(last update 13. Aug 1999)
|It has come to an end, to a complete end - the Wildcards share the
fate of the Angry Angels, victims of the unforgiving war. Less compromise
tuned and worse a series can hardly end: a point of no return.
Personally speaking, when I first saw the series in German TV 1996/1997, I already had no good feeling before the final episode, despite the German title was not such explicit as the English hinting at the dead of at least some of the Wildcards.
At least in my view the title(s) of the last episode(s)
21: "And if they lay us down to Rest..."
were very clear.
(remark: to what mother? At least Shane was already an USMC orphan!)
This is the reason, that I wanted not to list this title on my homepage before the end of the last repetitions in German TV.
I can't understand, why some spectators and fans kept any illusions alive with the end. For me the last episode was in brutal manner quite clear with respect to the fate of three of the five Wildcards:
At the first day of operation Roundhammer only two out of ten marines of the squadrons 61. and 58. came back, besides the complete 61. the following members of the 58. are affected (KIA stands for "killed in action").
KIA Captain Shane Autumn Vansen
A specialist of military affairs may say, the luck of war has left the 58. on this very day. Maybe, but there is a couple of another reasons:
How we have seen, the Wildcards had to turn away sometimes without completion of a mission, due to the impossibility of performing it and only capable to save the bare life.
At another occasions the extremely risky missions led to far or less big losses or there was even some luck involved, when they were performed successful (for example in the battle of the belt in the pilot, at the last possible moment the main of the terrestrian fleet arrived, just before the until then outnumbered 58. pilots could be shot down completely by the great number of Chig enemies).
Generally speaking, the thing is even more cruel, than you think at the first moment.
In my view Morgan & Wong deserve great praise for this NO WAY pleasing shape of the series, which brands without mercy the war and human failure (Aerotech); and indeed the makers dared to sacrifice even the most important persons by the Chigs, which were accurate shown before (Michael Pagodein, Lt. Winslow and the three above mentioned). By this the actions kept believable at all time until the bitter end.
However, now thoughts about some persons of the serious are presented.
Indeed there are a few surviving members of this family: her two sisters and one of their daughters. But that was it already: of the Vansens now three (!) commissioned officers of the USMC are fallen "fulfilling their duties". Despite this supposedly West & Hawkes instead of her sisters will receive the awful yellow standard letters of the USMC.
Nevertheless this will no way improve the mood of her sisters. The family Vansen was heavily striked by the wars...
If there is anything else to say, than that Shanes suffers could not be ended another way, because she had no chance to get rid ever of her childhood trauma ("the (night-)mare has changed").
Besides the only thing to wish for her and Vanessa is, that the otherwise useless ignition of the little maneuvring thrusters for slowing down the crash at least provided, that they were smashed finally at impact and didn't burn up in their space suits - the final smash is surely the easier death.
Remark: people, who doubt her death, should consider, that Shanes
bye-bye from West ("Semper Fidelis my friend"), her tears and the remark
"eventually we survive somehow the crash" (an extraordinary negative judgement
of chances for a marine!) as well as the short talk with McQueen ("Vansen,
Wang and Damphousse") prove in my view without any doubt besides physical
and technical reasons her and Vanessas death.
At a first glance you may think, that there was at least for him a happy end. But I'm doubting this heavily. First the war (and the boot camp of the USMC) have changed the 1.Lt. and than Kylen Celina has also experienced a bad time as prisoner of the Chigs for more than one year. Therefore I don't think, that the two are able, to be happy together: before the war they were the perfect fitting couple, now this seems to be impossible. Okay, this is not shown without doubt.
what remains for West
After the loss of three of his buddies (only Hawkes, now his friend, is still alive), especially of Vansen, who became nearly a sister for him, and of his brother Neil, who was sacrificed by an irresponsible acting, inexperienced superior, he needs probably some psychological treatment. This is supposed, when in the closing scene every feeling within him has died. No wonder, because somewhat ordinary speaking, Shane ordered him to sacrifice her and Vanessa (did you see the sweat on Nathans face? This was certainly not due to a climate system malfunction!), for the only purpose to save the colonists without any doubt. Only by resorting to a psychological trick Shane ("get Kylen back to home") could get him to obey her order (it would have been not the first time, Nathan had denied one!), because Nathan would otherwise never have left the both (especially not Shane). Both of them knew well about the consequence of this decision.
