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EPISODE 31:
HOME AFLAME

ORIGINAL AIRDATE:
03/12/1980

|SCREENSHOT GALLERY|
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SYNOPSIS

The Ideon launches a missile attackGije is being kept prisoner on the Solo Ship, despite Sheryl's protests. The ship is finally given permission to land, and Bes is summoned to a nearby base - the neighbouring settlement is his hometown. He takes Cosmo with him, but when they arrive only Bes is allowed in to see the commander. The Earth authorities want the Solo Ship and the Ideon. Bes refuses, and he and Cosmo are thrown in a cell. Onboard her flagship, Rukuku finds a tape addressed to Harulu among Daram's effects. She hopes it will tell her more about the Ome Foundation's links to Doba. On the Solo Ship, the others are worried about Bes and Cosmo's disappearance. The base commanders summon Bes' parents, and tell them their son is imprisoned for treachery. They try to persuade him to comply with the authorities. He stands his ground, but is left upset. However, talking things over with Cosmo persuades him that it's best for his parents if they do disown him, as they'll die anyway if the Ideon is handed over to Earth and the Ide not mastered. They manage to send a signal to the Solo Ship, and hope for a rescue. Meanwhile, Rukuku moves into Earth orbit again, her force including a new craft, the Abzonol. The Solo Ship and Ideon mobilise in response, but the defence ties up all their resources, meaning no rescue attempt can be made for Bes and Cosmo. Instead, Karala slips away and lets Gije out of his cell.

Bes' parents Mark and ElmiWithout Cosmo and Bes, the battle isn't going particularly well for the colonists, though Karala and Gije are able to get away from the ship unharmed. The Abzonol is able to attach cables to Ideon, disrupting the Ideon Gauge and disabling the robot. The craft then begins to drag the Ideon away. The spectacle at least allows Gije and Karala to slip into the Union compound. They find Bes' parents making another attempt to persuade him to hand over the Ideon. They blame Karala and Gije for leading Bes astray, and Gije chases them away while Karala frees their friends. At the same moment they escape, the Ideon Gauge comes back to life, turning dazzlingly bright and overloading the Abzonol. Below, Bes' heartbroken parents walk through their ruined hometown, bemoaning the loss of their son. The Solo Ship leaves Earth once again as Bes reflects on what he's left behind.


NOTES

The Abzonol snares the IdeonKasha Imhof: Subtle as ever, Kasha's first instinct when Bes and Cosmo disappear is that Bes has dumped Karala. And she says that out loud, to Karala. It's so harsh that Sheryl tells her off...

Bes Jordan: Bes' father, Mark Jordan is a soldier (or was - he still wears the uniform, but he might not be in active service... that said, despite being one of the senior figures on the Solo Ship, Bes isn't that old, probably early to mid twenties, and his father could conceivably be in his forties). It can be inferred from the dialogue that the Jordan family have a proud military history. His mother is named Elmi. Bes used to play American football, and his green hair is actually natural unless he just started dyeing it when he was about three. The action takes place in his (unnamed) home town.

Gije Zaral: Gije is a superb natural pilot, mastering the Shooter Katam within seconds of sitting at the controls. He claims to be selfishly motivated in the rescue, wanting to see the Ide. Cosmo's obviously taken a bit of a shine to him, as he brushes this off with good humour.

Karala and Bes are reunitedAbzonol: This large craft is described as a mecha despite looking and acting very much like a ship (cf. the Galbo Jick). It can siphon off the Ideon's energy, and has a barrier. It is described by Rukuku as the final anti-Giant God mecha - presumably, as we see more new Buff Clan types later in the series, it's the last developed for this purpose alone. Just how big is her ship anyway, what with apparently setting out from Buff with a Baram Barume, numerous Adigos and now this monstrosity stowed away?

The Solo Ship: Gije is kept in a large, purpose-built cell, a stark contrast to the cages Karala and Mayaya, and later Cosmo and Kasha were imprisoned in earlier in the series. Maybe the death toll has freed up some more room?


REVIEW:

The Ideon overloads the AbzonolFor the first time in a while, the focus goes back to Bes, and the result is a bittersweet episode. His awkward scenes with his parents are well-done, and he works nicely with Cosmo. And the ending is quite sad, with his parents left thinking he's betrayed his family to the aliens despite the huge responsibility Bes has taken on.

This plotline is much more interesting than the tiresome Rukuku, who has another mecha of the week to throw at the colonists. That said, while obviously the Ide plays a part and the events are linked, it's great when they avoid the obvious cliche of Cosmo and Bes returning to the Ideon and Solo Ship respectively to turn the battle, allowing the second-string characters their moment of glory.

Plus the Ideon's tug of war with the Abzonol is excellently staged.