Curriculum 09 (Dreams)
Wonderful summary written by Dawn!
This episode begins with Erts establishing his position. Tune is at the keyboard, authorizing the switchover, as they go through the procedure: the computer asks for the Pilot and Erts announces his full name; the computer asks for the Repairer and Tune gives her full name; the computer asks for the Ingrid's new callsign, and Tune chooses "Reneighd" for the first name, and Erts chooses "Klein" for the second name, in memory of his brother. Once the procedure is fully completed, Erts closes his eyes and relaxes his entire body dramatically. Tune asks after him, and he reassures her that nothing is wrong -- he was just listening to the voice of a friend.
Speaking of! Zero wakes up in a foreign locale, with his mother's voice calling him and scolding him for staying up late again. It appears to be his house, back at home. His mother makes him breakfast and tells him that his friends have come to pick him up so they can all go to school together. Throughout all this, we can't see her at all. Outside, weirdly enough, are Kizna and Clay. As they all walk to school, Zero asks them what they're doing here on his colony. But neither of them appear even to recognize what a colony is, and when he clarifies that it's got a huge dome to keep the air from escaping out into space, he suddenly realizes that there are no walls. There's only a horizon in the distance...
At school, Kizna and Clay rush to tell everyone else about it. All the late-80s are there, excepting Ikhny and Hiead; they laugh and joke about Zero's silliness, and act like perfectly normal kids. Just as Zero gets pissed off enough to retort, Azuma appears out of nowhere, apparently the teacher of the class. When Zero stares, dumbfounded, Azuma throws an eraser at him, and a cloud of chalk explodes... Then Zero comes to normal again, and Clay suddenly tackles him to the ground. Battle won, he brags shamelessly. Afterwards, Zero explains to them all that he wasn't dreaming, it was real, and that he wasn't dreaming about a colony either. The girls appear concerned for his mental health, but Clay seems to think that Zero was seeing a colony.
Later that day, everyone is jogging laps, and Roose lags painfully behind; Zero and Yamagi and Clay all take a break to wait for him, and Zero once again brings up the dream. Yamagi wants to know what they're talking about, and Clay brushes it off as homesickness, even though it took place on a planet -- Yamagi interrupts their quarreling to volunteer that he, too, dreams about his home. His colony is closed, nobody lives there anymore, but he still dreams that he could go home and find his family living there, waiting for him... That's why he wants to become a Pilot, so that nobody else has to have dreams like that. When the others stare at him, he insists fiercely that that's why everyone wants to become a Pilot. Zero seems stunned by this, and then...
Back in the classroom, everyone is in their seats, laughing at Zero. There's chalk all over his face, and he wipes it off slowly, and then realizes that the towel he used was GOA regulation. He stares and his hair starts to glow. All over the classroom, objects begin flying -- books, pencils, desks, people -- and then there's a weird, warped-sounding explosion.
For the first time this episode, we see the real world: GOA is entering an emergency state from random explosions occurring inside the ship. Kizna and Clay and Saki were trying to reconstruct Zero's missing memories using hypnosis, but his EX reacted in the sleep state and things have been blowing up ever since, all over GOA. Azuma and Rill enter and see Zero there in the tank, and then we're back inside Zero's mind. Now he thinks he's in a Goddess' cockpit. His hair glows, and he's looking for the attack, but none is coming. Teela suddenly appears in front of him, and Zero thinks of the girl from his earlier dreams while she tells him to clam down.
Rill and Azuma come to the consensus that interfering with Zero in any way might wind up triggering even more violent reactions from his EX. All they can do is to wait and see what happens, and pray that he wakes up in time. Teela is still speaking to Zero, and she speaks to him enigmatically. The only thing he understands in it is that he will understand when he "gets in" her. So he calms down and forces himself to think, and realizes suddenly that if he has to get in the Goddess to understand, he isn't really in one now. He decides to test his theory by forcing himself... out into the previous scenario, where he and Clay and Yamagi were all sitting around talking to him. They stare as he emerges from nowhere, and he thanks Yamagi for reminding him of why he's becoming a Pilot, because otherwise he would've forgotten. Then he walks forward and vanishes once more, to their amazement.
Now he's back at his home, sitting at the table and looking at the familiar surroundings. Kozue is "there" again, telling him to hurry or he'll be late for school. And he calmly smiles and tells her that he's forgotten what she looks like, isn't that strange? He's forgotten everything -- all the friends that he had while he was here, his mother... She asks if it makes him sad, and he says that it really doesn't -- but she continues and corrects that he's sad because he misses them, not because he's forgotten them. Zero has a long, sad moment, and then all at once regains his usual cheer, and points out that if he becomes a Pilot, he can protect them all, and it'll be worth it. For the first time we see Kozue, standing behind Zero (although we can't see her face) and she tells him that she will always support him.
This time, when Zero leaves the dream, he wakes up in the real world. Azuma forces all four of them to run laps, and while Clay and the girls are practically dying, Zero is almost flying he's in such a good mood. Clay asks why, exasperated, and Zero says that he no longer minds not remembering things -- he knows he'll get the answers when he becomes a Pilot, so he'll just concentrate on that for now!
Hiead and Ikhny make their only appearance this episode, facing Force and Carres in the hallway. Hiead wants to settle their match, but Force points out that their match was against Erts and Zero, and because Erts is gone now, they have no one to fight. But Hiead doesn't want to fight them: he wants to fight Force now. Unless Force is scared...? Force and Carres bristle in unison, and Carres goes off to get permission for the battle. Hiead watches impassively and thinks about how he won't let anyone get in his way -- he'll be the one who pilots the Ingrid.