Like I always do, I will be using “aka” designations for the characters’ names, so readers who are only familiar with the English names from Star Blazers will know who I am referring to.
Let me just start by saying: Wow, this ended up being a very intense episode!
Susumu (aka Derek Wildstar) is still in a cave, talking with the archaeologist who has taken on the form of Zworder (aka Prince Zordar). This confrontation is a combination of info dumping and arguing about morals. From the info dump, we learn that the Gatlanteans are a manufactured race, devoid of feeling love.
Meanwhile, the battle between the Gamilan rebels and the Yamato continues. Hijikata (aka Captain Gideon) takes command of the Yamato, and with his knowledge, wisdom, and experience, he helps to protect the Gamilan ships that are taking the refugees. Unfortunately, the Gamilan rebels have fired intergalactic missiles that will destroy the planet.
Then, Zworder reveals that each Gamilan ship with the refugees has been infiltrated by revenants created by corpses. These revenants have the same ability as the Gatlanteans, which is to spontaneously combust. Susumu is told that he has to chose one Gamilan ship to save, and that the other two will be blown up and destroyed along with the planet. Oh God, what an agonizing decision that would have to be. Of course, the audience already figures out which ship he’s going to choose.
After Susumu is rescued by Saito (aka Sergeant Knox), he tells Saito what happened in the cave. Susumu sends a cryptic message to the Gamilan ships transporting the refugees, and includes a particular message for Yuki (aka Nova). She contacts Saito privately, and he tells her what the situation is. Yuki decides to take things into her own hands, so Susumu doesn’t have to make that choice.
When this happens, Zworder becomes really sulky because Susumu isn’t playing by his rules. Which, in some respects, is actually rather amusing, since he blames love and emotions for the downfall of a society.
I’m not going to spoil the rest of the episode, but I will say that it’s rather intense, and the stakes are high. While all of the episode was intense, I think the last couple of scenes are the most intense.
I really like in this reboot how Susumu is shown as having weaknesses, and how being the ranking officer isn’t coming easy for him. This feels much more realistic than what we saw in the original version of this story. My guess is that Hijikata will be serving as the one in charge of the Yamato going forward, and that Susumu will be learning a lot about command while serving under him. I also feel that these conflicting feelings that Susumu has been having so far in this series makes him a stronger character overall, and that it adds more dimension to him.
Additional posts about Star Blazers/Space Battleship Yamato: