|Episode 20: Comeback
This episode truly starts a comeback for not only some of the characters, but the series. Amy
Stapleton gets a lot of focus here, as we start by seeing her slowly recover from her leg injury.
At the beginning, though, we also see Takeshi struggling with his puzzle like he always is. We
are reminded that Fantine just broke up with him, and now he is coming back to us with a
clearer mind than before.
Amy is then seen gazing out at the track. As she closes her eyes, she feels like she is going
through the track, but her mind is still focused on the crash, and she remembers that too. The
nurse insists that she start rehabilitation, and she does. Meanwhile, the team is trying to do
something nice by cooking a bunch of food for Amy. As we see Liz and Takeshi try to get
along, Liz is portrayed as being apprehensive around him. These subtle hints imply that
there's some connection between them but one that is really small, or at least right now.
Amy feels like she is ready to go back, or at least that she needs to go back and race with her
team. The doctor also insists that she needs to do what's best for her. Of course, Amy is still
thinking that on an emotional level, she needs to get back on the track. Doctors will always
focus on the physical aspect-that's their job!
The scene segues to Team Sledge Mama, and Yamma is confronted with an ultimatum-win all
the races to come, or be demoted. River sides with Yamma knowing that they have to win.
That puts a little of pressure on the next race, and gives us a little more detail as to the
motives and actions of other teams. I also liked seeing River again.
Of course, Amy is treated to her humongous meal. I somehow think they all ate a little bit of
it. Afterwards, the team is still concerned about her condition and whether or not she can play
the next race. Andrei reminds them of who is the better player and that she has to beat "The
Rocket" before she is let back on the team.
Then, Amy is let out of the hospital. Of course, she sneaks in the question of if she can
"drive", and he said that's fine. Amy is finally going back home, and she is thrilled. I was also
very pleased to see a great recovery. Now we can focus on the recovery of the team out on the
But things don't go so well when Amy tries to push herself. She tries running on the treadmill,
but as the setting increases in speed, she can't keep up. Right before she falls off, she sees the
crash again in her mind. It's obviously still bothering her, and Takeshi Liz comfort her. They
also remind her that if she's not ready, it's fine. I was also glad to see that her teammates
would support her by saying no. Sometimes, that is best.
Yamma is then seen working out by practicing punches with Dimma. If one were to watch
Dimma's face the entire time, one would notice the change from simply a blank expression to
a submissive one. He even holds up his hands, in defeat, and Yamma is still going at him.
Again, this shows how much Yamma really wants to win this. River takes this moment into
Now it's time for Amy to race Andrei in the simulator. Amy starts out seeming confident, but
Andrei begins attacking almost immediately. We all watch her lose health points, and the
team is getting anxious. Luca reminds her that she has to attack to win. She then reminds
herself that this is her race. She then dodges what would seem like a final blow, and then
attacks Andrei. She eventually is able to defeat him. She is ready for the next race.
The scene may have been a bit unnecessary, but it does help her to earn her spot back on the
team. It also shows that there are levels of competition in this sport, and she has to be good to
get in. Of course, Andrei is ready to retire his alias, "Rocket G".
The show still uses the same cliched lines to segue into the race, but it's about time for us to
only focus on the race, so I can forgive these moments before the race. That includes moments
of Team Sledge Mama planning to win (of course). As the race begins, we hear the same kind
of talking. So the ending is so great, until we realize that they actually move onto the race
portion a little bit here. The creators show enough restraint to keep the bulk of the race for
the next episode.
I wanted to give this episode a score of 7, because it kind of is dry at times. We get so many
little moments toward the end, but it never equates to the first 3/4 of the episode when we
have some genuine character development, and interesting concepts. However, that's why I
like this episode. Despite its shortcomings, it still shows heart and takes time to care for the
characters it introduces. Perhaps that is what makes the series so great. Now we can all come
back next week in anticipation of the next episode. That's what this series does best!
|Amy is happy to be back
with the team.
|Amy pushes herself too
hard when exercising right
after coming back from
|Amy must beat Andrei to
earn her spot in the next
|USA original air date: July 1st, 2006
|Japan original air date: March 8th, 2006
|Original Japanese Title:
Amy Stapleton has had a long time in the hospital, and can't wait to
get out. However, she isn't completely well. Andrei knows this and
will not let his current position at midfield go easily. Will her
condition negatively affect Team Satomi and their next race against
Team Sledge Mama, or will Amy show he fighting spirit and support
the team to victory? This episode features the first look into the
Team Sledge Mama facility. This episode also features a look at
Amy's doctor, and parents.
|OVERALL SCORE: 8 out of 10
|Toonami Version Differences
-A very small segment is cut-Dimma is seen for a
brief second addressing Yamma in a brief
conversation at the beginning of the race. The
segment is no more than 5 seconds long.