Now that we’ve thoroughly seen Ayato put through the psychological ringer, you’d think things would return to normal again, right?  Not a chance.  We just get a new battle, one much more straightforward than the mental nightmare Ayato went through last time.Twelfth Movement: Black Egg

Poor Quon.  Last episode wore her out.  She’s in a nearly comatose state, being monitored heavily.  For me, the purpose of her life module (the odd vest she wears) is finally clear here.  Ayato watches from close by, quiet and concerned.  Nanamori jokes that Quon might wake up if Ayato was to kiss her.

In a tropical locale, a photojournalist goes searching for a ride to his latest lead.  He gets a ride from a lovely woman and heads off the beaten path alone.  He looks up a large slope and appears to wonder if he’s doing the right thing.  This sequence is without dialogue and laced with mysterious, yet almost ritual music.

Back with Quon, Nanamori laments that she’s tired of babysitting Sleeping Beauty.  Isshiki says Quon is quite valuable as “the original M-type.”  Isshiki is adjusting the collar of his uniform while Nanamori reapplies her makeup.  She wonders if Quon might have been watching them.  Isshiki doesn’t think it matters and changes the subject to their business.  Despite her darker dealings, Nanamori still wants to help Itsuki.  Once they’ve both left, Quon wakes up.

In the hallway, Nanamori ties her hair back while Isshiki walks away.  Haruka sees this.  Nanamori asks if Haruka has extra stockings and Haruka starts asking how long the affair has been going on.  Perhaps honestly, Haruka uses the excuse that she and Nanamori are friends, but Nanamori brushes Haruka off and walks away.

A moment later, the elevator in front of Haruka opens, giving her a direct view of Ayato.  He doesn’t look at Haruka, remembering the fantasy from the previous episode–and perhaps realizing it was something he actually felt?  No, it’s shame that Ayato has here.  Haruka tries to start a conversation, but it doesn’t work well.  Ayato remembers being on top of Haruka and presses a button so he can get off the elevator faster.  Haruka asks if something’s wrong, Ayato says he’s sorry and runs away.

According to Kim, the Bahbem Foundation is sending doctors to examine Quon.  Haruka overhears and wonders why the Foundation would be interested in Quon at all.

The photojournalist has been climbing for a little while now.  He reaches the edge of a cliff and looks down on an excavation scattered around a pair of small Mayan temples and a large hole.  There are lights set up everywhere and the photojournalist takes pictures of them and the network of tubes and piping going into the hole.  He sets up a video camera to stream footage of the site to a satellite.  Then he is shot.

Helena.  No one has ever looked as cold and bitchy, except for Emma Frost from the X-Men comics.  Here’s Helena now:

Anyway, Helena enters a black room with a cross-like symbol in red on the floor.  In the center of this symbol is Lord Bahbem.  You remember Lord Bahbem, right?  Old man, liked Mayan carvings, had a couple of guys from TERRA kissing his ass?  You know, Bahbem.  (Told you there’d be a quiz.)

Helena mentions that “a dog wandered into the compound,” which Bahbem finds trivial.  Someone else in the room is reading The Wizard of Oz, though they don’t say anything.  Helena tells Bahbem that there’s been an emotional change in Quon.  We get another look at the third person, a little girl, dressed in the same outfit as Helena, with the same haircut.  Helena says Quon’s time of awakening might be coming close.  Bahbem says those who sleep must always wake.  Then Bahbem reassures Helena–the little girl who stares the older Helena down.

Confused?  Let’s just say this scene is visually a clue about some of the inner workings of the Bahbem Foundation

Ayato is trying to start a new painting while recalling Mishima Reika.  A knock comes to the door and it’s our old friend(?) Futagami.

Elvy and Alpha Squadron are taking in some down time, though Elvy feels quite down about it.  The squadron’s performance has dropped since they’ve started going on missions with the RahXephon.  Elvy even wonders if they’ve become nothing more than “beefed up support personnel.”  And a plane lands in the distance, bearing the symbol of the Bahbem Foundation.

Walking with Futagami, Ayato says he won’t be much help since he doesn’t know a great deal about Narai-Kanai.  Futagami says there is a place Ayato knows a lot about.  He says to Ayato that the head of the Mu-Tokyo Government is a woman.  Ayato says it was normal, so Futagami offers a picture of “the people who betrayed the world.”  The man with the glasses was a colonel in the National Defense, Masayoshi Kuki…

Next to Kuki in the picture is clearly Maya Kamina.  This is not a great surprise as the Military staff shown in the first few episodes centered around Kuki and Miwa.  Nevertheless, Ayato is still shocked by all this.  Maya did say that they would tell Ayato terrible things about her and it would explain why she was often an absentee mother.

