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By Faithful Reader (Ross Fertel)
 - Gamma Quadrant
 -  
Continuing Committee Member - Retired
#583645
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.

4:00:00

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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By Faithful Reader (Ross Fertel)
 - Gamma Quadrant
 -  
Continuing Committee Member - Retired
#584112
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.

5:00:00

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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By Faithful Reader (Ross Fertel)
 - Gamma Quadrant
 -  
Continuing Committee Member - Retired
#584521
"5:00AM-6:00AM"
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.

6:00:00

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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By Faithful Reader (Ross Fertel)
 - Gamma Quadrant
 -  
Continuing Committee Member - Retired
#585064
"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.

7:00:00

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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By Faithful Reader (Ross Fertel)
 - Gamma Quadrant
 -  
Continuing Committee Member - Retired
#585475
"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.

8:00:00

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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By Faithful Reader (Ross Fertel)
 - Gamma Quadrant
 -  
Continuing Committee Member - Retired
#585982
"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.

9:00:00

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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By Faithful Reader (Ross Fertel)
 - Gamma Quadrant
 -  
Continuing Committee Member - Retired
#586380
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.

10:00:00

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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By Faithful Reader (Ross Fertel)
 - Gamma Quadrant
 -  
Continuing Committee Member - Retired
#586836
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.

11:00:00

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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By Faithful Reader (Ross Fertel)
 - Gamma Quadrant
 -  
Continuing Committee Member - Retired
#587162
"11:00am-12:00pm"
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.

12:00:00

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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By Faithful Reader (Ross Fertel)
 - Gamma Quadrant
 -  
Continuing Committee Member - Retired
#587529
"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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By Faithful Reader (Ross Fertel)
 - Gamma Quadrant
 -  
Continuing Committee Member - Retired
#587855
1:00 PM -2:00 PM
Written by: Shûkei Nagasaka
Directed by: Kosuke Suzuki
Original air date: January 15, 2021

Start the Clock: As the Shido family gets a helicopter ride back to CTU, the assassin gets his rental car on the road. Rikka and Miyu are headed to the hospital just in case. Midoroku is on the scene as they depart and Genba promises to be there right after he answers some questions. Mylo comes to congratulate Genba on getting back. Genba asks Itsuki to look after Rikka and Miyu at the hospital. He has a feeling the day is not over and does not know who he can trust.

Itsuki asks Midoroku to leave, though that is quickly denied unless Itsuki takes an escort. After explaining the situation, Midoriko makes a meal out of the irony then has Nanjo take over for Itsuki. For her part, Itsuki is silent about the reason for leaving. As Rikka and Miyu arrive at the hospital, a nefarious car is there. We know it is nefarious because it is vibrantly red and there is ominous music.

Miho, a number cruncher, talks about how the preliminaries look great. Yohei reports to Urara, but she is still sullen. She tells Yohei about the situation with her supposed backers. Yuta was with Yohei during the time in question but that will not be accepted in court. The other people at the campaign can also testify but that is not brought up for reasons unexplained to the viewer. She tells Yohei to be silent.

At the hospital, Rikka finally gets her stomach looked at. Asked about anything else, Miyu makes motions and is asked to leave the room. Rikka confides in the doctor about the flunkie and the doctor suggests counseling, either with a professional or someone she can trust.

Yuta is brought a snack as well as condolences for Dr. Touku, which is news to Yuta. He confronts Urara who tries to hide the truth, but Yuta connects the dots, about the circumstances at least. He wants to go forward with what happened, but Urara forbids him. It goes against what she stands for and Dr. Touku was there for Yuta when he needed help. Urara cannot tell him why they have to keep the secret and the two embrace though it is rough for both mother and son.

13:23:36 Newly promoted director Naomichi comes, is friendly with Nanjo and blows past Midoroku. He exchanges pleasantries with Genba before getting down to business. As Genba starts to explain, Naomichi turns on the camera, meaning things are a little more formal than Genba thought.

Itsuki checks on Rikka but finds out they are not in that room by an officer who is inspecting it. Going to a room down the hall, she finds the two are in good shape. Genba has some explaining to do and they need to ask Rikka and Miyu some questions since it is a terrorism case and all. This is news to the two, but they agree to cooperate. As Itsuki passes the first room, there is no one there. Her spider sense tingling she finds a nearby officer who says he and his partner just arrived and it is only the two of them. The partner is not the person Itsuki saw earlier.

13:31:11 Naomichi gives Genba an A+ for being a father/husband but an F- for breaking the rules. Genba counters that he had to break rules as his family was in danger and he never deviated from keeping Urara out of harm’s way. Itsuki calls and gives Genba an update. She is concerned about the visitor, but Genba is tied up with Naomichi and asks Nanjo to handle it.

Nanjo tells Midoroku that there are three more assassins in the area, only two of whom they can identify.

“Yogu’ calls Andre asking to have a chance at following through. Andre is cold to the idea and confirms that the unloading is done. The house near ‘Yogu’ explodes and Sports Car Assassin, identified as Alexi, shoots ‘Yogu.’

Magoroku brings Urara a file on Genba’s missions.

13:41:51 Nanjo asks Midoroku to get more people since the other assassins are in the area and she agrees to maybe sort of mind of consider thinking about it. She then asks Nanjo to talk to Naomichi about what happened. She clarifies with a very biased overview of Genba’s actions while dangling a promotion.

Midoroku goes to talk to Genba. She will let him talk to his family after she gets some questions answered. Genba talks about how Ted was the financier for their operation. Itsuki talks to Nanjo about the ‘officer’, and they look into moving Rikka and Miyu.

