EPISODE 6: Lost July
The lady in this one was creepy. I like how she set up all those traps to kill Vash, and even the surefire one failed. She was quite determined indeed. This episode has one of those obscure spoilers that noone understands until later in the series... which I'll explain when we get to that episode (ok... ok, I'm not _entirely_sure of its meaning at the moment... so sue me). Vash cheats death numerous times, as I've said, and he saves a town. Overall not a bad episode. Here follows the mandatory summary before the analysis.
Let's see... I may need to watch my tapes again, but I can probably scrounge this one from memory. It starts off with the leaders of the city he saved in the previous episode from the Nebraska family asking if he was sure about giving the town that tried to kill him all the money. He answered in the affirmative, adding that he could now get all the salmon sandwiches he wanted. At this point, Meryl butts in and said he could've bought all the sandwich factories with money like that, then launches into a tirade about how he's the infamous outlaw Vash the Stampede, and the two men should keep away. They walk outside and Meryl continues to advise everyone to stay away, and informs Vash that they would be with him from now on. As several little kids shoot Milly and Meryl with suckerdarts, they watch in awe as the biggest sandsteamer that anyone's ever seen rolls into town to fix the dead plants. As the techs disembark, there's a little fair-type deal with shops and stuff set up by all the people in town. Also in with the plant engineers is a beautiful woman that all the men oogle. It switches to Vash up on one of the plants dumping a bottle of whisky over the side and saying "You were just tired." Elizabeth (the beautiful plant engineer I just mentioned) barges in and rattles off a list of facts about him, and when Vash finally sees her, he goes nuts and proposes. Rather than marry him, she asks him to be her bodyguard, and promises him he'd "get what he wants". o_O; Ahem. Anyway, it switches back to Milly and Meryl at the fair looking for Vash. As Meryl is being hit on by a freakish looking guy, Vash walks up and tells him she's really bitchy, at which point he yells "Woah! Vash the Stampede!" and drives away. Meryl and Milly are not pleased to see him with Elizabeth, who assures them that he's there for bodyguard purposes. After conversing for awhile, she calls out "come Spot" and Vash gets this puppydog look on his face and chases after and talks in wheedling tones ^_^ When Vash and Elizabeth get back to the hotel, Vash is rather dissappointed that he's turned away at Elizabeth's door and told he has his own room. When he finally gives up on sharing with her and goes down to his room, a freaky guy dressed in black and weilding several knives jumps through his window and begins fighting him. After a minute or so, the man leaves willingly, and while Vash puzzles over this, he realizes a bomb was left behind and it blows up the room. Luckily he grabs hold of the bed and makes it out safely, again being turned down by Elizabeth at the request to share a room again now that his was gone. When Milly and Meryl are called in the next day to inspect the damages of the hotel's insurance claim, they are not suprised that Vash was staying in the room. It switches to the plant and Elizabeth explaining how the Plants are run and what they are to Vash (hehe... you gotta wonder what goes through his head at those times), and as Milly and Meryl bust in and say it's not safe to have Vash in the plant, an engineer reports on a malfunction in one of the sectors. Elizabeth takes Vash to go and shut down the sector, and when they get there they find that man with the knives again. Vash beats him pretty easily, but Elizabeth locks him in and tells about how she's paying him back for destroying her home city of July and ruining the lives of the inhabitants. She leaves Vash in the plant as everyone else evacuates and prepares for the meltdown. Of course Vash can't allow this to happen, so he shuts it down himself in a very cool scene. When the plant stops glowing and emitting a strange noise and Vash emerges, he's hailed as a hero of the town. He walks up to Elizabeth and tells her he has no memories of destroying the city or of his life before July, saying the ruined city was the first and last he saw of the place. When Elizabeth insists on blaming him for it, she realizes that he's the one that held her as a small child in his arms after the city was destroyed. Vash sheds a tear as Elizabeth weeps openly in his arms.
Although this episode wasn't much for action or gunplay (save for the scenes where he fought Elizabeth's henchman), the ending scene with Elizabeth and Vash was quite sweet. There's kind of a sharp contrast between the skirt-chasing attitude he presented to her at the beginning and the consoling, sympathetic attitude at the end. Just another hint at his personality split, the fun-loving side vs. the more serious, grim side. Elizabeth also illustrates his forgiving nature once again. She tried to have him killed by siccing the knife man on him twice, locking him up in a plant that was going to melt down, and finally just pointing a gun at him. Yet he was still willing to forget all that as he walked up to her and shared his memories of the dead July with her. He just doesn't have it in him to hate people, even if they try to kill him, as illustrated in the entire city last episode and Elizabeth this episode. That is a very respectable trait, the ability to forgive. It should also be noted that Elizabeth was the first girl in the series to make Vash even think he had a chance, save for the prostitutes in another episode, and they don't count since he willingly passed them up. Although the fighting was rather sparse and short, I do love the second scene with the Knife guy fighting Vash. At this confrontation, he has to protect a very frightened Elizabeth as well, and the manuvers he goes through to dodge the knife blades kinda looked like a dance ^_^ Finally through with the pansy-like dodging, he finally whips out his gun and shoots at the knife blades, shattering them and driving them into the ground, pinning the Knife man there in an unconscious state. At that point he wanders over and says something along the lines of "Well, I don't know how you got in here my vicious little friend..." and fires a shot along the mask, cracking it in half to reveal the man's identity without injuring our beloved Knife guy (How cool is that? Firing a shot at such a close proximity without hurting him). One of the best quotes of the episode occurs during the first fight scene though, when the Knife guy bursts into Vash's room. Vash says something like "I don't like sleeping with men, especially ugly ones." The Knife guy then goes into a jealous rage, deciding that if he couldn't have Vash the Stampede for himself, then noone would have him ^_^ Kinda disproves the yaoi pairings too... or maybe not.^_^ I think I obsess about the Knife guy too much. I promise that's the last I'll say about him. The last thing I'll bring up in this episode are the little hints/spoilers that are our first hints that Vash isn't quite... human (unless you count all that bullet-dodging and nifty chase evade abilities). There are two in this episode, and the first is a little ambiguous. The first is when Vash is seen pouring a bottle of whisky over the side of the Plant. This can possibly not be interpreted as a spoiler, since the first time I saw it (meaning I was unspoiled), I figured it was a tribute to his dead girlfriend (Rem, ya know... they said her name back in the fourth episode, and I just assumed she was his girlfriend). The second incident you'd have to be blind not to interpret as a spoiler/hint. When he's locked in the sector of the Plant that's malfunctioning, he decides he's gonna shut it down rather than let the whole town be destroyed. The way he does this is he stands on a round platform, puts his hands above his head, looks up, closes his eyes, and just lets the magic happen. Cable-type things come from the platform, and a large door opens over his head, uncovering a spherical multicolored light that sends down shafts of white light onto Vash. The cables and white light envelop him completely, and when it switches to outside, the weird noise and glow coming from the plant cease and the plant goes back to normal. Lucky for Vash, the only one that saw this was the Knife guy, and I don't think he's gonna say anything about it. Could you imagine what would've happened had Milly and Meryl seen it? All the questions they would've asked? All the questions that were flying around MY unspoiled mind? Yes, Trigun does like to give us tantalizing hints... mmm, hints...
All and all, more doublefaced Vash, more forgiveness, more of the many-to-come attempts on his life, Knife guy (^_^;), and tantalizing hints at Vash's past that we will not learn about for another 11 episodes. The episode had a good ending, and it had Knife guy, who is only rivaled in coolness by E.G. Mine, who is quite possibly the BEST non-main character of the series, but you'll know more about him come time for episode 16.