Pumpkin Scissors – 17
As they move through the sewers, Mione vows to have his revenge against the military and wants the help of Hans’ power when the time comes. Hans, however, doesn’t respond and instead remembers how, three years ago, he had been with the rest of the 908 squad. With the armistice ending the war, the members of the 908 had been finally able to take off their suits, but Hans struggled with his helmet. The guys had teased him, but they all soon started bleeding uncontrollably from all over their bodies. One of his dying comrades realized what was going on and told Hans that taking off the suit would kill them. While Hans is going through these memories, Alice is still fighting the 1st Section troops in melee combat. Their leader notes that the sword is a Mähne – a type used by cavalry that wasn’t obstructed by the horse’s head in terms of swinging. With Alice using her sword with deadly efficiency even though she’s tired, the vice-captain steps up to challenge her. He’s able to avoid her attacks and lunges at her when she gets her sword stuck in the ground, but Alice does a spin and kicks the sword up with the heel of her shoe. This cuts through the vice-captain’s mask and a subsequent slash finishes him off. What shocks Alice, however, is when the vice-captain tips her off that there’s another 1st Section force here doing the hunting.
Back at headquarters, 1st Section’s Connelly is being met with a request to withdraw his troops from Hunks. When he refuses, Hunks produces the book that Metz provided and notes that this is what the documents that Connelly is after are based upon – simulation data for the Himmel drug market in the imperial capital’s sewers. Connelly responds by explaining that there are enough people living in the sewers for it to be another capital in size. The 1st Section has in their possession more notebooks detailing the gender, age, and more of the people who bought the drug, and Hunks soon realizes that they wants the military to take over and manage the Himmel market. Not denying it, Connelly says that they need a money tree because their funds have been cut ever since the armistice. With Hunks not backing down on the issue, Connelly changes the subject to his request to eliminate Alice to accomplish the mission. Hunks, however, reminds Connelly that there’s some organization behind Mione – one that values information and supplies amateurs with the latest weapons. He knows something about them and offers to share the information if Connelly withdraws the request he put in to eliminate Alice.
By now, Machs and Oland have caught up to Mione and Hans. Oland’s plan is to run in while their opponents are caught up in a grenade, but this never happens because Oland hears Hans talking about how he’ll die if he takes off his suit. Learning that Hans has to spend his entire life in the suit, Oland steps out of the shadows and asks him to surrender because Muse Kauplan can still help heal him. Hans, however, feels that all the warmth inside of him has gone, though it had been there when the rest of the 908 was still around. He wants to see them all and thinks that he can meet them inside the fire. Burning people is the only thing that still warms his heart a little, so he points his flamethrower at Oland. Machs uses this moment to throw the grenade, but it doesn’t do any damage because Hans blows it up with fire before it can reach him. Mione and Hans then see Oland’s blue lamp peering through the smoke, so Hans lets loose a blast of his flamethrower. Although he marches forward and tries to point his gun at Hans, Oland is overcome by the heat and falls breathless to the ground. Nevertheless, he pulls another grenade and throws it from point blank range. The purpose of doing this, as Machs realizes afterwards, was so that he could blow away the flame and the oil on his coat.
As Oland proceeds to charge Hans, he pulls out a pair of giant shears from his pants and plunges them into the chest area of Han’s suit. He uses them to pry open the suit, releasing all the liquid inside and evoking memories of how the 901 troopers attacked tanks with these same shears. After the urge to kill goes away and he closes his lamp cover, Oland explains that he didn’t finish off Hans because they’re supposed to be comrades. What Oland couldn’t do, however, the other force of the 1st Section has no problem doing. They open fire and quickly kill Hans in a hail of bullets, even as he’s still thinking about being comrades with Oland. Mione tries to run away, but he’s picked off by one of the soldiers even though they weren’t supposed to do that. What they don’t know is that Mione’s killer is actually a soldier who pledges allegiance to the Silver Wheel. In the aftermath, Hans’ body is wheeled off by the 1st Section and Alice survives her own battle. Coming down to the sewers, she sees Oland bawling uncontrollably because of what happened. Receiving the news at headquarters, Hunks wonders to himself why, three years after the armistice, there are still sounds of gunfire ringing everywhere.
Sometime later, in her lab, Muse Kauplan welcomes back the body of Hans to Kauplan’s miniature garden.
This is the first episode in a long time for this series that I’d call really good. Hans was portrayed in such a tragic way that I really didn’t want him to die, and it was hard to see him executed like that. I especially liked his flashback in the beginning and Oland’s Töten Sie berserk moment that led to the opening of his suit. Also, Mione being killed the 1st Section soldier who pledges allegiance to the Silver Wheel was also a nice twist that I didn’t see coming. Perhaps my only gripe is that they didn’t really do anything with the one hour time limit that they set last week for how long Alice could last.
All in all, I can’t help but think of how much more I would have liked this show if this had been shown in the first half of the series. I consider it lost potential, but there are still plenty of episodes left for them to impress us with. Still, next week appears to be a Stekkin episode, which would seem to imply a more comedic tone.