While this season still appears to be setting up pieces of a larger puzzle, Capital Assets is more about addressing the lingering conflict and character dynamics coming out of Season 12. So in that sense more is going on here than last episode – though there’s still room for levity in-between the world building scenes.
Grif (Geoff Ramsey) is up to his usual hijinks, this time prowling around the joint New Republic/Federal Army base to find and talk to Vanessa Kimball (Lindsay Jones). For the audience, this meant a reintroduction to our main cast: Simmons (Gustavo Sorola) dressing down soldiers in the armoury, Donut (Dan Godwin) criticizing the joint army’s uniforms, and Agent Washington (Shannon McCormick) attempting to impart military values in trainees.
All of which is to say, our Reds and Blues are back in their warped yet lovable fashion. I chuckled at Donut’s fixation on “going bold” with the uniforms and Simmons’ grievances with a soldier carrying a chaingun… and wearing really distinctive white armour. Seriously, why hasn’t that guy died yet?
Washington punishing the rookies for Grif’s… negligence, shall we call it, was a good scene, but I found the payoff to Grif’s little quest the most amusing part. His reason for seeking out Kimball? To request double helpings of food. While comparing himself to a firefighter. And the inventor of the microwave. And the Oreo guy. Yep.
This also lead into the central drama of the episode: the tension between Kimball and her rival-turned-uneasy ally General Doyle (Gray Haddock). Much as I enjoy Red vs Blue’s patented brand of humour, I’m equally impressed by what the writers and actors pull off when they’re being (mostly) serious. The scene, Grif’s appearance aside, is meant to establish how un-fairytale-like this alliance is; Kimball isn’t fond of Doyle, Doyle isn’t fond of Kimball, and yet the duo are forced by circumstance to play nice.
Kimball wants a more cautious and resource-savvy approach to management. Doyle disagrees – it’s imperative, he claims, that the soldiers have weapons that fire more ammo at a faster rate. The butting heads of two leaders who simply want what’s best for the people is an effective contrast to the acceptance of the Reds and Blues as commanders by the soldiers, and I expect great things to come of this conflict.
We should also address the final scene. The rest of our main cast sans Caboose – Tucker (Jason Saldana), Sarge (Matt Hullum), Carolina (Jen Brown), and Church (Burnie Burns) – are savouring their successful siege of an enemy base. Carolina notices a monolithic object in the distance. She wonders about its potential connection to Charon Industries’ operations, which more than likely means an excursion. Again, a fair bit of setup, though with a hint of menace.
For now, I’m intrigued. And always game for seeing Tucker dance.