Directed by: Kôsuke Suzuki
Written By: Kento Kiuchi
Original Air Date: December 25, 2020
Start the Clock: As ‘Yogu’ guides Genba to his family, Urara leaves a message with Dr. Touku Aoi, Yuta’s former counselor, and says her farewells to the schoolchildren. Noboru sees her off as he is riding with Yohei.
Midoriko tells the CTU staff they are doing good work, but they still need to find Genba. Itsuki gets a call from Genba. He is near his family and needs a satellite image, so he knows what he is getting into.
11:05:06 Itsuki orders Mylo to get the satellite image as quietly as he can while she and Nanjo wonder what will happen after Genba is successful. Or not as the case might be.
Rikka and Miyu clean up the body while Miyu assures Rikka there was no other choice. They hear the phone ring off the body they just put in the closet. The caller ID indicates Tamizo. It will not be long before someone searches for him. They finish their cleanup and decide to make a break for it as soon as they can.
Genba is at the gates of the complex. Itsuki sends him the map but there are a ton of guards covering the place. Itsuki says that Midoriko might be able to send in some help but that will result in too many armed cooks. The ever-suspicious Midoriko asks someone to check on the line Itsuki used for that call. Genba cleans up ‘Yogu’ as best he can then orders him to drive the rest of the way.
Magoroku is checking out the online chatter which seems decidedly pro Urara. She tells him about the conversation with Joshu and Magoroku gives Joshu a rare complement as Joshu always gets things done. She is worried about the counselor, but Magoroku says even Joshu will not kill her. Still, Magoroku wants to give her a warning call and is alarmed that Urara has already done so directly.
11:18:34 Genba keeps a gun on ‘Yogu’ as they pull up to the gate. Explaining his face as an argument with a woman, they are allowed in. After pulling over, ‘Yogu’ gives his best guess as to where Rikka and Miyu are being held, then attacks Genba. The very-close-quarters do not work out to his advantage as Genba knocks him out and ties him up for his troubles.
Tamizo has Ken check on the flunkie who was supposed to shoot Rikka and Miyu. Meanwhile, Genba makes his way through the complex.
Dr. Touku returns Urara’s call. The issue of confidentiality is brought up but when Urara mentions that is out the window since Dr. Touku already spoke to Madoka, Dr. Touku flips out and angrily hangs up. When a return call goes unanswered, Urara insists on visiting her personally, even if it costs her the election.
Seeing that the coast is clear, Rikka and Miyu are ready to make a break for it. They have one embrace though as they leave they hear a noise outside. They get ready but it is Genba who comes through the door. The family is reunited but they have to find a way out.
11:29:02 Midoroku outright tells Nanjo and Itsuki that the jig is up. They are separated and told that the first one to confess will be promoted while the other will be disciplined and fired. One imagines that the firing will override the discipline, but whatever.
As Urara’s motorcade approaches Dr. Touku’s office, there is a commotion. Magoroku goes out to see what all the fuss is about. Yuta has a small talk with the just arriving Yohei. Magoroku says that there was a gas explosion which appears to have originated in Dr. Touku’s office. Urara outright suspects Joshu but Magoroku cautions about leaping to that specific conclusion.
As Genba is ready to lead Rikka and Miyu out, Ken comes in. Genba easily takes him down and holds him by the throat. Being told that Ken kidnapped Miyu does not especially calm things down.
Midoroku starts with Nanjo. He gives her nothing and she says not only will he be fired but also charged as an accomplice.
11:42:15 Genba spots a car nearby but him going out may not be the best plan. Ken offers to get Go’s van. If he does not make it, Genba can still go after the car. Rikka and Miyu agree. Before he can leave, Tamizo calls asking for an update. Ken covers and goes to get the van as time is of the essence.
Midoroku tries Nanjo one last time. Before he can respond, there is a call. From Genba. He offers Midoroku his job as long as she helps him. She agrees and gets some air support out. As she leaves the room, Nanjo exhales. Genba is elated that things will soon be back to normal. He and Rikka begin to reconcile.
Midoroku confirms the support then tells everyone that there is a rescue operation in effect. Privately she lets Itsuki and Nanjo off, but they are on double-secret probation. They have a moment together as they get back to work.
Ken goes to the garage. On the way to the van, he finds a gun. As he is about to leave, he is confronted by Tamizo. The excuse does not really fly but Ken is saved when Tamizo gets a call. ‘Yogu’ has been found unconscious. Tomizo gets in the van and directs Ken.
11:54:50 Tamizo revives ‘Yogu’ who confirms Genba’s location on premises. Ken makes a run for it and Tamizo calls for a lockdown. Ken picks up the Shido clan and they leave just as Tomizo comes. Finding the flunkie’s body, they rush off.
There is a car chase, but Tamizo blows out a tire. Genba manages to find a pincher point. Giving the map to Rikka, he orders her and Miyu to a shed by the outskirts where a CTU helicopter will find them. They leave and Genba punctures the gas tank. He and ken go back a bit and Genba shoots the gas causing an explosion. They run off but Tamizo and the gang are right behind them. Ken is shot in the shoulder but has to press on.
iMagic: After seeing that the call came from Tamizo, Rikka puts the phone back in the locker. It would be a good thing to take with them, or destroy in the era of phone locator apps, or hide is in the opposite direction they are going in case someone uses that app and goes off in the other direction …
Stormtrooper Accuracy: We have a good dozen or so guys, presumably trained with firearms, that cannot hit Genba, Ken, Rikka or Miyu who, granted, are hiding behind a van. Also, Genba and Ken do their fair share of missing as well.
