A place for complete-off-topic conversations that have nothing to do with Star Trek. The rules still apply here, stay civil.
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Second Edition Playtest Manager
By Faithful Reader (Ross Fertel)
 - Second Edition Playtest Manager
Continuing Committee Member - Retired
Most network television shows are contracted for twenty-two episodes. Realizing that they could add two to that number and cover a full day with each episode lasting an hour, Joel Surnow and Robert Cochran crated a series called 24. Based around the fictional Counter Terrorism Unit, each season would be highly serialized and focus both on efforts to prevent national tragedies while also focusing on the people’s lives.

24 was hugely popular. It revitalized the careers of series star Kiefer Sutherland and Dennis Haysbert while launching the career of Elisha Cuthbert. The plot would deal with terrorism which was a problem as the first episode featured a bomb going off on a plane shortly after September 11th. The premiere was held back and eventually the series would start their season in the winter airing four episodes over two nights as event television.

Eight seasons would run (along with a two-hour tv movie) followed by a miniseries of twelve episodes in the summer of 2014. A soft reboot would premiere as a miniseries in 2015 but, even headlining Straight Outta Compton breakout star Corey Hawkins, it did not get traction.

So successful was the series that Anil Kapoor, who was in the cast of the eighth season, starred in an Indian adaptation of the first season. It would prove popular enough to warrant a second season based off the American version’s third season, something not confusing in the slightest!

The series would be adapted a second time by TV Asahi in 2020. Also largely based on the first season, they would update the technology but keep the basic plot mostly the same. Since it airs almost two decades later, there is an opportunity to make some improvements, including the character who the writers all but said they ran out of material with four hours to go.

So yeah, let’s watch 24 Japan!

Unlike my Quantum Leap Rewatch, I have not watched this series yet. Well, I’ve watched the first episode to see if I like the darn thing but nothing beyond that. I am going in blind.

Well, not totally blind. I have watched the first season of 24. It has a special place in my heart. While comparisons are inevitable, I will be focusing on the new version. Reviews will be in the following format:

Start the Clock: An episode recap.

iMagic: While there are some nifty pieces of technology around, sometimes the show depicts pure magic.

Stormtrooper Accuracy: Even if you have fifty bad guys firing at the lead character, every one will miss. Plus, there are other straight up goofs made by the villains.

Dunder Mifflin: CTU is an office. There are bound to be weird interactions.

Money Shot: A hallmark of Japanese television is that some characters get a shot of their head along with their character name onscreen.

Food Glorious Food: 24 Goes out of their way to avoid food. Famously, a tray of food was put in front of a character in the U.S. Season Two and heads rolled.

Peter Griffin Moment: In a Family Guy episode, Peter Griffin wondered when they went to the bathroom. As much of a joke it is, there are several important conversations that happen in that room.

[REDATED] it!: Jack Baur swore a lot, or at least the censored version.

The Cubbies: Tony Almeida had a coffee cup based off the Chicago Cubs which became synonymous with his character.

I’m Not a Spy: The biggest revelation from the penultimate hour of the first season was that Jack’s number two was a spy.

Five Minute Rule: Teenage Kim Baur had a knack from getting into trouble, not necessarily through some fault of her own.

Amnesia Bait: The writers seemed struggle to find things for Teri Bauer to do, to the point where she got amnesia for several episodes and then just kind of hung around for the last batch.

24-Gate: Whatever scandalous events are happening politically.

Let’s Up the Rating: Sexy bits.

THAT kind of topless: Violent bits.

Day Player of the Week: As hard as the main and recurring characters work, the day players who are in for a scene or two help sell the show.

Employee of the Month: Every now and then, someone has a flash of brilliance.

One More Time: A quote from the episode.

Hour Time: An overall review.
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Second Edition Playtest Manager
By Faithful Reader (Ross Fertel)
 - Second Edition Playtest Manager
Continuing Committee Member - Retired
12::00 AM-01:00 AM
Original Air Date: October 9, 2020
Directed by: Kôsuke Suzuki
Written by: Shûkei Nagasaka

Start the Clock: We start at 11:18 PM. In the docks a man is on the phone hearing that “She’s dead.” His is resolute in his response. One of the buildings is quiet until a truck rams through the door and the man comes out shooting all John Woo style.

We flash back twenty-three hours as the graphic says “The following takes place in Tokyo between midnight and 1:00 AM on the day of the general election. Hopes are high for Japan’s first female prime minister. EVENTS OCCUR IN REAL TIME.” There is an ad for Prime Minister uandidate Urara Asakura, asking people to restore hope.

Genba Shido and his daughter Miyu are playing poker. Genba thinks he has won with three kings, but Miyu pulls out a four of a kind. Miyu is happy to spend time with her father again after such a long time. Genba sends her to bed for the night as she gives her mother, Rikka, the cold shoulder.

In Naha, Okinawa, a young man covertly transmits data. There are gunshots heard outside, but the data is eventually transmitted.

12:08 in Tokyo, there is a wild shootout as Santonaka Heisuke takes a call. There is information on the target of an assassination; Urara. At a hotel, Urara is arguing with someone about how much to emphasize her gender in a speech. Her husband, Yohei, breaks the tie in favor of the specificity.

Genba and Rikka talk about how Miyu thinks Genba left them but there is more to it. Genba hates Miyu putting them against each other and the duo decides to have a united front for their daughter. Unfortunately, she has run away. Genba goes out to find her since she could not have gotten too far when his phone rings. It is Santonaka with an urgent message resulting in everyone being called in. Genba and Rikka work out a plan and he is off. Miyu and her friend, Suzu, are off to meet a couple of college men.

The staff at the Counter Terrorism Unit (CTU) are none too pleased about what is happening. Chiefs Itsuki and Nanjo have no idea what is going on and Cryptanalyst Akechi is missing a date. Things are much better for Miyu and Suzu who meet up with Go and Ken. Go and Suzu get frisky while Miyu and Ken put out the party supplies.

Genba checks in with Rikka as he walks into CTU. He orders Itusuki to collect information on Urara. A call is put into the police as Santonaka enters. There is a briefing that there will be an attempt on Urara in the next twenty-four hours. It may include foreign assistance but there is little to go on. There is a private conversation with Genba where he reveals that there is a mole working in their branch against them. Genba is reluctant but the order to find the traitor stands. Another director will be coming in shortly with more information though they are of questionable morality.

On an airplane, a passenger asks the stewardess how long until they land. He is Tsunehiko, a photographer ready to take a picture of Urara. He is interrupted by a sultry female passenger, Nanami Hikawa.

12:26:42. Genba and Ituski argue about the validity of the coming director when Rikka calls him. She found some racy photos of Miyu and Genba asks her to check out Miyu’s tablet. Unfortunately, they do not have the password.

Ken takes Miyu to the roof. She talks about how her father was a surfer but died six months ago.

Director Genji comes in and briefs Genba. Genji provides a USB drive with information but not the source. Genji is not a fan of Urara as she opposes government surveillance. Her success can be an end to CTU. Genba asks him to call for permission to get the source but covertly listens in on the call to find out that Genji is being duplicitous. Genba shoots him with a tranquilizer dart and asks Itsuki to look into a case involving Genji and some funds that mysteriously went missing.

12:34:24. Rikka gets a call from a man named Yogo. His daughter, Suzu, has run away for the night. He found the Shido number on her calendar and made a call.

Itsuki reports that the file is encrypted. Genba asks her to get Nanjo to do it. Nanjo sees through the request but complies. Genba also asks Akechi to find the password for Miyu’s tablet, ‘LOVE PAPA.’ Ken and Miyu smooch while Go and Suzu are a little past that. On the plane, Tsunehiko and his paramour talk. When she asks to see his pictures, he has one at the ready.

12:39:52. Urara takes a break from her speech practice as Akiyama is still working on better phrasing. She takes a call from a reporter. There is some concern for her children Yuta and Hina. Hina is preparing a pie, showing it off to her grandmother and brother Yut,a who is happy on the surface but more despondent privately. Meanwhile, a furious Urara is angry at the reporter for the lies. Yohei hears the commotion, but she keeps her silence when back in public.

Itsuki and Genba talk about the dangerous situation he could be in. He knows but is keeping her in the dark so that if he gets in trouble there will still be a good person to work there. Rikka finds an address and calls Yogo. He agrees to pick her up. Reporter Yamashiro’s producer comes in and she asks to replace the top story.

Miyu, Suzu, Ken and Go are ready to leave but Miyu notices several voicemails. Go offers to drop her off at home. Tsunehiko and Nanami are in a heavy make out session in the restroom.

12:48:53. Genba successfully blackmails Gengi, who leaves in a huff. Nanami covertly gets up, sneaks off to the entrance, looks at the pilfered ID from Tsunehiko, rigs the door to explode, puts on a flight suit and evacuates shortly before blowing up the plane.

Rikka calls Genba while en route to the party location. They are playing things by ear much to Genba’s chagrin. News of the crash reaches CTU and the Urara delegation. Go misses a turn and Miyu turns to Ken but both tell her to chill out. They unknowingly pass Miyu and Suzu’s parents. As the hour comes to a close, Nanami lands.


iMagic: Although the USB has information on the assassination plot, it also allows Itsuki to look into the missing funds from an old case.

Stormtrooper Accuracy: We are introduced to Santonaka in a shootout. They are nice enough to stop shooting long enough for him to take a call.

Dunder Mifflin: Even though Santonaka is a director, Genba asks him to call everyone in. It would probably be better for that to be standard operating procedure regardless. Also, when Santonaka briefs Genba about there being a mole, the camera flashes to Ituski, Akechi and Nanjo … along with a random extra.

Money Shot: This being the pilot, there are a lot of these this week. In order, CTU Squad Leader Genba Shido, CTU (Counter Terrorism Unit) Branch 1 Team A; Genba’s Daughter, Shido Miyu; Genba’s Wife, Shido Rikka; Santonaka Heisku, Director of CT Tokyo; Prime Minister Candidate Urara Asakura; Parliamentary Secretary Akiyama Noboru; Urara’s Husband Asakura Yohei; Miyu’s close friend Hakozaki Suzu; Chief Mizuishi Itsuki CTU Branch 1 Team A; Akechi Sumire, Cryptanalyst; Nanjo Takumi, Chief Cryptanalyst; Suzu’s friend Samejima Go; Go’s Friend, Hasebe Kenya; Parliamentary secretary Aikawa Keiko; CTU Branch 1 Chief Onituska Gengi CTU Tokyo HQ; Accountant Hakozaki Yogo; Newscaster Yamashiro Madoka; Urara’s Son Asakura Yuta; Urara’s daughter, Asakura Hina; Yohei’s Mother, Isomura Shigeki;

Food Glorious Food: Ken and Miyu drink beverages some of which your humble rewatcher is certain are non-alcoholic.

Peter Griffin Moment: The tranquilizer should keep Gengi out for a half hour, but he is awake not twenty minutes later which is good because the half hour would go straight into the next episode.

[REDATED] it!: Ituski calls the director a ‘careerist prick.’ Genba does not disagree.

The Cubbies: Nanjo looks at Itsuki a little too long to just be colleagues.

I’m Not a Spy: Ituski and Nanjo were a thing. Genba knows her to be discontent.

Five Minute Rule: Rikka thinks this was the first time Miyu ran out. Genba is doubtful.

Amnesia Bait: Rikka looks lovingly at the family pictures around the house.

24-Gate: Yohei has already crated the perfect speech and is working on twenty or thirty more.

Let’s Up the Rating: Go and Suzu are both out of focus and under the sheets when they are … ‘busy.’

THAT kind of topless: No less than three shootouts though we do not see anyone but Genji shot and that is non-lethal.

Day Player of the Week: Either Kenshi Takemoto or Tomohiro Furuya sell the air traffic controller who loses a plane.

Employee of the Month: Genba got a hunch about Urara after he passed a huge billboard.

One More Time: “I’m the man who accused and fired three colleagues with this hand.”
Genba trying to not be responsible for finding a mole in their midst.

Hour Time: “Do you have plans?” “Of course. Dating and all that.” Pilots can be a mixed bag. They have to introduce the characters and as much plot as they can. This bring in a thriller and there is a lot of ground to cover with over a dozen central characters plus three main plots to get off the ground.

Thankfully, we start things off with some excitement. The script and direction keep the action flowing as the series opens. Not one, not two, but three shootouts and things are jumping all over the place. As a director, Kôsuke Suzuki keeps things moving following the direction of Stephen Hopkins while adding in some flair of his own. The show looks great, and the split screens are fantastic.

The main assassination plot gets started. We are quickly introduced to the supporting players and get enough information to chew on. The Genba-Itsuki-Nanjo tension is there along with Akechi’s youth. These are brief moments, but we get the relationships quickly.

Genji is fairly slimy though Shiro Sano brings a bit of nobility to the role. With a thriller, there are ways to cover things up with directing and framing of shots. The scene with Genba and Genji offers no such escape route. The two play off the material perfectly with showing us what Genji would develop into. They have wet the appetite for more and we are at the start of their journey.

