Mobile Suit Gundam Wing – Season 1, Episode 19 – “Assault on Barge” – The Torn



“Assault on Barge” was a fantastic exploration of how torn most of our characters are, which actually picks up the theme from last episode too. So much of the fighting is useless in a way because it just feeds the conflict (something “Mobile Suit Gundam” has always been good at exploring) and in this we see how the driven soldier can commit wrongs for the cause.

The episode was directed by Takeshi Yoshimoto, Shinichi Sakuma and Hitoshi Waraya.

The story continues with Lady Une playing the part of the diplomat and winning through soft power while Zechs is taken in by Tallgeese’s designer on Earth who gives him a way to space where ‘Things are changing,” and Lady Une tries to stop the fighting between Wufei and the Dolls after Duo has been taken in. Heero also mounts a rescue mission for Duo.

The Pros: Duo – We see that Duo gives his all but just isn’t fast enough to defeat the Mobile Dolls, leading to his capture as well as the capture of his Gundam. When Heero rescues him he asks if hew wants to die, but since he doesn’t he isn’t killed and they make their escape together. Duo is still whole or at least more whole than Heero since Heero says he will kill the scientists since they know how to defeat the Gundams and the mission must not be forgotten. When Heero tells him this you hear the pity in his voice.

Heero – Heero shows he is torn since he was supposed to kill Duo to protect the mission but saves him instead, and later plans to kill the scientists to complete the mission. The mission is still all he’s living for and he hasn’t realized how much things have changed. This is mirrored in Wufei too.

Wufei – Wufei is fighting the Mobile Dolls and gets injured when the cannon destroys some of them showing that OZ cares nothing for their own troops. We learn Lady Une didn’t do it though as she speaks to Wufei from her shuttle and asks for the fighting to stop. The fanatic has even become changed by playing the role of the diplomat.

Lady Une – Lady Une is the harsh soldier and the understanding diplomat and now it is like they are two separate identities that have been integrated together since she’s been cold to the pilots yet wanted to save Wufei. Where this will go remains to be seen.

Zechs – Zechs was the best part of this episode as he is taken in by one of Tallgeese’s designers who helps him get Tallgeese into space and asks that he be a part of the change since he is an enemy of OZ. This was great to see and Zechs is embracing his new purpose as a shaper of things to come. He also no longer has a mask to wear and no longer considers himself Zechs because of that.

Okay: Tallgeese’s Designer – We don’t get a name and he mostly functions as plot. He wasn’t bad but I wanted his motivations.

OZ Soldiers – One of them acts because he isn’t’ getting orders from Lady Une in the fight against Wufei. We don’t have a name so it’s hard to care about him. This was part of what this episode tonally confusing.

This was a great episode and shows just how torn most of our character are now. There are so many factions and no one knows who to follow as each is finding people they connect too. War is chaos and in the chaos the factions are no longer clear and with that so many don’t have clarity of purpose. Everyone is torn.

Final Score: 9.4 / 10.

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