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Metallic Rouge Episode 5: Favorites

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Metallic Rouge Episode 5 – Quick Summary

In Metallic Rouge Episode 5, “Carnival Dances with Lost Memories,” Noami can’t find Rouge anywhere. By a strange coincidence, a man who introduced himself as Eden Varok happened by and said he knew where to find her. Naomi, skeptical, still wanted to find her agent. So, she followed the strangely charismatic man – directly towards the strange spaceship housing the circus that just came to town. Is Naomi making a mistake? Is Rouge really in there? And if she’s not, where is she?

Note: This post may include spoilers, so be cautious.

Favorite Quote from Metallic Rouge Episode 5

Metallic Rouge Episode 5: Naomi was not okay

I think it’s safe to say that Naomi honestly answered Rouge’s question. Capture from the Crunchyroll stream.

Turns out it’s a bad idea to be a fight’s spectator on a spaceship that’s blasting off. Who knew?

Circumstance chose on Naomi’s behalf. She found herself on top of the circus ship as it blasted off. But the engines weren’t the only source of danger. Rouge, in full Gladiator mode, fought against Opera and her really strong hair. Seriously, her conditioner must be military grade.

At one point in the battle, wind from the sheer force of the battle knocked Naomi off her feet. Screaming, she slid towards the edge, where she barely caught herself before plunging kilometers to the Martian surface.

Rouge used their communications link to ask if Naomi was okay.

Naomi has re-entered my good graces, so I feel like I can quote her full, magnificently snarky response. She said (18:56), “In this wind, with sand blowing in my eyes and the ground so far away?! No, I wouldn’t say that I’m okay!”

I’m sure Rouge appreciated the context for Naomi’s answer.

Favorite Moment from Metallic Rouge Episode 5

Metallic Rouge Episode 5: Rouge didn't like not knowing what freedom meant

The realization she didn’t understand freedom disturbed Rouge. Capture from the Crunchyroll stream.

Setup: Opera in the House

Okay, let me get this out of the way: I like Opera. Can we get more Opera? I like the character model, I like how she moves when she fights, and I like her attitude. Cool boots, too. And now she’s leaving Mars and we probably won’t see her again.

Bummer.

If you’re going to write a science fiction story, you can capture my attention by at least giving lip service to interesting philosophical ideas. Remember The Matrix? I loved the twist about humanity and the machines. But what really got me was the inversion of expectation regarding who was free and who was not. Those movies played with that idea, with Agent Smith exploring the idea as much as anyone.

Metallic Rouge Episode 5: Opera was bendy

Limber. Capture from the Crunchyroll stream.

Am I free? Calvinism would say no. Actually, the modernized translations would probably say, “LOL! jk no.” An Aristotelian Thomist (which is pretty much where I come from) would say, in a resounding voice, “Maybe!” 

But the fun isn’t in the answer. It’s in the question’s context. If I ask someone if they’re free in a society based on consumerism, where they have to work a fixed percentage of their life doing what they don’t want in order to eat, they might say yes. But would they be right? That would setup a conversation about invisible chains, the rich using the economic system to manipulate those around them, etc. Which might be fun, if you can find honest, curious people to talk to.

Delivery: Rouge and the Idea of Freedom

In my favorite moment in this episode, Puppeteer and Rouge had what I’d call a fairly easy conversation about freedom, but I still loved it. Puppeteer said he loved Rouge and her kind; that he had cut her strings; that he wanted to see her free.

Rouge asked a reasonable question. She asked what happened after he cut her strings. He said she became free.

Metallic Rouge Episode 5: Puppeteer seemed to be honest with Rouge

Puppeteer seemed to be open with Rouge. Was he really? Capture from the Crunchyroll stream.

“What happens after we become free?” Rouge asked (13:12). 

“You can be yourself.”

“Be myself?” she said (13:18).

The concept seemed to mystify a groggy Rouge (she’d just awakened from whatever state of consciousness Puppeteer had forced her into). There wasn’t any easy answer, which I liked. Puppeteer even said she had to find her own answer – which I also liked.

It’s not a big, grand moment. It struck me because Rouge wrestled with the question. It was important to her. Her reaction gave me hope that this will become an important part of her arc. Because let’s face it – I welcome more discussion, and more understanding, of the nature of freedom and the responsibilities it demands. How else can we maintain a free society if we don’t understand freedom?

What did you think of Naomi’s reaction to meeting Varok? What were your favorite moments? Feel free to share your thoughts in the comments!

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3 thoughts on “Metallic Rouge Episode 5: Favorites

  1. After Afdal turned out to be Verde, it was no surprise for the random guy they’d met to also be one of the rebellious neans. If the reporter turns out to be one, too, I am going to scream.

    Lots of interesting tidbits dropped in this episode, though some of it, in Rouge’s induced delirium, might be less than credible. For that matter, it might be suspect anyway. I mean… the idea seems to be that Rouge is hunting the Immortal Nine, who killed her “father” as he was fighting against them. But nothing we’ve seen seems to bear that out. So who really *did* kill the man, and why? Heck, I have a certain suspicion, a feeling that the carnival master might actually be her “dead” father.

    What is this “Code Eve” thing? What does it do, and why is it important? My first thought there is that it keeps the neans compliant and unable to physically resist their human masters. Undoing that would certainly change things. There would be bloodshed galore and perhaps, in the most ideal course of events, the securing of neans’ equal rights with humans. Something tells me that the man who uses Usurper tech is more interested in the bloodshed, in breaking human society from within.

    Interesting how the black nean, one of the nine, not only helped Naomi get onto the craft to rescue Rouge, but also came to their defense when the Usurper machines were activated. He got Naomi out of the crossfire, too. The Puppeteer told Rouge that the Nine are enemies her father died fighting against, while Opera collected Verde’s body and id, presumably so he’d repair and wake up. Do they want the nine struck down and brought to them, reprogrammed in some way? Hmmm…

    Too many pieces, and too little information to fill the gaps between.

    1. You’re asking some good questions about the Immortal Nine. I’m not sure really who’s who or what’s what so far. Which is fun in a way.

      I interpreted “Code Eve” to the the “antidote” to the Asimov Code. Following western thought, Eve fed Adam the apple, so everyone blames her for upsetting Eden. I’ve always wondered why Adam didn’t get more blame. I mean, he nomed the thing, right? Blaming Eve doesn’t seem quite fair.

      That other Nean helping Rouge — that was really interesting. Like you said, too many pieces to put together yet.

      I really, really hope they stick the landing. A well-crafted plot can earn forgiveness for a lot of narrative sins!

      1. I’ve had another thought.

        What if Code Eve, being named for the mother of human race, would somehow enable neans to procreate the way humans do? Giving rise to a breed of neans which would be free, and possibly impossible to wipe out.

Please let me know what you think!

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