The Miyu storyline gets off with quite a start as well. Played with perfect youthfulness, Hiyori Sakurada gets enough cues and direction to add nuance to what could be a one note role. She is the only main character in her group and plays a lot of dimension. The guys are guys, but she knows when to give information and when to hold it. She does not get too tempted by the evening’s festivities.

As for Rikka, I stopped watching the first time I saw her. Tae Kimura was so disinterested and despondent that it was hard for me to continue. On the rewatch, she is caught up in everything happening. We have enough about how she is trying to get the family back together and while they are under the same roof, everything is not at peace. She gets better as the hour goes on, but she is not what I am coming to see.

The entire Urara plot is pretty flat. There was something happening at the end but until then we see a bunch of people talking about things in a very boring manner. It fits with the story and characters but is not compelling to watch. None of the performances are that great and it seems to kind of be there for the sake of being there. The plot will get better (it has to) but it can be excised and make the hour better.

The airplane sequence worked as well as it could have, and the escape adds excitement as the hour closes. There’s also the addition of the grandmother and a reporter who seems to have a larger role than in the American version. We’ll see where things go, but it is off to a solid start.
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Second Edition Playtest Manager
By Faithful Reader (Ross Fertel)
 - Second Edition Playtest Manager
Continuing Committee Member - Retired
1:00 A.M. – 2:00 A.M.
Directed by: Suzuki Kosuke, Higurashi Ken, Kinouchi Kento
Written by: Yamaura Masahiro

Start the Clock: Nanami sits by the fire as we hear reports of the plane crash. CTU is scrambling to get more information as the Director cannot be reached. Genba asks the information on the flight’s passengers to be pulled since it cannot be a coincidence. Nanjo decides to get into a pissing match over Gengi but Itsuki covers. It is enough for most of the staff, but Nanjo sees through it. Nanami buries the ID and is picked up by a van. After she leaves, a masked motorcyclist arrives and finds the ID. Nanjo tires to put the strain on Itsuki but is rebuked.

Rikka and Yogo go to the remnants of the party. They are none too pleased with what they found. Suzu is getting sick and Miyu’s request for help falls on deaf ears as does her talking about how awesome Genba is and that they will find her.

Heisuke enters a building to talk with an informant, Tohru Mikami. Mikami given him a keycard to the agency, but it has data pertaining to the assassination. Mikami also wants out. Heisuke talks him back in and it works up until Mikami is shot and Heisuke is pinned. He calls Genba asking him to come alone before the call is abruptly cut off. As he leaves, Genba checks in with Rikka. Genba dismisses it as kids being kids, but Rikka thinks things are more serious. She wants him to come help, but he is busy with the shootout and everything.

As Nanjo once again unsuccessfully tries to get information from Itsuki, Yogo finds a ledger with Go’s name. He and Rikka decide to break into the office to learn more. For his part, Go is being super-secret-hush-hush about their motives and destination while Suzu continues to degrade.

1:17:02. As Urara watches a report about the crash, she asks Noboru to contact Joshu. Noburo is hesitant but complies. She has a heartfelt moment with Yohei as they reminisce about their romance, but things take a turn when he mentions the rest of the family coming to see them. She dismisses it as nerves, but he notes that she has been on edge ever since she spoke with Yamashiro.

Itsuki and Nanjo talk about the crash. Nanjo just wants to dismiss it but Itsuki believes that it might be related. Tamizo Kanbayashi is sitting in a warehouse having that one-sided call bad guys always have when Nanami walks in. He opens up a case full of cash and is flirty, right up until Nanami says she does not have the ID, though it will be arriving soon.

1:24:55 Genba arrives at the building and asks Itsuki for the entry code. Neither is aware that Nanjo is recording the conversation. Genba meets up with Heisuke as the two discuss the tactical situation. Nanami is in the restroom (where she is topless for some reason) when a man wearing Minagawa’s face walks in. She admires the plastic surgery.

Itsuki and Nanjo continue their pissing match as Genba and Heisuke try to make it out. There is a shootout going from the stairwell to the kitchen to a dining area, but Genba and Heisuke come out on top as they try to identify their assailants.

1:32:29 Ayuko Tani comes to the warehouse where she presents a picture of the ID. Nanami is pissed and Tamizo asks for an explanation. The two meet privately and Tani does not want them to be at anyone’s mercy. Rikka and Yogo get nowhere looking for information, so she calls Genba. He is unavailable so she reaches out to Itsuki. Itsuki is reluctant (what with civil rights) and all but relents as she hears that Miyu is in danger.

The Urara family arrives at the hotel and there is general happiness. Urara gets a call from Joshu which she takes privately. She is concerned about Yamashiro and asks for immediate assistance. Rikka and Yogo are cleaning up from the party when Itsuki comes through with the managers information. It goes straight to voicemail which he will not get because he is dead.

Hina’s pie is a big hit and Yohei ushers the three off to bed, but not before a couple Security Police Agents enter. Noburo goes to get her, but she has snuck out to the parking garage. The agents scramble to locate her as they tell everyone else about the plot against her. As Genba and Heisuke are ready to leave, a gunman fatally shoots Heisuke. He passes the keycard off the Genba asking him to get Akechi to examine it before he succumbs to the wounds. He passes the card off to determine whose terminal it came from as they will be the culprit. Itsuki checks in on her as things are processed.

Go stops the van and has Miyu give a call to Rikka letting her parents know that things are all right. She does so only to prevent Go from harming Suzu. Miyu tries to play things off ending with “I love you.” Go tosses the phone away. Rikka ponders the situation as Miyu would never say that phrase.

Akechi gets the information to Genba: it is Itsuki.


iMagic: All the ‘Find my iPhone’ app tells me is that it is in the building. They’ve got a GPS that works down to the millimeter!

Stormtrooper Accuracy: When Nanami is picked up, they just take her word that she has the ID.

Dunder Mifflin: Mikami is disenfranchised as to how someone in CTU can be helping an assassination plot. He wants out wondering how the agency could be so stupid, speaking for everyone watching a government conspiracy movie.

Money Shot: Agent Tohru Mikami; Terrorism Team Boss, Tamizo Kanbayashi; SP Agent Tadashi Kindaichi and SP Agent Yukiya Soma

Food Glorious Food: Miyu and company did not even bother trying to clean up their mess. And they ate right off a counter, apparently.

[REDATED] it!: Genba’s nickname while at CTU? The Hancho.

The Cubbies: Nanjo compliments the campaign’s use of Yohei. In the most possible asshole way her can, of course.

I’m Not a Spy: Itsuki does a good amount of embellishing why Gengi walked out with his hands between his legs. She emphasizes his scaly personality while uplifting Genba’s goodness.

Five Minute Rule: Miyu decides that it is a good idea to attack the driver of the van they are in. She also tries to claim that some cops who have pulled someone over on the street are already on the case.

Amnesia Bait: When Rikka first calls Genba from the scene, he tells her to look around as though it wasn’t an obvious thing to do.

24-Gate: Yohei tells everyone to have some of Hina’s apple pie and the seven staffers are excited to share three quarters of a pie between them.

Let’s Up the Rating: Urara tells Yohie that the most important day of her life was a self-defense class, until she met him that is.

Day Player of the Week: The assassin wearing Minagawa’s face is the same actor, but he is played much more menacingly.

One More Time: “That’s a crappy story.” “It’s better than the truth.”
Genba and Itsuki arguing over how to brush concerns over Gengi under the rug.

Hour Time: “What the hell is all this?” “A passenger plane blown up and a candidate is being targeted?” “Besides that.” This is an incredibly lopsided episode. There is very little that happens in the first half and what they do have is kind of crappy.

Nanjo and Itsuki were kind of side characters in the pilot. There were a lot of balls in the air and as amazingly paced as the first hour was there was not enough time to cover everything. They try to make up for it here, but it does not really work. Nanjo comes across as a huge jerk, openly questioning what is going on despite the fact that a plane just exploded and there is an imminent threat to a candidate for prime minister. He has a point that things are suspicious but does not think to hold off for a few hours while they figure things out. For her part, Itsuki goes toe to toe with him. Strong female characters are still pretty rare on screen and Itsuki more than makes up for it. She covers and hits every ball that is thrown at her. They are trying to draw out their relationships and develop characterization, but it does not really work.

We do not even see Urara until the halfway mark. Her scenes with handling the political gambit are still flat but there is a great scene with her husband. This could stand by itself as the two talk about their relationship and bond as a couple. It is great for her to take a moment to think about her husband when things are moving quickly. When the rest of the family arrives, Yohei has a good time and several moments with his children and mother. This is very welcome characterization that was sorely missing from the first hour.

Rikka and Yogo kind of just had things to keep them busy. No real progress is made (did we really need to see the fridged manager?) and they do not have a moment with each other despite having an hour to do something. Miyu’s story takes a darker turn as Suzu’s health goes down. Go is being a jerk and Ken is being more polite, but a polite kidnapper is still a kidnapper.

The warehouse scenes add dimension to the villains of the piece and introduce us to our first boss. He does not have mania and is fairly calm, even in the face of adversity. The clear moment is when the assassin comes in. The actor was a playful goof as the photographer but is darker as the new role. It is great and says a lot without a word. Nanami and Auyto do not really move the needle.

The shootout was shot magnificently. This was not just a random location they shot the right angles to show off the location that was scouted. Heisuke gets a valiant death, and they did establish his relationship with Genba so it means something, a good contrast to the office manager.

Shows regularly take time to find their footing but they are not taking the opportunity to improve on the original. We will see how things develop from here.
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Second Edition Playtest Manager
By Faithful Reader (Ross Fertel)
 - Second Edition Playtest Manager
Continuing Committee Member - Retired
2:00 Am – 3:00 AM
Written by: Shûkei Nagasaka
Directed by: Kôsuke Suzuki
Original airdate: October 23, 2020

Start the Clock: Genba sends a picture of one of the assailants to pull information. He then calls Rikka who relays the suspiciously suspicious conversation, though Genba shrugs it off. Yogo wants them to leave as there is little more that can be gained by sticking around but Genba wants them to stay on the off chance they randomly decide to come back.

Tamizo is pissed that he offered a hundred million yen for the ID and now is being asked for double. He tasks Nanami with talking some sense into Ayako while telling the assassin to be patient. At the hotel, Yohei is trying to calm his justifiably pissed mother before talking to the security team. This threat is credible, and the team has no answer for why it took so long to act. They are tracking Urara’s car with GPS and will find her eventually. Yuta wants to help find her but is dissuaded by Yohei and the security team.

Go parks at an airport and calls Tamizo. Things are running behind, but he promises their handsome reward if they would just hold on a little longer. Suzu is suffering effects and Ken asks for some help. Go fills his rage meter but Ken socks him one and gets some painkillers. Urara is waiting in a parking lot when a couple youths break into unoccupied cars. She confronts them (and avoids their weapon) but they laugh her off.

Genba enters CTU but calls Itsuki to his office before entering the main area. He makes a beeline for Akechi nonchalantly asking for information on the assailants while mourning Heiseuke. There is little more available. Genba gives her the keycard to decrypt. She says it will take some time, but confirms that it came from Itsuki’s computer, meaning she is the mole. Akechi will work on it while Genba keeps Itsuki busy. They make small talk before Akechi confirms that it was Itsuki’s computer that produced the card. Genba dismisses Itsuki and finds out that while there is no information on the assailants, there is evidence that someone erased the files. Genba looks at Itsuki suspiciously.


Nanami and Akayo are in a tender embrace as they try to get on the same page. Miyu takes advantage of a moment to get Suzu back to her senses and they make a run for it. Genba is struggling between his feelings for Itsuki and the evidence against her. Akechi points out that if she is the traitor, she should not have access to confidential information. Genba reluctantly agrees to limit her access.

Go and Ken are chasing Miyu and Suzu through a shipping yard but are thrown off by a vagrant. This would be a bad time for Tamizo to call, which of course happens though Go is able to lie through his teeth and say they are waiting. Tamizo sees no other alternative than to double the asking price for the ID.

Urara meets with Joshu about the story Madoka might reveal. Hina was assaulted some years ago and the perpetrator committed suicide. Madoka has information that the death was caused by Yuta. Joshu promises to take care of it for the day though Urara asks for no mudslinging. As the agents come to get her, Joshu sneaks back into the shadows.


Noboru brings the news that Urara is on her way back elating Yohei and Yuta. The young man runs to alert his sister, but she is asleep, leaving Yuta to look at her still form.

Miyu and Suzu have lost ground to Ken and Go but are still ahead. Tamizo pays the piper, but Nanami insists that just the three of them go. Genba confronts Itsuki who claims innocence.


