Where the first episode of Invisible Victory took things slow, easing viewers back into the wild world of Full Metal Panic!, episode two, “Damage Control,” amped up the action, turning up the flames that were started by the first episode’s slow burn.
On top of seeing the new opening for the series (which was not featured in the first episode, but is AWESOME), “Damage Control” did an excellent job of balancing action and drama. The episode goes back and forth between Kaname and Sousuke fighting off the forces of Amalgam as they struggle to reach the helicopter pick up point and Captain Testarossa as she deals with a missile attack on Merida Island.
Sousuke and Kaname’s situation is dire, and though they are fighting desperately, Sousuke is doing his job and protecting Kaname with skill and relative ease… which is exactly what disturbs Kaname. As Sousuke keeps the action intense, taking out every threat to Kaname, he also drives a wedge between the two of them. Leonard’s words are still looming in Kaname’s mind, that Sousuke has killed over 100 people, and watching him kill right before her very eyes is traumatizing and haunting. Even though he is keeping her safe, she doesn’t feel safe with someone who she is slowly starting to see as a monster.
As for the action itself, though the intensity is high throughout the episode, the action sequences themselves are somewhat underwhelming. There are a lot of great bits, like when Sousuke uses a grenade to take out an Alastor (which further portrays Sousuke as a killer, since the grenade injures a bystander and he forces Kaname to leave him behind), but some of the extended sequences weren’t too great.
Again, the intensity was there – I have read the manga that this series adapts and there were points where I questioned wether or not they would make it out alive despite knowing they would – but the actual execution was rather poor, specifically when it came to the car chase, which suffered from poor 3D cgi vehicles that did little more than stiffly ram into each other, and the shootout in the park, which was similarly stiff in its action, though the helicopter crash and introduction of the Arbalest ended up redeeming the sequence.
Throughout all of this, Tessa get’s some badass moments, showing she’s not the same captain we saw in The Second Raid. She takes the incoming missile strike with precision and expertise, even though the worst has yet to come, and she even reminds her crew, with a calm tone and expression, that if the missiles are nuclear, it will be over instantaneously, which is actually the second most badass moment she has in the episode.
Tessa’s greatest moment in the episode came when one member of the SRT jokes about treason and she just straight up shuts that shit down like a gangster. She asks for a soldier’s sidearm and threatens to shoot the would-be-traitor without hesitation. But, she’s still Tessa, and though her will is strong, we see her take these short, deep breaths, showing that she is willing to do what it takes to keep her men in line, but it is indeed taking everything she has to keep up this image of strength and power. It was such a great move to both show Tessa’s growth as a character and leader, and to show the effects that a dire situation can have on a group hired mercenaries.
The drama that goes on with Mithril as well as Kaname’s fear of Sousuke and the action of episode are brilliantly balanced, and the cliffhanger it leaves on keeps that drama and intensity going. “Damage Control” ended with Kaname getting a text revealing that Kyoko has been kidnapped, further intensifying Kaname’s guilt with all of the innocent casualties that resulted form Sousuke protecting her. Overall, a strong, powerful episode that, save for a few poor action sequences, was intense, capturing, and overall excellent.
Check back next week for our review of next week’s episode of Full Metal Panic! Invisible Victory
Full Metal Panic! Invisible Victory Ep. 2
The action picks up as everything falls apart in this week’s episode of Full Metal Panic! The Invisible Victory