The Bahbem medical team arrives in Quon’s room, except she’s gone.  Itsuki asks Nanamori where Quon is, but the assistant doesn’t know.  Quon apparently wondered off without her life module as well, precipitating the need for an urgent search.

Quon, in her wandering around, finds Ixtli waiting.  The marks on Quon’s body begin to glow, as do her eyes.  Several images pass between the two of them, from blue birdlike Dolem, to the Neriya Shrine, Narai-Kanai, Tokyo Jupiter, the floating Mulian city, and the RahXephon’s egg hatching.  The RahXephon appears, watching with the Eyes of Truth.  When they focus on Quon, she cries out.  Ixtli holds and comforts Quon, telling her she will be called and will awaken to her own instrument.  Then, in the darkness, a black egg is shown.

As TERRA searches for Quon, Ayato contemplates what Futagami told him.  Ayato finds Quon when she starts singing.  During her song, we see scenes of the black egg looming larger.  Quon says she finally found it, so Ayato asks what she found.  Quon found that she’s Ollin too.  BIG CLUE. In her singing, another Dolem appears and Ayato is called away.  Driving away, Haruka tells Ayato not to wander off, especially since they’re looking for Quon.  Surprised, Ayato looks back and finds the pier where he was empty.

Before Ayato teleports to the RahXephon, he looks back at Haruka.  She looks at him lovingly and says she’ll see him later.  Ayato tells himself that it was just one photograph while Megumi gives her briefing.  When she asks if he understands, Ayato finds his determination and takes off.

The Dolem is moving toward an island under the Foundation’s control, floating over sea as it does.  It’s song apparently resonates with the black egg, which is now being watched by Helena.

Alpha Squadron attacks the stationary Dolem, which does not fight back.  When Ayato arrives, he hears Quon’s singing a moment before finding her floating in the base of the cockpit.  Outside, the Dolem begins to swallow the RahXephon.  Quon says she wants to touch her egg and could do it with Ayato’s help.

A portal opens above Quon and she floats toward it.  At the same time, a black portal appears over the excavation site from earlier in the episode.  Bahbem says, “There are things you may and may not do, instrumentalist yet to awaken.”  Quon is joyful and laughing, even as black feathers fall into the RahXephon’s cockpit and on the excavation site.  The moment Quon touches a barrier around the black egg, which is actually in the excavation site, she is knocked out.

The Dolem almost returns to its original form, locking the RahXephon inside.  Light begins to go out in the cockpit until Ayato reaches out, grabbing the Dolem’s mouth from the inside.  Light blasts out of the Mulian creature and the RahXephon slices it to pieces.  Quon wakes up again and looks up at Ayato.

Big stuff. This episode plays up the Bahbem Foundation, Quon, and the Mu Government.

Let’s start with Bahbem.  Lord Bahbem is a creepy old man, if only because of the company he keeps or the room he sits in.  He and his niece know a great deal about Quon and have possession of a massive black egg, much like the egg the RahXephon hatched out of.  The Foundation is intensely interested in the goings on of TERRA, but they don’t act concerned with their day to day operations.  Twice now, they’ve been shown in conjunction with Mayan architecture and aesthetics in a much more direct form than the Mulian helmets.

A lot of recent subplots have gravitated around Quon and the fact that she is also an Ollin and that she has a black egg.  It might be in the care of the Bahbem Foundation, but it’s Quon’s egg.  This would seem to point at there being something else for Quon, something on the lines of the RahXephon.  Does Quon seem the piloting type though?

Finally, the Mu Government.  Ayato might not have known his mother’s role, but we’ve been clued toward it for a while now, so it’s not a surprise to us.  The clue we get (a small one) is a little history on Colonel Kuki.  He doesn’t seem a significant figure, especially since he’s only been seen in a few early episodes.  He did betray the world and he was in National Defense.  For the especially astute, there was another mention of someone from National Defense before the battle against the Mu began, Jin Kunugi.  Kunugi had been betrayed by a superior officer who later vanished.  With that reminder, I’ll admit, these two men have a history and their battle has not yet ended.

Next time, the focus shifts back on Haruka and she’s going to investigate deeper than she really wants to.

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