Nanjo sees Heisisuke’s death certificate and asks Akechi if she knows anything about it. Getting no information, he goes back to his desk briefly crossing paths with Genba and Itsuki. Miyu and Suzu find a creepy dude who tries to take advantage of them, but they are rescued by the vagrant. Ken and Go take him on and Ken runs after the two. Tamizo gets the ID and shoots Akayo for her trouble. He tells Nanami there is another assignment. She agrees, unaware that she is in the sight of a scope.


Akechi shares the timestamped information with Itsuki and Genba. After confirming the date, Itsuki knows that she spent the weekend with Genba on that date, an airtight alibi. As she goes back to her desk, Nanjo has had enough and calls human resources to have Genba removed.

Miyu and Suzu hide long enough to make a call to Rikka and Yogo. They give some basic information about their situation and location but have to end the call quickly. They run away but find themselves in the path of an oncoming car. Suzu takes a hard hit and falls down. As Miyu agonizes over the prone form, Ken and Go take her away. After they leave, Suzu takes a breath.


iMagic: The technology on this type of show is usually amazingly/unbelievingly fast but the GPS takes a good half hour plus to find Urara.

Stormtrooper Accuracy: Tamizo promised one hundred million yen for the ID. That translates to north of $875,000 US!

[REDATED] it!: It is eating Genba alive that he has to confront his close colleague and confidant about being a traitor.

The Cubbies: Nanjo spends a lot of time this episode looking over the list of casualties. Better than Solitaire, I guess.

I’m Not a Spy: When asked by Genba who she works for, Itsuki repeatedly says “You.”

Five Minute Rule: Miyu sees her moment to make a run for it when Go and Ken take a smoke break. That was three million yen well spent!

Amnesia Bait: After talking with Genba at the top of the hour, Rikka and Yogo just kind of hang out waiting for Miyu and Suzu to return.

24-Gate: Joshu promises to quiet a pesky reporter. It is clear that he has less than reputable means and Urara had no choice but to see him.

Let’s Up the Rating: When Genba and Rikka were separated, he found solace in Itsuki.

THAT kind of topless: The vagrant is very good with a baseball bat.

Day Player of the Week: The youths in the parking garage do not care about national politics but offer appropriate menace for Urara.

Employee of the Month: Just by looking at the keycard, Akechi knows that there is something special to it. Because she’s that awesome!

One More Time: “If she were just a normal Mother… “ “Mother.”
Yohei telling his mom that his wife is pretty cool.

Hour Time: “When my boy had surgery, he stuck by my side.” “He also saved my life.” Early on a series has to do something to differentiate their characters. There have to be differences between Nanjo, Itsuki and Akechi other than being basic office drones. After Nanjo was an asshole last week, he spends most of this week twiddling his thumbs. Itsuki is confronted by Genba but her best interactions thus far have been with Nanjo, not Genba. Plus, for some reason, even though she is the chief suspect in a plot against the first female prime minister, she is allowed to walk around freely. Akechi rightly points this out and Genba just kind of goes along with it. Nanjo’s call is out of left field since there are things he is not aware of but are well within the purview of Genba. We really do not get much mileage out of the CTU based plot other than a reminder that Genba and Itsuki were an item which we already knew. You can see Genba’s soft spot, but it makes him weaker, not a better character.

Rikka gets the least to do this week as she pretty much waits around for something to happen. We see here at the beginning and at the end. Her time to shine will happen later but it is evident that the writers just needed her to stay put for the week. She has a tender moment with Genba and Genba talks man to man with Yogo. For what will become a professional nightmare as the hour progresses it is a nice moment.

At least Miyu got a chase scene out of the deal. She showed a lot of skills trying to evade their pursuers. The vagrant had a bit of an arc, initially helping them then robbing them blind. When they come across his ‘pad’ later, they cannot make an arrangement and are put out. He comes to their rescue at the end and while he is played a little ragey, he plays his frustrations well. The only reason why he is not the Day Player of the Week is because things get a bit too creepy with the plot. I’m not knocking Ken and Go for taking a smoke break, I’m knocking Tamizo for being dumb enough to hire those two fools. Tamizo has some competency at the end where he realizes he has no choice but to pay up. While he does yell a bit, there is enough calmness to make him a threat.

Dennis Haysbert is a hard actor to live up to. Yukie Nakama is no Haysbert, but she has an excellent showing this week. We first get a sense of how street-smart she is with the hoodlums in the garage. She has the knowledge to get them off her back and avoiding their attacks. They are dismissive but walk off without further confrontation. Later she knows what she is getting into with Joshu. She has no way to solve the crisis but with his help which always comes with a cost. When she talks about her family struggles, she is being a mother. It is expository but Nakama has an innocence about her. She wants to take care of her family even in the middle of a huge day for her. She is no Dennis Haysbert, but she is Yukie Nakama.
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Second Edition Playtest Manager
By Faithful Reader (Ross Fertel)
 - Second Edition Playtest Manager
Continuing Committee Member - Retired
3:00 AM – 4:00 AM
Written by: Shûkei Nagasaka
Directed by: Kento Kiuchi
Original airdate: October 30, 2020

Start the Clock: As Suzu comes back into consciousness, Ken and Go force Miyu back into the van. Genba pulls Itsuki aside to apologize. She is (rightly) pissed but is also able to regain her professionalism. He fills her in on the keycard and has her help Akechi get the information off the keycard, despite being told to trust no one but Akechi.

Urara is brought back, and a security officer gets ready to give her a remedial discussion about safety but she calls Joshu for an update. He reminds her that he just got the assignment, and it is early. She does not really care and gives him until the end of the episode, er, end of the hour to find out who released the information. She does not share details of the meeting with Yohei but finds out about the assassination intelligence.

Itsuki and Akechi pull off an address. They tell Genba but no one is familiar with it. He decides to go directly but they are put into a lockdown. He tries to leave but finds Genji approaching. Genba retreats to the main office, orders Akechi to hide the card and makes a beeline out of there. Genji shuts down the office. When Itsuki asks if that is a good idea with the plot, he says that the deaths of two CTU personnel make it a requirement. Just as Genji has everything under control, he hears that Genba left. Itsuki says she does not know where he is.

Urara gets a talk from Agent Tadashi and is placed on double secret probation. He urges her to cancel the breakfast party but that it too critical for her campaign. Hina comes in and gets consoled by his mother. Miyu pleads with Go to help Suzu but Ken is sure she is dead. Go becomes convinced, but only enough to go back and take a look.

Yogo is pulled over for speeding. He and Rikka try to explain, including Rikka pleading that they made a call to emergency services. The beat cop goes to confirm but Yogo gets out and asks him to work faster. Things escalate and he is arrested for getting out of line. Go passes by and the bound Miyu cannot get their attention.

3:24:50 Genba calls Rikka to get an update but does so juuust moments after Rikka leaves to plead with the officer. Genji reads Itsuki the riot act telling her she will be in trouble if she does not reveal Genba’s location. She replies that she will talk about the embezzlement to his supervisors first. He gets more personal, but she is resolute.

Genba arrives at the address, a seedy warehouse. He finds someone who fires at him. Officer Yokota and her partner hear the gunfire and investigate. They cannot catch the suspect but find Genba. He shows his identification, and they agree to help him pursue the suspect.

Ken and Go are not sure if Suzu is alive or not. Go puts the pedal to the metal to run her over but a cruiser arrives on the scene. They make a hasty exit, unsure of her status.

3:38:28 Itsuki is released and talks to Akechi telling her not to say anything. How two material witnesses to the situation are able to talk freely is an exercise for the viewer. Akechi then meets with Genji. As Genba and the officer pursue their suspect, Joshu relays information to Urara. The source is a counselor, Toko Aoi. Also, Madoka is staying at the same hotel as Urara. Yohei comes in and she gives him the information. They doubt their son is a killer, but Madoka is good at vetting stories.

After getting verification of the emergency call, Rikka and Yogo are set free. Backup arrives at the warehouse and more people will complicate the situation. Genba needs to hurry things up. The three split and Yokota is taken hostage.

3:46:10 There is a confrontation in the warehouse and while Genba takes down the suspect for custody, Yokota pays the ultimate price. Yogo and Rikka pass an ambulance. On a hunch, Rikka asks Yogo to pull over and they ask a passerby what happened. Finding out about the accident they get in the car and rush to the hospital.

Tamizo arrives to Ken and Go’s location and asks about Suzu. Go says she was killed, and the body disposed of. Tamizo is not ready to give them their money but has them put Miyu in the back of his car.

3:52:24 Genji is pressing hard at Akechi, telling her she is not fully trusted by Genba and Itsuiki, dangling a promotion in front of her. He gets a call and suddenly stops and lifts the lockdown. The incident with Genba has been found out and Genji leaves.

Genba asks for custody of the suspect but shooting a cop means that is impossible. The chief lets him talk to the suspect. There is little time, but the suspect identifies Genba by name and tells him about Miyu. Genba wants to get more information, but the suspect is hauled off to the station. An undeterred Genba jumps into his car and follows.


iMagic: When going to search for a suspect, Genba forgets to turn off his ringer. Turns out being silent is a useful skill for a shootout.

Stormtrooper Accuracy: Go and Ken screw up pretty badly. Why this terrorist cell leader decided to subcontract that portion of the plan is an exercise for the viewer.

Dunder Mifflin: No one really bats an eye for the lockdown.

[REDATED] it!: Genba gets a lot of mileage showing off his ID badge to three officers.

The Cubbies: Nanjo never tells Itsuki that he called for the internal investigation, but it takes her all of five seconds to figure it out.

I’m Not a Spy: Genji tells Itsuki that Genba bragged about their affair as a ‘conquest.’ It takes her five second to realize that it was Nanjo.

Five Minute Rule: Miyu spends the first part of the episode ranting and raving. She spends the remaining portion bound and gagged.

Amnesia Bait: Pulling over Yogo and Rikka, the cop presumes they are a couple. Rikka clarifies that they are not a couple to which the cop responds “That kind of relationship.”

24-Gate: When Urara returns after a surprising disappearance, her staff gets up from their table but do not cheer, express relief or any other emotion.

Let’s Up the Rating: Genji’s main tactic with Itsuki is her affair with Genba. He gets nowhere and that might not be the best tactic for an internal review.

THAT kind of topless: Needing to leave during a lockdown, Genba asks, says he has permission, asks to get something from his car and punches a guard. Only the last is successful in making his escape.

Day Player of the Week: Lots of cops this hour but the one due for praise is the one who arrests Yogo. It is entirely justified, and he even gives out a citation afterwards. There is a wide range of skill involved as he expresses little remorse but allows them to continue searching for their daughters.

Employee of the Month: For someone who is a supervisor, Genji sure knows a lot about the personal lives of the staff in this branch.

One More Time: “Are you still angry?” “Yes, I’m still angry. Naturally.” “Sorry.”
Genba asking the obvious to Itsuki, getting an obvious response and apologizing.

Hour Time: “Do you know anything yet?” “It’s been thirty minutes. Not that easy.” Every series has to have an episode where not much happens. The plot moves forward but they can skip over some things as they need. Not so in 24 which takes place in real time. Granted not all the plotlines have to be amazing but there is trouble when they all take the week off for the most part.

Forward progress is made; we know about the allegations against Hina, Genba gets closer as does Rikka, but all in all you can see the proverbial wheels spinning.

The best of the bunch is the interrogation scenes in CTU. Genji is much better this time around. He does not have to fight off the effects of being tranquilized but he was not all that great before being shot. Here, he knows how to conduct an interrogation. He gets nowhere but he uses different tactics with Itsuki (going after her personal relationship) and Akechi (putting her in her place, offering to help her professionally) and you can see a different demeanor with the two. He is clearly the boss in the later all but looking down at Akechi. Mind you, these strategies are borderline cause for removal, but it is good to see them in action. Nanjo gets some glances here and there and you can see he is deflated when everything ends.

Genba’s plot is mainly there to spin wheels. The chase goes on far longer than needed mainly because the plot has to happen over a certain length of time. We can take only so much searching and telling why it is important. Having two cops almost telegraphs one of them will die and when Genba bonds with one and not the other, you know which one is not going to make it. He is respectful to the authorities as they are to him but there is a limit as to how far they will ultimately go.

Rikka and Yogo are more literally stopped, with Rikka having precious little to do beyond have a flash of insight, though this is more luck than talent. There really wasn’t much more to do with these characters so have them be stopped by police was the best option. I do like how the cop still gave Yogo a ticket for being disorderly whereas his counterpart in the American series was let go.

Miyu was literally tied up with little to do beyond cry out. Ken and Go are grossly out of their league, it really is surprising that Tamizo did not have them meet with one of his goons or something. He had the assassin follow up last week to get the ID card, after all.

Urara has good moments with her staff and husband but were not as impressive as they were last week. The scene with her filling in Yohei was more to get the information out about their situation, ditto the exposition with Joshu. She is good when she takes her medicine, and she is genuinely shocked that there is a plot against her, but the rest is not engaging. We are being told, not shown and the acting is passable but not great.

