Written by Dai Sato – the man responsible for jewels such as Cowboy Bebop, Samurai Champloo, and Ghost in the Shell: SAC – Ergo Proxy is a series that, unbeknownst to the audience, manages to deliver a tremendous amount of information on every episode while being very confusing. It is the type of story that only truly makes sense at the very end and benefits from multiple viewings. I’ll make a feeble attempt at summarizing and analyzing this wonderful series in hopes that you, my dear reader, will give it a chance.
These write-ups run the risk of making as much sense as a drunken buffoon on a bender, but I’ll try to make them as clear as possible.
Needless to say, there will be spoilers. Lots of spoilers. You’ve been warned.
13 / 14 / 15 / 16 / 17 / 18 / 19 / 20 / 21 / 22 / 23
Episode 2: Confession – A.K.A. The carnage and the lunacy
Summary: Re-l thinks she’s seen a monster, and everybody thinks Re-l is losing it. Re-l uses her girly charm to obtain information. Everyone goes to the mall and has a tragic time as Re-l returns to her ravaged apartment and finds something shiny.
In this episode, Re-l’s sanity is questioned by everybody. After all, she’s going around saying “I saw a monster! Why won’t you believe me?”
Re-l is forced to go through a digital lineup of suspects, all immigrants, including Vincent. Cut to Vincent, who was found unconscious near Re-l’s house and is being questioned. Vincent tells the investigators that he was looking into a report of an infected autoreiv but this report turns out to be unconfirmed. The investigators tell Re-l that maybe Vincent is her stalker. After all, he’s keen on her. In her characteristically bad temper, Re-l tells the investigators and their autoreivs that all suspects are wrong, and to shove it. She’s sure the Administrative Bureau has been betrayed. But things are not that simple.
Iggy’s records of the investigation when the proxy from the lab first attacked her have been erased. She’s also been suspended from the Intelligence Bureau pending a psych evaluation. Enter Daedalus, who is the director of Romdo’s Health and welfare, and Re-l’s personal doctor. He’s very fond of her as well, she knows it, and she’s willing to use it. So she uses her girly charm, playing the victim, to manipulate Daedalus into leniency, and it works. She’s briefly left alone and she takes the opportunity to go through Daedalus’ files. She’s being accused of having fantastic pseudology. She also finds…
…the first official mention of the word Proxy and something called Amrita cells.
Later, Re-l asks Iggy to do a remote database search for the word “proxy”. His Turing application is briefly suspended, informing her that the word was not recognized, and she immediately gets a call from the Regent requesting her presence.
At the Regent’s headquarters, she mentions the word Proxy and is immediately met with avoidance from the Regent’s counselors. She reluctantly accepts to discontinue her investigation into the proxy after being threatened of getting fired from the Intelligence Bureau and put under the control of the Administrative Bureau. But at least she learns that the Administrative Bureau hasn’t been betrayed, for it is in fact behind hiding the existence of the proxy; her grandfather is also in on it, as well as Daedalus; and Iggy is being monitored and therefore cannot be trusted.
We later learn that Raul, with Kristeva’s help, is behind tarnishing Re-l’s credibility and temporarily suspending her from work. Raul wants Re-l as far away from the proxy as possible. He discovers that the proxy from the lab was in fact after Re-l, and by reviewing surveillance footage, he discovers the second proxy. Question: Does Raul know why the proxy was after Re-l?
Meanwhile, it seems everyone wants to go to the mall. Re-l wants to go on a shopping rampage to vent her frustrations. Pino, the Security Chief’s wife and the new baby prepare for some fun filled family time. Vincent is released from interrogation and ends up at the mall. He’s being tailed by the proxy from the lab. At the last minute, Re-l runs off on Iggy and decides to go to her shattered apartment instead, but Raul and Kristeva end up at the mall as well.
Pino happily ties a red balloon to the baby carriage as the happy family go up the escalator when a woman screams. The attention goes to Vincent, running like hell as the proxy from the lab goes after him, shoving people into walls in all directions.
Pino arrives at the upper floor first where all the action is happening. She’s intercepted by Vincent and pushed away as the proxy pushes the baby carriage down the stairs and slashes open the security chief’s wife’s throat. The carriage rolls down the stairs as Raul watches in shock and Pino drops to her knees in a prayer position. Question: does Vincent or the proxy have anything to do with Pino getting infected with the cogito virus?
For today’s trivia: Which classic film does this screen capture references?
Find the answer at the end of this post.
Raul snaps out of it and orders the mall to be sealed. Afterwards, Kristeva informs Raul that there were 42 deaths including adults and children as he stares at the bloodied baby carriage. She also tells him that the proxy escaped.
Pino, wearing a bunny costume, waits at her house when she sees autoreiv control officers entering. Cue dramatic zoom to her worried face, and that is the end of Pino… for this episode.
At Re-l’s old apartment, Re-l is overwhelmed by memories of her attack the night before when she finds a pendant like Vincent’s, with the number thirteen (written in roman numbers) engraved on it.
Somewhere else in Romdo, Vincent gets cornered by the proxy from the lab. He frantically tries to open a door as the proxy’s eye emits a bright light. Vincent suddenly stops and calmly turns around. As the proxy slowly approaches him, Vincent opens his eyes for the first time.
Next on Ergo Proxy: Two escape Romdo, one gets framed, and one dies; Raul wants to get his hands on Vincent, and Re-l really, REALLY wants to know why the proxy is after Vincent.
Trivia answer: If you guessed Battleship Potemkin, you are correct! And you get nothing for it.