Build just keeps getting better every week and this time around is no exception. We begin where we ended, with Himuro Taizan being kidnapped by Gentoku at the end of the previous episode. When we join our heroes again, we are hearing a voiceover of a news report, while Banjou plays idly with Pandora’s Box, seemingly trying to use his Martian DNA to open it. He is thoroughly chided by Misora, and while the two of them discuss where Kazumin might be, Sento gets a call from Isurugi. He offers to exchange Himuro’s life for the Evol Driver, which was found and hidden by another scientist, Katsuragi Shinobu. This new character is revealed to be Sento’s biological father, thus establishing a connection. The Build Driver was based on the Evol Driver, Stalk claims, and this is used as the in-universe explanation for the design similarities.
As we cut between Team Build doing research and the father/son duo of Himuro Taizan and Gentoku talking, we see the true darkness in Utsumi manifest once again.
Personally, I’ve a feeling that Utsumi will end up being the ultimate master of the Evol Driver and the final endgame villain of the series, if not Nanba. Through flashbacks and dialogue, we are given the origin of the Drivers, and the story of how Pandora’s Box got to earth in the first place. A long-speculated fan theory is confirmed, and we see Isurugi talking to Evolt, the Martian entity living within him. All of Isurugi’s actions, up to this point, have been a result of Evolt’s influence, as it tried to manipulate Isurugi and other humans into recreating the Evol Driver.
In a flash sideways, we see the light in Gentoku begin to shine as brightly as the darkness in Utsumi blackened the room earlier. Gentoku attempts to rescue his father, and is met by Utsumi, who once again flips the kill switch seen in previous episodes.
With help from Himuro Taizan, Gentoku is able to overcome this weakness and enters the fight in the name of protecting what he cares about.
This amount of character growth is excellent to see in any character, let alone someone who started as an edgy, angsty trope. Through Stalk, and ultimately Evolt, we learn that Genoktu’s aggression was greatly heightened by the light of Pandora’s Box, and the Nebula Gas experiment that made him a Rider dispelled this effect.
The Evol Driver appears in an unlikely place, and Sento begins to put it back together.
This is widely regarded as a bad move, but he continues on anyway, and they go to meet Evolt to make the trade. Based on Utsumi’s prior words, they have no intention of honouring the agreement. Team Build goes anyway, though, and during the meet, Gentoku intervenes. The disabling chip no longer works, thanks to Sento, and Gentoku is free to stand with the other Riders in direct opposition to his former allies.
When Evol finally makes his debut, we see an ominous sign of things to come as Utsumi is the one to take the Evol Driver from Misora. After a dramatic, close-up transformation, we see Kamen Rider Evol make his entrance, using the Cobra and Rider System Evol Bottles to make up a form called Evol: Phase One.
Per tradition when a new Rider debuts, he decimates the previously introduced Rider, Gentoku, and Himuro Taizan steps in between the pair as Evol’s finishing move connects.
It’s a dramatic scene, as the former Prime Minister is blasted clean through by a sphere of dark energy, and the tension and sorrow between the father and son is conveyed very well. Gentoku gains a new purpose, or rather, a reassurance of his life’s work, as his father gives his blessing to unite the country.
In the preview for the next episode, we see Evolt trying to recruit Banjou, while he takes on Sento more directly. There is also a brief tease of a new form for Cross-Z, Banjou’s Rider form, using an Evol Bottle in his Driver. I am greatly looking forward to what’s to come as Build enters its final arc.
What did you guys think of this episode? Leave a comment and let’s discuss!