You can have a slow plot but not everything can be sub-par as that leaves the entire episode feeling poor. The actors really cannot save this. Overall, a middling hour.
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Second Edition Playtest Manager
By Faithful Reader (Ross Fertel)
 - Second Edition Playtest Manager
Continuing Committee Member - Retired
4:00 AM-5:00 AM
Directed by: Kento Kiuchi
Written by: Shûkei Nagasaka
Original Air Date: November 6, 2020

Start the Clock: As Genba races after the police cruiser, Rikka and Yogo enter the emergency room. They see the doctors working on Suzu but are shooed away. Yogo wonders what will happen to his daughter while Rikka still has no clue where hers is. Genba call Rikka and gets an update. Genba is despondent that they have not located Miyu but he hopes that the suspect will be of assistance.

Tamizo tells Ken and Go that there is a slight change of plans. They have to go back to base in order to get their money. Also, Tamizo wants them to take different routes for … reasons. Urara goes over a speech with Noburo and gives it a thumbs up. Hina approaches and Urara cannot engage with her about the most recent events. Together with Yohei, they ponder if they should tell her.

Itsuki gets a call from Genba who is at the station. She confirms that Genji left, presumably to meet him. Genba asks for a liaison between CTU and the local police. Itsuki does not have immediate access so approaches Nanjo. Things are tense but he begrudgingly gives her the number. Genba asks the police chief for just a few minutes with the suspect. The chief is reluctant given that an officer is dead. Still, he relents and has the suspect brought into an interrogation room. Before they enter, Genji confronts Genba. Genba will be involved in a questioning, just as the questionee not the questioner.

Go wonders if he and Ken should quit while they are ahead but Ken will have none of it. Genji is highly suspect of Genba and after entertaining Genji for a few seconds, he talks about the urgency of the assassination plot. Genji relents and tries to set up a meeting with the suspect. Genba already has such an arrangement but wisely does not bring it up.

4:17:38 Tamizo is at a stoplight giving an update over the phone when Miyu sees a truck pulls up. She kicks to get their attention but gets a gun in her face for her trouble. Tamizo puts her in the trunk to prevent further issues.

Urara calls Makoda asking for a talk.

Yogo and Rikka are giving a report to an officer when Genba calls. They do not have much to go on, so Genba tells her about the suspect. Genji walks in and gives permission before following Genba. Genba tells the suspect, Eifuku that they are being monitored and we see Genji with the police. Genba whispers to Eifuku and then the get into a brawl. Genba is taken out and Eifuku wants to talk to an attorney. When left alone, he pulls out the note that was secreted to him. Genba finds out that Eifuku knows about Miyu but will not talk until he is free. Genba calls Itsuki who finds what is probably the last pay phone left in Japan. There will be a problem if Efuku does not answer so Genba plans to free him. Yokota’s former partner is grieving in the morgue. Genba asks him to help with the interrogation so as not to waste her life. Things get tense and there is a scuffle after which Genba is escorted out and decides to head outside and get some air. We see that he has secretly passed a keycard to Eifuku.

4:33:10 Yogo and Rikka talk at the hospital. Rikka mentions the separation, how Genba’s work drove them apart, but they got back together for Miyu. Eifuku uses the keycard to walk out, and he more or less nonchalantly exits the jail.

Urara has a talk with Makota. The two have been family friends for years and it is a private conversation. Makota relents and provides the two pieces of evidence. The first is testimony from a counselor. The second is an entrance report from a hospital near where Hina’s attacker was found. There were marks on him and most everyone thought they were from Hina. The form matches Yuta’s handwriting and has matching injuries compared with the assailant. Urara is resolute and vows to fight.

4:40:52 Urara wakes and confronts her son about what happened that night. Yuta refuses to answer and things get tense though he tellingly does not give a response. Genji is smoothing things out in the station. As things seem to be going well, they find out that Eifuku has escaped. Genji puts it together and is not pleased. Yogo and Rikka continue talking though things turn sour as she recalls events. Yogo cheers her up, saying that her being there is better than him being alone.

Genba and Eifuku go to the phone and Itsuki has the trace ready. Unfortunately, the call is from a cell phone, meaning that the trace is useless. Tamizo tells Eifuku to find a nearby car and dispose of the body in the trunk. Genba asks who it is in the car, but Eifuku does not know.

4:50:26 Genba goes to said trunk and finds the body. As he is trying to figure things out, Genji comes with the police in tow. Eifuku is rearrested and Genji looks at the corpse. Under the threat of having several books thrown at him, Genba gives the Wikipedia summary of the assassination attempt, giving special attention to the still undiscovered mole. Genji lets him out of double-secret-probation and Genba takes the car back to identify the body. He calls Rikka on the way with his lead dried up leaving Suzu as the only way to find out what happened to Miyu.

Tomiza has a rendezvous with Go and Ken. He asks again about Suzu and Ken reiterates the lie. Tamizo asks about a girl the same age taken to a hospital in the area. Ken tries to fumble an explanation but gets shot for his trouble while Go is promoted. Things with Suzu take a bad turn.


iMagic: Miyu successfully kept a school notice away from her parents. Because schools are not texting or e-mailing directly with parents at all.

Stormtrooper Accuracy: Eifuku is strangely unguarded and can freely text in the jail when the plot demands it.

Food Glorious Food: Urara, Yohei, Rikka and Yogo get coffee. Plus, we find out that Hina’s apple pie was delicious. Granted that review was from her mother so it may be a bit biased.

Peter Griffin Moment: Eifuku texts Genba from a restroom stall.

[REDATED] it!: As Genji chews out Genba, he mentions being hit by the tranquilizer dart which causes Genba to chuckle, a fact that does not go unnoticed and infuriates Genji. Later, Genba will officially ask Genji to talk to Eifuku and it will tear Genji up to give that permission.

The Cubbies: Nanjo justifies his bringing in the big guns given everything that Genba did. He expresses no remorse to Itsuki. That will show her!

I’m Not a Spy: Itsuki grabs the number out of Nanjo’s hand with extreme urgency and rudeness. That will show him!

Five Minute Rule: Bound in the back seat, Miyu tries to alert a stopped driver to her plight. She gets a gun in her face and is downgraded to the trunk for her troubles.

Amnesia Bait: We see Rikka and Yogo fuming in the emergency room and then barely a few second later, they are in the waiting room significantly calmer. Because they are that awesome.

24-Gate: Despite being jailed for activity involving an assassination attempt and the murder of an officer, Eifuku is out a good seven minutes before it is reported to anyone.

THAT kind of topless: Suzu goes through some pretty major surgery.

Day Player of the Week: After not having all that much to do last week, Eifuku has a lot to do from stonewalling to getting into fights for a breakout. It says a lot when Genba is chasing after him via car at the top of the episode and Eifuku just looks through the back window at his only hope.

Employee of the Month: The police commandant thanks Genji for the help with the case. What that help is exactly is left as an exercise for the viewer.

One More Time: “The news is all about the plane crash but that doesn’t effect election trends.”
Hina reporting the latest information to Urara

Hour Time: “I can’t believe we’ve been searching all night.” With all the trouble going on about the assassination, a good portion of this episode focuses on the theme of family.

Yeah, the jail is a key location and there is a lot that happens there. Genba finds a way to get the information but in true thriller fashion, it just leads to another clue and Eifuku is more or less written out. While Rikka is at the hospital, he is trying to both find Miyu and get more information about the attempt. Though after Ken and Go, it seems odd that the bad guys have so many loose ends out there. Why not dump the body immediately? Plus, they got really lucky with Ken and Go being able to kidnap Miyu and Suzu. Overall, this part of the plot did not work too well which is an issue as it is one of the central plots of the series.

Thankfully, there is a lot more. Rikka and Yogo are essentially regulated to the hospital. They have scenes that may appear on the surface to be enough to give them work for the week but are well acted. Rikka exposits to Yogo but also to us. Left with little more to do but wait, the two have some moments to bond. It is there to give them something to do but is presented well with strong acting.

Miyu has even less to do as she is bound and gagged for the hour. Attempts to escape fail and she witnesses Ken’s murder. She knows she is in deep trouble by the end, and we can see that with just the upper half of her face. We also see that Tamizo is not to be crossed and there are consequences for doing so. He is firmly established as the bad guy.

As much as Urara is focused on the political aspect of it all, we see her as a mother this week having seen her as a wife previously. She uses her family connection to find out more and cannot push Yuta too hard. This is after she has a bonding moment with Hina. There is a limit to how hard she can push and knows not to cross that line. She knows how to be stern and while she will accept silence (for now at least) she will find a way to exonerate Yuta.

Little happens at CTU and a what we have is both boring and largely left offscreen though Itsuki and Nanjo are still none too pleased with each other. We get some payoff of the Genji and Genba hatred, though that happens a bit too quickly. After Genba shoots him and escapes a lockdown, Genji is a little too understanding with letting bygones be bygones.

There is not a whole lot of forward movement this week, but it gives us some great character beats.
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Second Edition Playtest Manager
By Faithful Reader (Ross Fertel)
 - Second Edition Playtest Manager
Continuing Committee Member - Retired
Written by: Shûkei Nagasaka
Directed by: Kento Kiuchi
Original Air Date: November 13, 2020

Start the Clock: En route to CTU, Genba calls Rikka. She is not thrilled that Genba is not coming and confused when he tells her not to let anyone talk to Suzu after the surgery. He arrives at CTU when Itsuki has a gurney ready to identify the corpse. Nanjo comes and gets into it, but Genba splashes some water on him. He leaves Itsuki in command and heads out to the hospital. Tamizo assigns Go the task of burying Ken’s body. Miyu tries to tell him this is a chance to make a break for it but lands on deaf ears.

Urara has called in Joshu. The hospital records were changed and have his fingerprints all over it. Joshu confesses that the incident was probably self-defense, but it could have impacted the campaign, so Joshu ended up killing the story. Urara is furious and tells Joshu to leave. As he exits, Joshu claims that he got involved due to Yohei. Hina talks to Yuta about how Urara seems different, and he chalks it up to the election.

Genba has a briefing with the security officer at the hospital, reunites with Rikka and meets Yogo. Things start out well but get tense between the two men. Rikka pulls Genba aside and vouches for Yogo. Genba wants to talk to Suzu, but they do not know when she will awaken.

As Miyu tries to talk some sense into Go, Urara confronts Yohei. He tries to deflect but admits to the intervention. Not telling Urara to give her plausible deniability. As she fumes, he tells her to not let the story get out lest Hina get sad, she loses the election, and Yuta goes to jail.

5:18:46 Miyu and Ken bond, realizing that Suzu and Go both had issues with being impulsive. Their moment is interrupted by Tamizo. He beckons Miyu to follow him and talk to Genba while Ken gets a chiding for not burying fast enough. Itsuki is in the morgue but takes a call from Genba. The victim was killed just before midnight, close enough to when they got information about the plot to be of concern.

As Miyu looks at the terrorist’s base, Genba pulls Rikka aside to tell her about the assassination. He is fearful that Miyu might have been kidnapped a leverage over Genba. They are unable to involve the police but do not have much they can go on at the moment. Itsuki checks in on Akechi. The keycard is still being persnickety but Itsuki needs her for something else. Mylo will come in to finish with the keycard. Akechi does not want that as Mylo is an outsider but goes along with it.

Urara meets with election advisor Magoroku. He knows her well enough to realize there is something going on with the family. Yogo gets ready to visit Suzu who just regained consciousness with Rikka and Genba accompanying. Genba also gets good news in that the victim had a special surgery that will make finding the identity easier.

Magoroku sees the bind Urara is in. She is ready to throw in the towel since “Everyone but me knew” will be a hard sell, but Magoroku will have none of it. She has campaigned on a platform of truth and honesty. The best thing she can do is admit it. Thankfully, there is a breakfast meeting coming up and she should make the announcement ahead of the news with her family there in full support. Joshu meets with Yohei at the latter’s request.

5:32:09 The doctor escorts Rikka, Yogu and Genba to Suzu’s wing. They ask to speak to her. The doctor agrees and Yogo asks to speak to her first alone. Genba gets a call, but it is not Itsuki on the line as he is expecting; it is Tamizo. He has Miyu and tells Genba to smile at Rikka and walk out to await further instructions. Yogo sees Suzu privately. As Suzu comes out of it, she sees a stranger. ‘Yogo’ cuts off her air supply causing Suzu to die. He turns off the monitor and walks out.

5:41:29 Tamizo directs Genba to a car. Genba inserts an earpiece, drops his phone and drives to CTU. ‘Yogo’ tells Rikka that Suzu gave him an address where they were being held. Rikka wants to tell the police but needs to consult Genba first. With no answer, she decides to go there herself. ‘Yogo’ gives her the address then offers to escort her. As they leave, there is an announcement over the PA for an emergency.