Dunder Mifflin: A couple guys in the office walk by Itsuki while she is on the phone with Genba. Of course, they pay her no heed.
Money Shot: Counselor Touku Aoi gets a spotlight.
Food Glorious Food: Yoehi asks Yuta if he had lunch. Turns out 11:30 is not a great time to have had lunch completed.
[REDATED] it!: We get a [REDACTED] when Genba knocks out ‘Yogu’ and realizes that was his best source of information.
The Cubbies: Nanjo makes it clear that he is not doing things to help Genba but rather help Itsuki, still carrying a flame for her.
I’m Not a Spy: Itsuki got spared when Genba calls and confesses, meaning we never got a scene with her and Midoroku..
Five Minute Rule: Miyu tries to clean up the blood on the floor. It is all for naught since the blood on a cabinet is discovered.
Amnesia Bait: Seeing Miyu having problems cleaning up the blood, Rikka uses some broken down boxes.
24-Gate: Magoroku does not believe that Joshu would go as far as to kill Dr. Touku, even when it is staring him in the face.
Let’s Up the Rating: If wet guys are your thing, ‘Yogu’ gets splashed a couple times in this episode. Also, Itsuki puts her hand on Nanjo’s after a nice moment and it does not go unnoticed by Nanjo.
THAT kind of topless: A car is about as close quarters as you can get and Genba still kicks ass.
Day Player of the Week: Dr. Touku starts off well enough but quickly gets agro for no compellingly good reason.
Employee of the Month: By this point, Mylo pretty much knows he is helping Genba. He does not even have to say it out loud.
One More Time: “What if he fails to rescue them?” “I’ll take the blame for it.”
Nanjo and Itsuki contemplating their fates if things go sideways.
Hour Time: “I’m sorry for making you do this.” “It’s okay. It’s not really that bad.” Most plots take a big step forward. There is movement on a lot of fronts save one which is a good thing overall.
Having that one plot be the only one involving your main character is not that great.
Genba finds his family in short order and while nothing he does is wrong or offensive, not much happens. Okay, he gets ‘Yogu’ out of the way, finds his family and effects a rescue, but not much actually happens. There is a lot of action at the end, and we do have a great moment when he is reunited with his family. As dangerous as their situation is, he takes the time to hug them. The moment with Rikka promising reconciliation is ahead. Plus, this is the first time he sees Miyu since the start, and they have a nice moment together as well. It takes him a while to let go of Ken’s throat, but he had it coming. His scenes with ‘Yogu’ at the start are good as is the action sequence at the end. There is just a part in the middle where everyone is holding on. As a series told in real time, they are waiting for the CTU office plot to happen, but we get no in-story reason.
Worse is that Rikka and Miyu are pretty much sidelined. They hide a body, hug Genba get rescued and run off. The writers, actors and director are pretty much lost in how to handle them. The moment with Genba is fantastic but the rest is kind of there for the sake of being there.
The CTU side frees much better. Nanjo started off on the wrong foot by being antagonistic. From a dramatic standpoint he had to be so that things were not too smooth sailing but when we are just learning who these characters are and one of them actively thinks his superiors are involved in an assassination attempt, it is hard to make that character likeable later. Here, Nanjo had turned to the Light Side. He and Itsuki are finally the team that they should be standing together or falling down as the case might be. For all the grief I have with early Nanjo, he is the focus of Midoroku’s attention putting him on the other side of the coin. We do not need to see Itsuki’s side at all. It is very much a welcome change for the character and a great sequence. Of course, it is ruined by the clock. Well, not the clock as much as the beeping which takes up out of an otherwise great scene.
Midoroku for her part wastes no time. She does not get far through no fault of her own; Nanjo and Itsuki are ready to go down as they know the stakes. We are unsure if Midoroku wants to be in charge permanently but Genba all but hands her they keys. We will see what she does after things calm down.
Urara means to get to the bottom of the situation with confronting Dr. Touku. The scenes start off well and cordial with Urara rightly pointing out that confidentiality was broken already, and indeed almost went out as news. The conversation turns on a dime with Dr. Touku going very aggressive. This worked with a different actor in the original version, and it could very well happen but here the switch is just too quick and does not work.
Urara immediately suspects foul play because there are some very obvious clues. She has painted herself as the truthful candidate. Indeed, her speech at the breakfast focused on that and was well received. It was cut short through no fault of her own, but she has some very blank looks on her face as she contemplates what is happening. It is deceptively simple, but she is very much going down a darker path.
The best character in all this is Magoroku. Up until know, he has been very unflappable. There was a calmness to him that has permeated him since he came on screen. When Urara needs someone to calm her, he is there. He knows politics. He knows that Joshu is seedy but there are lines that will not be crossed. He shoots down the idea that Joshu would stoop to murder. Twice. It is odd to see him off his game and it punctuates just how unsettling things are getting. Toshiki Ayata puts on a great performance.
Sometimes you have to let the main character chill while the more supporting player take a bigger step forward.
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