Urara looks at the heavily redacted file on Genba when she gets a call from CTU. Yuta tries to talk to Yohei concerning the about face from Urara, but Yohei cannot tell him the truth so asks Yuta to drop it. Yuta gets all angsty before Urara comes in and tells everyone that there is a change of venue by request of CTU. The danger has not yet passed.

13:50:06 Naomichi asks Nanjo about the events of the day. Genba is on thin ice and discipline is almost unavoidable though a lot is riding on what Nanjo has to say. Nanjo admits there is no love lost with the two, but he supports Genba fully.

Magoroku approaches the packing Urara about Genba. There was a mission years ago against the Federation of which only Genba came out alive. Urara was the one who authorized it leaving her to conclude that Genba blames her for their deaths. Miho leaves the suite, goes down the hall and into Alexi’s room where things get steamy.

Ken stumbles into his place in the warehouse area. Itsuki talks to the forensics team. The room has been wiped down and the security footage erased. These are professionals they are dealing with. She interrupts Midoroku’s interrogation of Genba and the move is authorized. Undeterred, Midoroku asks Genba to continue.

Rikka has some fluid causing the pain, but the doctor gives her a pregnancy test just in case. Itsuki gets them out while noting some suspiciously open doors. As they leave, the ‘officer’ makes a call to an unknown party to give an update.

Urara enters CTU asking to speak with Genba.

2:00:00

iMagic: Midoroku adjusts the camera in the interrogation room after Naomichi had already been interrogating Genba.

Stormtrooper Accuracy: Alexei is right down the freakin’ hall form Urara and does not make an attempt on her life. Are they even trying anymore?

Dunder Mifflin: One of the bigwigs from CTU comes in and few bat an eyelash.

Money Shot: Campaign strategist Miho Shingyouji and Naomichi Nakasone CTU New Director get a spotlight.

Food Glorious Food: Settling into the interrogation room, Genba asks for some water and gets some along with a boxed lunch. Yuta is offered some pudding. We see all three and the bottle of water is the winner as the pudding looks crappy and the lunch is a couple slices of bread.

Peter Griffin Moment: Miyu objects to having to visit the hospital. Genba assures her it is just a precaution given what happened.

[REDATED] it!: Mylo jokes with Genba about age catching up with him. Genba takes it in stride.

The Cubbies: Nanjo just kind of hangs around when Genba comes back and walks down the hall.

I’m Not a Spy: Midoroku reacts to the irony of Itsuki looking after Rikka. For her part, Itsuki does not bat an eye.

Five Minute Rule: Miyu does not want to go to the hospital because she is feeling fine gosh darn it.

Amnesia Bait: Rikka glances daggers at Itsuki but is ultimately cordial.

24-Gate: Magoroku is in the room when Yuta comes in and cannot leave fast enough.

Let’s Up the Rating: Rikka might have been pregnant this whole time.

THAT kind of topless: The explosion from a nearby house ends up not killing ‘Yogu,’ he gets a bullet just to be sure.

Day Player of the Week: The forensics officer is pretty complete with his examination of the room.

Employee of the Month: Urara connects the dots but does so in such a way that she gets the wrong picture.

One More Time: “Getting straight to the point. I’ve got five cases. You’re involved with all of them.”
Naomichi getting down to business.

Hour Time: “It’s not just the report that will be finished. Your ID and gun.” This is a very transitional episode. Everyone but the Urara group is at CTU for the start and while they do separate, things move on ahead, but this is the first time most of the characters have been at the same spot at the same time.

Rikka is really standing on her own. She knows that Genba is separated from her, and it takes her all of two seconds to realize that he and Itsuki have been involved. It does help that Genba got back together with Rikka in the end and Itsuki did help rescue them, but every time Rikka and Itsuki are together, there is that harmful reminder. It is all the more ironic when you consider that Itsuki is there at Genba’s insistence. For her part, Itsuki does not pick up on the awkwardness which follows what we know from the character. Itsuki is professional going very far to keep them safe even through the X-Files of it all.

After hours at the complex being an action hero, Genba has to do what he has most dreaded; file a report. The invoice of him breaking all the rules has come due. He makes several strong points about breaking rules only when he had to but with everything that happened, he might not be able to stick around. It is a different kind of fight and one that he is less prepared for. He knows it is a steep uphill battle.

We get an introduction to Naomichi. While he is down to business, there are some nice touches throughout. For one, he is friendly with Nanjo. For another, we know that Genba was involved with taking down some people in CTU who were dirty and there is subtext that Naomichi knew one of them or was promoted because of that. Either way, he is straightforward as he steps into his new role. There is a calmness that is covering nervousness.

Nanjo has a good moment where he sticks up for Genba. The two will not be going to a bar after hours and slamming some sake, but from a professional standpoint, Nanjo respects Genba. Midoroku says that, as the one who sounded the alarm, Nanjo’s voice will speak loudly, and he has Genba’s back. It says a lot about the two when they have little interactivity otherwise.

Urara has almost a direct continuation from the previous hour. Yuta finds out about Dr. Touku and has nice father/son and mother/son scenes. Yuta does not know the lengths that have been taken to keep him safe and out of the picture and his parents have no choice but to keep up that image. There are scenes you have with professionals and scenes you have with family. Urara draws the wrong conclusion still under the framework that Genba is acting against her.