5:50:13 Ken buries Go. Miyu is brought in to help. As Ken ponders the situation, Miyu is certain Genba will come and rescue her, her confidence boosted by talking to him recently. Mylo walks in on Akechi and while the two are not on the greatest of terms, He offers some advice to help move things along. As day breaks, Rikka gets a call from Itsuki. Genba is not answering so she passes on a message. The body they found is Yogo. Rikka realizes who she is driving with. ‘Yogo’ makes small talk with her as the medical staff races to save Suzu.


iMagic: Genba’s phone is clearly on a call when he drops it, though it amazingly reverts to the home screen.

Stormtrooper Accuracy: Tamizo leaves two shovels for the burial so that Miyu can get in on the action.

Dunder Mifflin: In the mortician’s office, Itsuki has her phone ready to go. I am sure it is not contaminated with anything that would be of issue in a medical setting or anything.

Money Shot: Magoroku Osada and Mylo gets name shots.

Food Glorious Food: 24 After giving some soulful advice to Urara, Magoroku orders a cheeseburger. Or local equivalent. Also, Mylo has a nice sized jar of trail mix, like all good software engineers.

Peter Griffin Moment: There is a special hip replacement that you can use to track down who received it. Given that the teeth, face and fingerprints were removed, this seems like an oversight.

[REDATED] it!: When doing the mike check with Tamizo, Genba says that he will hint the terrorist down if Miyu is harmed.

The Cubbies: Nanjo walks out to the parking garage with gloves on as Genba arrives with the corpse.

I’m Not a Spy: Itsuki is one step ahead of him with a gurney all ready to go. Just another day in the office.

Five Minute Rule: Is there anything less romantic than helping your kidnapper bury his fellow kidnapper. Man, I thought I had some bad dates.

Amnesia Bait: Rikka plays referee between ‘Yogo’ and Genba. Her vouching for the former puts her husband at ease.

24-Gate: Joshu manages to sneak in and there is nary a peep from anyone on staff.

THAT kind of topless: We do not see as much of the corpse as we did last week but what we do see is pretty gnarly.

Day Player of the Week: The security chief at the hospital is singularly focused but has a chat in the background with a subordinate. It adds a lot to the authenticity of the scene.

Employee of the Month: Mylo takes one look at Akechi and knows how to speed things up. Then he decides to look at a corpse for some reason. And is not revolted.

One More Time: “Your wife called me here early.” “What’s the reason.” “Don’t know but I can guess.”
Yohei and Joshu talking but saying nothing.

Hour Time: “Before I leave, don’t you think there’s someone you should press?” After five hours of the plots working in different directions, things finally begin coming together. This is the first time Genba and ‘Yogo’ meet and the first time Genba has a conversation with Miyu since the first episode. Genba even makes a stop at CTU for the first time in three hours though his visit is brief.

After Genba leaves, the CTU piece is still pretty routine. Nanjo and Itsuki snap at each other, and they work on identifying the body. Akechi is brought in to help. Even though she did not have any dialogue for at least one full episode, the director made sure to include shots of her in the split screens.

Unfortunately, things are finally coming together for the bad guys. The weak link is still Go who does not realize that things are really not going his way. We see more of the setup and while Tamizo does not have a lot of mania, he has an earie calmness. He has a plan, and it is working out thus far. After some setbacks things are back on course. His scene with Genba shows who is in control and you can see Genba stare at him through the monitors.

Well, it is mostly going well. Why did they wait so long to kill Yogo? Why not bury him at the compound? That part seems to exist for the shock and CTU to find out.

The shock is well played, though. 24 is not known for their point of view shots and they give one to Suzu. Finally having something to do after getting run over, her lack of recognition at ‘Yogo’ kicks the story into another gear. ‘Yogo’ plays the next scene perfectly with not a change at all to his personality. The same cannot be said of his first scene but he betrays nothing initially. He gets into it with Genba but Rikka steps in. We know there is conflict between the Shido couple, but they are working through it. It says a great deal that Genba backs down after Rikka vouches for him.

The Urara plot is still in its own little world. Urara does not know where to go and calls on outside support. Yohei is of no use, and this can somewhat be seen as spinning their wheels for the moment.

We get two new characters introduced that have a big impact on the story. Magoroku has a dignity to him. He reads Urara perfectly and offers sage advice. He has a legitimacy and empathetic intimacy that Joshu does not. We are also introduced to Mylo, who is dressed like how fifty-year-old think people in their twenties dress. He looks at the corpse in the morgue for reasons that are unsaid and is both helpful and irritating to Akechi. I suppose we are supposed to like him, but the writers and costuming department do him no favors.

As the sun rises things are starting to come together.
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Second Edition Playtest Manager
By Faithful Reader (Ross Fertel)
 - Second Edition Playtest Manager
Continuing Committee Member - Retired
"6:00 AM-7:00 AM"
Written by: Shûkei Nagasaka
Directed by: Toru Otsuka
Original Air Date: November 20, 2020

Start the Clock: 6:00:00 ‘Minagawa’ checks out his sweet self in the mirror while Genba heads to CTU. Tamizo helps him find a keycard and await further instructions. Itsuki checks in with Mylo who says that it is difficult (which he says nonchalantly while snacking) but mentions that there are refences to plastic surgery.

Rikka looks nervously ay ‘Yogo’ while Urara interrupts Yuta in a jog. He realizes she will talk about what happened, but she wants to make it a positive, to get ahead of the story. Yuta is doubtful. Meanwhile, Yohei approaches Hina in the hotel. Ken gives Miyu a warm towel. She asks him to run away with her, but he is ready to do as he is told, get his money and walk out when the job is done.

Tamizo instructs Genba to swap the card Mylo is working on with the one from the car. As he goes to do so, Itsuki intercepts him and tells him about the identity of the body. Genba puts it together and heads to his office.

6:14:45 Tamizo confirms that Rikka is with a crony but tells Genba to swap the card anyway. Genba says it will be hard to which Tamizo shoots a gun and tells him to think harder.

Tamizo leaves a message with ‘Yogo’ while Rikka feigns carsickness. She runs out while ‘Yogo’ checks his voicemail. He goes after Rikka but she gets the jump on him. After tying him up, she goes back to the car only to find it locked.

Ken goes to Tamizo to get his money, but Tamizo does not have any cash on him. Ken gets ready to part ways, but Tamizo asks him to stick around and gives him some busy work. After stalling Ken, Tamizo tells Genba to swap the card in three minutes. He calls up Itsuki and writes a memo while she is coming. Tamizo tells him to shred it and confirms that he hacked into the in-house CTU feed. Itsuki says that Mylo is almost done and Genba says to suspend the work until he has a chance to take a look.

6:23:02 Urara has a talk with Hina. After confirming that Yohei broke the news. Urara asks her to be at the breakfast. Hina agrees even after Urara says that there will be questions for her as well. They do not know if Yuta’s actions will be ruled as self-defense.

Genba fails his saving roll to use the Jedi Mind Trick on Mylo though manages to pull off a distraction to switch the card. Mylo is stunned for a moment but resumes work. It does not go as he would expect but Akechi is there to help. Tamizo has Genba get approval to attend the breakfast.

6:31:17 Ken finally realizes how much trouble he is in and makes plans with Miyu to leave. He buys time and tells her that when he leaves, he will not lock the door. Mylo realizes quite audibly that he has been duped. Akechi and Itsuki come over and the later gazes up at Genba’s office. She confronts him about the keycard, and he plays dumb until Tamizo tells him to ‘do something.’ Genba silences her with a gun then pulls out a jacket to head out of the building, stopped for a few moments by Nanjo.

6:38:05 Rikka’s contact list grows small until she is able to reach Akechi. After brief introductions, Akechi uses the GPS to locate her and send help.

Yohei approaches Urara with the idea to not go forward with the truth but attack Madoka instead. It will fight fire with fire and keep the past buried with Yuta being safe.

Ken distracts a flunkie allowing Miyu to go then ‘remembers’ to go back and lock up telling the flunkie to get started loading things up.

A couple guys from CTU show up to rescue Rikka but they untie ‘Yogo’ and kidnap Rikka. Smash cut to Akechi, the spy all along! Nanjo talks to her, having grown suspicious of the activities. Akechi tries to cover but Nanjo, now in command, orders her to give him the footage from the security feed.

Itsuki drives Genba to an undisclosed location while a masked Rikka is taken to the evildoers’ base.

6:51:25 Itsuki arrives at a quarry and sees the shadow car. She realizes what is going on but Tamizo orders Genba to shoot her. He does and she falls down into the pit. Satisfied, Tamizo has Genba go to the breakfast meeting.

Miyu and Ken are about to make it out when they see Rikka coming in. Miyu will not leave without Rikka and Ken will not leave without Miyu. Nanjo looks at the footage and wonders why Genba put that specific jacket on Itsuki. In the field, Itsuki wakes up in a bulletproof jacket.


iMagic: Tamizo has all sorts of sweet cameras to follow Genba. Except in the car he specifically outfitted for the event where he needs another to follow him with a camcorder.

Stormtrooper Accuracy: Tamizo’s henchman is very easily distracted by amateur Ken.

Dunder Mifflin: Akechi and Mylo would totally hook up if they were not busy.

Food Glorious Food: Mylo is still working on his can of trail mix.

[REDATED] it!: It takes Genba a bit too long to realize that he is continuously being monitored by Tamizo.

The Cubbies: Nanjo does not have a whole lot to do but sit around a look pretty in the split screens until he is left in command.

I’m Not a Spy: Itsuki has a ‘What’s a containment breach?’ moment when Mylo tells her that going from 20% to 98% in moments is too good to be true.

Five Minute Rule: Miyu finally gets it across to Ken that he will not make it out alive, though he has to get confirmation before he entirely believes her.

Amnesia Bait: After knocking out ‘Yogo,’ Rikka finds a Convenient Rope of Convenience to tie him to a tree. Good thing they are all over the forest.

24-Gate: The security detail points out that it might not be the best of ideas for Urara to talk to Yuta outside when there is a plot to kill her. She ignores this very sound and sage advice.

Let’s Up the Rating: ‘Minagawa’ is shirtless and when he puts it on, he does not button it. When he checks his gun moments later, it is buttoned but not fully.

THAT kind of topless: Rikka knocks out ‘Yogo’ with a stick and rock using such force as to cause him to lose consciousness but not have any blood visible at all.

Employee of the Month: Tamizo’s method of getting Genba to comply is telling him to work harder.

One More Time: “Let’s run away together.” “Isn’t your old man going to save you?”
Miyu trying to high tail it and Ken throwing some shade back at her

Hour Time: “Figure out a way to do it. Rack your brain.” There are two characters that gain greater importance in this hour. Up until now, Urara has bene kind of a side story and Tamizo has been getting his pieces together. Not that there is a lot more coming on these fronts, everything is being set up for the breakfast meeting, but these are the tentpoles of this episode.

Tamizo really comes into his own. Up until now we have seen him pulling the strings but here, he takes a much larger presence. He is literally in Geba’s ear being a little more direct with his instructions. He has Genba right where he wants and uses the leverage expertly. He does not go too far but manages to keep up a distraction with the keycard swap and get rid of Itsuki when she gets too suspicious. Genba does his best and is able to work around the instructions but not too overtly.

Rikka finally gets to escape, however temporarily. She is no longer the maiden in distress following people around; she takes matters into her own hands. She is done in by a better antagonist, not too much any fault of her own. Though ending the hour captive does not inspire much, especially since Miyu goes back into captivity in the end. Her scenes with Ken were good, finally able to make some headway. There are three people invested in them getting out. Some guys have thick skulls, and it takes Tamizo more or less telling him to stick around for undisclosed work and money to get Ken to see the light.

Urara getting her party together for the breakfast comes together nicely and shows us the tapestry of her family by pairing everyone up separately. Yohei is kind of a given but he wants to go a different route that Urara is not entirely buying into. Things are much less certain with Yuta. He is in the hot seat and will take the brunt of the criticism. All the ire will be directed at him, and he isn’t even in the running for Prime Minister.

But the key moment is between Urara and Hina. The gender swap works amazingly well here with two strong women talking to each other. When Urara mentions the harm that Hina will feel, you can sense a bit of empathy. It works amazingly well and is a very heartfelt moment. Maria Mori and Yukie Nakama play it very well and you can read the subtext perfectly. Urara does not want to harm her daughter but wants to get the word out while she can. Hina seems accepting.

At the end we are fairly certain they will come but are not sure. Time for breakfast!
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Second Edition Playtest Manager
By Faithful Reader (Ross Fertel)
 - Second Edition Playtest Manager
Continuing Committee Member - Retired
"7:00 AM-8:00 AM"
Written by: Shûkei Nagasaka
Directed by: Ken Higurashi
Original Air Date: December 4, 2020

Start the Clock: As Itsuki takes in the area, ‘Mingawa’ goes to the breakfast. His credentials and equipment pass inspection. Yuta chats with Hina before Grandma and granddaughter get in a car. Yohei had a talk with Urara about the speech. She insists on telling the truth. Yuta comes and laughs at that idea since he will wind up in jail. Urara urges him to trust justice, but he is incredulous and reveals that Hina went back home and will not be at the breakfast. Urara wants Yuta there, but he is noncommittal.

