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Ergo Proxy 20 (Raw)

a. I spent all night trying to figure out what Su-wa-n meant, because I swore up and down I'd heard this word before, went over to Anikimeiski's excellent blog on the subject, and found out it was "Swan". *foreheadslap* Yes, the gene of idiotness runs clear in my veins.

b. In an episode of a red-haired, red-eyed Proxy wearing Vincent's style of pendant, am I now supposed to wonder if we've all got it wrong and the First Proxy is actually a girl?

Two of the constants in Ergo Proxy: all Proxies seem to want to fight Vincent Law, and all Proxies live to mess with his head. Why? We are never told. Episode 20 is another run at messing with Vincent's head.

After the bizarrity and wonderment of the last episode, I was really hoping something more...plot-like...would reveal itself in similarly stylish fashion. And while I think we have gone plot-like (about as much as giant flying koi can in the middle of a film about rockers in tighty pants pretending to be vampires can be), I must say this Vincent fearing loneliness and abandonment stuff is going out of date. I'll start at the beginning now.

Real guns down Ergo Proxy in cold blood. Vincent wakes up in bed and finds himself seeing the world through Real's eyes. He hears what people say through her ears. He tastes what she eats, breathes her air, and gets horribly confused -- why isn't she posing lasciviously in front of a mirror where the fans can see it?

Real remembers her life up till waking up in Daedalus's infirmary bed in bits and pieces. She has Vincent's pendant around her neck. Everyone's cautiously welcoming her home to Romdeau because she's caught Ergo Proxy. Even Raul is playing nice. There's a psychiatrist-type who greeted her on waking, some new co-worker of Daedalus, a red-haired, red-eyed woman called Swan who seems just a little wrong, just a little different, that she needs to have therapy with. People don't quite trust her anymore since she's been on the outside, and those who call themselves her friends are treating it as though she's caught a light cold.

Daedalus takes her to an underground tunnel where Real can view the wreckage of the Usagi crushed against a wall. Vincent hears his name said for the first time. Where's Pino?

Swan takes Real to see Pino, dressed up as she was pre-infection, locked in a store room. Pino wants to know why Real killed Vincent. Real tells her Pino's infected status would get her killed beyond the room.

Daedalus shows Real Ergo Proxy, plugged up and weakened but not dead after her FP bullet, who's convinced she's betrayed him. Real can't remember how or why, and something is very wrong with all this.

Time goes missing.

Vincent faces Swan, who's summoning him via hypno-therapy at will. He's a figment of Real's imagination, absorbed into her consciousness after the shock of killing him. Vincent can't believe a thing going on, but Swan wants him exorcised out of Real.

Real breaks a coffee cup in her reality and cuts her finger. The blood reminds her of a bunch of roses. She hears Vincent shout a warning.

Swan tells Vincent the only way out of Real's head is to go deep into his own fantasy world -- the ultimate "what if?" he wants it to be. Vincent becomes the Chief of the Security Bureau in his head, married to Real, dressed awfully like Raul -- who gets to be his underling. Daedalus is a normal, bounding boy. Sitting at dinner, making polite conversation. Having a late coffee with the missus, watching Real drop her cup. Shouting a warning -- mind the sharp china.

Vincent is back at Swan's office. A ghostly Daedalus appears at the periphery of his consciousness, telling the Real outside of him that Vincent has escaped and will probably come around to kill her. Swan thinks Vincent should kill her first.

Fantasy Vincent in a suit aims a gun at Real's back, but can't bring himself to shoot. He visits Pino in storage. She's happy to see him, the first person whose ever really done that in this reality, but why can she see him for who he is? And how did he break the barrier into Real's reality, where Pino was locked up? Pino wants to know how they'll be saving "real Real", but Vincent can't explain how beyond that he'll have to kill her.

"Well, then let's destroy real Real."

Vincent and Pino visit Ergo Proxy, the physical body that exists outside of Vincent in Real's mind.

"It pleases me to destroy that woman."
"Won't we, Vince?"

Ergo Proxy and Pino want Real destroyed.

"I'm an illusion. This is only in Real's mind."

Swan faces off with Vincent, who refuses to kill Real. He has his pendant, which Real will never hold, which makes everything he's seen void.

