This episode opens on a somber note, picking up from the moment we left off. The Lupinrangers are trying to find a way to deal with the Patorangers having destroyed a Lupin collection piece, and the music sets the tone. Kairi leaves and spends some time thinking, believing he is alone on a walking bridge. Keiichiro stumbles on Kairi and offers him a drink, and a listening ear.
It’s a nice way to set the tone for the episode, and lends a bit of irony as Keiichiro lectures Kairi about anger. We see a brief flash of the familiar enemy responsible for killing Kairi’s brother, Touma’s fiance, and Umika’s friend. Kairi seems driven, now, Nearly blinded by purpose. How this plays out will be very interesting in the episodes to come.
The early scenes with the Lupinrangers have an air of true desperation to them. As their misson was to retrieve the Collection, this could mean their failure and the loss of their loved ones. The weight they carry is palpable in these moments, even as Touma begins to formulate a plan and light the spark of hope that will restore them. We see the aftermath of the last episode’s botched operation play out on all sides, including the Ganglers, as Kairi moves forward with determination towards his goal.
It doesn’t take him long to track down his target. Before Kairi can even draw his weapon, Zamigo is able to get a shot off, turning Kairi’s hat to ice and knocking it off his head. His Gangler form is revealed, and we cut to the police following Bletz back to the same place.
Kairi and Zamigo have their stare down inside a familiar industrial building, seemingly the same one from a few episodes ago but with shots redone from different angles. Even still, the setting feels somewhat new, and the shots are set in a way to demonstrate how confined the space is for a fight to be playing out.
Kairi vows to go after Zamigo, and gets the blessing of his teammates before they part and take on the two missions at hand. Outside the warehouse, Touma and Umika enter into a fight against Bletz and the Patorangers, while Kairi faces down Zamigo inside. Touma nears success, only to see it slip away, and the twist at the end of the last episode is explained, albeit simply. Umika retrieves Bletz’s item, narrowly dodging a finishing attack from the police in the process.
Inside the building, Kairi is completely on the defensive as he dodges shot after shot from Zamigo. They make their way outside, and Kairi finally ends up taking a hit. The Scissor and Blade Dial Fighter reveal a new ability, a sword and shield combination, that Kairi uses to stop Zamigo’s finishing attack.
The Gangler then makes a formal introduction after praising Kairi, and exits. The last remaining piece of business is Bletz, and Good Striker lends himself to the cause, with impeccable timing, as always.
At last, we see the full extent of Bletz’s power, and at the same time, we are treated to a new mecha in the form of LupinKaiser Knight form. The clones of Bletz start to fight amongst themselves, creating an opening, and the Lupinrangers seize the opportunity. We then return to a quiet sense of calm, as the routine is restored.
In a brief exchange, we see a bit of friendly banter between the Lupinranger and a solo Keiichiro, now established as a regular customer at the Bistro. Keiichiro appears happy that Kairi is noticeably back to normal, and they even go so far as to give Keiichiro a nickname in the Bistro, K-Chan.
This episode is much lighter than the one before, at the end, but it does a good job of balancing out the contrast in tone. The arc of this episode seems to serve as a narrative framing device for the power of hope, and a demonstration of what can be accomplished with determination and drive. The next episode, based on the preview, seems like it will be more of a fun ride than the past two, which will serve to balance things out nicely.
What did you guys think of this week’s episode? Leave a comment and let’s discuss!