7:07:05 Rikka looks at the setup Tamizo has. He instructs Genba to make a quick stop to pick up a briefcase, which he is explicitly told not to open. He insists on talking to Rikka and Tamizo obliges before telling him to go to the breakfast.

7:09:21 Akechi is asked for an update. After bumping into Mylo, she takes a moment to herself to let Tamizo know that the keycard is not an issue and finds out that Itsuki is dead.

A very much alive Itsuki finds a phone and calls Nanjo. For his part, Nanjo is very confused, especially when Itsuki asks him to pretend that she is dead. He tries to talk to Akechi but grows suspicious, especially when she tells him she just spoke with Itsuki who will be at another location all day. That confirms to Itsuki that Akechi is the mole, and she formulates a plan with Nanjo.

7:18:45 Rikka and Miyu are reunited. Miyu gives the Wikipedia update for her plot of the season while Rikka says that Suzu pulled through at the hospital. Hina checks in with Grandma.

7:21:29 Urara and her delegation arrives as Yohei once again tries to talk her out of the plan. Genba is on the scene as well but gets permission to skip the line. He is able to pass through and goes to the assembly hall. There, he runs into a campaign manager who is an old acquaintance. Before he can pass off a message, he is instructed to go to the coffee table and wait for someone to hand the briefcase to. Urara arrives in the hall and has greetings. She makes eye contact with Genba and is introduced to ‘Mignawa.’

With Miyu asleep, Rikka tries to find a way out. She is interrupted by Ken bringing some food. She confronts him but is overwhelmed and they are interrupted by a flunkie. Ken is dismissed and told that they will most likely be killed.

Genba is once again intercepted by the old friend. He tries to pass her a note, but they are disrupted by someone on Tamizo’s team. He goes to the back area.

7:31:08 Nanjo meets Itsuki in the basement after making sure the security cameras would not catch them. She tells him about the situation with Genba and they wonder what to do with Akechi. Nanjo wants to alert the authorities but that will put Genba’s family in danger. Of course, if they do not let anyone know, Urara will be in the firing line, possibly with Genba’s involvement.

Genba is instructed to wait in equipment storeroom 3. ‘Mignawa’ arrives, and it turns out that the case Genba carries also has a gun which he is told to assemble and load with a round. A weapon in hand that has Genba’s fingerprints, ‘Mingawa’ gets into position. Nanjo gets a hold of Urara’s security detail to tell him of the imminent danger.

7:37:49 Within earshot of Akechi, Nanjo tells Mylo that the keycard was switched and the real one is in an office. Akechi makes a move to tell Tamizo but is apprehended by Nanjo. She is interrogated by him and Itsuki giving precious little away before calling uncle.

As security confirms Genba’s presence and searches for him, Miyu wakes up to her mother basically telling her they will not make it out. Rikka tries to walk that back but does not succeed.

7:48:21 With Yuta, Tamizo, the Nanjo/Itsuki/Akechi contingent and Hina watching on various monitors, Urara begins her speech. Genba is instructed to find ‘Mingawa’ and grab the gun after the shot. He is intercepted by an officer. Seeing a gun, he makes a play and fires a shot into the ground. Urara is rushed off the stage and Genba is apprehended.

A fed up Tamizo orders Miyu and Rikka killed. Ken is unable to stop them, but Akechi calls Tamizo to say that Genba has been put into custody. Not wanting to get rid of his bargaining chips, Tamizo orders the hostages put back in the cell.


iMagic: Nanjo is able to reroute the security feed and get a computer setup in a side room with everything needed to look around CTU. Because he’s that awesome.

Stormtrooper Accuracy: The guy who tackles Genba’s old friend so that she can not read his covertly written note? He is a little too late as the friend has plenty of time to read it quickly.

Dunder Mifflin: Security tells Urara that there is a trained assassin in the area with sights set on her. The response is for them to work harder to catch him so that there is not a problem.

Money Shot: Campaign Strategy Chief Rie Kayama gets a special moment.

Food Glorious Food: This breakfast meeting that has been hyped for episodes and hours? We do not see one crumb of food. But we see a coffee bar.

Peter Griffin Moment: Needing a private place to give an update, Akechi goes to the restroom.

[REDATED] it!: Genba spends a lot of time walking around, waiting in a room and not doing much until the last few minutes.

The Cubbies: Nanjo gets pretty pissed that he is suspected of being the spy for a non-zero amount of time, but quickly gets back on the wagon.

I’m Not a Spy: Itsuki finds a phone and makes short work of a door to get to it.

Five Minute Rule: Miyu takes a nap for most of this hour.

Amnesia Bait: Rikka says that Suzu pulled out of her surgery. We are not sure since ‘Yogo’ strangled her, but it is possible that she was able to recover as we saw several staff running around the hospital after that.

24-Gate: Ever the millennial, Yuta watches the speech on his phone.

Let’s Up the Rating: Not knowing what is going on, a flunkie assumes that Ken is trying to be fresh with Rikka.

THAT kind of topless: It takes four guys to take down Genba.

Day Player of the Week: Rie Kamaya gets a lot of ‘chattie Kathy’ segments.

Employee of the Month: If Tamizo had been paying just a bit more attention to his CTU feed, he would have seen Nanjo exiting after catching Akechi. Oopsie.

One More Time: “Do the usual formatting work.” “After you called me here at 5:00 AM?” “It can’t be helped.”
Akechi giving Mylo some work, Mylo not liking it and Akechi failing her saving roll is apologizing.

Hour Time: “I’m not running away. I just don’t want to be with you.” A couple hours ago, most of the players were together and it worked. Things came together and everyone was working towards the same goal. This time, there is a key event happening but not everyone is together. There is the CTU office, the breakfast and the compound but it works.

By virtue of being a television show, we have to get some expositional recaps even though there is a recap at the top of the episode. That slows things down when Yohei gives an eleventh-hour pitch not to tell the truth and Itsuki has to tell Nanjo about the mole plus Miyu unloads about what happened to Rikka.

Not all of it works. This is the first time Genba and Urara are in the same room and while they lock eyes with each other, it is not the moment it should be. Rikka and Miyu are still fairly disconnected from the rest (though the Ken/Rikka scene is great) and there is a little too much waiting for something to happen. There is suspense and then there is just drawing things out. Plus, we were left with the impression that Hina and Yuta would be joining Urara and Yohei at the breakfast meeting. Now they are not, and it mostly happens offscreen. They are watching remotely but it does not have the same impact although the split screen looks nifty.

That is not to say that none of it works. Nanjo is finally brought up to speed. He is noticeably pissed that he was suspected but gets over it quickly. We have not seen him and Itsuki working together and here they work well. Akechei does not want to talk but there is a danger element. Itsuki got some action last week and Nanjo is active this week. He gets enough of an explanation to apprehend Akechi and is brought into the fold.

While Urara is sticking to her guns and giving an important speech, the camera does not shy away from Yohei. He gives his pitch in the car at the start of the episode and at the end, when he is on stage, is just waiting for the other ball to drop. He hears Urara giving a speech about being an honest candidate, a speech he implored her not to give, and you can see the pain on his face. For her part, Urara is not backing down and in fact tells her security detail that if they catch Genba, there is no danger, and she will just plan on going ahead.

Genba spends a good deal of time driving around, walking around, trying to pass a note, assembling a gun, picking his nose and the like before he moves into action. His family is in danger, but he is able to save them and Urara even when the candidate is in the literal line of fire. He does not have that much to do but that lets us shine a spotlight elsewhere.

Tamizo has everything planned but it falls through. In his haste, he orders an execution before realizing they are still good to keep around as leverage. Akechi is biding her time, Genba is in custody, and we have just passed a big tentpole.
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Second Edition Playtest Manager
By Faithful Reader (Ross Fertel)
 - Second Edition Playtest Manager
Continuing Committee Member - Retired
"8:00 AM-9:00 AM"
Written by: Shûkei Nagasaka
Directed by: Kosuke Suzuki
Original Air Date: December 11, 2020

Start the Clock: Urara and Yohei are quickly escorted out of the building as Rikka and Miyu are sent back to their cell. Genba is cuffed to a chair as he tries to explain to the CTU agent on site why he took a gun and shot it in the middle of a high security situation. He talks about ‘Mingawa’ but the liaison just nonchalantly asks for a list of photographers at the event.

Itsuki and Nanjo interrogate Akechi. She has little more information to give though she does provide the name of the person who hired her, if that is really his name at least. She reveals that her son had some surgeries coming and she needed the money, so she hacked into the video feed. Tamizo is pissed that things did not work out and his mood is not improved when the feeds go down. Akechi calls him (under the watchful eyes of Itsuki and Nanjo) and says that she had to do so to avoid suspicion. Itsuki goes back to her desk and has Mylo cover for Akechi.

Urara gets Genba’s name. Yohei implores her to cut everything else from her plans for the day, but she is not going to stop so easily. Genba offers what little explanation and evidence he can to the liaison, but hands are tied and Genba is taken into custody. Genba effects an escape, steals a gun on his way out and hitches a ride holding the driver hostage.

8:15:39 Yuta checks in with Hina saying that Urara is all right and to hold on until more is revealed. Genba has his hostage, Rouri, pull into a construction site, and they make their way to an office.

8:21:55 Itsuki and Nanjo get little more from Akechi. Genba calls Itsuki to be told of the spy. Genba is somewhat flummoxed for a few moments but pulls himself together and resumes trying to find his family. Akechi will not budge, even when promised amnesty (which she sees through right away) so Genba has her son brought in while also asking for a car and armaments.

He has time to talk to Rouri. She is on her way home from a night shift and on her way to a speeding violation class and just wants to leave. He promises not to shoot her but belies that when she tries to leave on her own accord.

8:28:47 Urara is welcomed by her staff. Well, by Noburo but he is presumed to be speaking for the staff. Yohei talks privately to Urara that Madoka will make a special announcement shortly at 9:00, meaning they have lost their chance to get ahead of the story. He wants to talk about that, but Urara says the time for that was when it happened two years ago.

Genba and Nanjo hug it out over the phone while Genba looks for items in the office. He has Rouri grab some bolt cutters from outside and at 8:33:31 is free. Mangoroku gives Urara a brief update and she reacts with familiarity to Genba’s name. A flunkie comes in to take Miyu away at gunpoint but Rikka steps in offering herself. The flunkie acquiesces.

8:38:53 Yohei calls Modoka asking her to postpone the story. In exchange, he tells her about Genba being the prime suspect. Rikka returns and comforts a grief-stricken Miyu. She also takes out a phone which she lifted and calls Itsuki though they have to hang up soon after introductions are made.

Urara has a talk with Yuta. She still wants him to face the situation head on rather than have it haunt him for life, but he is despondent. Mangororuku tells her that Madoka is going to postpone the story for reasons unknown. She point blank asks Yohei who lies through his teeth. Nonplused, Urara asks Magororoku to call Madoka after the report to find out why.

8:44:19 Genba and Rouri have a chance to talk. She has two jobs and a disabled sister to take care of. Her husband forced her to choose between them. Genba reflects on not being able to spend time with his family. As the flunkie flashes a goofy smile to Ken, Itsuki and Nanjo bring up Akechi’s son. She does not want him to see her in handcuffs and asks for a moment to think it over in silence.

8:52:06 Genba’s ride arrives but so do the agents looking for him. He asks Rouri to get the car and bring it around. She starts to but soon alerts the officers. Genba rushes out the window, makes a beeline for the car and drives off. Nanjo and Mylo get nowhere with the clues Akechi provided leading Itsuki to try narrowing the search. They go back to Akechi hoping she is ready to talk but she has slit her wrist. This would be a bad time for her son to arrive, which he does. It would also be a bad time for Tamizo to call, which he does.


iMagic: Needing to break out of handcuffs, Genba asks for some bolt cutters. No one told the set decorators that as there appear to be several in the office he is hiding in, including the very shot of him breaking out of them.

Stormtrooper Accuracy: Just to make sure that Genba can escape, the CTU agents are told not to shoot him. This makes sense inside a boiler room but less so when they are outside. It appears as though the main reason why they do not catch him in the climax is that they are afraid to jump.

Dunder Mifflin: Akechi being gone for an hour is starting to get some notice around the office as is Itsuki’s absence.

Money Shot: Head Noayuki-Ijichi CTU Tokyo Headquarters Liaison Department and Rouri Isobe

Peter Griffin Moment: For the first time in a long day, Genba takes a power nap. For like half a minute.

[REDATED] it!: Genba evades the combined forces of CTU and the Special security taskforce. They combine halfway through the escape, but it happens regardless.

The Cubbies: Nanjo throws out some figures for Akechi to be bribed with but even with the conversion, the numbers are way too low.

I’m Not a Spy: Itsuki blows off Mylo when he asks where she has been. She does so again when he wonders where Akechi is.

