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Ergo Proxy episode 23: Deus Ex Machina

Title screen
Title screen

And thus, the series comes to its conclusion. Does it live up to the hype? Honestly, I'm not entirely sure.

The episode is very dialogue heavy. We do get some answers as to the nature of the Proxies, but at the same time, so many more questions are raised. OK, the Proxies were made to clean up the planet after mankind wrecked it and fled into space. The proxies were given a weakness to UV light so that when the skies cleared, they'd die. The Proxies were tasked with creating artificial humans on the off chance that mankind would never return. If both of those plans failed, the cogito virus was setup to turn the autoreivs into the new humans.

Clearly, the "creators" tried to account for every contingency. That does, however, beg the question as to how it never occurred to them that the proxies might not like this plan very much. In fact, that seems to be the driving force behind Proxy One's "plan". He didn't like the idea that his mission was done and that his existence was coming to an end, so he wanted to come up with a way to extend their lifespan.

This idea really should have occurred to them, especially when you went through the trouble of giving them enough sentience to put it all together. Really, the autoreivs seemed like the safer bet. Let the robots clean up the planet and create the artificial humans, and then when mankind came back the clones and robots can keep existing without any genocide whatsoever. Maybe circumstances didn't make that feasible? I don't know.

The episode is very heavy on symbolism and tries to present itself as very deep and philosophical with mixed results. I get it, but it got a little heavy handed at times.

As was the case with the last episode, the score here is fantastic and it really augments the more powerful scenes in this episode to great effect. The scene where Real/Monad (who has sprouted wings between episodes) flies up into the sky is actually rather poignant and was very well "shot".

Another stand out scene, for me anyway, was Pino arriving via airship to save Re-L when she is about to fall. It could stand out as the most triumphant scene in the show, though admittedly those are few and far between. Again, kudos to the score for accompanying that perfectly.

The ending is a mixed bag. It's a great moment for Vincent, but the abrupt cut to credits could irk some viewers. Even I was a bit put off by that, but what can you do?

The series over all is a mixed bag. It has some highlights, no doubt, but the over-arching story was a bit lacking. Part of that could be due to the large gaps between viewings on my end, I'll admit, but I found myself more drawn to the stand alone episodes that took place in the middle of the series. I raved about "Wrong Way Home" before and I think that does stand as the show's best episode, bar none. I think that the pros do outweigh the cons and that the show is certainly worth checking out. It has great atmosphere, solid characters, and brings more than its fair share of nightmare fuel. You'll either really enjoy the philosophy or find it annoying, but even then, there's enough here that I think it's worth checking out.

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