# Slippery Slope (Gundam Seed 09)
A much more enjoyable episode. Either *Gundam Seed* has found its feet, or it does combat much better than it does plot. Sadly I fear it's the latter.
We get our brief moment of peace and respite over the first half, but this episode is mostly fight, and a curiously one-sided fight at that; given that Strike will shortly be taking on four suits single-handledly, it's odd that it and three Earth ships are powerless against Aegis and a handful of GINNs. Maybe this is meant to be the story of the whole war - that Earth's numbers are nothing against Coordinator superiority - but in context it feels forced; Flay's father has to die because the plot demands it, so the squadron carrying him is wiped out.
Of course, the fight isn't just between spaceships and robots; even as a powerless civilian, Flay creatively finds a way to involve herself directly, which is then taken up by Natarle. In any realistic military, this would be insubordination and she would quite possibly be shot. But in a ship crewed by cadets and students, Ramius is unwilling to enforce that kind of discipline - at least, not when doing so would probably get them all killed.
It's a timely reminder that no-one's hands are clean, but more than that, that no-one commits fully to a single course. Ramius berated the students earlier for not having the will to fight, but she too was unwilling to use everything at her disposal; Kira swore he'd leave the military as soon as he could, but let Flay believe he'd protect her father; Athrun seems to have finally found the will to fight seriously against his friend. In a sense Rau is the noblest character here: he's made his decisions and seems fully committed to them - making him the most unambiguously villainous of all. A sympathetic viewer could see the whole show as an argument for negotiations and awkward compromises, the sasuage factory of democracy writ large.
Except, that is, for Lacus, the single pure white character in a world of grey. She's even more childlike - and annoying - than I remembered, and her mere existence warps the world around her; she's too naive to live, but sadly I know the universe will conspire to make her succeed. The show wants us to contrast her with Flay, but they're simply incompatible; Flay is a real character, with hopes and dreams and flaws, while Lacus is a plot device, seemingly with no desires or thoughts of her own - not even love, if what I recall of her relationship with Athrun is correct. She's not a bad character per se - just one that belongs in a completely different show. And sadly, I fear she'll do a lot of damage to this one.
But all that's in the future. For now, this episode was a real high point: drama and fights weaving together in perfect harmony. Long may that continue.
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