Five Minute Rule: Miyu is almost entirely off screen for the first half of this episode.

Amnesia Bait: Rikka is also almost entirely off screen for the first half of this episode.

24-Gate: Urara gets a special shield to protect her from bullets.

Let’s Up the Rating: When taking Rikka and Miyu back to their cell, one guy given them that look.

Day Player of the Week: Rouri gets a lot of time to bond with Genba specifically and let the audience got to know her in general.

One More Time: “He didn’t shoot, did he? Tell him to get back there right now.”
Tamizo asking if Mignawa can get a do-over.

Hour Time: “He got away.” “What does that mean?” Last week we had Genba stuck in one place through no fault of his own. This week he is still stuck in one place but for a very different reason. Whereas last week he ended on a hopeless note, this time he is taking matters into his own hands. He has someone to talk to in Rouri and while she is freaked out initially, Genba takes time to get to know her. It goes a little beyond that when they begin to bond slightly. It helps humanize Genba after he has taken someone hostage. We know Genba is a solid guy, but Rouri does not. She is surprisingly calm and adds a lot to the episode. Both do not like being away from family and Genba had his taken away from him while Rouri chose her side. These are some solid dramatic beats which is impressive considering one of them is a day player who we will never hear from again. Their scenes are nice and tell us about both.

That is not to say that these moments are not punctuated by action at the start and end of the episode. Not getting anywhere with the proper authorities, Genba takes charge of his fate.

Nanjo gets some time to shine as well. He has his first conversation with Genba in hours and is perturbed to be a suspect, but he shakes it off and is back working with Genba. This is the first time the two have spoken in hours and they are able to put the past behind them and find more information. It is slow going, especially since their main source of information is killed.

The political plot comparatively has the most movement. Not being able to tell the truth has shaken Urara but she is caught blind by Madoka holding onto the story. She is still trying to get it out but finds a solution appearing magically. Not believing the gift horse, she wants to get information after the story comes out.

As far as Miyu and Rikka, their plot is all sorts of slimy and there had to be a better way to get them a phone. There have been years to do better, and they could not do so with this plot?

Two episodes in a row with not much traction but there is optimism coming as we head towards Genba trying to save his family.
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Second Edition Playtest Manager
By Faithful Reader (Ross Fertel)
 - Second Edition Playtest Manager
Continuing Committee Member - Retired
9:00 AM – 10:00 AM
Written by: Shûkei Nagasaka
Directed by: Shûkei Nagasaka
Original Air Date: December 11. 2020

Start the Clock: Akechi’s phone rings as Tamizo eventually gives up. Nanjo and Itsuki realize they are unable to keep not answering for too long. Yohei is driving Urara to a standing engagement. She has been to the recital at her alma mater every year and will not skip even if it falls on the day of the election. Magoroku agrees to a seething Yohei.

As Akechi is taken to medical, Nanjo and Itsuki address the group. They tell about the suicide and have everyone get back to work. Itsuki goes to talk to Akechi’s mother while Nanjo works with Mylo.

Genba calls Itsuki. She tells him about Rikka’s aborted call. He tells her that the patrols are making it hard to get around, so he asks where they are thinnest. Rikka makes another call but is quickly interrupted though this time she hides to phone while Mylo does a trace. Ken and the flunkie are looking for the phone and make a mess but they do not find the phone. Well, Ken does but will not admit it.

Yohei again tries to convince Urara to stay silent. She tells him, rightly, that the news will get out and she wants to be ahead of it. He asks Magorouku to chime in, but he is supportive of Urara, the assassination attempt only adding to her leniency.

9:15:36 Itsuki has narrowed down where the call came from, but it is still a wide area. Mylo finds an opening. They find an e-mail to Akechi from earlier in the day in reference to Ted Fukui. Nanjo gets a call that Akechi did not make it. Genba is put on with Rikka. There is little more to go on but she and Miyu are all right. A police car pulls Genba over. As they make their way to speak with him, Genba floors it and speeds away, listening in on their frequency.

9:21:28 Genba pulls into a parking lot to hide from the cops. While under a car (!) he gets enough from Rikka and Miyu to drastically narrow down the search area. Ken and the flunkie again search for the phone and the flunkie gets angry with Ken. The phone goes into low battery mode and makes a sound, letting the flunkie know where it is. After talking directly to CTU and Genba, he goes to Tamizo to report the situation.

9:32:24 As Genba makes his way out of the parking lot, he finds the area too large. Tamizo sends a request to Akechi for a status update but get’s a call from Andre Hayashi. Andre and his brother are dissatisfied that Urara has not been taken care of, but Tamizo is sure that Genba will come to them since he has the wife and daughter. Andre is not optimistic but is heading in anyway so lets him continue. Left with no other choice, Yoehi calls Joshu asking to silence Madoka. Joshu is one step ahead but provides not details.

9:36:22 Mylo decrypts the e-mail from Ted. There was a lot of money transferred and Genba asks to be connected to the company. Posing as an old chum form the university, Gebna asks to speak with Ted. The secretary says that he is on the phone and will be leaving soon for an appointment. Nanjo tells Itsuki that her old boss, Midoriko, is on the way to take over for Genba.

Miyu asks Rikka when she and Genba split up. Rikka says that he went on an ‘extended meeting,’ which she strongly suspects was a secret mission, for work and was distant upon his return. They drifted apart but got back together. Midoriko enters CTU and asserts herself, telling everyone to get back to it and locate Genba to keep Urara safe.

As Urara explains her being a progressive candidate to a bunch of seven-year-olds, she is pulled away as a big supporter, Kosuge calls. He heard from Joshu about Yuta and is pulling his support. Midoriko summons Itsuki to ask about Genba. Itsuki lies and Midoriko knows though does not reveal as such.

Genba shows up at Ted’s office but just misses the connection as Ted leaves for a meeting. Genba books it down the stairs, outright jumping over the last few of each section as he goes. Urara watches as the kids play with balloons while Midoriko glares at Itsuki from her raised canopy while Rikka experiences abdominal pains. As Ted goes into his limo, he is unaware that Genba is driving.


iMagic: Genba uses his phone to scan a VIN number from a car and electronically ‘hot wire’ it.

Stormtrooper Accuracy: The cops that pull Genba over give him a good four or five car lengths so he can get away quickly.

Dunder Mifflin: The security personnel at the school are told to be on guard but not to look suspicious.

Money Shot: Andre Hiyashi gets a name with no title two thirds through his conversation but new Captain Midoriko Obata CTU first Division Squad A gets one as she steps into CTU with an icy glare.

[REDATED] it!: Genba frees himself of the cuffs and checks his weapon at the first opportunity.

The Cubbies: Nanjo wonders what is taking so long for the medical staff to arrive when they are called with urgency.

I’m Not a Spy: Upon hearing that Midariko will be coming in, Itsuki looks like she wants to scream into a pillow. Genba just up and swears.

Five Minute Rule: Miyu listens as Rikka relays what little information she has to CTU.

Amnesia Bait: Rikka relays what little information she has to CTU.

24-Gate: Urara goes to an elementary school recital every year. This year it happens to fall on the date of the general election. Why they did not schedule it otherwise is an exercise for the viewer.

Let’s Up the Rating: Not a lot of romance this hour.

THAT kind of topless: Not a lot of violence this hour.

Day Player of the Week: Ted’s secretary does an admirable job of trying to get Genba’s name.

Employee of the Month: Tamizo’s method of getting Akechi to pick up the phone is to stomp his feet. Your humble rewatcher is known to circle his hands to make things go faster.

One More Time: “I want a café mocha with cream about now.” “Maybe later.”.
Mylo asking for a treat and Nanjo telling him to finish his vegetables first.

Hour Time: “I’m not the substitute captain, I’m the new captain.” At least a half hour of this episode is what we in the business call a nothingburger. CTU tries to get a trace, Genba tries to find a lead and escape the police, Urara chats with some kids and blows of Yohei’s objections.

Yada yada.

That is not to say that there are not good sequences. The scene where CTU tries to do the trace while Rikka holds the line open is tense. They are doing their best, but the battery gives out. The flunkie makes a big mess and loud noise while Rikka and Miyu cower. All of which is going on as Genba is trying to hide in a parking lot and get more information. They are able to get the trace but not before they are found out. It may be filler, but it is shot well and has a lot of suspenseful moments.

Okay, shot mostly well. Itsuki, Nanjo and Mylo do not have that great of reaction shots. They kind of peter out after a few moments and do not really add much. After too long, it becomes a distraction as they might as well just be getting b-roll footage. It is good to see CTU as a well-oiled machine trying to pinpoint where they are being held and is one of the first times we have seen them working together and they are effective.

Urara at the elementary school does not fare too well either. It is good in theory as she explains complex political concepts to a bunch of kids giving us a fun backdrop and shows Urara as keeping to her roots but makes no sense in universe. She gets pulled away when it is uncovered that Joshu got involved again. The playing with balloons takes too huge of a tonal shift at the end. Plus, the background when she is talking to Yohei is more distracting than anything.

The final act is Mikoriku coming in with guns blazing. She is clear that she is outright replacing Genba and it has been a long night so if you need to leave, there’s the door. You can cut the tension with her and Itsuki with a knife. We got a taste of what her oversight will be based on the reactions, and you can either fall in line of leave. She and Ted are there to have moments down the road and our interest is piqued.

Even a nothingburger can taste good.
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Second Edition Playtest Manager
By Faithful Reader (Ross Fertel)
 - Second Edition Playtest Manager
Continuing Committee Member - Retired
10:00 AM – 11:00 AM
Written by: Shûkei Nagasaka
Directed by: Kento Kiuchi
Original Air Date: December 18, 2020

Start the Clock: Midoriko has the team look into ‘Mingawa’ so that she can have a report ready for noon. Privately, she asks Itsuki if Genba has been in touch and is told that had not happened.

Ted gets a call from Seisuke Otomari asking for a meeting, an urgent meeting. Ted has the driver pull over realizing too late that it is Genba. The car pulls over and Genba pulls out a gun taking Ted’s phone and binding him. Ted claims he has no knowledge of Tamizo or Genba’s family. Having too much evidence to believe that, Genba locks him in the car and calls Itsuki. They give each other updates and Itsuki says the way things are escalating, she and Nanjo might not be able to protect Genba for long. Still, she looks into something they can use against Ted.

Rikka consoles Miyu when Ken comes in. He asks them not to talk so he does not have to lie when he says he does not know anything. He leaves and Miyu watches the flunkie beat him up for not getting any information.

Nanjo gets a manifest from the flight and realizes it has been tampered with. He, Itsuki and Midoriko realize that Mingawa was on the plane, and someone took his ID and face to the breakfast. While they are connecting the dots, Genba calls Itsuki who covers but Midoriko calls the bluff. Nanjo steps in and distracts Midoriko while Itsuki gives Genba information on Ted. They realize that it is best to play a slow interrogation then go for a big ask. For his part, Ted has no information. He does not know why Seisuke wanted to meet. Genba threatens torture and Ted counters with his own family.

10:20:15 Andre arrives at the compound and is displeased but ready to move on to plan B. Not being happy that there is a plan B that does not involve him, Tamizo asks for a couple hours and gets a half hour to finish the hostages and clean up the base.

Urara is getting a tour of the school when Magoroku gives her a call from Joshu. Urara wants to meet with him about his involvement in the Yuta scandal. Joshu waves her firing of him in her face but agrees to meet though not before implying Yoehi’s involvement.

Itsuki calls Genba verifying Seisuke but they realize it can be (and most likely is) a cover identity. Still, with few other leads, Genba takes Ted to the meeting. Miyu watches the goons pack things up and take them out, wondering what is happening. She is also concerned about Rikka who plays down her pains and the two wait. Unbeknownst to Genba, Ted pulls out a weapon.

10:31:25 While going over the Cookie Decorating class part of the curriculum, Urara pulls Yohei aside asking about Joshu. Yohei says that he asked for Joshu’s involvement without obtaining consent and Urara tells him that does not happen again. Magoroku pulls her asside telling her that information on Genba is difficult as most of his missions are classified. She asks about one seven years ago which Magoroku is surprised at her mentioning but confirms.

Genba parks and goes to talk to Ted only to be charged at with a knife. After disarming his opponent, Ted curses at Genba in Indonesian then has heart troubles. After getting some vague threats, Genba offers the heart medication. It is too late as Genba is left with few options to find his family.

10:41:36 Itsuki comforts a crestfallen Genba. It is personal as Ted confirmed shortly before he died. But what is the connection between Genba, Ted and Urara? He asks Itsuki to look into it, specifically a mission from seven years ago, Project Dark Night.

Ken brings Rikka and Miyu a gun and offers the best apology he can muster. Rikka realizes that he gave them a gun because Tamizo is planning on killing them.

Urara meets with Joshu. At her urging, he half-heartedly denies that he will intervene. He also tells her that a lot of people have invested time and money in her campaign and do not want those resources wasted.

