Welcome. Sometimes, Ergo Proxy episodes have a ton to unpack. However, episode 03 is very straightforward and requires little discussion. There also isn’t anything worth exploring about philosophy, history, or language. So this post only contains an episode synopsis and three short discussion sections. Well then, let’s get right to it!
The episode begins with Vincent alone on a train, experiencing an upsetting dream. He is in a wasteland feeling incredibly sad and crying as he looks at his necklace from Mosk. Missiles have been fired and are soaring into the sky. For some reason, Vincent smiles, and wonders why. Suddenly, something knocks him over, and a cloaked figure approaches. Vincent tries to see the face of the looming figure, but passes out before he succeeds. While he was dreaming, there was a shadow in the train car that was not his. This is probably the very first time we see hints about the presence of Proxy One. As Vincent wakes up and checks his cell phone, he notices blood on his gloves.
While Re-L tries to reach Vincent and make sure Iggy doesn’t notice anything suspicious, Raul returns to his home. We see a sad scene of him looking at the piano and softly playing a few notes before slamming his hand down on the keys with an extremely pained look on his face. Even Pino is gone, having been put on the wanted list as an infected Autoreiv. So Raul has literally no one left in his family.
When Vincent returns to his quarters, he finds his Entourage, Dorothy, destroyed. The place is set up to frame him for needlessly destroying his guiding Autoreiv. It gives an excuse for armed police forces to pursue and try to capture Vincent. Although Raul has no idea what Vincent’s connection is to the Proxies, he did identify Vincent as the one running from Monad. That’s why all this is happening. (Raul has also been warned by the regent that if he doesn’t sort this out soon, he will be replaced with an Autoreiv.) In a panic, Vincent flees his home. Meanwhile, Pino is also evading capture. It isn’t long before the two fugitives run into each other.
The highly curious and talkative Pino happens to pick up Vincent’s phone. When she instinctively turns it on and answers the ring, she hears Re-L. Vincent takes back the phone and tells the young inspector that he’s been framed. Going by the sounds in the background of the call and information about the city’s layout, Re-L is able to piece together where Vincent is after he hangs up. She leaves at once, without Iggy, to find Vincent. On his own, Vicnent would never have been able to navigate the maze-like city and find a way out. But Pino, like other infected Autoreivs, instinctively knows how to get out. She helps Vincent by leading him in the right direction.
As Pino and Vincent approach an exit, they are discovered by Re-L. She slaps Vincent and starts demanding answers about him, his connection to her, and why he’s wanted by the Security Bureau. Vincent doesn’t understand, and can only talk about his terror of being pursued by Monad, whom he called “that monster.” Re-L latches onto this, realizing he is referring to the same kind of monster that broke into her home. Before they can discuss the Proxy monsters, however, they are cornered by the Security Bureau’s armed forces. Iggy and Raul are also there.
Pino manages to open the hatch leading to the outside. It creates a vacuum of air that drags Re-L and Vincent toward it. This is extremely bad news for the Security Bureau, since the air of the outside world is supposedly toxic. The whole city could be in danger if the hatch isn’t closed at quickly as possible. Vincent and Pino leave through the hatch, while Iggy rescues Re-L and gives her a gas mask. Much to Vincent’s surprise, the way out leads only to a giant fall with no way down. He says a few last words to Re-L as the hatch begins closing. Then he lets himself fall, probably expecting to die. The hatch seals shut and Raul and Re-L are both left without answers about Vincent. That’s where the episode ends.
To me, Pino’s behavior in episode 03 was entertaining as well as interesting. Here we have this being who has just developed a consciousness, and has very little direction or idea of what to do. She initially returned to her family’s house where she served as a companion Autoreiv. After she was placed on the wanted list, however, people came to capture Pino. She fled her home and began to move in the direction of the outside world. All awakened Autoreivs instinctively know how to get out of Romdeau. Most fo them head toward the exit right away. You can’t blame them, when the other option is being captured and either killed or reset to lose their newfound consciousnesses.
The first really interesting thing Pino did was slow her journey to the outside in order to interact with Vincent. Why? I think Pino is highly curious, especially about humans and herself. She judged that Vincent was not a threat to her, so she made it her business to investigate him and keep him company. Pino is also quite clever and a little sneaky at times. When Vincent tried to leave her behind, Pino stole his phone to maintain his attention. The reason she turned on the phone and answered the ring was, again, probably sheer curiosity. She is experiencing everything for the first time as a being with a will of its own. Why shouldn’t she answer Vincent’s phone and talk to whatever interesting being is on the other side?
The other interesting thing about Pino in this episode is that she tried asking Vincent questions about herself. This happens after Vincent remembers her name and calls her Pino for the first time. She says, “Am I Pino? Is Pino me? Is it ok that I’m Pino?” Besides sounding extremely cute, this line was fascinating. It shows that Pino is wrestling with the concepts of names and identities. We don’t know exactly to what extent awakened Autoreivs remember their lives as mindless machines. It seems that the memories are cloudy, and vary between individuals. Whatever the case, it seems Pino is questioning if it’s alright for her to exist as a thinking entity.
The Origin of Re-L
Warning: This section contains spoilers from much later in the series
There’s a scene in episode 03 where the Collective of Autoreivs in the regent’s quarters are discussing Re-L. They are concerned by how much she seeks the truth and how good her investigative instincts are. They imply that her way of thinking is very different from most of the humans in Romdeau. One of the Collective suggests it was a bad idea to assign Re-L to the Intelligence Bureau, but another one disagrees. According to this Autoreiv, assigning Re-L to the intelligence agency was a good move to study her and how she worked. The language used by the Collective suggests that Re-L is fundamentally different from all others in the city– almost as if she’s not even human.
We know from future reveals in the series that Romdeau’s population is made up of clones of only a few human “samples.” Cloning is used to restore the population when it gets low. Natural reproduction is either not allowed or not possible for these cloned humans. However, there is a government-supervised process for adopting babies, as we saw from Raul’s wife and her child.
One would normally think Re-L is just another clone in Romdeau, but that isn’t the case. Re-L is thought to be a humanized “clone” of Monad Proxy. So although she appears human, and probably is limited by the same rules as humans, Re-L also has part of the makeup of a Proxy. Her similarity to Monad is probably what drew Ergo Proxy to start paying attention to her. He quickly fell in love with her after that. I thought it was important to review these facts for a clearer understanding of Re-L and Vincent going forward.
I wanted to briefly mention something about Raul. In the previous episode’s discussion, I suggested he might be somewhat sociopathic. But I no longer hold that opinion. This episode made it clear Raul is grieving in his own way. He’s distraught. It’s just that with his high-pressure position, and his less expressive personality, being emotional isn’t allowed. It’s sad to see this happening.
That’s all for today folks! Thank you so much for reading. Take care until next time!