Soukou no Strain – 12
To start the battle with the Deague ship that is under Ralph’s control, Lottie and company face off against a huge cloud of Tumors. They manage to destroy the first wave, but Lottie gets ambushed by a pair of them that cling to her Strain’s cockpit. Fortunately, Sara arrives to help Lottie out before the Tumors can self-destruct. The entire group then gets into formation and heads towards the Deague ship. Ralph meanwhile sees that he has 1800 seconds until the ship’s self-destruct goes off, so he heads for the hanger to board his Strain. Over on the Libertad, the bridge crew is doing their best, but the Deague ship is approaching too quickly for them to get away. It eventually crashes into the back of the Libertad, entangling the two ships together. Ralph then launches on his Gloire-type and heads for the other Strains. Lottie tries to attack him, but she misses and Sara joins the fight before Ralph can retaliate against Lottie.
Because of the heavy damage that the crash did to the Libertad, Tumors are easily able to get through the ship’s hull and attack the crew inside. Melchisedec, however, doesn’t want them to abandon ship unless he fails to deactivate the Deague ship’s self-destruct system. Over in the medical bay, the doctor and Becky have their hands full with all the injured crew members who are coming in. The sounds of explosions nearby wakes up Emily, and she realizes that Ralph is responsible after Dickon curses his name. Becky notices when Emily runs off, so she and Dickon chase after the girl. Although they find her quickly enough, the three are soon confronted by a Tumor. They attempt to run away, but it moves too fast and cuts off their route of escape. They are saved only when Sara senses Emily in danger and uses her Strain to pierce through the hull of the Libertad in the exact spot that the Tumor is standing. She then brings the front of her Strain into the Libertad and reunites Emily with the doll.
The reunion of the two Emilys, however, is abruptly interrupted when Dickon gets shot in the shoulder. The gunman is none other than Ralph Werec himself. Meanwhile, Melchisedec, Dufarge, and Medlock have boarded the Deague ship to disable the self-destruct system. With only 90 seconds left, Melchisedec succeeds by using robot arms attached to his space suit, but the self-destruct reactivates with 600 seconds on the clock, and the computer reports that canceling it is impossible. Panicking, Medlock flees the bridge and locks the other two there. She heads for the hanger where she finds a shuttle, but she trips on Barrow’s dead body and then gets surrounded by Tumors. Because she doesn’t have a Deague identification code anymore, they kill her. Stuck on the bridge, Melchisedec and Dufarge succeed at dislodging the Deague ship from the Libertad, though doing so strands both of them. Back on the Libertad, Ralph demands that Emily be returned and then recognizes that the doll is the other Emily. Sara confirms this, but she also calls Emily her irreplaceable partner.
After laughing to himself, Ralph asks Emily to come to him with the doll so that they can all return to her home world and end everything. He tries to get Sara to get out of the way by pointing his gun at her, and when she refuses to move, he reminds her that he’d kill anyone who gets in his way. Emily finally speaks out to tell Ralph to stop, saying that she won’t return because she wants to stay here forever with Sara. Since Ralph doesn’t understand why she would say something like that when he’s done everything so far in order to grant her wish, Emily makes it clear that her race didn’t want him to kill everything. Ralph can’t believe she’s saying that after all the pain and hatred for humanity that he went through. Not backing down, he now points his gun at both Emilys, but Sara jumps in the way again. Before Ralph can shoot, Emily leaps down and hugs Sara. With Emily in her arms, Sara tells her brother that no one wants what he’s trying to do. She understands because she knows Emily’s pain and sadness – that’s why Ralph is the one making a mistake.
By now, the Deague ship has gotten far enough away from the Libertad that Melchisedec and Dufarge can see the entire ship from the bridge. Looking back, they talk about how good the students were, but Lottie’s Strain suddenly stabs through the wall and appears. Lottie tells the two that no one would be happy with them behaving like this, and recalls that Sara didn’t want to let anyone else die. She lets them get onto her Strain and escapes right as the ship explodes. Around the same time, Ralph shoots his gun at Sara, but the bullet only grazes her cheek. Luckily, a blast door comes down and separates Sara and company from Ralph. Knowing that the battle isn’t over yet, Sara entrusts Emily to Becky and Dickon and then re-boards her Strain. Ralph also gets back on his Gloire-type, and the two Strains come face to face in the debris field outside the Libertad. Not wanting any more sorrow or loneliness, Sara decides to end everything here and now.
After last week’s fairly discussion-heavy episode, this week is almost entirely action. I’m a little surprised that the body count stayed relatively low – the exceptions being Medlock and some random Libertad ensigns. Both Dickon getting shot and Melchisedec & Dufarge going on the Deague ship had me worried, but they all appear to be ok. I hadn’t realized it before, but Sara not wanting to let anyone else be killed appeared to be somewhat of a turning point in terms of major character deaths. I would go as far as to predict that Ralph will be the only person who will die in the final episode. With Ralph having been rejected by Emily and subsequently gone completely crazy, I think it’s safe to say that he’s way beyond redemption. The question for me is whether Sara will die too in the process, but I’ve got my money on her surviving.
In any case, the preview shows some crazy mecha battle action for the final episode next week. I’m really looking forward to it.