One issue that comes up with this episode is some odd editing choices. In theory this is supposed to be in real time, but several scenes do not bear that out. The helicopter flies Genba in and second later, he and his family are off. Naomichi goes off to the interrogation room and is there seconds later. Itsuki checks the stairwell and is in a van leaving the hospital seconds later. These are distractions from an otherwise good hour. After some big action scenes, we have some good story beats to work with.
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By Faithful Reader (Ross Fertel)
 - Gamma Quadrant
 -  
Continuing Committee Member - Retired
#588277
"2:00 PM-3:00 PM"
Written by: Shûkei Nagasaka
Directed by: Ken Higurashi
Original Air Date: January 22, 2021

Start the Clock: Urara formally requests to talk to Genba. Nanjo puts up some red tape and calls Naomichi who gives him more red tape to put up, ostensibly so that they can figure out what is going on. Genba is getting tired going over the same facts and wants to talk to Rikka. Midoroku tells him that they left the hospital already. Genba is livid that he was not informed and demands to speak with Naomichi. We see that Itsuki is driving Rikka and Miyu to the safe house but keeping them in the dark about the greater threat.

While Ken greets a female acquaintance, Alexei and Miho finish up on their ‘meeting.’ She gives out several pieces of sensitive information over pillow talk then goes to take a shower, leaving Alexei ample time to rifle through her purse after setting a world record for putting on his towel.

Naomichi offers his full apology to Urara about not being able to get Genba due to policies, procedures and him not wanting to. He gets a call from higher up telling him to stop stalling. She tells him to bring in Genba and shut down recording.

Urara accuses of Genba of the shooting and wants names. When she talks about Operation Dark Night, a very confused Genba tells her why he was at the breakfast and created the commotion, even with his family being held hostage, which confuses Urara who is hearing about that for the first time.

Itsuki brings Rikka and Miyu to the safe house. Rikka uses the restroom to take a pregnancy test.

Genba and Urara go over the particulars of Operation Dark Night. There was a power plant filled with hostages being visited by a man named Victor. Genba and his crew saved the hostages and killed Victor, but Genba was the only one who made it out. If someone can connect their two names …

Eiji Banba is playing high stakes Yahtzee in Osaka when he gets a call from Urara. He is confused as to why she is connected with Genba. It seems that Victor had two sons, Andre and Alexis. Their custom is to mourn for seven years then make their vengeance. Eihji will look into his files while CTU continues to investigate on their end.

14:20:30 Miho comes back to the hotel room where Yoehi says that plans have changed, and they will be there a little longer. Miho calls Alexei who thanks her for keeping him up to date and whispering sweet nothings. Andre confirms nefarious plans with the two assassins. Yuta tries to get more information from Yohei but gets nowhere.

Miyu finds the pregnancy test which Rikka confirms is positive. Miyu’s reaction is somewhat age appropriate, but Rikka is looking forward to raising another child.

Mylo breaks up, the riveting work of Genba and Urara pouring over databases and helps Eiji hack into another database. Unfortunately, there are some deletions, but he sends it anyway.

14:32:17 Rikka and Miyo have a late lunch and Miyu apologizes for overacting. The want to tell Genba but he is busy, so Nanjo takes the message. Itsuki starts to question Rikka while Miyu goes to a bedroom and calls Ken. She wants him to turn himself in but that makes no sense to Ken. He does not want any information out but that is hard since they are being questioned.

Yohei calls Urara wondering where she is. She says she is working to find out who is trying to kill her. After hanging up, she and Genba bond over the duality of having priorities professional and personal.

14:38:16 Itsuki asks Rikka about the day’s events but there are a lot of things Rikka does not have the answer to. The conversation turns to family, specifically about the Shido clan while they were separated. Rikka outright asks Itsuki if she and Genba got together during the split and getting confirmation, wants a break from the questioning.

Looking over the data, Urara finds that Victor’s wife and daughters were killed in Operation Dark Night. That explains why Rikka and Miyu are involved. He calls Naomichi to increase their security.

14:46:18 Urara has to go as the election is still ongoing, but Genba is still under restrictions. Urara marches right up to Naomichi and Midoriku and takes care of that. Naomichi is reluctant but Genba just wants a temporary reinstatement after which he will submit for full discipline. Naomichi concedes.

Following Urara out, she and Genba realize that there will be more attempts that day and if they do not take care of it, their families will be in fear for the rest of their lives. She heads back to the hotel but not before the two make up.

Miyu does a crappy job of minimalizing Ken’s involvement when Genba calls. He tells her of the reinstatement and asks to talk to Rikka. Genba says he is back in action and wants to know what Rikka called about earlier. She dismisses that as just wanting to hear his voice.

Eiji calls Genba with more data. The deletions are happening in real time meaning that someone knows about their efforts. He has an idea who it might be, but someone taken Eiji out before a name is said.

15:00:00

iMagic: Mylo’s hacking prowess has reached the CTU Osaka division’s admiration.

Stormtrooper Accuracy: The assassins in their red car know about the safe house.

Dunder Mifflin: The first candidate for Prime Minister and the most favored to win comes to CTU and no one bats an eye or fangoobers.

Money Shot: Eiji Banba CTU Osaka Division gets a spotlight.

Food Glorious Food: In contrast to the crappy boxed lunch Genba got in captivity last week, Miyu and Rikka get a full spread.

Peter Griffin Moment: Miho gets a shower and Rikka is offered one.

[REDATED] it!: There is someone Genba blames for the deaths in Operation Dark Night: himself!

The Cubbies: Nanjo drew the short straw to face down Urara and have her go to a waiting room. He won that battle but lost the war.

I’m Not a Spy: Itsuki’s grand tour of the safe house is introducing the CTU agents and showing the living room.

Five Minute Rule: Miyu thinks the house is nifty but wonders how long they will have to be there.

Amnesia Bait: Rikka rightly wonders why they are going to a safe house and not CTU. She does not completely buy Itsuki’s explanation.

24-Gate: Urara is not afraid to pull her weight around to see, or free, Genba.

Let’s Up the Rating: A positive pregnancy test reminds Miyu that her parents were ….

THAT kind of topless: Ken is recovering well from his injuries. At least his face. His body is another story.

Day Player of the Week: Eiji has a lot of fun stuff to do in a random Osaka bar.