Seisuke arrives for the meeting. He quickly determines that Ted is not alive, and we realize that he is ‘Yogu.’ Genba smiles from the front seat and ‘Yogu’s’ shots do not penetrate the bulletproof glass. Genba does donuts around the parking lot while ‘Yogu’ deals with a Weekend a Bernie’s situation before being knocked out.

10:51:29 Genba has a talk with ‘Yogu.’ The prisoner wants to be let go but Genba wants to know that his family is safe. They come to a compromise of sorts that Genba will free ‘Yogu’ when he sees his family is all right.

Having missed the deadline, Andre orders Tamizo to kill the hostages. Tamizo orders the flunkie to take care of it. Unfortunately, he does not get a good shot, but Rikka does, making sure to shoot twice. Ken is gobsmacked at hearing them as Genba heads to the compound.


iMagic: Itsuki’s phone has a button for mute, a button for the speaker and a button to make the line secure.

Stormtrooper Accuracy: Andre does not like the results that Tamizo and crew have after a year to prepare.

Dunder Mifflin: A office worker gives Nanjo a manifest and says it is correct.

Peter Griffin Moment: Genba goes into graphic detail with the horrors he can inflict on Ted.

[REDATED] it!: The place when Ted is said to meet ‘Yogu’ is an abandoned parking lot at a strip mall. It has to be abandoned since there are no other cars in the lot at all in the middle of the morning.

The Cubbies: Mylo does not like working for Midoriko and Nanjo’s advice on how to deal with that is to tell him to get over it.

I’m Not a Spy: While secretly talking to Genba, he asks Itsuki if Midoriko has asked if they have been secretly talking to each other.

Five Minute Rule: Miyu reacts in horror as Ken gets beat up.

Amnesia Bait: Rikka asks for the training manual when given the gun and generally conforms Miyu.

24-Gate: As Yohei tells a staff member at the school that he and Urara are a power couple, she calls him over about his shenanigans.

THAT kind of topless: Ted comes after Genba with a knife. It would probably be better if he didn’t yell than pause a few second before going for the attack.

Day Player of the Week: The school administrator has a good time showing off the school and in particular the cookie decorating class. If they had that class when your humble rewatcher was in school, the grades would have been much higher.

Employee of the Month: Itsuki, Nanjo and Midoroku puzzle together the assassination scheme (well a good portion of it) but Urara puts together Project Dark Night almost immediately all by herself. Because she is that awesome.

One More Time: “What are you after? Money? I’ve got a couple million on me.” “Shut up!”
Ted offering Money and Genba saying the one phrase almost no one would in reply.

Hour Time: “This is all your fault! You’re dead, Genba!” This episode can best be described as characters putting things together.

The best of all is Urara. She has an idea at the start of the episode. She knows that Yohei is involved with Joshu and puts together Genba with the assassination attempt. We see those involved with her professionally. The contrast between Magoroku and Joshu has never been more obvious. The actors do a great job portraying the former as a battle hardened but wizened old man who is patient thus knowing what he is doing in compliance with the rules while the latter is much looser and will bend as many of the rules as he needs to, even if not asked. Joshu is very much an ‘ends justify the means’ kind of character. In both cases, Urara knows what she is dealing with.

It is becoming clear that Yohei is something that Urara has a difficult time accounting for. He can go off track, but she cannot distance herself from him as easily as someone in her professional life. It has to be said that the location of a school is once again a horrible choice for these scenes. It was bad enough last week with the balloons but this week, Urara ad Yohei have a conversation in a side room adorned with childish drawings. It gives Yohei something to be distracted by but also distracts us from the seriousness of the scene.

Genba is also getting closer to his goal. Motosuke Iida gives Toshiaki Karasawa a great foil as Ted. He plays dumb well enough to give Genba and Itsuki a run for their money. He is convincing as an innocent but turns of a dime after his attack. It is only second to Yu Kamio. His Yogu and ‘Yogu’ are two entirely different characters. He did not change a bit after hurting Suzu but here, he is an entirely different person. He is not the caring father; he is a carefree criminal who will only cooperate to free himself. It is a great juxtaposition.

The scenes in CTU are serviceable. Midoroku, Itsuki, Nanjo, Mylo all get screen time and their stories inch forward, but they are really there for Itsuki to feed Genba information. Nothing really moves forward but we are reminded of the characters.

The Rikka and Miyu plot moves a bit more, though. We’ve seen the asshole flunkie for weeks and the stupid grin on his creepy face comes back when he finds out he gets to kill them. This character has been not all that great for weeks and not in a ‘love-me-because-you-hate-me’ kind of way and his leaving the plot is only a good thing. For his part, Ken may have brought the women a gun, but Rikka is the one who shot it without any help. The look on Ken’s face says it all when he is pretty sure that they are dead. Ken also has a good moment when he purposefully does not try to get information and is beaten out for his troubles. Miyu gets a chance to look concerned.

Things are heating up as we get to a resolution.
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Second Edition Playtest Manager
By Faithful Reader (Ross Fertel)
 - Second Edition Playtest Manager
Continuing Committee Member - Retired
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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Second Edition Playtest Manager
By Faithful Reader (Ross Fertel)
 - Second Edition Playtest Manager
Continuing Committee Member - Retired
"12:00 PM-1:00 PM"
Written by: Shûkei Nagasaka
Directed by: Ken Higurashi
Original Air Date: January 8, 2021

Start the Clock: Genba and the wounded Ken make their way through the woods, Tamizo and his goons hot on their trail. Finding a spot to rest/hide, Tamizo gives up. Rikka and Miyu are making their way through the woods, but Miyu sees the cloud of smoke and wonders what happened. They are forced to go a less direct route though in doing so lose the map. Fortunately, Rikka has it memorized.

Urara is dead set on telling the authorities about Dr. Touku. Magoroku urges caution since they have no conclusive evidence yet. Sensing her insistence on the matter, he asks if she will tell Yohei since the news will drag him through the mud as well.

12:09:16 Itsuki and Nanjo pass along Akechi’s effects to her mother and son. Nanjo has some information about the complex while Itsuki has problems reaching Genba. Figuring he is probably just unable to answer, they have a talk about the day’s activities. They are apologetic to each other and begin looking to perhaps maybe rekindling things going forward. Midoroku splashes some cold water by asking them to interrogate Akechi’s mother who just got a hefty deposit in her account.

Genba and Ken find an abandoned station, giving Genba a chance to look at Ken’s wound. He ties it off with a little more strength than necessary considering he knows what Ken did.

Andre calls Tamizo asking if they are done with the complex. Tomizo says that Genba is on the base, and he can finish him after which he would like to try Urara. Andre says one thing at a time, clearly implying it will not be good if Genba escapes.

Back at the hotel, Urara has a talk with Yohei. She is pretty much set on exposing the murder, but Yohei says it will be hard to prove, at least at present. When she is Prime Minister, she will be better positioned to expose what happened.

12:19:06 Just as Genba wonders where Rikka and Miyu are, we see the pair wandering around. Rikka either does not have the area as memorized as she thought or is crap for directions. Nevertheless, they have to keep moving to evade Tamizo. Genba confirms the loadout with Midoroku, who adds a third helicopter. He leaves Ken going out to search for Rikka and Miyu.

Itsuki and Nanjo interrogate Akechi’s mother under the threat of imprisonment which will not work out for Akechi’s son. They wonder why she did not get suspicious when her daughter deposited half her annual pay into her account each month.

Rikka and Miyu find a station to take refuge in. A goon looks around but is called off before he can find them. Rikak gets another stomach pain and Miyu will not be dismissive this time. Just then, the goon spots them through the window, but Genba shoots him. Through the radio, Tamizo asks what happened. Genba grabs the radio, and they are off.

Mylo shows Itsuki and Nanjo some financial transactions. Akechi’s money came from a foundation connected to Project Dark Night. That piques Itsuki’s ears as she makes a call. Not knowing their calls are being intercepted, Tamizo makes plans for everyone to meet. Genba realizes they can avoid them entirely on their current path.

12:33:03 Urara goes to meet with Madoka, asking to run the story. Madoka refuses, clearly agitated and frightened but will not reveal why. Someone got to her! She wishes Urara a good run as Prime Minister and is off.

Tomiza finds the goons’ body and notes the lack of radio. As he realizes Genba has been listening in, Genba and his family make their way back to the station where Ken is hiding. The helicopters are late but Tamizo is on them and has them pinned.

12:41:37 Rikka and Miyu hide while Genba and Tamizo shoot literal bullets and figurative barbs at each other. Soon, a helicopter appears on site. Genba tricks Tamizo with a mirror and Miyu, realizing Ken is out of danger, runs to him while Rikka doubles over in pain.

On Urara’s way to make a statement to the police, Joshu appears. Speaking privately, he tells her that he admires her strength. She will be in a better position as Prime Minister than a mother visiting her son in jail. When the flattery does not work, he threatens Yuta. Joshu can find witnesses who will place Yuta at the scene of Dr. Touku’s office, and he will be jailed. Her hand forced, she declines to speak to the police, deciding to be Prime Minister.

12:52:36 Miyu goes to the cabin, but Ken is nowhere to be found. CTU agents are on the scene, and we see Ken making his wounded way through the woods. Genba and Tamizo continue to verbally joust. Genba asks about the connection to Project Dark Night, but Tamizo knows better than to pry. Soon, Genba is on top of Tamizo and is forced to shoot. Genba is taken into custody and Ken makes his way to a bus stop. The family escapes on the helicopter as Ken rides the bus.

Midoroku gives the good news to Itsuki and Nanjo and is informed of the money trail. Itsuki asks to raise the security around Urara since she is linked as well. Plus, there is a second assassin coming, who we see on the escalator at the airport.

iMagic: Tamizo finds a sniper rifle giving him a boost to his accuracy.

Stormtrooper Accuracy: When chasing Genba and Ken through the woods, Tamizo is within eyesight of them but gives up. Sometimes you don’t even have to fire to be a crappy stormtrooper.

Dunder Mifflin: There had to be about a billion ways to give Akechi’s mother and son the news rather than giving them her stuff. Sadly, that is what they went with.

Peter Griffin Moment: Genba takes the slightest bit of perverse pleasure in causing pain to Ken while tending to the wound.

[REDATED] it!: Genba has what can best be described as a father-son talk with Ken, though it is pretty well summed up as ‘man up.’

The Cubbies: Picking up on some vibes from last week, Nanjo gets a little friendly with Itsuki.

I’m Not a Spy: Itsuki draws the short straw and has to lead the questioning of Akechis mother.

Five Minute Rule: After dropping the phone, Miyu tries to get it but is a good few feet from it.

Amnesia Bait: Rikka’s stomach acts up a couple times, though once when she is alone.

24-Gate: The counselor Yuta confessed to? Gone. The papers connecting Yuta to the crime? Gone. The digital copies? Gone. Urara’s potential testimony? Useless. It’s like someone wants to kill the story.

Let’s Up the Rating: Itsuki and Nanjo totally flirt with each other and are very handsy when they talk at the start of this hour. They get a room later, but that is for interrogation purposes.

THAT kind of topless: Tamizo’s wound leaves a trail for Genba to follow.

Day Player of the Week: The goon gets a chance to shine but blows it by going over the top through the barred window.

Employee of the Month: Mylo follows the money though it is after they start interrogating and threatening Akechi’s mother.

One More Time: “First show me Shido’s corpse, then we’ll talk.”
Andre telling Tamizo that if he does a good job, he might be around to do more work.

Hour Time: “When you run a machine, sometimes garbage gets in the way.” The way television works, a series will get an initial order of thirteen episodes. If things work out, they get an order for the ‘back nine’ to finish out the season. If this order comes in with enough time, the writers can make a seamless transition. Otherwise, they write with thirteen episodes being the end.

Which is the case here and it is to the detriment of the show.

You can see the plot coming out of nowhere to make things work. It is most obvious with Rikka and Miyu getting lost and found in the nick of time. Genba finds a station for Ken to hide in. Tamizo and his goons run around trying to find Genba. You can see the strings keeping the hour going for the sake of needing an hour to wrap everything up.

The performances are decent. The boss fight is a highlight with Genba using a mirror to trick Tamizo. On the whole, Genba is good at the tactical aspect. The actors do what they can, but this is moving pieces around for the sake of moving them around the board.

Things are also spinning wheels at CTU. The interrogation of Akechi’s mom is fruitless as Mylo manages to follow the paper trail of bank records. Itsuki and Nanjo further their plot and Midoroku provides some support by adding another helicopter, though we do not see it at the end regardless.

That leaves Urara and that plot moves forward, just not in a good direction. Urara has been the moral candidate and the plot has forced her to lie. It is an artificial way to end the hour for the sake of giving it an ending just because it has to end. It still is well acted, making it the best part of the episode but Magoroku is off. The scene with Urara and Joshu has manipulations all over the place but the actors do a great job with it.

There are pieces of the plot that would remain for the rest of the season but there are too many wheels spinning this time.

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