With the previously deactivated Scub having reactivated and Secrets having emerged, Generation Bleu is forced to commence Operation Polaris where they lure all the Secrets into the Arctic Circle with the gathered Quartz, before wiping them out in one fell swoop.
In response to this the Allied Forces add their backing, and Stanley deals with one of their disgruntled shareholders, his words about the Quartz overheard by Chloe. As such the Allied Forces combat the Secrets around Okinawa and are met by Naru and the original Nirvash. Other than that it appears that Georg has been corrupted as Harlequin dispatches the Quartz, drawing the Secrets away from their targets, frustrating Naru and Truth.
For their part Pied Piper is entrusted with escorting the Quartz and luring the Secrets, during which however Ao finds himself having a dream questioning his stance against the Secrets before waking up in the Allied Force’s base on Hawaii, Elena breaking the fourth wall in regards to their new allies. Continuing from this they find themselves passing Chloe and Maeve’s hometown of Vesteralen, Norway as they make their toward the Arctic Circle, Ao noting the significance of such. At the same time Juno, Pippo, and Tanaka take the chance to gloat to the Secret, however he stands by his stance on destroying alien matter. After which Ao has another dream where he finds himself embedded into the Scub with Naru atop of him, opposing what Eureka had said about the secrets. Once more he then wakes up on an Allied Forces base on Alaska where he finds that a missile control system in the USSR has been hacked and launched missiles directed at the Quartz, forcing Goldilocks to take action to protect it.
Even so this has thrown the capsule off course with its projected target now lying in Northern Scandinavia, as such Fleur proposes that they carry it as far as they can, with the Nirvash doing the rest. However the Secrets begin to close in fast, forcing Elena to take action and narrowly avoid being shot down while Fleur attempts to activate the Alleluia’s Third Engine, the failure to do such forcing Christophe to abandon the current plan and sacrifice part of the Scandinavian Peninsula. However refusing to let this happen Ao heads out and takes over, the members of Pied Piper telling him to come back, what had happened to Eureka giving him the resolve to take the Quartz and carry it by hand. The Quartz responding to his pleas by transforming into a cannon of sorts that allows him to annihilate the Secrets in one strike, while the others commend him on this however he finds that this has come at a cost. The Scub on Vesteralen no longer exists and the others have no knowledge of Goldilocks at all.
After a two week break and the last episode’s cliffhanger this was a great episode, once more it was an episode that seemed to be on fast forward, especially with the abrupt cuts to Ao’s random dreams. That said what they covered and what it led to made up for it, we saw Ao conflicted on what he knows about the Secrets and gain a simply mysterious yet powerful weapon.
The execution for which was great as well, everything about it just seemed to suggest that it was going to be Ao’s last act, they were running out of options and just as his mother had done he took hold in an attempt to protect everyone, Ivica even telling him that he wasn’t his mother to tie in the parallels. All the while the soundtrack captured the tension perfectly, and when things are at their bleakest he’s somehow able to pull out just what he needs. From there however things get confusing, where the weapon’s use has somehow wiped Goldilocks from existence, it was cliche but sill completely mysterious. If the cannon is made of Quartz, could each use erase the Scub Burst associated with the Quartz used from existence and nullify the effects they had? Either way the execution for it was great and the effects of it are simply mysterious.
Prior to that I also liked how this episode took the chance to portray Ao’s inner conflict during this, the fact that those two abrupt cuts to his dreams were likely the result of him passing out mid-flight is a little disturbing, more so when you consider how Gazelle had actively given sleeping pills to a twelve year old. Yet even so it placed these thoughts into context when they were required by showing just how deep this conflict was rooted, Eureka’s words going against everything he’s been told since the start, and furthermore the other side has Naru. Someone who even after all the crap she’s done he must really care about a lot, making it a conflict of what is right and who he cares about, both of which are surrounded in doubt. There are multiple sides to it and it was interesting to see them detailed.
Other than that the general atmosphere to this episode was great, with Christophe’s plan being set in motion the episode had a really nice climactic sort of feeling that everything was drawing to a close, though at only the sixteenth episode that would mean bringing in another matter towards the end. Things just seemed to fall into place with Generation Bleu and the Allied Forces joining forces, even Elena and Fleur noting such, as well as that uncanny feeling that things were going to go wrong. The character interactions also seemed to centre around Ao a lot more as well, a good number of them pertained either to him or giving him the resolve and drive he would need for the things he was about to do. Some were fun yet others were a lot more heavy.