Employee of the Month: Mylo divided up the data into three parts, one of which he calls ‘other.’

One More Time: “Get the big shot in front of you to put in a good word.”
Eiji telling Genba how to find a ‘Get out of Jail Free” card.

Hour Time: “There are rules. I have to get authorization first.” “Hurry up.” “What do you need.” “I can’t explain it here.” It is only a matter of time before Urara and Genba got in the same room for a chat. The two leads of the show earn more than their weight in gold with dialogue that just crackles. The confusion is out of the way quickly, but it is acted well between the two. Then, they are in synchrony trying to figure out the origin of the plan. In the original version, we just got information at this episode, but 24 Japan has been able to plant some more seeds earlier. We know a lot more, so the information we get is more organic.

The conversation also gets a little personal which adds some human elements to the two. Plus, Urara is not afraid to show CTU she is in charge of her own fate, effectively sending Midoriko out for the season.

Bringing the two together is Eiji. His predecessor had more of a laid-back vibe, someone who retired long ago. Keeping the counterpart in CTU helps explain how he is able to get information, but we have some fun with it. He is in his element and even pays Mylo a complement, tying the organization together as a whole. He knows how things work and is implied to be a mentor to Genba. The scenes could not have been shot over too long a period and were done in isolation, but he creates an impression with what he has.

Another fun combination that has revelations come out organically is Itsuki and Rikka. The former tries to keep things professional, but things get personal far too quickly. We saw Rikka put it together but here it takes a different turn as she verbalizes it. There is a sense of realness to the situation and Itsuki cannot simply call to the order of the agenda. This is another case of great acting between the two.

Miyu has the reaction anyone would to finding out that their parents are still active in the bedroom. Rikka is able to play it off as an older mother and the two are eager by the end of the hour. Not happy is Midoriko who is not pleased with having to give Genba back his weapon and badge.

There are some other pieces here, but the standouts are great sequences of characters finding things out for good or ill. The brothers and political plots get their stuff out of the way pretty quickly so that we can enjoy the real meat of the matter.
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By Faithful Reader (Ross Fertel)
 - Gamma Quadrant
 -  
Continuing Committee Member - Retired
#588834
"3:00 PM-4:00 PM"
Written by: Shûkei Nagasaka
Directed by: Kosuke Suzuki
Original Air Date: January 29, 2021

Start the Clock: Gebna realizes something is going on with Eiji. He calls CTU Osaka to look into it. Mylo comes in with more information, including pictures in amazing technicolor. Sanya Asano and Kougo Nakamura are in on the plot. There is also information on the hitherto unidentified agent, Alexis. They send this information to the Asakura delegation.

Miho calls Alexis and tells him that she will be staying in the city after all. He has one thing to finish up and he can meet her at the hotel afterwards at 16:30.

The perimeter of the safe house is checked as Genba calls Rikka. He does not like the way their last call ended and wants to know if there is anything else. She says no and he tells her that he will be a little while at CTU taking care of things.

As Urara arrives back, the staff gathers around to take a look at the three assassins, one of whom shocks Miho, who takes a few moments to compose herself before approaching Urara.

Miyu is continuing to protect Ken with Itsuki thinking of a Florence Nightingale situation. As Rikka comes in, Istuki lets them switch places. Sticking with the Ken side of things, Rikka protects Miyu’s integrity, having trust in her daughter despite the runaway earlier.

Urara calls Genba with the information about Miho. He thinks they can use that to their advantage. She asks about Eiji and Genba tells her that things do not look good on that end.

Miyu calls Ken telling her she will not be able to cover much longer. He tells her not to call again. Ken’s female friend comes in and Ken brushes off the call. Rikka does not like having to explain everything to Itsuki who offers to have someone else handle the questioning.

Genji shows up at CTU, taking charge. Genba fills him in on the details including Miho. Genji thinks this would be a good time to take Alexis into custody, but Genba wants to see if they can collect intelligence.

15:21:19 Urara has a talk with Yuta about what happened between the two of them so far. Regardless of what he did, she will always love and support him unconditionally. He feels as though she is keeping him at arm’s length but agrees to sort of try being a little nicer.

Sanya calls Alexis. He has eyes on the safe house and will take care of Rikka, Miyu plus the CTU agents on guard.

Mylo helps Genba with some technical issues and Genba impresses the importance of finding Andre that day. He also tasks Mylo with looking into anyone else being a spy just in case.

Yuta makes an appointment to meet Joshu when Hina walks in. He tries to brush past her but eventually tells her about the meeting. She is worried, but Yuta has to clear his conscience. Besides, even Joshu won’t kill him.

15:32:34 Miho meets with Genba and Genji. She goes over her history with Alexis. They want her to keep the appointment and get information. She is reluctant at first but agrees. As the questioning with Rikka and Miyu proceeds, Sanya takes out everyone else at the safe house.

15:42:25 Rikka and Miyu take a break while the agent gets some coffee. He offers some to the other agents but gets no response. A quick investigation reveals bodies, and he hides Rikka and Miyu while securing the house. He finds Sanya but Kougu finds him. They search the house but find that Rikka and Miyu have bedsheeted their way down. They find car keys and get out. Kougu has them in his sights, but he is shot by the not quite dead CTU agent who is in turn shot by Sanya.

Genba and Miho leave for the hotel when Mylo approaches him to confirm Eiji’s death. Genba sees Itsuki coming in and asks why she did not report as such. Nonetheless, Genba takes her along for reasons not explained to the viewer.

Rikka loses Sanya with her mad driving skills and takes a moment to step out and gather the surroundings. As she does, the car starts to roll backwards with Miyu still inside. She finds it at the bottom of a hill where it spontaneously combusts, and she faints.