Reality turns to dust.

Who is Vincent? Is he this lonely, illusory place that wanders in circles upon itself? Swan shows Vincent her pendant, hidden all this while. It's the first truly surreal moment this entire episode. Her voice changes to that of a jilted lover, and she actually speaks to Vincent as though she knows him from a previous time, telling him that as she can't stand a man who's been around, neither can Real.

Vincent, in Real's voice, just wants to protect Real with his life, and proves it. Ergo Proxy crashes in through the looking glass. Real shoots.

Vincent wakes up on the Usagi at his usual perch. He takes out his pendant, still around his neck, and stares. Real calls out his name.

He has no idea where he is, so he asks her. Real tells him they're on their way back to Romdeau. Something else gets exchanged here I missed, language failures hitting at the worst possible times. Did she ask if they were on a trip to find themselves? That she had no idea what they were trying to do anymore? Whatever it was, she seemed as rattled as he is, so he puts a hand to her cheek for her to lean into. The pendant glints on Vincent's chest. Real wonders why he has this. In a span of seconds, we are shown an amazingly beautiful scene: Vincent's sad, elegant smile, the swinging pendant, Real's quiet thought aloud.

I think, if my language skills haven't failed me too much, Real asks if she could have the pendant when they return to Romdeau, which startles Vincent. But Real dismisses the thought as quickly as it came, wishing him goodnight. Real is smiling more these days, I've said it before, but, it is nice to see her smile. They pass each other in silhouttes that could be embracing, but they're really just walking past the other.

"Goodnight, Vincent."

Not, "Goodbye, Vincent," as the English title tries to grab our eyeballs with. :)

So what's happened here? Who is Swan? Swan, like the ugly duckling who grows up into a swan? It's probably not the First Proxy, since, well, he's a guy, isn't he? (Or so we hope.) And there's another person out there who loves Vincent, who'd be jilted so well, who's ugly as sin at the start. Who probably did own the other pendant the First Proxy stuffed on Amnesia's throat. Who could easily exist in Vincent's head, hidden away beneath all the memories only to surface now. The person who loved Ergo Proxy -- Monad.

Too much wishful thinking, believing Monad could be Real. It's clear she hates the other woman's guts, and wants Vincent to kill her. Strange for her to surface now, but maybe Real and Vincent have only begun to really get that close around now. It doesn't feel like this series is ready to end in 3 more episodes. So Monad appears in a last ditch attempt to remind Vincent of who he is? Did he really kill her in his mind? Did his love for Real really superimpose itself over anything the memory of Monad could do to him? Or is Monad still alive out there, kept in statis by who knows what Daedalus is capable of concocting? We've seen the roster of potential enemies otherwise: Daedalus and his tech, Raul and the will of his vengeance, and maybe, the hidden First Proxy in...one or the other, but possibly the latter.

I guess it's like a whirlpool in a drain. As the upper levels of water go down, we reach the dregs. If we're seeing Monad, we're getting closer to the heart of Vincent's memories. Who is he?

We want to know too.



( 2 comments — Leave a comment )
Aug. 10th, 2006 09:35 am (UTC)
aaugh, I have no idea how they're going to answer all our questions in the last episode! More than likely they won't. *facepalm* So cruel that they're letting the secret about Real's connection to Vincent/Ergo Proxy be the LAST thing revealed. If even that... but hey...what's with Pino's hair changing colors? I'm surprised no one ever mentions that...

Daedalus as a schoolboy scares me. *shudders*
Aug. 10th, 2006 05:23 pm (UTC)
Thought I mentioned Pino's hair before... must've been on Shinsen's forums. But it is something I've noticed as well. I don't think she dyed her hair from the original Raul brown in Ep 5, and prior to that, she escaped Romdeau in a cat suit that hid all her hair. Iggy didn't have hair, so we can't really verify if hair-color changes are a virus thing. And the slutbot from ep 1 came pre-infected.

I still need to watch ep 21 and 22 out here. Have heard about how the Vince/Real connection is only featured in the last ep though. What I wanna know is, did Daedalus really make himself a Real doll out of Monad's corpse to play with? ;)
( 2 comments — Leave a comment )

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