Season 2, Episode 11
Air date 1994
Written by Mark Edens
Ted Pedersen
Francis Moss
Animation by AKOM
Episode guide
The Dogs of War
The Greatest Fear

"The First Step" is the 11th episode of the second season of Exosquad.


A replacement pilot assigned to Able Squad, Yuri Stavrogan, preys on Kaz's hotshot tendencies, which results in his disobeying some of J.T.'s orders and causing tension between all three. The ExoFleet begins an assault on Mercury, and Yuri and Kaz make a point of trying to defeat Thrax, who is considered the best Neo pilot. The ExoFleet takes a Neo base on Mercury, but the Neo Commander Glycon launches a counterattack to draw in the ExoFleet e-frames so that Thrax and the Neo frames can attack the ExoFleet ships. The counterattack is foiled on the ground, but the Neo e-frames are able to attack the ExoFleet task force. Kaz, grounded by Marsh for disobeying orders, goes out to fight. He eventually finds himself in a dogfight with Thrax, and he loses when he gets blinded by the sun. Thinking that there has been enough destruction, Thrax chooses to spare his life.


Click HERE of a detailed synopsis of "The First Step"



  • Thrax, just before he shoots at Kaz after Kaz has activated his holographic diversion:
"A nice trick, but I do not confuse that easily."
  • After the inital ExoFleet attack:
Thrax: "We succeed or fail, for the glory of Phaeton?"
Glycon: "Phaeton is our leader, unfortunately."
Thrax: "Unfortunately."
Glycon "But that's not our concern, we're soldiers. I've ordered a counterattack with all remaining forces to retake the main base. The attack will draw in the Terran e-frames, then you must lead an attack on the ExoCruisers."
Thrax: "Yes, Sir."
Glycon "Thrax, we have one scout ship left. If the attack fails you must take as many of our people as you can and escape to Venus."
Thrax: "What about you?"
Glycon "I will lead the counterattack."
Thrax: "You are sacrificing yourself for nothing."
Glycon "Has it not occurred to you that we are all sacrificing ourselves for nothing? It has become Phaeton's war, not ours."
Sharos "What are Glycon's orders?"
Thrax: "Do you never grow tired of it, Sharos? The fighting?"
Sharos "It is what we were bred for."
Thrax: "And when the war is over? What will we do then?"
Sharos: "For us, the war will never be over."
  • As the e-frames prepare to take off and provide air cover against the Neos' counterattack:
Marsh: "You're outta this one Takagi, your comm system's still nonfunctional."
Takagi: "I can still fight, J.T."
Marsh: "Nah, I don't want anybody with me who won't obey orders... or tell me the truth."
Stavrogan: "Tough luck Kaz. I'll bring you back a piece of that Neo's red e-frame as a souvenir."
  • After the battle, as Kaz lies in a hospital bed:
Stavrogan: "Huh ha, oh man, you got your tail whipped good, Kaz."
Takagi: "You should've seen the other guy."
'Stavrogan: "Yeah, I heard. Not a scratch on him."

Significant events, revelations, and other notesEdit

  • As Winfield says during the briefing, taking Mercury is the first step towards retaking the Homeworlds.
    • Exofleet's victory at Mercury was relatively low-cost compared to the battles they have fought and will fight. Why did Phaeton establish a base there if he was going to abandon the planet so easily? Considering the dissatisfaction among the Neosapien officers, it could be that Mercury was a place to send people who were not absolutely trusted, but were seen as useful for inflicting casualities on Exofleet. The commanding officers realize that they have been placed in a no-win situation.
  • We see the dissatisfaction among some Neo soldiers with Phaeton.
    • While dissatisfaction with Phaeton is seen in other episodes, the conversation shows that the Neosapiens on Mercury are concerned with the Neosapien people. The other disagreements seen have centered on power struggles and individual Neosapiens concerned for their authority.
  • Thrax's skill in combat and "blood red e-frame" are likely a reference to Manfred von Richthofen, the Red Baron.
  • We are introduced to Yuri Stavrogan and Thrax.
  • Thrax spares Kaz's life. It shows some Neos are merciful, as well as sets up their encounter in Vesta.
  • It was interesting to see J.T. reprimand Yuri and Kaz for joyriding, especially in light of Yuri's remark that when Marsh was an Ensign he enjoyed the same. After all, the first time we ever see Able Squad they are joyriding in the vicinity of Olympus Mons, and shortly after Captain Marcus reprimands J.T. ("Pirate Scourge"), ("Pirate Scourge")
Season 1
Fall of the Human Empire
"Pirate Scourge" • "Seeds of Deception" • "Hidden Terrors" • "Blitzkrieg" • "Resist!"

Veil of Doom
"Target: Earth" • "A Traitor Among Us" • "Scorched Venus" • "Sabotage"

Into The Heart of Darkness
"Abandoned" • "The Brood" • "Betrayal" • "Defying Olympus"

Season 2
"The Gathering" • "The Embassy" • "Pirate's Ransom" • "Ultimate Weapon" • "Expendable" • "Mindset" • "The Last Man" • "Dragon's Rock" • "Inner Dark" • "The Dogs of War" • "The First Step" • "The Greatest Fear" • "Flesh Crawls" • "Behind the Shield" • "Venus Rising" • "Miracle" • "Under the Skin" • "Ultimatum" • "Warrior Brood" • "The Dream War" • "No Surrender" • "Fire Ship" • "Martian Luck" • "The Lost Patrol" • "Call of the Unknown" • "Heart of Mars" • "Winged Fury" • "Night of the Traitor" • "Trial by Combat" • "The Perfect Warrior" • "The Price of Courage" • "Dark River" • "The Art of War"

The Fall of the Neosapien Empire
"One Small Step" • "Fifth Column" • "The Last Jump" • "The Night Before Doomsday" • "Abandon Hope"

"Beyond Chaos"