15:52:17 Yuta confronts Joshu about Dr. Touku’s death. For his part, Joshu reminds Yuta of the timing; Dr. Touku breaking confidentiality years late and right before the election. Yuta calls him out on changing the subject and Joshu reiterates his threat to Urara about evidence implicating Yuta for Dr. Touku’s death that might be uncovered. After Joshu leaves, Yuta checks his phone which he used to record the conversation.

As Rikka regains her senses and goes back to the road, Sanya retraces his tracks. A woman sees Rikka standing on the road and tries to help but Rikka does not remember anything. They leave together, unknowingly passing Sanya on the way.

Miyu wakes up on the forest road! She got out of the car in enough time but as she makes her way to the street is calling for Rikka.

16:00:00

iMagic: Mylo pushes a couple buttons and longs Genba into his account. He pushes a couple more and reinstates Genba’s access.

Stormtrooper Accuracy: For all the shit I give the bad guys, Sanya manages to take out a good number of CTU agents guarding the safe house.

Dunder Mifflin: As Miho is escorted into CTU, Genji asks her two escorts to wait outside the door.

Money Shot: After appearing at least once, Chiharu Ohkusha gets a formal introduction.

Food Glorious Food: Miho is offered some bottled water and a cup for her meeting at CTU.

Peter Griffin Moment: The second to last room Sanya and Kougu check is the restroom of the safe house.

[REDATED] it!: The same Genba who put away some dirty workers is surprised that after he is put on notice that his credentials are revoked.

I’m Not a Spy: After getting an apology from Rikka, things once again get testy to the point where Itsuki just swaps out for someone else.

Five Minute Rule: Miyu has a visible reaction along with Rikka to seeing an image of the flunkie.

Amnesia Bait: Ever the adult, Rikka apologizes for getting so personal with Itsuki during the questioning.

24-Gate: When the staff gathers to see the assassin pictures, it is pretty much the same group we have seen plus Miho.

Let’s Up the Rating: Alexis touches a poster of Urara a little too suggestively. Immediately after, we see Ken getting out of the shower but …

THAT kind of topless:… his bandage is has a lot of seepage. Either he does not have a fresh bandage to change into (bad medically) or he showered with it on but managed to not get it wet at all which takes some talent.

Also, remember how Wolverine had a bit of a killing spree in X-Men 2 and it was totally bloodless? The knife Kougu pulls out of the CTU agent is also clean.

Day Player of the Week: We only hear Eiji’s boss on the phone, but it is a good voice over performance.

Employee of the Month: After getting a bit aggressive with his questioning, the CTU agent uses his amazing coffee skills to determine that something is amiss.

One More Time: “What’s their relationship?” “That of a man and a woman.”
Genba wanting to know how Miho knows Alexis and Urara being ultra PG about it.

Hour Time: “Not now.” “But then is it okay to do later? It’s pretty urgent.” One of the hallmarks of this series is the split screen. Director Stephen Hopkins did it for the first episode and it is still around several seasons and interactions later. It is especially effective here as we see Genba at CTU with Rikka and Miyu at the safe house. We see Miho reacting in shock and Alexis just hanging out on a park bench. This requires extra work to film since you need more footage in total, but it is a great visual. It is very helpful when coming back from commercial to remind us of what is going on.

Most of the surrounding material is up to par. Genba exchanges Midoroku for Genji. It offers a chance for exposition but the whole reason we had more than one person originally is because the writers kept circling supervisors to CTU before settling on the guy there in the first place. It works here because Genji has an opportunity to be effective. He has slept off the problems from earlier in the day and no longer do we see someone on his way out. Rather we see someone effective at their job, getting up to speed and supporting Genba. It is a welcome change in characterization.

Nanjo is absent for some reason that is left as an exercise for the viewer, but Mylo plays the role of CTU guy helping out Genba for a good portion of the episode. The two work well together and Mylo is getting into the swing of things. His humongous headphones keep getting in the way, but he serves his role well and has dialogue that other more tenured characters simply cannot have.

Yuta takes a bit of a larger role this weak as well. He takes matters into his own hands standing up to Joshu, in a matter of speaking. The difference in experience both as characters and actor is evident but Yuki Imai stands his ground as Yuta. He knows when to be aggressive and when to reign it in. The scene with Hina is also good and a rare sighting of brother and sister alone together.

The Home Alone from Hell plot with the safe house is done well. It is exciting and while Sanya and Kougu get a little too action hero with their posing, it is exciting as they search the house only to find that their targets have escaped (oopsie) and one of the agents is still alive (double oopsie). The changing of the guard with Itsuki is well handled, and at the request of Rikka. Her apology to Rikka is well played and is a good moment of maturity. That moment is trashed in their next scene, but it is nice when it lasts.

Then we get to the explosion. The writers’ fingerprints are all over that. We had to separate Miyu and Rikka but could not come up with a good way to do so resulting in the explosion and Rikka getting amnesiac. Hopefully someone is able to stop the proverbial ball from rolling too far down the hill because that is a huge distraction.
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By Faithful Reader (Ross Fertel)
 - Gamma Quadrant
 -  
Continuing Committee Member - Retired
#589160
"4:00 PM-5:00 PM"
Written by: Shûkei Nagasaka
Directed by: Kento Kiuchi
Original Air Date: February 5, 2021

Start the Clock: As Miyu searches for Rikka, we see Rikka being driven by Yuki Aoyama. Rikka still does not remember anything, so Aoyama is going right to the hospital. Genba, Itsuki and Miho meet with Urara’s security detail. They are watching all entrances and have a pretty tight surveillance system ready for Alexis’s arrival.

On their way, Rikka sees a gastropub that seems familiar. She goes in and has a sense of déjà vu. The Maître D does not recognize her but lets her wait for the manager to show up as Aoyama leaves but not before giving Rikka her number and some money for a cab if things do not work out.

