The engaging if somewhat scattershot Captain Earth continues to steamroll towards the end, with the big players all showing their hands except for one, who’s keeping them very close to the vest. I find the dynamic is breaking down between forces whose goals are straightforward and those whose goals are murky. The Planetary Gears want to devour the Earth in the Jungian sense, and the Intercept Faction wants to save it – nothing complicated there. But the Arkists and especially Puck are a much different matter.
Puck is a complete cipher. The growing sense I get is that it’s more concerned with having fun than anything else – there’s a very childlike tone to its conversations with itself now, and its possession of Kube has the feel of a kid turned loose in a candy shop. The response to Westvillage’s question (the asking of which is itself a bit of a puzzle) reflects this almost whimsical worldview – Puck is clearly enjoying both the contemplation and messing with Westvillage’s head. But that doesn’t tell us what Puck’s endgame is, and for now we see only that it’s watching the drama between the other three corners play itself out with a big grin on Kube’s face.
The Kivotos people are a little easier to figure out, and I think the most telling moment here is Canis’ angered reaction as the Midsummers Knights head off to destroy the Oberon. “Why are you getting in the way of our plan to save humanity, you meddling kids?!” This reveals the truth of it – the Ark Faction isn’t interested in saving humanity from the Planetary Gears, but from itself – from its impurities and perceived inadequacies. I asked last week if they’d willingly accept an endgame where the Intercept side defeated the P.G.s, and I think we have our answer – no, they wouldn’t. That’s not a humanity they deem worth saving, and the entire threat of the P.G.s is important mainly as a pretext for them to remake humanity to their own liking (though, as others have pointed out, it’s a bit of a mystery of how they plan to do that with a ship full only of boys. Will they name their new planet Ikebukuro?).
In the interest of pretext, the Arkists can always point out that their attack on Operation Summer was necessary because they need the Blume and Hana in order to execute the final stages of their own plan. Thus, they send the giant Garm out to intercept the Interceptors – who’re in a mad dash against time because mass comas are happening all over Japan, and GLOBE has determined that it’s 99.8% likely that every Kiltgang is going to attack Earth simultaneously. Salty Dog has a gift for timing if nothing else – they always seem to get in the way at the worst possible moment.
I’m still not convinced that the P.G.s are going to follow through on their plan, as their group seems more and more divided – that Setsuna and Baku are hesitating is no surprise, but now even Moko is waxing sentimental about the planet they’re about to destroy. Be that as it may the center of the action for the moment is the battle between the two human factions, and with Hana focused on locating the Oberon and launching the Entangle Link the weapons of the Blume are off-limits. That leaves Daichi outside in the Earth Engine trying to fight off the Garm and Cerberus, which is where he still is when Hana locates the target and the Entangle Link kicks in. Daichi grabs the Blume and holds on for dear life, but a head-on collision with the Garm is unavoidable – and what happens next is anyone’s guess.
I know some folks are going to flip out over the use of the word “dream” here, but I’m going to chill and see what happens (I’m calling Chekov’s Gun on that “Planter” device on the moon). It’s obvious they aren’t truly going to play the “this was all a dream” card with 3 eps left, and this sort of development has been a staple of BONES (and not just BONES) sci-fi since before most of today’s audience was watching anime (and before some of them were born). This is Daichi’s main character moment – Captain Earth’s way of reeling everything back in to focus where it started after having 20 episodes of near-constant expansion. Now it’s going inside Daichi’s psyche, and that’s a perfectly valid approach at this point – therefore I take no issue with this in principle. It’s the way in which it’s executed that’s going to tell the tale.