthy.
We never see Liz at her house, and that is because until now the creators were probably trying
to keep her unfortunate circumstances a secret. She's an orphan, and has no money or real
education, as she says. That only makes what she says all the more meaningful, and made me
feel better for being where I am as a person today.
It's rare to turn find one episode of any show where nothing seems unpractical and
unnecessary. This episode is so important to the plot, but also to the character development.
This is my favorite episode of the entire series. It's got everything a great movie would have.
The script really outdoes itself. The first half is superb, and as I was watching this, I wasn't
sure if the second half could uphold the excellent first half. It does, and both work well to
make this one heck of an episode. And besides the story, this episode features, as always,
great animation. Fans who have patiently waited for an episode that really feels like the
defining episode for the series will not be disappointed.
|River Marque is playing
forward in this race in an
attempt to beat Takeshi
Jin and Team Satomi.
|Takeshi and River face off
in a long anticipated
match between two people
who just can't figure each
|The opposing mechs slide
into the goal. The race is
so close, cameras have to
calculate who won.
|USA original air date: January 21st, 2006
|Japan original air date: December 14th, 2005
|Original Japanese Title:
And Then... そして
The race is on against Team Satomi and Team Sledge Mama.
They've raced before, but this time River has replaced the leader
Yamma as the forward for the race. The intensity heats up as the
race continues from last episode. Two people who used to side on
the same team must now face off. The winner moves on to the IG-1
Championship. Will Team Satomi have what it takes to beat River,
or will River take the lead on Takeshi and win? This episode
features the first look at Team Velshtein's secret attack, the
|OVERALL SCORE: 10 out of 10
|Toonami Version Differences
-No changes/cuts are made.