As Itsuki briefs Miho, Urara comes in to check on her, also pulling Genba aside to make sure nothing happens to her. She is concerned about Genba’s state of mind, but he assures Urara that he will be professional, and no harm will come to Miho.

Miyu finds a payphone and calls CTU. Nanjo answers and tries to get Miyu’s location while also finding out that the safe house has been compromised. Miyu is leery of the situation and hangs up. Nanjo reports to Genji who sends a team to look into it but does not want Nanjo informing Genba, not with Alexis coming in fifteen minutes.

For his part, Genba is going over the arrangements with Itsuki. They hope their plan works; they really have no other leads. Genba asks Itsuki why she left the safe house, but she is called away before she can respond.

Left with few alternatives, Miyu calls Ken asking to come and see him. Ken is reluctant but eventually concedes under a threat.

Yuta has a talk with Urara apologizing and realizing that she lied to protect him. She presumes he spoke with Yohei but he plays the recording of Joshu. Urara tells him how dangerous that is but gets a copy of the recording. She pulls Yohei aside and wants to talk with him and Magoroku.

16:22:04 Alexis calls Andre about his upcoming meeting. Andre is suspicious but Alexis likes ‘meeting’ with Miho. Andre’s spider sense tingles to the point where he orders Alexis to get rid of her afterwards.

Genba shows Miho their setup. He also gives her a briefing; she just needs to plant a transmitter on Alexis then Genba will call her to get her out of the room. In case things go south, he gives her a secret phrase that once uttered will send agents in. Ideally, they want to plant the transmitter, but her safety is important.

The manager arrives and recognizes Rikka. He asks about Dr. Hamahata but she draws a blank. The manager knows that they are friends and not married. The doctor works at a nearby hospital and the manager offers to call him over to help.

Genba and Itsuki check in as they prepare with Genba getting an update on what happened with Itsuki and Rikka at the safe house. After they discuss the matter, Alexis arrives.

16:30:25 Alexis enters his room, under the watchful gaze of Genba and Itsuki. He does not take out his wallet, so Genba presumes it is still in his jacket. Miho enters the room, less outwardly physical than usual. Alexis takes note and Genba orders a task force on standby.

Miho asks Alexis to prepare a drink while she goes into her room. She is able to place the bug but not able to put the wallet back. Alexis comes into the room and things get a little testy as she picks up on him always wanting to know about Urara and not Miho. She dismisses it as a hunger pang and wants to see the menu for some food. He leaves to get it and she replaces the wallet.

16:42:38 The task force has cleared the hallway, so Genba calls Miho except she rejects the call. As Alexis orders a tomato pasta, she goes to a nightstand and grabs something that Genba and Itsuki are unable to see initially but later find out it is a knife. Miho stabs Alexis and Genba orders the task force to strike. Genba rushes in and pulls Alexis off Miho and rushes to save his life.

Miyu arrives via cab and gets an icy reception from Chiharu. Ken tries to smooth things over explaining the Chiharu is Go’s girlfriend, but the introduction is muddled as Ken pays the fare.

16:51:33 Dr. Hamahata finds Rikka. The impression is that they were a little more than friends but Rikka recoils to his touch. Undeterred, he orders a warm drink for her.

Genji chews out Genba for how the meeting played out. Alexis might make it, but he will not be in any condition to talk. Urara is happy that Miho is fine but not happy that Miho is in custody. It is at the point where Urara no longer trusts CTU in general or Genba in particular.

Alexis’s phone starts to ring. Genba picks up and is told to being the money to the Sora Park Tower Plaza in a half hour to a man with a red cap and beard.

17:00:00

iMagic: There is still a pay phone around. And a working one at that. Because the plot demands it.

Dunder Mifflin: We see very little of CTU though Mylo is able to track down the pay phone.

Money Shot: Dr. Keisuke Hamahata gets a nice frame though we are told about him before he comes on screen.

Food Glorious Food: Alexis tosses one back and prepares a watered-down drink for Miho. Plus, the menu at the hotel is larger than that at most restaurants. Either that or they have a great selection of alcohol.

[REDATED] it!: Genba tried to tell Rikka that he was involved with Itsuki when they were split but he was not able to.

The Cubbies: Nanjo picks up when Miyu calls and really does not have his heart in the conversation at all.

I’m Not a Spy: Itsuki puts Genba’s mind at ease after he senses a disturbance in the force about Miyu and Rikka.

Five Minute Rule: Miyu outright forces Ken to let her come over lest she call the police.

Amnesia Bait: On one hand Rikka found a great good Samaritan to get a ride. On the other, she is abandoned a little too quickly even with getting some swag.

24-Gate: Miho misses her dexterity roll when she puts the transmitter in the wallet.

Let’s Up the Rating: Miho says that her meetings with Alexis were not as much verbal in nature as they were physical.

THAT kind of topless: Miho’s stab was enough to get some blood to seep through Alexis’ shirt but dangerous enough to put him in a critical condition.

Day Player of the Week: One of Rikka’s guards apologizes for being so rough with Genba at the breakfast meeting. It is a nice callback.

One More Time: “Will you tell him after the mission is over?” Yes, I will tell him after the mission is over. Is that okay with you?”
Nanjo playing conscience and Genji being not that great at supervising.

Hour Time: “Isn’t this going too far?” “It’s a necessary measure. And her own decision.” “But he’s a professional killer.” The main event is the meeting with Alexis and Miho, neither of who are main characters, both of whom we have known for a handful or episodes and recent ones at that. Almost two full acts are dedicated to it.

It falls flat.

