I’ve changed my mind again. On my previous post I said I would not continue with the Ergo Proxy write-ups because it’s been too long since the last one and it felt like a chore. But I’ve decided to continue with them. This show is too great not to give it a proper treatment. And I will conquer laziness, by force if necessary.
I will change the format of this reviews/recaps a bit because the first two were a bit confusing. Hopefully I’ll be able to be clearer and motivate at least one of you to watch it.
My previous write-ups can be found here:
Or you can read a summary of both, for clarity’s sake:
ERGO PROXY – THE STORY SO FAR…
A naked, dark figure looking at a sunny sky, with eyes that emit light gives a monologue:
“That is when everything became perfectly clear,
everything about the malice implanted by the creator.
We cannot resist that which is;
We simply… we simply have to punish them.
Can you hear the pulse of the awakening?”
Earth has been rendered uninhabitable by an environmental disaster, and life is only possible inside domed cities. Ergo Proxy’s story begins in the domed city of Romdo, were citizens live harmoniously with their robot companions, called Autoreivs. The city relies on autoreivs for its proper operation, technology is highly advanced and citizens are constantly motivated to consume. But even so, autoreivs and immigrants are considered low level citizens.
The city is run by Donov Mayer, the regent, an old man connected to a respirator who never speaks. The Administrative bureau, formed by four autoreivs shaped like giant statues –named after philosophers Derrida, Lacan, Husserl and Berkeley- speak on behalf of the regent.
But things aren’t as peaceful as they seem. Reports of cogito virus infections – a virus that grants autoreivs free will- have increased exponentially and are tied to acts of violence in the residential districts. Meanwhile, during a secret experiment conducted by Dr. Daedalus Yumeno, Director of the Division of Health and Welfare, a humanoid creature on a vegetative state with its faced covered with a mask resembling a respirator, called a Proxy, wakes up and escapes.
Re-l Mayer, the rebellious granddaughter of the regent, is an inspector for the Citizens Intelligence Bureau assigned to investigate murders related to cogito infections. Her entourage is Iggy, an autoreiv that acts live a gay best friend. During their investigation they meet Vincent Law, an immigrant working for the AutoReiv Control Division who desperately wishes to become a citizen. He is aided by his autoreiv entourage, Dorothy, who tells him that doing his job well is the way to get his citizenship, but Re-l tells him he must work on his human relations in order to become a citizen instead of listening to the words of an autoreiv.
Raul Creed, the newly appointed director of the Security Bureau, is assigned to capture the Proxy alive. Raul is a young, married man. He has an entourage autoreiv named Kristeva, who serves as a secretary and advisor. He and his wife have a beautiful home and are granted a baby boy by the government. They also have a companion autoreiv with the body of a little girl, named Pino, who serves as a surrogate child. Raul’s wife tries to get rid of Pino when Vincent does a maintenance check-up, to no avail.
Re-l Mayer is attacked twice by the proxy from the lab, once during an investigation, and the second time at her apartment, but the second attack is interrupted by a second Proxy who leaves behind a pendant identical to a pendant Vincent Law wears all the time.
The Proxy from the lab follows Vincent to a mall and attacks him, killing a whole lot of people including Raul’s wife and baby son, as he watches from an upper level. Pino gets infected with cogito right then and there.
At the end of the second episode, Autoreiv Control Division agents are sent to kill Pino; Re-l is convinced Vincent is somehow related to the Proxy; Daedalus pretends to know very little about the Proxy; and a terrified Vincent finds himself trapped by the Proxy, but then as if switching personalities, Vincent faces the creature, opens his normally closed eyes and maliciously grins.
Episode 3 – Maze City
Inside a train, Vincent falls asleep and has a dream he’s had before. He finds himself outside the dome, feeling terribly sad but also laughing as missiles fly between the skies. There’s another person beside him. It is the second Proxy that showed up at Re-l’s house. He has dark skin and wears a long, orange trench coat. When Vincent is about to look at the Proxy’s face he’s awakened by his phone and sees the Proxy exit the train. On the phone, Dorothy asks where he’s been.
When Vincent arrives at the office, he finds all computer monitors displaying Pino’s photos and strips on Dorothy’s mutilated body. Vincent is immediately attacked by police, but he escapes.
In the meantime, Re-l has been desperately trying to contact Vincent and finds herself unable to trust Iggy because she knows the regent and the Security Bureau are monitoring him.
On the outskirts of the city, Vincent finds Pino, dressed like a bunny. This little autoreivs plagues him with existential the questions “Is Pino really Pino? Is Pino supposed to be Pino?” as he tries to get rid of her. Vincent’s phone rings, and Pino answeres it. It’s Re-l. Vincent tells Re-l that he’s been framed for Dorothy’s murder, and that he knows he’ll be killed if he stays. Re-l deduces Vincent is near a plug vent. She tells him that if he escapes through the plug vent, all he’ll find is death. He responds that if he’s going to be killed, he might as well go to the outside. Re-l tells him to me her at the plug vent.
Vincent is lost but Pino seems to know where she’s going, and we learn that all cogito infected autoreivs not only acquire self awareness, but also an escape route from the city.
The Administrative Bureau is concerned about Re-l’s keen intuition. They wonder if it was a good idea to assign her to the Intelligence Bureau, but conclude that since all citizens are modeled on prearranged information and from an educational standpoint her sensitivity has been maintained, making her a splendid outcome. So, is Re-l an experiment? And what does it say about the citizens of Romdo? Also, they comment about the security issues within the city and conclude that they must be solved, otherwise Romdo’s reason for being will collapse (this is explained on later episodes).
When Re-l finds Vincent, she confronts him about his pendant (that she found at her house after she was attacked), as Iggy, the sector police, Raul and Kristeva show up. Pino opens the plug vent and the air starts sucking Vincent and Re-l out of the dome. Iggy holds on to Re-l and Pino exits the dome with Vincent. He delivers an inner monologue that explain what Vincent is:
“In my desperate attempts to become a fellow citizen, I’ve constantly suppressed myself, and tried to be the person I felt they wanted… Constantly… Everywhere…And look what’s happened to me. I’m a failure. Doubting the system is bad. Always Obey. Those are the conditions for being a fellow citizen. But I’ll never become a fellow citizen. It’s over.”
As the plug vent closes, Re-l tries to convince Vincent to come back. Raul tells Kristeva that they must capture Vincent, but Kristeva says that leaving the plug vent open will contaminate the city.
Vincent takes one final look at Re-l, revealing his…
…unnaturally creepy green eyes. The plug vent closes and lock behind them, and Vincent dives off towards the lifeless earth as Pino quietly stares.
Next on Ergo Proxy: How lifeless Earth really is?