Therefore Wests bilance is also quite negative, despite he is still
alive (physically) and his girlfriend too.
Originally being an outsider (in Vitro!), the 58. became afterwards
some sort of family to him. Now all are dead or crippled (McQueen) besides
West, and even with West it remains questionable, if he will see him again,
because I don't think, that the two will (be able to) proceed with their
service in the Corps. Especially McQueen, who is now finally unable to
serve the Corps and therefore lost his sense of life, was like a father
for Cooper, and Vansen, to whom Hawkes were partly fallen in love, from
time to time despised her and than considered as a mother substitute (despite
the virtually same physical age) is even dead: "Now I comprehend, how she
(Shane) has suffered. I've also lost my parents on a single day." In my
view especially Hawkes is in great danger, he might now lose every support...
Wang and Damphousse:
It would be evil to say, that they are at least united in death. But it's virtually nothing left from the Chicago Bears fan and the hopeful high energy engineer (reactors). Both have surely imagined another career in the USMC. Even it's probably true, what Vansen once said: "Marines die. That is it, for what they are there.", but besides some insanes like 2.Lt. Kendrick (the responsible for the death of Nathans brother) the marines would decide for life instead death at any free choice.
You can only hope, that Wang was smashed along with the ISSCV container, because this is better than an explosive decompression (oxygen loss in the vacuum, the lungs implode and the person chokes - not immediately!). And Damphousse hopefully didn't became conscious before the end!
Remark: should anybody belief, that Wang is still alive, than
you have to consider the following: Wang didn't wear a space suit and as
we have seen during the series, the ISSCV container lacks pressurized and
sealed compartments, so the crack of the hull of the container guarantees
Wangs death, if (compare above) he should have survived the impact of the
Chig fighter debris.
Now he is finally at the last point: he can't continue his career and will stand similar problems to do senseful things in future.
He has not only lost his comrades from the 127., but besides two also his inferiors of the 58. Therefore he is not only physically a cripple after losing a leg, but probably also psychically to a large extent... ("I know, they are not my children, but...").
Remark: Even if the medicine should substiture his lost leg by
some means, the Corps never will let him go again to the front. And is
there anybody, who could imagine him as base officer and office sitter?
He suffered already a lot by the ban from fighter flying...
Pagodin & Winslow:
One of them didn't made it to comissioning, when the war arised, and
the other - due to our respective Earth pilots measures - was murdered
cold-blooded by the so-called Chiggie von Richthofen, after she engaged
the escape module. Never Pagodin sat in a cockpit of a real Hammerhead
("When we get our planes?") and Lt. Winslow never got into the anti gravitation
Two further remarks:
With respect to the great superiority of the Chigs in their own system the squadron 61. and the in the ISSCV confined and therefore tactical immobile 58. unable, to escape without losses. Besides the marines knew, that they have to protect by any prize the life of civilists: the prize can be sometimes very high, so as in this case.
Now we know this amount.
Furthermore remarked: the war has gone...
In a more global view with the war, I'm somewhat more optimistic: despite all irrationality Chigs and humans will probably now cease with big war actions and despite the "little" catastrophe, created by an Aerotech-(ir-)responsible. It's too much a risk for both parties, furthermore the Earth forces (by McQueen) now know the crimes of Aerotech and have therefore registered, that the Chigs didn't attack out of sheer bloodlust... The risk for the Chigs is far too high, to continue the war while Amvil is threatend by Earth, and the mankind can't take into account the giant bloodshed, which will be the result of a ground invasion, any longer, after first talks had been hold. For sure these talks will resume after the for the Wildcards disastrous "interruption" - especially bitter for these: West & Hawkes will ask oft themselves: "Why?"
At the end a last word: in my view besides the importance of science in sci. fiction also important is, that despite all phantastic conditions and possibilities it stays believable. And part of it is also, that even main characters are no way invulnerable and can die in extremely dangerous situations as all others...
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