The pacing is absolutely horrible. There is something to be said for having a slow burn. This show has done that successfully already several times. Heck, in this episode, Rikka’s scenes are calmly paced but interesting. Here we watch Miho walk across the room, Alexis get a drink and it is hard to stay awake. Neither actor is especially compelling, and everything crawls to a halt. Worst is that the writers had to contrive a reason for Genba to not come in and when the task force is brought in, and they take forever to clear out of the hallway. Urara berates Genba for letting the stabbing happen, but we have seen everything and while we can see where Urara is coming from, it is hard not to take Genba’s side.

If it wasn’t bad enough, that just seems to destroy the second half of the episode. Miyu reuniting with Ken, Rikka meeting Hamahata, it is just so off since the focus is elsewhere.

Thankfully there is a first half to all this. Rikka’s amnesia storyline could easily go off the rails but her scene in the car is done well with her driver being very polite. Even at the gastropub things are slower but Tae Kimura keeps it interesting. People around her are working to help her and she is taking it all in as she pieces it together. As a bonus, it fills in things for us in the audience. Miyu does a good job blackmailing Ken to get to a safe spot. Nanjo is a bit off with his call but Miyu calling CTU is a good instinct to have.

The highlights both involve Urara. We see her talking with Yuta about the conversation with Joshu. She will berate him later but asks Yuta to let her take control. Yuta has been rebellious until now but sees the wisdom in Urara and hands the recording over. It is a very mature act for him to take, a better sense of maturity than we saw last week.

Miho also has a good moment with Urara. We’ve seen like ten or so people in the hotel helping her out with the election, but she knows Miho. This is not a random background player. Rather, this is someone she has taken the time to know and bond with her over the course of the huge amount of work they have put into the campaign. It tells us a lot about Urara as a leader and a character. The party is in good hands. Unlike Yuta, this is someone she can order not to participate but lets her go into Genba’s capable hands.
User avatar
 
By Faithful Reader (Ross Fertel)
 - Gamma Quadrant
 -  
Continuing Committee Member - Retired
#589382
5:00 PM-6:00 PM
Written by: Shûkei Nagasaka
Directed by: Kosuke Suzuki
Original Air Date: February 12, 2021

Start the Clock: Urara asks about Miko’s fate, which Genba says does not look great. Itsuki finds the cash Alexis was supposed to bring to the meeting. Genba decides to show up his stead. They do not know if that will work, but they have few other leads.

Genji asks Nanjo for information about Rikka and Miyu of which there is little. Nanjo wants to inform Genba but Genji puts the kibosh on that quickly.

Ken searches for contact information on Tamizo since he may have been involved with the disappearance of Rikka. Miyu tries to hack into his computer. Both are unsuccessful. Chiharu ‘talks’ with Ken and it becomes clear she does not know that Go died. After she leaves, Ken tells Miyu to keep it that way. Also, Go’s brother, Jin, is coming and he should similarly remain blissfully unaware.

Dr. Hamahata goes over things with Rikka. She separated from her husband, and they started seeing each other. Eventually, Rikka rekindled things with her husband and pushed Dr. Hamahata away. They are friends but Dr. Hamahata wanted to become more.

Urara plays the recording for Yohei and Magoroku. Yohei wants to keep it hidden. The election is underway, and Urara will be the leader of the party and Prime Minister. Getting the news out will cause a huge scandal. Magoroku agrees with holding it, at least for now. It is a great trump card against someone who might wish to use this against them in the future.

Genba calls Nanjo for an update. Genji takes the call and tells Genba that Rikka and Miyu are sleeping. Genba also gives Genji an update while asking for some backup. In the car, Genba asks Itsuki about Rikka’s reaction to her revelation but there is little to be gained. He asks Itsuki to call the safehouse but there is no answer. Genba will try later.

Nanjo straight up asks Genji for permission to check on Rikka and Miyu. Genji asks about Itsuki and is surprised to learn she is with Genba. He makes accusations of their relationship causing a laxness around CTU, but Nanjo will have none of it.

Urara has a talk with Yuta about sending the recording to the police. The young man is prepared for the consequences, but Urara reminds him he has more than the legal system to face such as the news, magazines and the 24-hour media cycle who will all come after him. For his part, Yuta is prepared for the onslaught since he has been living with the burden for years. Urara vows to be with him every step of the way.

17:25:15 Andre calls Sanya who is having a devil of a time locating Miyu or Rikka. The car is burnt and has no bodies. Sanya figures the Shido residence will be the best place to go.

Chiharu continues to grate against Miyu. With Jin coming, she will not fit in. Ken and Miyu mutually decide it is time for Miyu to leave, even giving her some money for cab fare. They have a moment wondering what would have happened if they had met some other way but before she can get out, Jin shows up. He asks about Go and about Miyu. Not being satisfied with the answers Jin forbids Miyu from leaving until Go gets back.

Genba and Itsuki arrive on the scene with lookouts at the ready. Genji calls and says that the backup team will be led by Tetsuiji Harimoto, someone who has bad blood with Genba. Genji orders them to play nice. The meeting goes about as well as it can with Tetsuiji holding a huge chip on his shoulder since Genba got his former partner in trouble, but Genba has done as much or worse that day and is still active.

17:35:35 Nanjo is grabbing a cup of Joe. Mylo talks about how crazy things have been when an eyewitness report comes in about Rikka. Nanjo orders people to look into everything before reporting to Genji who orders an investigation near the area as well as someone to go to the Shido residence.

Dr. Hamahata gives Rikka a once over. Physically she is fine, apart from stomach pains, but he recommends she go to a hospital as she might not recover her memories otherwise. Rikka is set against that, instead wanting to go home. We see Sanya is at their house at the ready.

Urara finishes up with her subordinates and goes to another room. Yohei is watching as she crosses through the door then leaves for a meeting. Going into that room, he opens a safe which holds a thumb drive.

