After Amuro’s tense reunion with his mother and a tearful parting of the ways, the White Base stops off for supplies only to be ambushed by a Zeon patrol! Using a unique technique for levelling the playing field against the Gundam, Amuro has to race against time to save his Mobile Suit.
Read on below for our thoughts on Mobile Suit Gundam‘s “Time, Be Still!” Will you be able to survive?
1. Zeon Downtime
Ever since Garma’s death, it feels like there’s been a change of story arc and with that has come a change in style. This is another episode that opens focusing on Zeon, but instead of showing us the machinations of the Zabi family on their space station, it zeroes in on some ground troops on a patrol base on Earth. This is a moment where the influences of the Vietnam war really rear their head with the soldiers in their fatigues sit in the dirt and mud watching a boring stage magician attempt to distract them from the horrors around them.
What I liked about this is how it separates the decadence of the Zabi family and the heads of the Zeon Principality with the down-in-the-mud soldiers fighting for their ideologies. The soldiers of the frontlines, maintaining their patrol network and living their lives out of barracks, are the ones suffering and dying for the ideologies of those isolated from the fighting.
2. Tensions Mounting On The White Base
I’m glad that the show has found a new way of spacing out the White Base’s journey back to Federation HQ and doesn’t just have each episode pick up directly after the last with a new set of challenges anymore. That momentum was exhilarating in the early episodes, but has worn off now and needed to slow down and focus on its characters. Having the White Base set down for refueling and repairs gives the crew another moment of respite, but unlike the beach there’s still a distinct tension that comes with the possibility of being found.
And that extends to the character relationships. Everyone is so on edge and at each other’s throats all the time that even when they have some few precious moments to relax, they can barely stand each other. Bright won’t give Amuro any room to actually be a person, seeing him only as a tool to protect the Base with which is leaving Amuro isolated and dejected which is affecting his friendship with Fraw Bow. Even in their quietest moments, the stress of war is tearing our heroes apart.
3. Amuro, Fueled By Love
Amuro has fallen for Ms. Matilda. It’s plain as day as if it were written across his face and it’s a move that I find fascinating. Amuro has been so downtrodden in the past few episodes, facing the horror of his actions and the lives he has been forced to take, that in the wake of dedicating himself to the protection of the White Base and abandoning his mother that being faced once again with a very pretty lady in a position of power should win his heart.
What I find most interesting about this is how it speaks to the tumultuous teenage heart and how fleeting the idea of love is for people Amuro’s age compounded with the isolation he’s been faced with. He’s barely said two words to Matilda, but is ready to risk his life to come to her rescue.
4. A New Kind Of Ambush
The bigger they are, the hard they fall. Once again, Mobile Suit Gundam proves it still has a few tricks up its sleeve with an episode that barely has anything in the way of actual Mobile Suit combat and instead focuses on a unique Zeon ambush. Using drone platforms, the soldiers from the episode’s opening plant remote bombs all over Gundam and then retreat, waiting for the explosion to tear the Mobile Suit apart.
I loved this and it showed a really asymmetry to the combat. War isn’t always a level playing field and a patrol that only has one Zaku to their name needs to come up with something new to take down the mighty Federation Mobile Suit. It shows an ingenuity of the Zeon soldiers that many of their officers (outside of Char, who hasn’t shown up in a while yet) rarely display.Continued below
5. Bringing The Team Together
I noted that the episode opened with the crew of the White Base in pretty dire straits in terms of morale. They were all stressed, could barely communicate with one another and needed something to bring them together. Well, that something came in the form of this ambush as the team had to work together to remove the last bomb from Gundam’s chassis. After an incredibly tense sequence where the crew mostly just watched Amuro silently remove these bombs, knowing they could go off at any moment, that spark of knowing they all had to work together to remove that last one or they’d lost Amuro reminded them (hopefully) that they’ve become more than just a military crew. Indeed, Bright Noa has been demoted to Ensign and barely saved from execution. No, they’re more like a family now.