「People Get Ready / Immigrant Song」
Carole & Tuesday has steadily made its way to its peak point and these two previous episodes gave viewers a lot to unpack. It should be no surprise to those of us who have been following that the ‘sci-fi’ genre about the series is really just there to set the world where the drama, the lead genre of the series, takes place. Events are quickly unfolding and I’m feeling more empathetic towards characters I, not too long ago, didn’t appreciate.
Angela is a character I’ve slowly warmed up to. I’m empathetic to her situation. She wants to do something for herself but her entire life has consisted of walking down the path other people laid for her, which in this case are Tao and ‘Mama.’ When she signed up to work as Tao’s puppet, she knew what she was getting herself into. At that point in her very unfulfilling career path as a low grade actress, she wanted to feel invigorated. It’s too bad that her journey was led by external motives. Even after much success, she’s still playing her part as their puppet. I can’t imagine how it must feel to also have your life put in danger because of other people’s aspirations and to top it all off, be replaced. Perhaps now with both Mama, Tao, and dark_knight possibly being out of the picture, she can finally discover what it is she truly wants.
I’m not fond of Ertegun by any means but I do appreciate his newfound respect for Carole and Tuesday. In episode 19, he smiles with acknowledgement as the girls perform on the Sydonia music festival stage. They ‘sit’ proudly and confidently in front of a crowd, that only a year ago rejected them. Is it because they played a better quality song (I still stand by my comment about the song they chose last time they played on the stage) or is it because of their garnered popularity in the last year? If it’s the latter, it’s a pretty strong comment about how media can shape popular opinion. But I do hope it’s more about the quality of music they’re now producing, or at the very least, a combination of the two.
Moving onto episode 20, Carole revisits her past when she meets up with Ezekiel (Kimura Subaru) who she recognizes at the Synodia festival as her childhood friend Amer. He’s rough around the edges but has a soft spot for Carole. Their mutual past is what still connects them after a decade of being separated. Ezekiel, alongside Carole, Tuesday, and Angela is nominated for ‘Best New Artist’ at the Grammy’s. His chances of winning, however, are slim now that the hammer was brought down on him after his release of viral single “Crash the Server.” His message goes up against everything Shwartz, Valerie, and Jerry are trying to push onto the planet and he becomes too much of a threat.
The parallel between Earth/Mars refugees and the refugee crisis happening right outside our very doors is clear. There’s a political agenda behind this series I hadn’t expected when I first started watching but, from my point of view, it’s very welcomed. I think it’s important for current issues, regardless of where we stand, to remain relevant even when they make their way into the anime realm. If we choose to, we’re encouraged to question the institutions that make up our very realities.
With the series’ conclusion around the corner, things are moving quickly. All the pieces have been set and there are just a few more steps before we discover how these girls will change the course of history. This begs the question: What is this seven-minute miracle? I wonder if Carole and Tuesday’s songs, or perhaps their performance at the Grammy awards ceremony, will play a role in shaping Mars’ political landscape. Does Ezekiel’s arrest trigger something in the girls since the issue is much closer to home than they realize? And how will Angela perform now that she’s truly going solo?