17:44:01 Yohei asks Urara about Yuta, and they agree he is becoming a man, for better or worse. Urara opens the safe and find nothing. She confronts Yohei who destroyed the drive. Urara goes to a drawer and pulls out the real drive; Yohei failed the test. Going to her team, she calls a press conference. For within the hour. That is a quick turnaround, but Urara is sure that the media will cover it.

Genba checks with his team. Tetsuiji takes the opportunity to taunt Genba, to the point where Itsuki calls Genji to intervene.

17:51:21 Sanya is at the Shido residence right when the agent arrives. On their way, Dr. Hamahata asks Rikka if it seems familiar, but it does not. Jin is on the phone ready to set up a deal, or at least he will be when Go comes back. Ken tells Miyu to be quiet about the fact that Go will not be coming back.

Genba orders the plaza cleared of kids as Red Hat Man comes. They sit in the outside since the interior to well populated. Genba confirms the details of the plan: at 19:20, he is to turn off power to a specific area and restore it five minutes later. Genba asks if that is all which triggers Red Hat Man’s spider sense, and he makes a run for it. In spite of Genba’s efforts to chase him down Tetsuji defies orders and takes a shot, which proves too severe. The medics are called in.

Rikka and Dr. Hamahata arrive at the Shido residence. They are unaware of both the body of the CTU agent on the premises and Sanya aiming a gun at them.

18:00:00

Stormtrooper Accuracy: Rikka and Dr. Hamahata are oblivious to the dead body on the premises. Granted it is somewhat hidden, but you think Sanya would have stashed it somewhere not outside the front door.

Dunder Mifflin: Genji’s solution to making sure that the backup team does not get in the way? Sending a secondary backup team.

Money Shot: Go’s brother, Jin Samejima and Tetsuiji Harimato, CTU Investigator make their debut and appearance respectively.

Food Glorious Food: In one of the montages, Mylo washes down his trail mix with some chips. Jin knocks back a few with Ken.

[REDATED] it!: Urara asks about mitigating factors for Miho which Genba dismisses since she ignored his calls (thus going against the plan) and she voluntarily stabbed Alexie (ruling out self-defense).

The Cubbies: Genji asks Nanjo questions that are entirely out of line. For his part, Nanjo takes it on the chin and blows right past him.

I’m Not a Spy: Rikka is outright asked by Genba about her conversation with Rikka which is all sorts of wrong. Ever the professional, Rikka does not betray eithers’ confidence.

Five Minute Rule: Miyu and Ken have a nice moment with each other, to the point where Ken will give her what little he has stashed away to keep her safe.

Amnesia Bait: Rikka is marveling at her life as told by a former lover.

24-Gate: Even though Urara booked a hotel room for her command center, the still go to a conference room because plot demanded she be away for a few minutes.

Let’s Up the Rating: Chiharu is both very drunk and handsy with Ken.

THAT kind of topless: Miyu asks about how Ken’s arm is healing. It would have been a nicer moment had she done so before touching it.

Day Player of the Week: Tetsuiji breeds sliminess and is very unlikeable with an itchy trigger finger.

Employee of the Month: Knowing that there is a meeting coming, Genba calls for a search of the room to find something of value. A suitcase full of untraceable cash is the result.

One More Time: “Yo, Genba Shido, Long time no see. Pretty sure that was when you arrested my dear partner Sekiguchi.”
Tetsuiji’s introduction line.

Hour Time: “Harimoto? That’ll be trouble. He and Shido are incompatible. Find someone else.” As much as a failure as the main set piece was last week, this is a success. Part of the reason is brevity; last week it was more than two full acts and here it is the last five minutes. That is a bit of an exaggeration; the action is in the last five minutes but the leadup from scoping out the scene to the start of the meeting take up a lot of time. It is an outside environment meaning there are a lot of things out of CTUs control.

There are also problems with things under CTUs control as Tetsuiji reveals. He pushes so many of Genba’s buttons and the direction makes sure we see Genba in the crosshairs and a finger ready to pull the trigger. Tetsuiji knows that while they are waiting, Genba will have no choice but to hear him and he takes every advantage of the opportunity. Being entirely honest, he does have kind of a point, at least from an outsider’s perspective. We know that Genba will face consequences once the day is over, but that information is not widely disseminated through CTU.

In the oddest sense of the word, Rikka’s plotline is successful this week. On paper it should not be let alone work. By all means it should be boring with Rikka not knowing who she is and us getting information we already know. Except Tae Kimura plays the heck out of it. I am at a loss to say what it is about her performance that is captivating, but she is engaging to look at as she takes it all in. We know what Genba did while they were separated but this is our first time hearing about what happened to Rikka. It fills in a lot of blanks and while it can be a little too expositional, it is fascinating to watch. It also offers a nice contrast when Genba asks Itsuki about Rikka’s reaction to finding out about the two of them.

Miyu and Ken have a nice moment of closure as well. The two have been through a lot and Ken is justifiably pushing her away. The two have a chance to connect and Ken really is looking out for her own good. It shows how far they have come when they imagine the world in which the meeting under better circumstances.

The political plot has something we thought we would never see; Magoroku and Yohei agreeing on keeping the recording secret. They have different reasons and timetables, but Urara goes against both while also setting a trap for her husband. She decides to go ahead with the press conference, something we had a good idea would happen when she spoke with Yuta.

There are things that keep this from being excellent. Sanya has the opportunity to take out Rikka, which he is ordered to do but does not take the shot. Also, Jin does not really add anything and seems to be there as an obstacle more than anything else. Plus, Nanjo and Itsuki are almost entirely sidelined with the later just kind of being there for the sake of being there. Not great as we move into the final quarter of the story.

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